Click https://youtu.be/McwPoggIou8 to see a little film on Calendula arvensis
It has been very frosty here in the Algarve. Since we have been here we have not experienced such a prolonged frost night after night. Some plants have found it very hard and we shall see if they come back in the Spring....
The Sun coming up takes its time to thaw the earth and give the Light of Hope as we step forward with good intentions for the year. Tis the first New Moon of 2021 this morning 💛
The Plants are with us and Supporting us through these changing times.
Sending much Love and Peace as we come to the end of the year
and shift into a new Cycle full of Hope as we connect ever deeper with Nature.
Eriobotrya japonica also Mespilus japonica
Loquat. Nêspera- Nespereira
For thousands of years in Japan & China the fruit, leaves and seeds have been given for cough, chronic bronchitis, inflammation, cancers and to promote longevity.
In the Algarve the flowers come out in the Autumn and the fruits ripen in the Spring time. Making it our first harvest of the year.
The flowers in a tea have an expectorant action which is good for coughs and congestion in the lungs. Also have insect repellent properties and the fragrance is captured and added to oriental perfumes.
The flower essence:
For those who experience fear and anxiety when faced with the demands of life and seek to escape by avoiding participation in the life process and withdrawing.
The remedy assists any form of digestion, be it the digestion of food or the digestion of ones life circumstances and life choices.
Helps us manage our life when it is full of drama and uproar.
It can be very beneficial for issues that surface during adolescence that we haven't fully dealt with. Helps with travel sickness as well as for emotions which lie behind unhelpful eating patterns.
Helps to digest and process life with clarity. Standing in our true Power, at ease in taking personal responsibility and engaging in Life.
The leaves, fruits and seeds all contain carotenoids and flavonoids such as quercetin (anti-inflammatory, improves circulation and relieves tension).
Today the loquat leaf is one of the most popular cough remedies in the Far East and is the ingredient of many over the counter medicines including in many syrups.
The leaves are analgesic (pain relief), antibacterial, antiemetic (stop vomit), antitussive (stop the cough), antiviral, antifungal, astringent (healing & drying), diuretic (cleansing and restorative to the kidneys & bladder) demulcent (soothing & healing to inflamed tissue) and expectorant (removes excess mucus from lungs).
Loquat leaves are excellent for both the digestive and respiratory systems. Soothing and healing.
Young leaves excellent in tea infusions. For various skin diseases, allergies, cough, throat & gut inflammation such as in ulceration, nausea, and itching.
A decoction of the leaves or young shoots is used as an intestinal astringent and as a mouthwash in cases of thrush and also in the treatment of bronchitis, coughs, feverish colds etc.
The leaves contain ursolic acid and oleanolic acid, which both help to balance blood sugar levels, insulin levels. Cholesterol imbalances and gall bladder congestion.
The leaves are harvested as required and can be used fresh or dried.
It has been said that the hairs should be removed from the leaves in order to prevent irritation of the throat. To remove the downy underside with your nail or wash it off.
Fruit eaten raw, cooked or preserved. Cooked in pies, stews, jams, chutneys, smoothies, sauces, etc.
Dehydrate for later.
Have a slightly acid, sweet aromatic flavour.
The fruits are particularly high in beta carotene a carotenoid antioxidant, which prevents cellular damage, excellent for the skin, reduce inflammation and protect against heart disease. Blood pressure regulation and healthy functioning of the arteries. Carotenoids are also precursors to vitamin A which is essential for healthy vision, immune function and cellular growth.
Rich in phenolic compounds, which possess antioxidant, anticancer, and anti-inflammatory properties and can protect against several conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.
Other nutrients are found in the fruits such as folate and vitamin B6, which are important for energy production and blood cell formation. Magnesium and potassium, which are essential for nerve and muscle function. Manganese, which supports bone health and metabolism.
Small amounts of vitamin C, thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), copper, iron, calcium, and phosphorus.
Good amounts of pectin which helps to clear the colon of toxins.
The fruit is slightly astringent, expectorant and sedative. It is used in allaying vomiting and thirst.
Many scientific studies on the fruits. For example one done on the skins of the fruits found that they significantly prevented the growth& spread of human bladder cancer cells.
PHOTO BELOW ARE DELICIOUS FRUITS TAKEN IN MARCH THIS YEAR.
Seed - cooked. A pleasant flavour. The roasted seed is a coffee substitute.
