Category: Medicinal Plants

How to Grow a Medicine Cabinet

Chamomile Bunches It has crept up on us slowly, perhaps without the initial intentions of what we are now left with: prescription medicine. Medicine, for all of the valuable attributes it provides, has been an equally destructive force. Like the chemical fertilizers and pesticides in agriculture, the onslaught of fix-it-all antibiotics and a pills-over-health mentality has put us in more need of more and stronger medicines to combat the highly […]

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Medicinal Plants in Permaculture……A Series of Monographs

Thyme – Thymus spp. Lamiaceae photo Daniela Longo The second in the series ‘Medicinal plants and Permaculture’ is the hardy and highly aromatic Thyme (Thymus vulgaris). Although this time of year in the northern hemisphere is a slow one for plants, this herb is highly useful for winter ailments, for adults and children alike. Considering stacking functions; as a vigorous perennial this plant also provides year-round ground cover and foliage […]

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Increasing My Edible Acumen (and the Double Identities of Some of My Favorite Tropical Plants)

Photo: Healing noni and it equally medicinal leaves One of the many things I’ve learned thus far gardening in Central and South America is just how many plants are edible and medicinal, most of which people generally don’t use, that we in fact never even think to harvest. Of course, many of us who frequent a site such as Permaculture News have soft spot for multiple-purpose plants, especially those with […]

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A Herbal Sceptic – Cured with Garlic

Being a product of the 1990s British state education system, I grew up with a very ‘conventional’ western mind-set towards science and medicine. I have always been naturally sceptic of medicine applied through plants, even while hearing the tales my grandmother had told me of Camomile lotion helping rashes, and ginger helping a bad stomach. But these were always remedies you purchased in bottles and packets, carefully tested and scrutinised […]

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Permaculture in Paradise

Permaculture-paradise

34 Years ago Dano Gorsich asked his old permaculture teacher, Bill Mollison, what he should do with his land on the island of Molokai in Hawaii? Bill explained how he should design his tropical house, how it should face to capture the sea breezes, the sun angles, slope and orientation. Bill also suggested that Dano could earn a living by growing fruit and vegetables and then selling them to his […]

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Ameenah Gurib-Fakim: Humble Plants that Hide Surprising Secrets (TED video)

In this intriguing talk, biologist Ameenah Gurib-Fakim introduces us to rare plant species from isolated islands and regions of Africa. Meet the shape-shifting benjoin; the baume de l’ile plate, which might offer a new treatment for asthma; and the iconic baobab tree, which could hold the key to the future of food. Plus: monkey apples.

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Medicinal Plants in Permaculture: Basil

Basil – Ocimum spp. Lamiaceae Herbs are often included in the permaculture design process and constitute a vital role in the garden for integrated pest management and bee fodder. They are also included because of their culinary properties and find themselves located near to the kitchen for easy access. However, these ‘culinary’ herbaceous plants are often underutilised as medicines. It is curious that many plants, and spices, get labelled as […]

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Guerilla Gardening in Rural Panama

A gnome (the author) in the Communal Garden Make no mistake, the war is on. The commodity is food, the source needs to be sustainable, and the community needs to know about it. If you are already into permaculture, or just gaining an interest, then congratulations and welcome to the peace-loving yet active front lines. We call it guerilla gardening.

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Plants That Attract Beneficial Insects

by Fred Hoffman Nature wants to make your job as a gardener as easy as possible; but you have to help. So, let’s talk about putting in plants that attract the "good bugs", the crawling and flying creatures whose diet includes pests that are ravaging your garden plants. These beneficial predatory insects do not live on aphid steaks alone. They need other natural sources of food and shelter for their […]

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Accidental Propagation, For the Best in Gardening (Panama)

Many of the most successful gardens we’ve propagated have been as much luck and accident as they have been my astounding wits. We’ve made lots of special garden beds, no-till expressions of fertility and decomposition, but often times it’s the rogue plantings, the spots where seeds have fallen from a pocket or simply tossed away as compostable refuse, that turn out to be the most bountiful. Here are some of […]

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Why Juicing Is SO Permaculture

I resisted juicing for a long time because I thought it was an extreme activity carried out by obsessive health-food freaks. There was no way I was going to touch that pond water, no matter how many overly-happy people were drinking it and posting photos on Facebook. Then I got sick with a condition called Actinomycosis. Two years of heavy duty antibiotics (which probably kept me alive but didn’t cure […]

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Design and Build a Low Maintenance Perennial Fruit and Herb Front Garden (UK)

Perennial Fruit and Herb Garden Note: The plants listed below are as a guide — it is not a list of edible species. Please refer to culinary fruit and herb text books before using any plants in the kitchen or consuming any plants. Not many people use their front garden. Front gardens are often laid to turf. Except for mowing the grass, or using the front door, the front garden […]

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