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 - PAPALO

wings). Papalo flowers are a source of nectar for butterflies and bees. Papalo seeds are similar to dandelion seeds because they grow on a stalk and fly away in the wind to germinate in different places. The plant is a natural insect repellent because of its highly fragrant oils.


Like other semi-wild greens grown in those areas, papalo is rich in vitamins and nutrients. It comes in two main varieties, broadleaf and narrow leaf. Simply snip off fresh leaves as needed (be sure to rinse them in cool water before eating). In restaurants throughout Bolivia and in parts of Mexico, the plant is kept on tables so diners can pluck and sprinkle the leaves directly on their dishes. Use older leaves if you want a more pungent flavor and younger leaves if you want a milder taste. You can cook them, but they are best used raw. They lose much of their pungent flavor if dried. Along with peppers, papalo is used in traditional Aztec dishes. It’s an important ingredient in cemitas, a popular Mexican sandwich.


The papalo leaves and flowers contain essentials oils and active chemical constituents that give this plant some medicinal properties. One study says papalo offers health benefits such as lowering cholesterol and blood pressure

and aiding digestion. It is also purported to lower inflammation. In Bolivia, it is often used for liver ailments or to reduce the swelling of infected injuries. Papalo is an acquired taste, much like cilantro, which some people say tastes like soap. Now that you know, try papalo.



Sources:


TANYA TYLER





Tanya Tyler is the Editor of Health & Wellness Magazine

If you are a fan of Mexican cuisine and you like cilantro or arugula, you should try papalo.


Papalo is also known as papaloquelite, Bolivian coriander (although it’s not related to coriander), killi and quilquiña. It has also been called buzzard’s breath and skunk weed – the Spanish named it mampuitu, which is Spanish for skunk. This culinary herb is often used as a substitute for cilantro in tacos, salsa, guacamole and sauces. It is related to the daisy family.


Papalo has such a pungent flavor, with a hint of mint and citrus, that often only a few leaves are needed to add a zesty tang to a dish. Use one-third the amount of papalo in a recipe that calls for cilantro. Papalo is very easy to grow in a garden. The plant can reach about 5 feet in height and 3 feet in diameter. Unlike cilantro, it thrives during hot summer weather (one of its nicknames is summer cilantro), so you can plant it in full sun with good drainage; it does not require a lot of water. If you let it grow without pruning, it will become very floppy. That is why some papalo growers plant bunches of the plants next to each other so they all support one another.


Papalo grows wild in Mexico, where it originated, and South America. Its name comes from the Nahuatl word for butterfly, and papaloquelite means butterfly leaf (because the leaves are shaped like butterfly