Saturday, July 31

Wild Herbs

‘Silver lining’: Albania medicinal herbs bloom in pandemic
Wild Herbs

‘Silver lining’: Albania medicinal herbs bloom in pandemic

Scents of sage, lavender and cornflowers rise from the meadows of Albania, which has seen soaring overseas demand for medicinal herbs since the coronavirus pandemic. In Sheqeras, at the foot of the Mali i Thate mountain in Albania's south, it is the season for cornflowers, a plant traditionally valued for its ability to boost the metabolism and resistance to infections. Early in the morning, before the heat of the day, dozens of women wearing broad-rimmed hats, hand-pick the magnificent signature-blue flowers that attract clouds of butterflies and bees. The cornflowers are then dried in darkened rooms to preserve their colour before being shipped abroad. For the past few years, Albania has been one of Europe's top producers of medicinal herbs, mostly wild plants harvested in the foothi...
The Great Herbs: Flowers with two colors
Wild Herbs

The Great Herbs: Flowers with two colors

Writer Zhang Bangji from ancient China's Song Dynasty (960-​1279) narrated a story about using honeysuckles to treat wild mushroom poisoning in his work "Mo Zhuang Man Lu." During the Song Dynasty in 1100s, several monks at Baiyun Temple in Tianping Mountain gathered a basket of wild mushrooms from the mountain to cook. However, the wild mushrooms were poisonous, and the monks experienced vomiting and diarrhea after the meal. One of the monks went up the mountain to pick honeysuckles to try to detoxify, and surprisingly, monks who took the honeysuckles survived. In addition to its detoxifying effects, honeysuckle has also been recorded in ancient books as having a cosmetic effect. In the "Secret History of Empress Dowager Cixi's Private Life" written by De Ling, Cixi would ap...
Eat this, not that: Wild garlic mustard vs. wild ramps
Wild Herbs

Eat this, not that: Wild garlic mustard vs. wild ramps

The unstoppable popularity of ramps (Allium tricoccum), also known as wild ramps or wild leeks, may just also be the death of them. The native North American wild onions are widely regarded as a spring delicacy and are one of the most sought-after wild edibles around. Aromatic and slightly sweet, ramps are somewhere between an onion and garlic in taste. They are harvested by foragers, some of whom make quite good money selling the ramps at farmers markets or to private customers including upscale restaurants. Increasing popularity combined with the scarcity of wild leeks have driven prices upward and sent more foragers hunting for them deeper and deeper into wild places. The problem is that wild leek plants take years to reach maturity and reproduce. And since foragers harvest the entir...
Martin Lewis meets family who saves hundreds on groceries by finding food in the forest
Wild Herbs

Martin Lewis meets family who saves hundreds on groceries by finding food in the forest

Regularly visiting supermarkets is something we all need to do, but buying groceries does not come cheap. While many retailers will constantly update offers in stores to help Britons save, food can be one of the biggest expenses of a family. Growing your own fruits and vegetables can be a simple way to cut the cost of fresh produce. One family has taken that a step further as they source most of their own meals. Mum Yuki explained she lives a "rich life" by foraging food for her family. Yuki, 48, from Surrey, stated she will avoid visiting supermarkets as much as possible. "My passion is you don't have to spend a lot to eat really well and live like a King," she said. Martin added that Yuki would save money by foraging around in the local area for food she could turn into family mea...
Sip the flavours of the boreal forest with tea from this Thunder Bay company
Wild Herbs

Sip the flavours of the boreal forest with tea from this Thunder Bay company

While Lee-Ann Chevrette's love of the outdoors has been lifelong, an experience she had on a solo canoe trip in Quetico Provincial Park about a dozen years ago was particularly inspirational. "I just felt so alive and so happy," she said. "I felt like like I wanted to capture of the essence of the feeling that I had ... I wanted to bottle it," she said. Shortly after, Boreal Forest Teas was born. The business — which started in 2009 — blends organic cultivated herbs with wild harvested plants from the boreal forest. Jonathan Pinto spoke with Lee-Ann Chevrette, owner of Boreal Forest Teas in Thunder Bay. The business blends organic cultivated herbs with wild harvested plants from the boreal forest. Jonathan started by asking how the business began. Read more at CBC.
Malaysia’s oldest woman still giving advice on herbs, longevity
Herbal Medicine, Wild Herbs

