• Materia Medica: Anamu

    Anamu Petiveria alliacea is an herbaceous perennial that grows up to 1m in height. Indigenous to the Amazon rainforest and tropical areas of Central and South America, the Caribbean and Africa. Anamu, aka Guinea Hen Weed, has a long history in herbal medicine in all of the tropical countries where it grows. Anamu grows in full sun to share, and prefers well drained soil. It is a cold-hardy tropical, that has colonized as far north at Hawthorn and Alachua, Florida. Medicinally speaking, Anamu is used for treating infectious pathogens and respiratory congestion. It’s spicy leaves have also be used in small quantities for flavoring. Anamu is commonly used for spiritual…

  • Materia Medica: Yarrow

    Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is a well-known plant ally throughout the United States and Europe. Yarrow is a flowering perennial, common in North America but also native to Europe and Asia. Its leaves are soft and highly segmented with a characteristic appearance that is almost feather-like. Yarrow grows stalks during the summer months, with a height that is dependent upon the seasonal rainfall. During dry years, these stalks may only grow a foot or two, preserving energy in its roots. Clusters of tiny white flowers grow atop the stalks, emitting a distinctive and characteristic aroma. Yarrow received its Latin name Achillea from the legendary Greek hero Achilles. According to the common…

  • Materia Medica: Vetiver

    Vetiver grass is used both as a hedge against erosion in permaculture colonies, and also a medicinal herb! It forms narrow, dense hedges when planted along the contours of sloping land, slowing down run-off and helping the water soak into the soil rather than washing off the slope. The stiff foliage also blocks the passage of soil and debris which gradually builds up a soil terrace. It’s roots yield an aromatic and medicinal essential oil, it sequesters excess atmospheric carbon, and Vetiver mulch is mycorrhizal-rich. Check out this amazing article about how Vetiver is used around the world to restore the land. Here is an entire podcast devoted to the…

  • Materia Medica: Camphor Basil or Kilimanjaro Basil

    Camphor basil or Kilimanjaro Basil (Ocimum kilimandscharicum) is a heat-hardy, perennial basil. It has a rich flavor and aroma, and attracts pollinators. Unlike many annual basils, this plant will grow incredibly tall and fast. It is an anti-inflammatory herb that can be used in food or prepared as tea. Kilimanjaro Basil grows long flowers spikes with small white to pale pink flowers and oval, pubescent leaves with a strong camphor fragrance. The leaves of Ocimum kilimandscharicum are acrid, thermogenic, aromatic, anti-bacterial, insecticidal, antiviral, appetizing, ophthalmic and deodorant. The plant loves rich, well drained soil in an always sunny spot.

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