The seed contains small amounts of amygdalin, a cyanogenic glycoside. This is contained in most of the fruits of the Rose family such as apples and almonds. The more bitter the seed\nut the more of the glycoside it will contain.
Amygdalin in very high amounts when eaten is metabolised into lethal cyanide. Just to get an idea, you would need 1000s of crushed apple seeds to cause any poisoning.
Amygdalin at the right dose has health benefits such as improves digestion, heart protector, reduce high blood pressure, boost immune system it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer ( known as B17 also found in the famous apricot kernels).
1-2 seeds a day as a treatment is a noted dose for the Loquat seeds.
The Wood is hard and close grained and is used to make rulers and other drawing materials. Also used to make musical instruments.
Gratitude and Love to this wonderful tree.
The Mindfulness and Nature Education Summit
Daisy Mae will be speaking on this summit this weekend.
In this interview we will discuss what is an herb and
why it is important to connect with the plants and trees.
I will discuss ways in which we can connect and learn more about them:
such as Heart connection, the Green breath and
a discussion on five favourite herbs for children’s health and wellbeing.
Click the link and find out more about this free event.
Liliaceae Family- separated into the Asparagaceae family
Last week a group of us spent the morning with Asparagus albus.
What an amazing plant. Anyone living in the Algarve is probably familiar with this prickly bush!!
I am so happy to share what an abundant medicine this plant is.
The English word "asparagus" derives from classical Latin, which derives from the Greek aspharagos or asparagos, and the Greek term originates from the Persian asparag, meaning "sprout" or "shoot".
We are most familiar with the Spears of the Asparagus. These young stems are the tasty food that shoot up through the bare ground which start appearing at the end of the Winter and early Spring.
Asparagus albus is slightly more bitter than the usual Asparagus you would buy in the shops (Asparagus officinalis which is often cultivated with other species of Asparagus).
In Roman times the Asparagus albus was preferred as it was more fleshy and had this bitterness.
Asparagus has been known as a food and medicine for thousands of years. 3000BC drawings of Asparagus were found on Egyptian artwork. Ancient texts from Indian and Roman times state its aphrodisiac actions and a herb to help with fatigue.
Growing wild in all of Europe and Asia. But cultivated across the globe.
Harvest root and rhizome when ariel parts start to turn pale yellow usually in the Autumn time.
The green berries turn a beautiful red and are abundant around Christmas time. Eating more than a handful of these berries can cause some gastric discomfort. Best avoided.
The spears\stems, root, rhizomes, flowers and leaves all contain:
Carotenoids, vitamin B9 (folic acid) and vitamin C. Also vitamin E, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B6, Vitamin K, potassium, iodine, fibre, magnesium, calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, copper, carbohydrates, proteins, sodium, selenium, chromium, and polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and saturated fatty acids.
The amino acid asparagine gets its name from asparagus. Asparagine is cleansing and has a diuretic action, helping to flush your body of excess salt. Also is essential for the growth, division and regeneration of all the cells in the body.
High levels of polyphenol antioxidants, of which the most significant is rutin or vitamin P: excellent anti-inflammatory effects and help to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Another very important antioxidant group that is abundant in this plant is its Flavonoid content such as quercetin, kaempferol and isorhamnetin: Powerful anti-inflammatory actions and Heart protective. Anti cancer treatments esp colon cancer, antimicrobial incl streptococcus and antifungal.
Research has shown that the arial parts in A.albus and A.racemosus have six times higher flavonoid content than in A.officinalis.
Sapogenins, a glucosteroid which has the bittersweet taste. Higher in the roots but levels are found in the ariel parts. Many health benefits due to the diuretic, hypoglycaemic, hypochlesterolemic, galactagogue, anticancer, antifungal and anti-parasitic actions.
Fructans are polysaccharides found in the roots and spears, they have a prebiotic action increasing bifidobacteria and lactobacilli by decreasing the bacteroides and clostridia in the intestine. Also increase calcium and magnesium absorption. Increase immune strength and lower blood triglycerides thus good in cholesterol imbalance.
Asparagus contains aspragusic acid. When the vegetable is digested, this chemical is broken down into a group of related sulphur containing compounds having antioxidant action and can make your urine smell of asparagus!
Therapeutic actions of the plant, not mentioned above: Again working with the roots, rhizomes, stems, leaves and flowers
Good for many heart conditions such as high blood pressure, palpitations, deterioration of heart muscle, valvular disease.
