Aloe Vera

Aloe vera

Aloe, Aloe barbandensis, chinensis is an easy-to-grow evergreen succulent. Originating in the Middle East, it is now grown commercially all over the world. It makes an excellent house plant, and has become well-known in the West as a first-aid remedy, especially for burns. Many households have an Aloe in the kitchen, snipping off a leaf […] Read more »

Calendula

The humble marigold Calendula officinalis is a wonderful and powerful herb to get to know. In the words of herbalist David Hoffman, “The value of this exceptional herb cannot be exaggerated when it comes to treating skin problems like wounds, bruises, or burns.” In addition to its remarkable effects on the skin, Calendula is also […] Read more »

A Fungal Approach To Allergies

Turkey Tail

Mushrooms might not be the first thing you think of when it comes to herbal allergy control, but over the years they have become a staple of my regimen that I’ve come to depend on and enjoy. Some mushrooms, like Reishi, are natural anti-inflammatories that help control allergy symptoms during flare-ups. But mushrooms’ real gift […] Read more »

Gymnema: The Sugar Destroyer

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Gymnema is an Ayurvedic herb with a truly extraordinary effect on blood sugar disorders. Its Sanskrit name is Gurmar, which means “Sugar Destroyer”, or “Destroyer of the Sweet Taste”. Gymnema has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for blood sugar for thousands of years. Its effects on the insulin cycle, pancreas, and liver make it a […] Read more »

Top 3 Herbs for the Kitchen Garden

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The live plants have arrived at Smile! With dozens of herbs to choose from, the variety can be overwhelming. If you’re looking to grow herbs at home but aren’t sure where to begin, here are our top 3 picks for the easiest herbs to grow with the most crossover health benefits. These 3 favorites taste […] Read more »

Preparing Your Garden Soil

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There are so many methods, so many theories of the best way, the easiest way, to prepare your garden beds for cultivation. Double-digging, trench composting, mulch gardening are all viable ways to enrich your soil and keep your plants happy, but I tend toward a “middle way” approach, and actually use a combination of these […] Read more »