NATURES BEAUTY - LILY

Easter is upon us, and no flower is more associated with the celebration of Jesus Christ’s resurrection than the lily. Traditional lore says white lilies emerged where drops of Christ’s sweat fell to the earth in his final hours on the cross. The ancient Greeks believed lilies came from the breast milk of Hera, the queen of the gods. In Roman mythology, Venus, the goddess of beauty, was jealous of the flower’s white loveliness. A European legend says if you approach an expectant mother holding a lily….

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NATURES BEAUTY - SQUASH

Is squash a vegetable or a fruit? You would probably call a zucchini squash a vegetable, but you would most likely call a pumpkin a fruit. The definitive answer, from a botanical view, is squash are fruits because they contain the seeds of the plant.  Squash are some of the oldest cultivated crops on earth, believed to have originated in Mexico and Central America more than 10,000 years ago. The word squash comes from the Narragansett Native American word askutasquash, which means…..

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NATURES BEAUTY - CINNAMON

One of the best-loved spices of cooks and food lovers alike is cinnamon. Made from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum tree, cinnamon has been around since the days of ancient Egypt, where it was used to embalm mummies. The tree is native to the Caribbean, South America and Southeast Asia. Indonesia and China produce three-quarters of the world’s supply of cinnamon today.

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NATURES BEAUTY - KUMQUAT

In the edible peel are essential oils such as limonene, which is used to promote weight loss and treat cancer and also as a flavoring in certain foods and beverages; myrcene, which has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti- biotic, sedative and antimutagenic properties; carvone, which is used as an expectorant and relaxant; and camphene, whose antifungal properties work well in treating fungal skin infections, athlete’s foot and dermatitis. Camphene is found in many skin-care products and is used to treat bacterial and viral infections that affect the respiratory system.


The edible kumquat peel is exceptionally high in polyphenols, which serve as antioxidants inside the body to fight inflammation and oxidative stress. Recent research suggests polyphenols can boost the body’s natural antioxidant systems. Since it is a citrus fruit, kumquats offer a hearty dose of vitamin C, most of which is found in the peel. They also have distinct levels of vitamins A and E and good levels of the B-complex group of vitamins such as thiamin, niacin and folates, which help metabolize carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Minerals contained in kumquats include calcium, copper, iron and zinc. Compared to other citrus fruits, kumquats offer a higher source of dietary fiber.


Kumquats taste best if you gently roll or squeeze them before eating them. They are used in salads, ice cream, marmalades and preserves and as garnishes in various meat dishes. They’re also delicious candied or pickled. Come give kumquats a try.


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TANYA TYLER

Tanya Tyler is the Editor of Health & Wellness Magazine

more articles by Tanya Tyler

Kumquat – what a quirky word. And what a quirky fruit. Its name comes from a Cantonese word that means “golden orange.” Indeed, the kumquat looks like an orange in shape and color, but it is much smaller. And you can eat the skin of a certain type of kumquat; you can’t eat an orange peel.


The kumquat plant, a slow-growing evergreen shrub, is native to South Asia. It has been cultivated over the centuries in India, Japan and the Philippines. The fruit was described in Chinese literature in 1178 CE. Robert Fortune, a collector and plant explorer for England’s Royal Horticultural Society, introduce the kumquat to Europe in 1846. In the United States, kumquats are grown mainly in California, Florida and Texas. In China and other Asian countries, the kumquat tree is considered to be a symbol of good luck. A small version of the kumquat plant is often used in bonsai cultivation. It is a common gift given during the Chinese New Year. Traditional Chinese medicine uses the fruit for treating sore throats and coughs because it has been shown to eliminate phlegm and alleviate cold symptoms. Brew a tasty tea by adding cut-up kumquats to boiling water. Serving the tea with honey boosts its effectiveness.


Kumquats are called “the little gems of the citrus family.” They are about the size of a cherry tomato and are generally classified by their shape: round, oval or bell shaped. The fruit is very pretty with its bright orange color. Kumquats are a great source of beneficial ingredients such as vitamins, antioxidants and other phytonutrients.