Fluid retention, oedema, swollen ankles. Helps to clear kidney stones and gravel.
Jaundice and constipation. Liver and kidney failure. Arthritis, gout.
Diabetes, chronic bronchitis, many skin conditions such as psoriasis and skin lesions.
Convalescence, anaemia, demineralisation in any condition. Good in pregnancy.
Increased sense of compassion and harmony. Relaxing an overactive mind. Calms those under stress.
Maurice Mességué prescribed the ariel parts to intellectuals!
Culpeper 17th century herbalist writes that Asparagus is under the planet Jupiter.
Culpeper also writes that the root decocted is good for eyesight and toothache.
Also helps with cramps, sciatica, gout of the hips and all pains of the lower parts of the body. Bathing in the decocted plant can ease these pains.
He also writes that the herb stirs lust.
This is also seen in many other species of the Asparagus.
Asparagus linked with Aphrodite\Venus goddess of Love.
Indian Asparagus linked with Kamadeva the God of Love.
Asparagus has been associated with luxury, prosperity and abundance.
The flower essence expands subtle perceptions. What is hidden in plain sight.
Supportive in dispelling depression, abandonment, abuse and fear.
Dynamic for discernment and setting boundaries.
Releases subconscious debris from the aura such as childhood fears and prejudices. Allowing you to be set free from the grip of powerful presences: strong parental figures, cultural conditioning, power struggles in relationships.
Spending time with Asparagus albus, being in conscious awareness and contemplation, opening our hearts and listening to the plant the following was shared:
Purity, cleansing, clairty. Emotional relief and transformation. Releasing of judgements. Brave. Protection. Reframing of old beliefs into something beautiful.
Support us to be more aligned to our connection with Spirituality and growth.
Gratitude to this wonderful abundant medicine plant.
Moringa oleifera is a fast-growing, drought-resistant tree of the family Moringaceae. Although new to me the medicine of this tree has been worked with for thousands of years in India and Africa.
All parts are medicinal. The green leaves and beautiful smelling flowers are the main medicinal parts of this tree. Infusions as well as powdered herb can be taken in smoothies. Also added to soups, stews and salads.
High in antioxidants such as Quercetin. Protein & all 9 essential amino acids, fibre, vitamins such as A, B2, B6, C, E and minerals such as Calcium, Magnesium, iron.
Great for healthy skin- prevents, repairs and protects cell damage. Maintains strong bones and muscles. Cleansing and protective to the liver.
Balances blood sugar levels and cholesterol and helps to break down unwanted fats. Improves circulation, heart tonic and reduces joints pains.
Excellent for the immune system and has been shown to support those in chronic compromised states such as in cancer, diabetes and other autoimmune conditions.
Moringa is an adaptogen and so excellent in any stress induced condition. Boosts energy and helps with fatigue and tiredness. Including when associated with anaemia.
The herb is great for sleep and overactive states.
Gratitude to this beautiful tree.
See Ceratonia Gardens youtube video of Moringa https://youtu.be/DT8hUoqkTvE
Extra special post as this week we are celebrating our seven year anniversary in the Algarve. It was seven years ago that we started the Ceratonia project.
This is the end of one cycle and we are now beginning a new cycle of discovery, adventure and growth.
No better way to celebrate than sharing The mighty Fig❣️
Ceratonia Gardens is now on YouTube here is a little harvesting video https://youtu.be/di0ghYocREQ
The Fig - Ficus carica Moraceae same family as my beloved Mulberry.
Here at Ceratonia we have the gorgeous purple figs as well as the sweet delightful white ones.
The fruits have a high nutrient content such as B vitamins, Vitamin K, potassium, Magnesium and copper.
These wonderful sweet fruits give energy, strengthen and heal connective tissues and neurotransmitters.
Emollient, diaphoretic, demulcent, nutritive, laxative, mild expectorant, digestive, pancreatic, prebiotic, and diuretic. Antibacterial and antiparastic.
Figs are good for Piles (internal and external).
Any constipation. Colic. Poor bile flow.
Soothing to inflamed tissue. mucilaginous. Healing to internal ulcers, give immune strength and the cleansing action helps to clear gout. Great for skin, including allergic or dry itchy skin.
Just a note some people can be allergic to the fresh latex. In the past I have had a little reaction but this year not at all!
The inside of the fruit can be applied as a poultice to boils and carbuncles.
The leaves also contain flavonoids, phenols and have an antioxidant action. Research has shown the leaves to help in cancer, diabetes and herpes.
