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 - PAPEDAS

We love to introduce you to fruits, plants and vegetables you may not have heard of before. Papedas, according to Gardening Know How, are the ancestors of many common citrus fruits. The subgenus papeda includes the Ichang lemon, yuzu and kaffir lime. Many types of papeda citrus occur in the wild. The exact origin of papeda citrus is unknown, but the fruit are believed to have originated in the Malay Archipelago in Southeast Asia. They have been growing there for about 2,000 years. Today, papeda citrus are found in many parts of Asia, including the Philippines, Borneo, India, China and Japan, appearing in both tropical and arid regions. Even so, they are actually one of the more frost-tolerant of the citrus tree species.


We certainly do enjoy oranges, lemons, grapefruit and other citrus fruits, but papedas – not so much. They are the least cultivated species of citrus fruit because of their sour or bitter taste. Papedas are round with a thick, bumpy skin. They may be yellow or green, depending on the variety. They are somewhat edible, but some (most) of them are nearly unpalatable and thus have little commercial use. They have dry, pulpy flesh and a tough skin. The small, thorny, slow-growing papeda tree serves various other purposes since it isn’t the best of produce producers. Some of the trees are used in ornamental landscaping. The Ichang papeda, for example, is known for its interesting form and scented blooms. Some papeda trees are used as rootstock; as such, they help improve trees’ resistance to common threats such as

drought and citrus disease, and also improve hardiness. Others are used as flavoring agents. Papedas, like many other citrus trees, need a warm, sunny location with at least six hours of sunshine and light, well-draining soil. Once planted, the tree should have a training stake for the first few years to keep the main trunk growing straight.


The skin and leaves of the papeda are used in some Asian cuisines as seasoning, a better employment for them rather than casual consumption. Papedas’ fragrant oil, which smells like lemons, is used in different cosmetics and perfumes. Some types of papeda are used in traditional medicine, especially in China, for digestive issues. Like its citrusy relatives, papeda is high in vitamin C, which can help the immune system fight off colds and improve heart health. Papeda citrus juice can be used as a cleanser – it’s even been used to clean gold. In Malaysia and Polynesia, the juice was used to wash and perfume hair.


It seems disingenuous to add papeda to the list of fruits and vegetables and plants designated as examples of Nature’s Beauty. However, the papeda has been crossed with mandarins to produce a fruit called an Inchandarin. And it is instrumental in producing citrus fruit such as Key limes, which are a cross

between a citron, a micrantha (a species of wild citrus) and a papeda. So thanks to papeda, we can enjoy a beautiful dessert – Key lime pie!



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TANYA TYLER





Tanya Tyler is the Editor of Health & Wellness Magazine