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 - TURMERIC

In traditional Ayurvedic medicine, turmeric is a common treatment for numerous respiratory conditions, including asthma, bronchitis and cough.


What else can turmeric help? It has been shown to reduce depression symptoms in people who are already using an antidepressant. Some research shows taking turmeric extracts, alone or in combination with other herbs, can fight pain and improve function in people with osteoarthritis in the knee, working about as well as ibuprofen in reducing pain. It appears to lower levels of triglycerides, but the jury is still debating about what turmeric does to cholesterol levels. Also, evidence as to the effectiveness of taking turmeric to improve memory in Alzheimer’s patients is insufficient to recommend using it for this purpose. Turmeric usually does not cause significant side effects, WebMD says, but some people experience stomach upset, nausea, dizziness or diarrhea when taking it. Turmeric can make gallbladder, bile duct problems or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) worse, so if you have any of these conditions, avoid taking it. People who have diabetes should take it with caution because it may make blood sugar levels drop too low.

Turmeric is a great addition to many dishes, including curry (it’s what gives it that distinctive yellow color). It is also a main ingredient in mustard and ice cream, yogurt, sauces and a hot drink called golden milk. The spice is used in cosmetics and perfume, too. The best turmeric supplements contain piperine, which substantially increases their effectiveness. The recommended daily dosage is one to three 500 mg capsules, preferably taken with a meal. And as with any other alternative or complementary medicine or supplement, be sure to consult with your primary care physician before using them.


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TANYA TYLER

Tanya Tyler is the Editor of Health & Wellness Magazine

more articles by Tanya Tyler

These days, people are trying a variety of spices and dietary supplements to manage a variety of conditions and achieve optimum health benefits.


One of these is turmeric. It has been used in India for thousands of years as both a spice and a medicinal herb. Turmeric is a perennial plant cultivated throughout Southeast Asia, China, Australia and the South Pacific. The dried primary bulb is collected, cleaned, boiled, dried and ground for use in medicinal and food preparations. It is also used fresh, like ginger (to which it is related). According to the spice experts at McCormicks, scientific evidence has been building around turmeric because of the anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin, a compound found in turmeric. Turmeric is used for arthritis, heartburn, joint pain, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and other kinds of gastric distress such as irritable bowel syndrome and stomach ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). It is also said to help with headaches, bladder inflammation, gum disease and hay fever. Externally, turmeric has been used to treat skin conditions, infected wounds and eye infections.


According to WebMD, research suggests taking a formula containing broccoli powder, turmeric powder, pomegranate whole fruit powder and green tea extract three times daily for six months prevents an increase in prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels in men with prostate cancer.