Syrup or decoction from the leaves or unripe green figs are good for shortness of breath, hoarseness, lung problems and coughs.
All parts of The Fig supports and gives health to Circulation, vision, the lungs and the kidneys.
In India The Fig Tree has been a place for Buddhists to meditate and to become enlightened. The Fig tree has become known as the symbol of consciousness.
The essence of the Fig help with self acceptance and flexibility. Helps to go with the flow, have a sense of humour and is self liberating.
Gratitude to this wonderful Tree.
Gratitude to Ceratonia and all that have supported us.
Green Blessings and Much Love
Beautiful Turnera diffusa flower. See YouTube video. https://youtu.be/Pe4K333gUCM
Tansy Tanacetum vulgare Calming bitter herb.
Repels flies and internally for worms.
Yarrow Achillea millefolium
Psychic Protection and wound healing. Excellent for circulation, bitter and cleansing.
Wood Betony- Stachys betonica. We are growing different species of Stachys, so happy to have my dear old friend open to growing here in the Algarve.
Really shows something of the resilient nature and medicine of this plant.
Giving a deep inner strength including to our micro circulation.
Eugenia uniflora, the pitanga, Suriname cherry.
This is the flower of a very tasty fruit.
These apples are growing on a tree that I have a super soft spot for.
I will do a video soon 💚
Tasty Almonds 💛
Gorgeous Rose 🧡
The Apple and the Almond both a member of this beautiful Rosacea family
Tulbaghia violacea wild garlic from South Africa. It is strong and super tasty!
Needs very little water 🙏
Basil Basil Basil- eating tons of Basil. 💚💚💚 Brain tonic and super immune boost.
Melon❣️ Our Horta this year is a wonderful organic joy full of delights 💚💚💚
Cosmos sulphureus I am falling in love with this plant❣️ More and more she is setting seed here at Ceratonia 🧡 Great for skin and pain. They Represent never ending love and new beginnings 🧡 A new herb for me so watch this space.
Pretty Nepeta cataria flowers. Cooling tight agitated states.
Loving our Copal tree. Bursera fagaroides
This green beautiful grasshopper enjoying Meadowsweet. Along with Praying mantis friend below. They have been hanging out here for days.
Keeping cool with just an occasional nibble💚
Evening Primrose, Oenothera biennis.
Because here at Ceratonia this beauty only flowers in the morning, I find I call her by her Portuguese name Onagra. Been making tincture this last month, finding it great to regulate hormones especially in peri menopausal time 💛
Calendula my dear ally! Feel like she has not made an appearance for a while❣️🙏❣️
I will be making more balm soon and hopefully film it and put on YouTube 💛
Mugwort flowers warming my Soul. Interestingly I spent a lovely afternoon with this plant on my holiday and really learnt the art of gently flowing through the heat of the day. Makes sense as this plant really help congested stuck states.
St Johns Wort, Hypericum. This plant really loves it here at Ceratonia and has been flowering since June. I have been forming a new relationship with this herb and it is wonderful 💛 A Guiding Light.
Carob harvest well under way.
Gratitude for all the abundance at Ceratonia
Carob Tree, St John’s Bread, Alfarrobeira, Johannisbrod
I made a little film on YouTube about Carob: https://youtu.be/wprVW3Hwe-0
Our project Ceratonia is named after this beautiful
abundant Medicine Tree.
Gratitude and Love to this Beautiful Tree
Therapeutic Health Benefits
The bean and leaf can treat constipation as well as diarrhoea. Helps with nausea and vomiting. The duality is seen in the plants nature of having a drying astringent action as well as a demulcent soothing and protective action on irritated and inflamed tissues.
Overall the plant has a cleansing and healing action to the gut and the respiratory system especially with irritating harsh coughs.
The bean has been shown to help babies with vomiting, diarrhoea and fever. Also babies chewing on the pods helps with teething.
As well as being demulcent internally, the plant is also emollient externally so good for wound healing.
Scientific reports have shown that the plant has been found to heal cancerous cells. Also improve the ratio between high and low cholesterol levels.
The bark can be made into medicine most reports discuss the astringent action for diarrhoea.
The seeds when ground are known as carob gum and are high in galactose which gives energy and is as sweet as glucose. They also contain up to 60% protein.
Legend states that John the Baptist ate the beans when out in the wilderness. Certainly the tree has been called a Famine food and has sustained people in times of hardship. The tree was thought of as a symbol of patience and investing in the future with no immediate gains, rather for generations to come.
