Herbs & Plants

Agastache mexicana

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Botanical Name : Agastache mexicana
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Agastache
Species: A. mexicana
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Lamiales

Common Names: Mexican Giant Hyssop

Habitat : Agastache mexicana is native to southern North America . The leaves are lanceolate or oval-lanceolate

Agastache mexicana    is a nice bushy perennial  plant 2’-3’ tall & only 1’ wide .
It is hardy to zone 7. It is in flower in August, and the seeds ripen in September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.The plant is self-fertile.It is noted for attracting wildlife.


The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and requires well-drained soil.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It cannot grow in the shade.It requires dry or moist soil.

Prefers a warm sunny sheltered position and a well-drained soil. Succeeds in most soils. Although given a hardiness rating of 9 in  (which means that a plant is not very frost-tolerant), this species is thriving in a sunny bed at Kew Botanical Gardens and so should be hardy to at least zone 7[K]. Another report says that it withstands temperatures down to about -40°c when dormant. Yet another report says that it should succeed outdoors in the milder and drier counties, but that it is not very long-lived. The flowers are very attractive to bees.

Seed – sow spring in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. The seed usually germinates in 1 – 3 months at 13°c[133]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first year. Plant out in late spring or early summer[K]. Division in spring. Fairly simple, if large divisions are used it is possible to plant them straight out into their permanent positions. Basal cuttings of young shoots in spring. Harvest the young shoots when they are about 10 – 15cm tall and pot them up in a lightly shaded position in a greenhouse. They should root within 3 weeks and can be planted out in the summer or following spring.

Edible Uses : The highly aromatic young leaves are used as a flavouring in salads and cooked foods. The young leaves are used to make a herbal tea.

Medicinal Uses
Intensely lemon-scented leaves; used in tea and as medicine in Mexico where it is considered an important aid to digestion.  It relieves flatulence, indigestion and dyspepsia, and improves appetite, and is often recommended for children. It is popular for weight control, anorexia, and central nervous system disorders.  Taken with cognac, it is an excellent sudorific, and helps to lower a fever.

The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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Herbs & Plants

Aconitum Uncinatum

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Botanical Name: Aconitum uncinatum
Family: Ranunculaceae
Genus : Aconitum

Common Name : southern blue monkshood/Wild Monkshood

Habitat: Eastern N. AmericaPennsylvania to Indiana and south to Alabama and Georgia.   It grows on low woods and damp slopes. Wet areas along streams and in springs, also less mesic locations in woods and clearings at elevations of 200 – 2000 metres.

Description: Perennial growing to 1m.
. It is in flower from July to August. The flowers are pollinated by Bees.
Flower/fruit: 1-inch deep purple or purplish blue flowers clustered at the end of stems; five sepals; upper sepal forms a rounded hood, concealing part of two clawlike petals.

Flowering Season: Summer into fall.

Foliage: Up to 6-inch coarsely toothed leaves with three to five lobes; similar to buttercup; slender, weak branching stem

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil

Thrives in most soils and in the light shade of trees[1]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a moist soil in sun or semi-shade. Prefers a calcareous soil. Members of this genus seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits and deer. Grows well in open woodlands. A greedy plant, inhibiting the growth of nearby species, especially legume.

Seed – best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. The seed can be stratified and sown in spring but will then be slow to germinate. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a cold frame for their first winter. Plant them out in late spring or early summer. Division – best done in spring but it can also be done in autumn. Another report says that division is best carried out in the autumn or late winter because the plants come into growth very early in the year.

Medicinal Actions &  Uses
Alterative; Anaesthetic; Antiarthritic; Deobstruent; Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Sedative; Stimulant.

The dried root is alterative, anaesthetic, antiarthritic, deobstruent, diaphoretic, diuretic, sedative, stimulant. It is harvested as soon as the plant dies down in the autumn. This is a very poisonous plant and should only be used with extreme caution and under the supervision of a qualified practitioner. A tincture is used as an external anaesthetic.

Known Hazards:
The whole plant is highly toxic – simple skin contact has caused numbness in some people.  Roots and seeds contain poisonous alkaloides

The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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Exercise Healthy Tips

Winter Workouts Can Boost Your Mood

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Winter can put a chill on even the most enthusiastic exercise plans. But sticking to your exercise program throughout the cold months is beneficial for multiple reasons, experts say. Not only can physical activity lift your spirits during days of limited sunlight, it can help make sure you’re in good shape when the weather gets warmer.
To exercise safely in more challenging conditions, you may need to make some adjustments to your routine. When exercising outdoors, it’s important to dress properly.

Wear layers that you can peel off as necessary. Ideally, the layer closest to your skin should be made of a breathable wicking material and not sweat-absorbing cotton. Then add a layer of fleece or cotton for warmth and, finally, a windbreaker or waterproof outer layer.

Make sure you’ve adequately insulated your extremities. Your face, fingers and toes are most likely to get frostbitten. Pain or tingling in your ears, fingers or toes is a sign that it’s time to come in from the cold. And don’t forget a hat — substantial body heat is lost through your head.

SourceUSA Today December 29, 2009

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Positive thinking

Head In The Clouds

Image by premasagar via Flickr

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Cloud Meditation.
When people use the phrase “head in the clouds,” they usually refer to a mental state that appears to be drifting rather than concentrating. For this reason, putting our heads in the clouds can be a wonderful meditation tool. Whether puffy and white or tinted with the colors of dawn and dusk or shades of gray, those vaporous sky dwellers can remind us of so many things about life and about ourselves.


For this meditation, we can find a physical place to relax and look upward, or we can look to the skies from within our imaginations. Directing our thoughts to the endless of expanse of sky that clouds inhabit, we feel our souls expand to reach beyond any seeming limitations. Following the clouds, we are free to unleash our imaginations. We may choose to merely drift along with them for a time, enjoying their distanced perspective on the world. Or we can look for messages in their fantastical shapes, or feel the joy of bounding between their immense billowy puffiness. However we interact with them, we do so from a peaceful place. Clouds drift above the hustle of the world below, knowing they belong to another realm that cannot be affected by its frenzy, reminding us that peace is always available to us. By directing our vision beyond the ordinary, clouds also remind us of the illusion of appearances. While appearing to be solid, their vapor and mist appear like cotton balls ! from below, giving little indication of the heights they reach. Sometimes they may cast shadows, leaving us in shade, but like life’s difficulties clouds change shape and move onward, revealing the shining sun, twinkling stars, and blue sky that are behind them.

When a ray of light breaks through the clouds, their dramatic filtering only makes the light more beautiful by contrast, just as we can shine more brightly in the midst of life’s challenges. When we allow clouds to offer us a welcome respite, they help us visit the realm of illusion to see the truth beyond.

Source: Daily Om

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