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The word 'pepper' is dervied from the South Asian word 'pippali'. Pippali (long pepper) is a famous herb in Ayurveda for lung and heart conditions, and is a close relative of black pepper. The word pepper gradually came to include the unrelated New...
Cinnamon is a small evergreen tree in the Lauraceae family native to Sri Lanka. Other members of this family include sassafras, avocado, camphor, and spicebush. Trees of the laurel family, including cinnamon, predominate in the world's laurel forests....
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Cloves are native to India and Indonesia. They are the aromatic dried flower bud of a tree in the same family as Eucalyptus and Guava (Myrtaceae family).
Cloves resemble a nail in shape. The English name 'clove' derives from the latin 'clavus'...
Regarded as both a force for good and evil, folklore and superstition abound when it comes to this little but poignant member of the onion family. A garland of garlic kept evil spirits and vampires away in the west. In an eastern Islamic myth, garlic...
Ever reach for dried ginger as a quick replacement for the fresh root and assume its an apt substitute? Ginger is ginger is ginger, right? Actually, not at all. Dried ginger...
Also known as devil's dung, stinking gum, food of the gods, and giant fennel, hing has a varied and suprising diversity of uses. Along the Tex-Mex border hing was used for wolf bait. The odor attracts wolves. In Jamaica, hing is used to protect the...
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The origin of lemons are a mystery. Do they come from southern india? burma? or china? Speculation abounds. Genetic study reveals lemons are a hybrid of a sour orange and a citron.
Raw olive oil is pungent & bitter. It's oily and bitter qualities act as a cholagogue, flushing the liver and gall bladder. In the United States, most olive oil is pasteurized. When cooked, olive oil loses its cleansing properties and sadly, its taste.
The zest is the orange skin of the orange. The rind is the white part of the orange beneath.
Mushrooms are considered to be tamasic and a bit dark in Ayurveda. They are earthy and soulful. Chinese medicine uses many mushrooms as immune tonics. Many western herbalists entertain the notion that mushrooms come from an alien planet. While this...
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Rosmarinus, is from the latin "dew" (ros) and "sea" (marinus), and means "dew of the sea". Rosemary grows in arid Mediterranean conditions and, as its name implies, can survive on the humidity carried by the sea breeze.
Safflower is one of humanity's oldest crops.
Star anise is a small evergreen tree native to China that closely resembles anise in flavor.
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