Malaysia’s oldest woman still giving advice on herbs, longevity

BUTTERWORTH: March 31, this year marks Annamah Abukutty’s 110th birthday, yet her age has not stopped her from contributing to society. Born and raised in Thachambadi, India, Annamah brought along her knowledge and wealth of experience in Indian traditional herbs when she migrated to then Malaya before the start of World War II. Annamah currently resides in Batu Gajah, Perak with some of her descendants, comprising four children, 17 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Her son M Subramanian, 73, said that despite her age and disability, villagers around her residence and patients have been visiting her to seek health advice and her wisdom in longevity. Apart from herbal medicine, he said people used to seek her services in midwifery, reflexology and tattooing. Read more at Fre...
How to treat seasonal allergies with wild herbs
Wild Herbs

How to treat seasonal allergies with wild herbs

Last night I went to the grocery store to get some medicine for my daughter. She started experiencing symptoms of seasonal allergies last week, so I started giving her an over-the-counter antihistamine. More recently, she’s been experiencing sinus pressure, a runny nose and an upset stomach. My guess is she has a mild sinus infection. So I was in search of an expectorant and nasal decongestant without an antihistamine because we had already been using one and wanted to avoid using more than the recommended amount or an analgesic like acetaminophen because she had never had a fever. After about 20 minutes of scanning and comparing labels, I finally settled on a medication that worked as an expectorant, nasal decongestant and cough suppressant, knowing the medicine included to suppress...
Yaupon: The rebirth of America’s forgotten tea
Wild Herbs

Yaupon: The rebirth of America’s forgotten tea

What if you were surrounded by tea and didn’t know it? In an age where tea is the most consumed drink on the planet after water and is expected to become an $81.6bn global industry by 2026, the possibility of living among an endless supply of ready-to-be-picked, wild tea might seem like a far-fetched dream. But across large swaths of the southern United States, such a reality exists. For those who know what to look for, what was once the most widely consumed caffeinated beverage in the Americas comes from a plant growing in plain sight, ignored by most, but deeply rooted deep in history and intrigue. Yaupon (pronounced yō-pon), is a holly bush indigenous to the south-east United States and happens to be North America's only known native caffeinated plant. Keep reading at BBC.
New wild food venture a natural move for award winning chef Paul
Wild Herbs

New wild food venture a natural move for award winning chef Paul

Paul Cunningham, head chef and joint owner of Brunel’s award winning restaurant in Newcastle, is keen on foraging for edible seaweed and wild herbs. He’s been acclaimed the best chef in Ireland and featured on BBC’s popular Great British Menu series. Now Paul Cunningham, head chef and joint owner of the award winning Brunel’s Restaurant in Newcastle, is combining his role at the successful eatery with Mourne Larder, a small food enterprise he’s set up recently to specialise in dried sea vegetables and wild herbs as healthy ingredients for home cooks and other professional chefs. A native of Dundrum, Paul (34), a father of two young children, has just launched three natural and original products based on his longstanding love of foraging the Co Down coastline for healthy seaweed an...
TCM herb growth cures farmers’ poverty woes
Wild Herbs

TCM herb growth cures farmers’ poverty woes

Zhang Youwen, a 60-year-old farmer in Wuzhai county, Shanxi province, used to grow potatoes and corn on his small patch of land, just as his parents and grandparents had done. Although farmwork kept him busy for most of the year, he only earned a meager income that was barely enough to take care of his family. However, Zhang's life changed in 2017 when he decided to grow huangqi, or astragalus root, a herb used in traditional Chinese medicine, which helped increase his income to more than 10,000 yuan ($1,520), over triple what he earned before. Other farmers in the county have also turned to growing traditional Chinese herbs in recent years to lift themselves out of poverty. Wuzhai, at an altitude of over 1,200 meters, has a cold climate, contributing to smaller crop yields than lower ar...