Thursday, December 18, 2014

Trees for Health Update

We're Expanding

The Trees for Health Arboretum will be expanding into the area north of the garden towards the Boys and Girls Campfire Camp. Eventually there will be a native oak circle in the area. Since oaks are very slow growing, the field will be planted with beneficial natives and drought tolerant plants, including milkweed or butterfly weed, Asclepias tuberosa.

This milkweed is the natural food of the monarch butterfly and will provide habitat that is much needed. The monarch butterfly has been impacted all over the continent by the reduction of “weeds” like milkweed, and particularly by the use of herbicides such as RoundUp. In traditional herbal medicine, Asclepias tuberosa is known as pleurisy root and has been used to combat all sorts of lung conditions. There is some milkweed already growing in the garden, near the coffee plant. Come pay a visit.

Come Join Us!

If you are interested in helping in the garden: Friday morning from 7:30-10:00 a regular work party meets in the garden. If you are interested in joining us, just show up. Rain cancels. If you want more information, email us and express your interest in the Trees for Health Arboretum.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Just in Time for Cold and Flu Season

Herb Clip from American Botanical Council

Pelargonium sidoides is a scrubby little plant with deep burgundy 
flowers that is native to South Africa. It's an extremely effective cold and flu remedy. There's one in the Trees for Health garden in Balboa Park. The studies in this article focused on Pelargonium sidoides effect on acute respiratory infections. Read the full article here.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Versatile Aloe Vera Has Been Used for Thousands of Years

Most people know that aloe vera is a great natural remedy for skin issues, in particular sunburn. Its moisturizing and healing properties have made it a staple skin treatment in indigenous cultures dating back to the ancient Egyptians in the 16th century BC. Aloe vera contains both vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, B, C and E. It also contains calcium, magnesium, zinc and chromium. There are many ways to use aloe vera - topically or as a supplement in the form of juice, softgels or capsules. Read more here.

DIY Travel First Aid Kit Featuring All Natural Ingredients

This article features 17 natural remedies for minor issues that might be encountered while traveling. They're all small enough that they can fit in a carry on bag if traveling by air. Outdoor walks in your plans? Grindelia treats rashes from plants like poison ivy and oak. If you're going to be in stressful (family?) situations, be sure to bring along some valerian or essential oil of lemon. Read more here.

Why Gingko Biloba is Known as The Tree of Enchantment

Although this tree originated in China, it's now grown in nearly every temperate climate on the planet, including San Diego. This tree provides colorful, prolific shade, helps clean polluted air and parts of its nuts are edible. In fact, some Asian cultures consider this nut a delicacy. Beware! the fruit that encases the nut has an awful smell. The good news is that the smelly fruit will rot in no time and the lovely canopy can be enjoyed without nasal assault. Read more here.

Brush Up Against This Common Herb for a Pick-Me-Up

Luckily, in San Diego, rosemary grows in abundance. This drought tolerant herb is often used as hedges in landscaping here and has many more uses beyond flavoring chicken and roasted vegetables. It is believed that rosemary contains carnosic acid, a sort of time-release antioxidant that could be helpful with maintaining a healthy brain. Read more here.

Monday, October 27, 2014

November Meeting: Pumpkins & Spice

We'll be celebrating autumn with a program entitled Pumpkins and Spice. We'll investigate the benefits of using the spices typically associated with autumn--cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, and other warming, pungent flavors. Plus there will be taste treats to share.

Bring your favorite recipe, idea for using a favorite spice, or something edible to share. Enjoy good tastes and healthful eating at the same time.

Casa del Prado, Room 101, Balboa Park
Wednesday, November 5th, 7:00 p.m.