• plantago lanceolata 846539 1920


    March – Plantain Latin name: Plantago major, Plantago lanceolata,Plantago virginica Family: Plantaginaceae Common name: Plantain The leaves of Plantago major and Plantago lanceolata, commonly known as plantain, are an essential component of any herbal medicine cabinet and first aid kit. Originating in Europe & Northern and Central Asia,  P. major & P. lanceolata have become naturalized in North America.  Plantain leaves are cooling, demulcent, and mildly astringent; these properties lend to plantain’s usage as an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, analgesic, vulnerary, decongestant, and drawing agent. Commonly called the “green bandage” a poultice of fresh, mashed Plantago leaves can be used topically to address insect bites, stings, rashes, eczema, poison ivy/oak, and infections.…

  • oak


    February – Oak Latin name: Quercus spp.  – Family: Fagaceae Common name: Oak Usage:  The wood of the oak genus, or Quercus, has long been utilized for its strength and durability, from ship framing to tanning hides to wine barrels. Nearly every culture throughout history that encountered the oaks utilized the tree in some fashion. There is a fascinating and complex history that accompanies the oak throughout time, from utilitarian purposes to symbolism and ritual use. This write-up will focus primarily on the medicinal and edible applications of the Quercus genus.  The outer and inner bark of the oak is the part of the tree that is used for its…

  • MM Citrus1


    January – Citrus Latin name: Citrus spp. – Rutaceae Common name: Citrus, oranges, lemon, lime, pomelo, grapefruit, mandarins, etc. Usage:  Many of the common citrus fruits we know and love are not only delicious but also beneficial for both their nutritional and medicinal properties. The flesh, juice and rind of many citrus species have been utilized by humans throughout history. We will focus on oranges, lemons and grapefruits. The sweet orange (Citrus x sinensis) is an important crop in the state of Florida, along with grapefruits (Citrus x paradisi). Introduced by Spanish conquistadors in the 1500s, citrus crops evolved to become one of the state’s most valuable industries. According to…

  • MM Prickly Pear1

    Prickly Pear Cactus

    December -Prickly Pear Cactus Latin name:  Opuntia spp. Family name: Cactaceae Common name: Prickly pear, nopales, tuna, Indian fig, many different names by many cultures of people across the regions in which it grows Usage: The usage of the many Opuntia species is great and varied, from food and medicine to dye and water purification. This genus of cactus has historical and modern usage beyond that of nopal tacos (which is one superb way to utilize this spiky plant’s tender pads). Two species of Opuntia have particularly extensive histories of usage and modern science & research is delving in to further support this. O. cochenillifera is a host to the…

  • MM Bee Balm

    November 2019 Plant of the Month – Bee Balm

    November – Bee Balm Latin name:  Monarda punctata (other species commonly utilized – M.fistulosa, M. didyma, M.citriodora ) – Lamiaceae Common name: Bee balm, horsemint, spotted bee balm, dotted horsemint, bergamot Usage:  The Monarda genus is endemic to North America and contains about twenty species, many of which have a history of medicinal usage. Monarda punctata, or spotted beebalm, is our Florida native species and can be found growing in the Bodhi Garden here in Orlando.  The leaves and flowers of Monarda punctata are utilized both internally and topically, both fresh and dried, to support a range of issues.  Energetically you will find the bee balms to be warming and drying.…

  • MM Ashwagandha02

    October 2019 Plant of the Month – Ashwagandha

    October – Ashwagandha By Salicyna – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=61791504 Latin name: Withania somnifera – Solanaceae Common name: Ashwagandha, Indian ginseng, winter cherries, asgandh Ashwagandha Properties and Uses Uses: Here in the Western world, the ashwagandha root has recently gained quite a bit of popularity as an adaptogen. However, this plant has been revered for its many medicinal properties for over 3,000 years. The root as well as the aerial parts of the ashwagandha plant have a history of use in the Ayurveda tradition of India.  In Sanskrit, the word ashwagandha means “smell of the horse,” referring to the horse-like smell of the root. Somnifera, in Latin, means…

  • MM Sida

    September 2019 Plant of the Month – Sida

    September – Sida Sida rhombifoliaLatin name: Sida rhombifolia, Sida ulmifolia, Sida acuta, Sida cordifolia  – Malvaceae(* A note on S.acuta vs. S.ulmifolia – “ Although S. acuta has often been applied to Florida material, Krapovickas (2003) restricted the use of S. acuta to plants with a glabrous to ciliate calyx and (5-)6(-7) mericarps. Sida ulmifolia is then applied to plants with a stellate-pubescent calyx and 7-12 mericarps, which applies to the specimens common in Florida.” Wunderlin et al, Atlas of FL Plants  2019. According to historic use and research, it can be presumed that these two species may be used interchangeably.)  Common name: Broomweed, wireweed, teaweed, fanpetals, Cuban jute,Indian hemp, bala Sida acuta By J.M.Garg Usage: There are 11 species within the Sida genus that grow…

  • MM Spiderwort


    Latin name:  Tradescantia ohiensis – Commelinaceae Common name: Spiderwort, bluejacket, Ohio spiderwort, day flower Usage:  Tradescantia ohiensis, or spiderwort, is a Florida native edible and medicinal plant that is tolerant of the intense summer heat. You will find spiderwort blossoming year round in Florida, but the height of its bloom is in the spring. Energetically, spiderwort is a cooling, soothing plant. The fresh leaves and stems can be made into a poultice and used topically to relieve inflamed skin conditions, similar to Aloe vera. Tradescantia species are used by First Nations people throughout North America. T. virginiana, a species found farther north, is utilized by Cherokee people for female regenerative system…

  • tulsi holy basil image only e1600370093154


    June: Tulsi, Holy Basil Latin name: Ocimum gratissimum, O. tenuiflorum (previously O. sanctum), and O. africanum Family: Lamiaceae Common name: Tulsi, holy basil, sacred basil Tropical tulsi: Vana (O. gratissimum), Krishna (O. tenuiflorum) Rama (O. tenuiflorum), African basil (O. gratissimum), clove basil (O. gratissimum) Temperate tulsi: (O. africanum) Usage:  Within the Ocimum genus there are about 60 different species, all of which are relatives of the common culinary sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum). There are two species of holy basil within the Ocimum genus, O. sanctum and O. gratissimum. Medicinally the two species can be used relatively interchangeably. Here in Florida we see Ocimum gratissimum, or Vana Tulsi, thriving year round.…

  • Bidens Bee

    Spanish needles

    Latin name: Bidens alba – AsteraceaeCommon name: Spanish needle, beggarticks, shepherd’s needle, butterfly needle, pitchfork weed, ottrancedi, xian feng cao, gui zhen cao Uses: There are approximately 250 species within the genus Bidens. All occur within tropical and warm, temperate climates — roughly 7-8 of which grow in Florida. All-star of the genus — Bidens alba — is one of our greatest Central Florida plant allies. We use the plant’s aerial parts, but the plant’s older leaves contain saponins and are unpleasant in taste and for the tummy. Therefore, the plant’s young tender leaves are ideal for medicinal and nutritional uses. The list of actions for B. alba is vast. Stephen Buhner provides a quick list of…

    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop