Like a lot of travelers, I spent my time in Quito drinking yerba mate from a gourd. But then I headed to the highlands in Ecuador to stay with a local Kichwa (Quechua) family. I was in a for a pleasant surprise when they started brewing tea that I later found out was guayusa. Since then, I’ve become an avid guayusa tea convert – for the health benefits as well as these other reasons.
Long before Asclepias tuberosa became a popular garden plant, it was used as a medicinal plant. It is especially known for treating lung issues like coughs, flu, pneumonia and asthma. Considering how important lung health is today, Asclepias tuberosa is a potent natural remedy you should consider adding to your first aid kit. Read more
Borage is quickly becoming one of my favorite plants. Not only is it beautiful, easy to grow, and tastes good, but it also has a slew of health benefits – especially for the skin. These skin benefits are why borage seed oil is becoming popular and found in many beauty products.
Out of the hundreds of edible nuts in the world, we only consume a small number of them. However, that is slowly starting to change. Now it is possible to get some exciting nuts from around the world, including the ultra-healthy pili nut. Here’s what you need to know if you want to try pili nuts. Read more
One cool thing I did while traveling around Vietnam was hire a local plant expert to take me on a guided tour. She took me to a collective where women were extracting oil from tamanu nuts. When I asked what the oil was used for, the ladies started spreading fresh tamanu oil on my skin.
You might have heard about African superfoods like moringa, baobob, and hibiscus, all of which are very trendy now for their health benefits. But there are many other African superfoods which have yet to become popular in the West. Read more
I like to forage for wild edibles and medicinal plants, but admittedly can’t identify too many. Boerhaavia diffusa is one plant which I repeatedly saw around the United States. It wasn’t until I took a trip to India that I finally learned what the plant is.
While living in Central America, I ate a lot of fresh acerola cherry and particularly loved making sorbet from it. Now that I’m back in the States, I take acerola cherry powder when I need an immune boost. An unfortunate problem with acerola cherry though is that its nutrients break down quickly. If you want to get the health benefits of acerola cherry, it’s important that you choose the right product. Read more
It amazes me how little communication goes on between the East and West when it comes to medicinal remedies. Despite the fact that China is often praised for having a long history of medicine, few Westerners actually incorporate Chinese herbs into their life. One of these often-overlooked herbs is Atractylodes. Read more
A while back, I spent a several months living in the Amazon regions of Brazil and Peru. Aside from the astounding natural beauty and culture of the region, it was also one of the best culinary experiences of my life. I discovered dozens of foods I had never heard of before – including the pitanga fruit. Read more