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….

….FULL ARTICLE

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…..

….FULL ARTICLE

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.

….FULL ARTICLE

Use the buttons below to scroll through more great articles from our Natures Beauty Column

MORE ARTICLES

Be Sociable, Share!

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Delicious Share on Digg Share on Google Bookmarks Share on LinkedIn Share on LiveJournal Share on Newsvine Share on Reddit Share on Stumble Upon Share on Tumblr

MORE NATURES BEAUTY ARTICLES

CONTACT INFORMATION

© Health & Wellness Magazine - All rights reserved | Designed and Maintained by Aurora Automations LLC.

MORE FROM ROCKPOINT PUBLISHING

HEALTH & WELLNESS MAGAZINE

subscribe to Health & Wellness

HOME | FEATURE ARTICLES | COLUMNS | DIGITAL ISSUES | BLOG | RACE RUNNING CALENDAR | ABOUT | CONTACT

NATURES BEAUTY - VETIVER

Vetiver is an Indian grass closely related to other fragrant grasses such as lemongrass and citronella. (Vetiver in Tamil means cut root.) Although it originates in India, vetiver is also cultivated successfully in other tropical regions such as Haiti and Indonesia. China is another major producer of vetiver.


Vetiver can grow as high as 5 feet tall. Unlike most grasses, which create mat-like root systems that spread horizontally, vetiver’s roots grow downward. And they grow far – almost to 13 feet, deeper even than some tree roots. Shoots that spring from the underground crown help make the plant resistant to frost and wildfire. It is also very drought tolerant. It is a good protector against soil erosion and combats pests such as ticks and weeds. The strength of its root system makes vetiver an efficient stabilizing hedge for stream banks and rice paddies. The roots bind to the soil and do not dislodge. In Western India, vetiver is planted along railway embankments to prevent mudslides and rock falls. A recent study discovered the plant can grow in fuel-contaminated soil and, what’s more, clean that soil.


While vetiver is mainly used as animal feed, it is also cultivated for the fragrant essential oil distilled from its roots. This oil is amazingly prolific. It is used in cosmetics, perfume (more commonly in fragrances for men), soap, skin care and aromatherapy. Its antiseptic properties make it valuable for treating acne and sores.

Also known as khus, vetiver is used as a flavoring agent. Like its close relative, sorghum, it is used as a sweetener. Khus syrup is made by adding khus essence to sugar, water and citric acid syrup. The concoction is used to flavor milkshakes and yogurt drinks. It is also used in ice cream.


Vetiver has been an important ingredient in traditional medicine in countries such as India and Thailand and countries in West Africa because of its anti-inflammatory properties. It has been shown to improve alertness and brain function. This may make it viable for people who have ADHD, but more studies about this affect need to be conducted. Health Line says using vetiver oil in a diffuser while you sleep could help improve your breathing patterns. Inhaling the scent of the oil seems to help those who experience anxiety become more relaxed (this benefit is still being studied). Vetiver essential oil carries little risk of toxicity.


Vetiver plays a unique role in keeping people in India cool in the summer. Mats are made by weaving vetiver roots and binding them with ropes or cords. Then the mats are hung in a doorway, and residents keep them moist by spraying them with water. This serves a double duty: They cool the passing air and emit a fresh

aroma, too. Vetiver grass has other household uses: It is used to thatch roofs and in brick making. It can also be transformed into strings and ropes. Some people use it ornamentally, planting it to display its light purple flowers. Vetiver is very versatile!


Sources:


TANYA TYLER





Tanya Tyler is the Editor of Health & Wellness Magazine