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Saturday, March 28, 2009

The National Herb Garden - Learn the Advantages of Growing Herbs By Julia Stewart

Next time you visit Washington D.C., you definitely need to visit the National Herb Garden at the United States National Arboretum. Given as a gift from the Herb Society of America in 1980, this garden is a delight for the senses. Being able to see, smell, and touch herbs from around the world is truly a pleasure. The gardens are divided into ten theme gardens. A theme garden is just what it implies. Each garden has a theme and the plants in that garden reflect that theme. For instance, in the "medicinal garden" you will find feverfew for headaches, echinacea for colds, and mint for upset stomachs. Other theme gardens you will find there include the Dye Garden, Culinary Garden, Fragrance Garden, Industrial Garden, and the Beverage Garden. If you love herbs and will find this herb garden a little piece of heaven on earth.
While there, you will learn what others have known for centuries. The great thing about herbs is that they are not just used in the kitchen, but many parts of the plant can be used in many ways. For instance, flax is a well known herb in which the fibrous material in the stem is used to make fabric; and the essential oils in mint are used in many products as an aid to digestion and as an antiseptic. During your garden tour, you will also learn that herbs are not just annual or perennial plants. Trees such, as the Cinnamon tree, and bushes, such as the Vitex bush, are also herbs and are just as important and are just as widely used in many industries. We literally can not live without our herbs. That is what makes them so intriguing!
Learning more about herbs is one of the advantages of your visit. Learning how different varieties of herbs grow, what conditions they like best, as well as getting ideas which you can take home and implement in your own herb garden is another advantage. If you bring children along with you, they will learn more about history in one hour than they would in months of sitting in the classroom. The official web site for the National Arboretum suggest giving yourself at least one hour for your visit. Be sure to visit their web site for more information about the arboretum including days and hours of operation, wheelchair accessibility, and even a virtual online tour for kids.
In conclusion let me make one suggestion. Although the garden is open all year, I would suggest visiting in late spring, early summer, or even fall. This way, you can avoid the hot, humid summer heat but you will still find plenty of herbs growing to make it a worthwhile outing. Next time you are in Washington D.C., be sure and visit our National Herb Garden where you will be inspired and learn the many advantages of growing herbs in your own garden. You will not be disappointed.
Julia is a Master Gardener, floral designer, and nature crafter. She loves to write about her passion on gardening and crafting at her popular website Seeds of Change -
Seeds of Change is the nation’s oldest 100% certified organic seed company. We offer a unique selection of high quality organic seeds including rare traditional heirloom and hybrid varieties of vegetables herbs flowers and cover crops as well as seedlings

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Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Best Hair Loss Treatment - 3 Herbal Healing Cures For Your Hair Loss By Ronnie Taggy

One of the problems man encounter with their physical appearance is when receding hairline begins to appear and finding the best hair loss treatment is one of the things they seek. There is in fact an increasing demand for such treatments today. The problem is that people who are having this condition are seeking for the best treatment without first determining the underlying causes of their hair problem.
Hair loss is one of the most sensitive man issues that have cropped up through time. Most men, about 90 percent of them, suffer baldness or what is known medically as androgenic Alecia. Its medical term suggests that genetics play a major role in thinning hair and eventually a gradual reduction in hair. Most men who suffer androgenic Alecia at a younger age are known to have balding ancestors on either side of their parents. There are other factors though that contribute to this aside from genetics and hormonal causes, and these are one's diet, environment factors, and the use of specific bodybuilding supplements.
Herbal treatments
Herbs are an alternative way of treating hair loss. It is a natural treatment without the negative side effects.
Ginkgo Bilbao. This herb is popularly known to aid blood circulation leading to the brain. Increased blood circulation indicates more nutrients that are brought into the hair follicles thus preventing hair growth retardation.
Green Tea. This herb is known to be one of the best treatments for your hair follicles. It contains catechise that restrict the change of testosterone into DHT, one of the leading causes of male pattern baldness. Green tea also has components that relax the blood vessels, in effect, improving the blood circulation into the hair follicles.
He Shou Wu. This is one of the treatments used by the Chinese for several ages already. This is a traditional Chinese medicine that is known to sustain kidneys and liver. The blood on the liver feeds the head and the hair and thus helps control the balding process. This herb is clinically proven to be the best baldness treatments. Dosage is recommended at five tablets taken three times a day.
Getting Help
A breakthrough product in the market provides a natural approach to promote hair growth. It nourishes new hair without causing any side effects. It means natural healing for balding problems. Besides herbs, this product is the best hair loss treatment that is available online.
The author has struggled with hair loss for years, trying one product after another to figure out how to prevent hair loss, till he came across this the best hair loss treatment product that not only blocked his hair fall, but also helped him grow back his hair. Go to now to find out more!
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Friday, March 20, 2009

