Foraging for ‘farm-aceuticals’ provides a healthy pastime
With warm weather playing “hide and seek” with winter, lots of “weeds” are popping up, but don’t be quick to pull them up from the organic garden, as they can provide “farm-aceuticals.”
According to renowned herbalist Susun Weed (Healing Wise, Ash Tree Publishing, 2003, $17.95), here are a few “weeds” with medicinal properties:
•Chickweed (Stellaria media) dissolves cysts, tonifies the thyroid and aids in weight loss.
•Daisy (Bellis perennis) relieves headaches, muscle pain and allergy symptoms.
•Dandelion (Taraxacum officinalis) relieves gas, heartburn and indigestion.
•Dock, also called yellow dock, curly dock and broad dock helps “all women’s problems.”
•Plantain, also called ribwort or pig’s ear, speeds healing, relieves pain, stops itching.
•St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) relieves muscle aches, is useful with shingles, sciatica, back pain and headaches.
For details, see: www.matrifocus.com/BEL07/wisewoman.htm.
Reader response: Are genetically modified foods really a problem?
I’ll answer with a couple of quotes from Food Inc. by Eric Schlosser:
•”Animal genes and even human genes are randomly inserted into the chromosomes of plants, fish and animals, creating heretofore unimaginable transgenic lifeforms. For the first time in history, transnational biotechnology corporations are becoming the architects and ‘owners’ of life.”
•”With little or no regulatory restraints, labeling requirements or scientific protocol, bioengineers have begun creating hundreds of new GE ‘frankenfoods’ and crops. The research is done with little concern for the human and environmental hazards.”
•”An increasing number of scientists are warning that current gene-splicing techniques are crude, inexact and unpredictable – and therefore inherently dangerous.”
I think that sums it up: It’s unregulated, possibly unsafe for humans, certainly a danger to the environment, morally questionable, and likely to make developing countries even more dependent on hand-outs or subject to starvation.
California may vote on GMO: Polling shows 80 percent of California voters support labels on GMO foods. And they are starting a petition drive to put it on their Nov. 6 ballot.
Organic and food safety interests will be watching; it’s likely, as goes California, so goes the nation. For more, see: http://organicconsumersfund.org.
Come see me: I’ll be speaking Feb. 25 at the Gaining Ground Sustainability Institute of Mississippi conference at Eagle Ridge Conference Center in Raymond on Organic Backyard Market Gardening. For more information, visit www.ggsim.org
Jim PathFinder Ewing is a journalist, author, writer, editor, organic farmer and blogger. His latest book titled Conscious Food: Sustainable Growing, Spiritual Eating (Findhorn Press) is in bookstores now. Find Jim on Facebook: http://bit.ly/cuxUdc or follow him @edibleprayers or @organicwriter or visit blueskywaters.com.