In times of war through the ages the Carob has been noted as a source of sustenance. Also the carob has been given to animals for food.
Ancient Egyptians combined the Carob with oats, honey and wax as a medicine for diarrhoea, expelling worms and to treat poor eyesight and eye infections.
The powdered seeds were given to singers to help clear their throat.
Jewellers used the seeds as the original carat weight.
Below the beans are still unripe but in the last week or so the ripening is rapidly happening!
The bean pod contains, carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
The leaf and the bean contain good amounts of micro nutrients such as Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Manganese and Zinc.
Both contain condensed Tannin (proanthocyanidins) content thus having astringent healing action, antioxidant action, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, Heart protective.
The leaf and the bean also contains polyphenols and flavonoids-antiinflammatory actions, improve digestion, brain function, regulate blood sugar levels, as well as protect against blood clots, heart disease
and certain cancers.
Trees can be abundant with fruits or with leaves. There are trees which are both male and female. Below the tree with abundant leaves also has fruits, just not that many.
Flour\powder is made from the beans and then made into many preparations for medicine and food.
Decoct the beans or make an over night infusion. Use the whole bean broken up, or just the pulp of the pod. (Decoction: Two cups of water to one bean bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes)
Infusion of the leaves taken as a tea or wash.
An essence made from the flowers. Can also make an essence from other parts of the tree.
Oil infusion\maceration made with the beans. Could make with the leaves.
The macerated oil then made into balms.
A syrup is made from the bean pulp and used in drinks. The pulp is also made into a type of molasses and the powder made into a chocolate which does not contain caffeine.
Carob as we know is a popular food. It also is a thickener and stabiliser in many processed foods!
A few weeks ago here at Ceratonia Gardens a lovely group of people spent the afternoon with Wonderful Carob.
I don't have photos of the group! But I do have some pictures of their artwork and words to share on their findings.
When the group spent time in union with this Healing Tree these are some of the insights that came:
Ancient Knowledge, Wisdom, Nourishment, Tears, Tears of the world, Protection, Safety, Letting go of what no longer serves. Gratitude.
Open our Heart to the Sweetness of Life. Show you the way. Always seeing eye. Life is about the collective.
In Portugal the Carob Tree was about community coming together when harvesting the beans.
We tasted a tea of the ripe beans. I had macerated them in boiling hot water for seven hours. Sweet sweet smell and taste. A widening on the horizontal plane. Had a rooting grounding action. Slowing the breath. Peaceful. Strength. Clarity. Strong Heart Connection. Ligaments healing. Restorative and Nourishing.
We drank a tea of the leaves and tasted the bitterness and the astringency. An opening, unblocking. Sinus clearing. It got into our inflamed tissue and had a releasing action on tight congested muscles. Clear sight. and calming energies.
This is such an amazing Tree already in the last week as the beans are ripening the flowers have already begun.
The Flower essence
Disentangles us from ancestral repeated patterns.
Releases the ancestral ties that do not belong to us.
It promotes harmony and healing in family or tribal disputes.
Helps to honour the Sacred space between us. Helps us to gather information and see All in a balanced humble way.
Star Guidance: To be at one with Self and guides us to be with each other for the good of all.
From working with the this tree for the last 6 years I have found the following:
Making an oil maceration with the beans and then with this oil making a balm with wax has been an excellent rub for aches and pains. Also for dry scaly skin conditions.
A Protective Balm.
Making an oil infusion specifically with Olive oil and the beans making a great mineral rich supplement to add to salads and steamed veg.
I have worked with the flower essence as is described above and I have also found the following:
Support in grief, helps us to connect with our inner strength, balance, protection, safety, connect with our metal energy and learn from that. Find ease and release slowly. Heart Tonic. Convalesce and rebuilding medicine. An adapting welcoming wisdom.
This dear Tree is World Peace medicine connecting with the grief and overwhelm so many are holding. The vibration of this Tree supports us in letting this go and trust that this is going to take a while. Have to pace self and move in ones own internal rhythms and have patience. If try to over take self will loose grounding and other symptoms can occur depending on individual.
Energetic Cleansing with the Carob Shakedown.
A Heart Healing Tree
There are two other Blogs on our dear Carob Tree.
You can have a look back at the Archives.
September 2014 and
December 2015- scroll down to Winter Celebrations.
Daisy Mae and Corey Smith at Ceratonia