Home Eczema Remedies - Herbs to the Rescue By Steven L Michaels

There are several treatment methods for the relief of eczema. Herbal remedies are appealing for many people because they are a natural means of relief that generally present very little or no side effects. This is a great advantage over conventional medications that can often produce undesirable side effects.
Herbs used for treating eczema come from around the world. You may even find some of them in your own backyard. Here are a few favorites that you can find at natural food and health products outlets. All of these can be used to treat several different health disorders, including the irritation of an eczema outbreak.
Turmeric - This member of the ginger family is used in cooking as well as for medicinal purposes. It is an effective anti-inflammatory. Turmeric can be taken orally in tablet form. Turmeric powder mixed with water can be used to wash the eczema outbreak.
Walnut leaves - Leaves from the walnut tree have been used for thousands of years for their medicinal properties. They are anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and astringent. Infusions and tinctures of walnut leaves can protect the skin from infection. A compress made from the leaves and applied to the affected area will provide an astringent action.
Witch Hazel - Known for centuries as a treatment for various skin disorders. Witch Hazel is a strong anti-oxidant and astringent. It can control itching and reduce the inflammation of an eczema outbreak.
Milk Thistle - This plant is generally associated with treatment of liver disorders. The close connection of liver function to skin problems makes Milk Thistle a natural choice for control of severe eczema outbreaks. Its action softens and moisturizes dry, inflamed skin, aiding significantly in the healing process.
Herbal treatments can be very effective in treating the discomforts of eczema. These methods are milder and safer than conventional medicines, presenting fewer, if any, side effects. However, the naturally milder effects of these treatments can also be a little slower in manifesting themselves. Apply the herbal treatments faithfully and give them some time to begin their work.
You can get more information about these and other herbal eczema remedies at the Eczema Treatment Website
Learn about other alternative and traditional eczema remedies at the Eczema Treatment Website
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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Grow Great Tasting Herbs Through Aeroponics Gardening Systems By Susan Slobac

An indoor herb garden grown by an aeroponic system is a rewarding experience for those looking to not only begin a wonderful new hobby but also craving fresh herbs to serve friends and family. You may not realize it but growing plants and herbs through aeroponic hydroponics offer a great deal of benefits. Aeroponic kits produce great tasting herbs that bring out mouth watering flavors of your cooking and also produce herbs with medicinal value, as well.
Aeroponic gardening is still relatively new and not many people are aware of it and its many benefits. One thing people do agree on is that once they learn more about it, they all agree it is an interesting process for growing plants without soil. An aeroponic system uses the environment to grow its plants.
Aeroponic kits used to grow herb gardens implement air and mist to grow its plants. It is a natural system for growing herbs from the comfort of your very own home which is great for people who don't have the luxury of an outside garden. All you would need is the proper room, an aeroponic fogger, aeroponic pump, some seeds, and a little patience.
Many indoor gardeners like the fact they they are growing natural herbs without worrying about harmful fertilizers and insecticides. If you think about it, growing food yourself is the only real way to be sure it isn't full of harmful toxins. An aeroponic system is the perfect way to do this. There are plenty of tools, such as aeroponic pumps and aeroponic foggers, to get you started. These systems help people grow their herbs without the worry about what the weather is like.
Aeroponic Gardening Produces Flavorful Herbs
There is a notable difference in basil grown fresh at home compared to basil sold in a jar at the local grocery store. You'll quickly pick up on the flavor being much better in the fresh basil. The great news is that this is true with all of the herbs you can grow in your aeroponic system. Fresh herbs make a huge difference in the taste of cooking.
They are much easier to grow in an indoor aeroponic kit herb garden. It has made life much easier for dedicated cooks who desire to only use fresh herbs for their cooking. Indoor aeroponics systems can be purchased nearly everywhere and they are quite easy to set up and use.
Aeroponic kits also produce fresh medicinal herbs like chamomile and Echinacea, for example. These homegrown herbs mean we no longer need to rely on engineers, pharmacists, and botanists to grow fresh herbs for our medicinal cabinet. They are built so all of the important nutrients, temperature and light are easy to control for the optimum growth of the herbs.
Susan Slobac has a great deal of experience with indoor aeroponic systems. Hydroponic gardening is the way of the future. Known to some as "soil less gardening", hydroponics are proven to grow plants 20-30% faster than their soil grown counterparts
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Monday, March 16, 2009

General Tips - Harvesting and Storing Fresh Herbs By Evelyn Fielding

Once your herb garden is established, you'll constantly be faced with the happy problem of how to deal with such abundance. It's not much trouble to cut off a nice handful of basil and freeze it, just to keep the plant from bolting in summer heat, so don't wait on the job. Keep up with harvesting and your herbs will produce more and be much happier.
When to Harvest Herbs
Harvest the various plant parts all summer, preserving them as you go along. Successive harvests allow the plant to recover between cuttings, giving you more herbs to stow away for winter. Don't harvest perennials too late in the season, because they need time to recover before frost and snow.
Don't cut any herb too close to the ground. Allow several sets of leaves to remain behind when cutting, so the plant can restart its growth. At the end of the season, tender annuals like basil and borage can be pulled up and the whole plant used.
Most herb leaves are harvested just before flowers appear on the plants, but leaves can still be harvested after blooming for most herbs. Watch out for bitter or "old" flavors.
When harvesting quantities of herbs, choose the early morning just as the sun has dried the dew from the leaves. The essential oils are strongest at this time. Choose a clear day. However, don't be afraid to cut off a sprig or two at any time to add to your dinner.
Wash freshly cut herbs quickly in clear, cold water. If you've mulched properly, you probably won't have to wash very much. Shake off the excess water. When working with basil, borage, lovage, and other large-leaved plants, remove the leaves from the stem to lessen the drying time. Small-leaved plants such as thyme, oregano, marjoram, and parsley can be left whole.
Most herbs can be dried; see some of my other articles with individual plant descriptions for best advice on how to store each one. Freezing is better for some.
Keeping Cut Herbs for Immediate Use
When storing fresh cut herbs for a few hours in the refrigerator, harvest and wash as directed. Shake the excess water from the leaves. Wrap in paper towels and store in the vegetable crisper in your refrigerator.
To keep fresh herbs in the refrigerator longer than a few hours, don't wash at harvest. Wrap in paper towels and store in the crisper. Wash just before using.
Never, ever use plastic bags to store herbs for fresh use. They'll go bad in a heartbeat.
Four Methods of Drying Herbs
Bunch together and tie stems with white cotton string. Hang upside down in a warm, dark place for a couple of weeks until dry. If you think the herbs might get dusty, put in a paper bag and hang up for about a month.
Seed heads such as fennel, coriander, dill, cumin, caraway, and anise should be dried in paper sacks. Gather the seeds just as they start to turn from green to grey or brown. Place in paper sacks, tying the stem to the neck of the bag so they hang freely inside. Let dry for about 3 weeks.
Spread the leaves on fine screen to dry. Make sure they are in a draft free place, because you don't want to lose your harvest to an errant breeze. Prop the screen up so there's good air circulation underneath. Don't put in direct sun, or in damp shade. Keep an eye on the herbs for a few days until they're thoroughly dry.
Place herbs in 150 degree or slower oven on cookie sheets covered with brown paper or parchment paper. Cut slits in the paper to allow air circulation. Spread out in a single layer and allow three to six hours to dry thoroughly. Leave the oven door ajar to promote moisture escape. Basil and chervil should be dried at 90 degrees or cooler to prevent browning.
Freezing Herbs
Some herbs do much better in the freezer, like mint, dill, marjoram, lovage, tarragon, parsley, chives, oregano, and basil. Gather herbs at the right time, wash and shake dry, then place in the food processor (not blender). Process until they are chopped to your liking, adding as little water as possible. Of course, you can chop them with a knife, but who wants to do that when you have a food processor gathering dust in the back cupboard?
Place the herb puree in an ice cube tray and freeze. Then, transfer to an airtight freezer bag and LABEL! Use the herbs straight from the freezer; a standard ice cube is about 1 tablespoon, and it will taste (almost) fresh.
Storing Home-Dried Bounty
Use an airtight container to store dried herbs, preferably dark glass jars. Watch the jars for moisture, in case you didn't get the herbs quite dry. Keep in a dark place to preserve flavor and color. Label everything!!
Leave the leaves, flowers, etc. whole when storing and crumble just before using. They'll hold onto their fresh flavor longer. Most herbs will keep a decent amount of flavor for six months.
Follow these simple tips and you can enjoy your herb garden all summer and long into the winter. Good food is only an ice cube away!
Evelyn Fielding is your personal tour guide on the Herb and Spice Adventure of a lifetime. Evelyn offers a unique delivery program to help you learn about great cooking: receive a select group of herbs and spices by mail order, complete with easy and delicious recipes starring that month's herb or spice, and all at a comfortable pace. No long term commitments, no surprises. Subscribe to an Herb and Spice Adventures Series and elevate your food from good to truly superb. Book a culinary adventure now at
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Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Importance of Herbs and Spices For the Brain By Anne Harvester

Our brains are one of the most sophisticated wonders of nature ever seen. It's a marvel of science at how it handles so many different functions so seamlessly. Its real talent lies in its ability to retain information, which we know as our memory. Our memory is the biggest trait which differentiates us from other animals. Over time, however, our memory can become faulty due to a number of different reasons. When this occurs, we are forced to undertake methods to fix that.
One of the best places to find help with healing and strengthening our brain is through plants. For centuries, we have used plants for their unique ability to heal. Some bulk spices are known for their blood purifying ability, some bulk herbs are used as an anti-inflammatory, and others help with anti-aging effects. There are literally thousands of different organic herbs and bulk spices with potent healing properties for one or several health issues. Even if you're in great physical shape, dried herbs are great for maintaining good health, energy, and longevity.
Out there is this big world there are some plants which are safe for us to consume and hold many, many benefits for strengthening the mind. Many practitioners of herbal medicine call these types of plants brain herbs. You'll be surprised to learn of all the great things these simple little organic herbs and bulk spices can do. As more people are turning to natural dried herbs as remedies for improving their health, the medicinal field is beginning to take a long, hard look at just what makes these plants so special and which ones are better than others. Here's a look at some of the bulk herbs which are very good for the brain. Indoor Herb Growing Kits - One of the most widely used dried herbs for the brain health is Ginkgo Biloba. You may not recognize it by this name but if you've taken any memory supplements, you've probably benefited from its many helpful properties. Ginkgo is one of the most studied and tested extracts out there.
Ginkgo is one of a few bulk spices and bulk herbs which help the brain through increasing its blood flow. The brain is one of the single largest consumers of oxygen among the organs of the body. One of the main causes of people losing mental and cognitive ability as they age is because blood flow to the brain decreases as the circulatory system loses efficiency. Bulk herbs, like Ginkgo, improve blood flow within the circulatory system. This also assists in providing more oxygen to the brain.
Bulk spices like Ginseng are also well known with herbal practitioners for its mental health benefits. It works by helping with alertness and improving overall memory functioning. Ginseng has also been shown to give the immune system a significant boost while also helping to adjust to stressors.
As an herbalist who spends her time learning about the properties of bulk herbs and bulk spices, Anne Harvester has a thorough knowledge of dried herbs and it's uses. Anne's advice for purchasing herbs and spices in bulk can save you time and money.
Article Source: Indoor Herb Growing Kits -