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Asafetida, 10 seeds, organicFerula assa-foetida
Asafoetida is both a culinary ingredient in South Asian cuisine as well as a medicine. It is called "hing" in texts and is the primary ingredient of hingvastak, a digestive remedy for people with deranged vata. The smell is considerably stronger than garlic, ergo its name "fetid". It is an antioxidant but should be used in very small quantities. Most powdered forms are greatly diluted.
Bael Fruit Tree, 5 seedsAegle marmalos
Bilva is a tree sacred to Shiva and hardy to about 20 degrees Fahrenheit. They are calling this "bael fruit tree" but it is known in Ayurveda as bilva or bilwa and almost all parts of the tree are used medicinally. In English, the tree is sometimes called Bengal quince or stone apple. It has a beautiful fruit and is considered among the most sacred of all plants by Hindus.
Bala, 30 seeds, organicSida cordifolia
Bala is a tropical mallow, native to India. It thrives best in zones 9 to 12. In Ayurvedic medicine, it is used for all three doshic imbalances. It is a tonic herb and is therefore used for strengthening conditions characterized by weakness, including nervous disorders. Since it contains ephedrine, bala is sometimes restricted and used only in ointments for massage. However, in Ayurvedic medicine, it is also used internally, though with proper attention to dosage.
Cumin, 300 seedsCuminum cyminum
Cumin is an aromatic culinary spice used extensively in the Mediterranean but is found in cheese and salad dressings to north and in curry blends to the east. It is the seed used in both cooking and medicine. Cumin is a digestive herb and is very helpful in reasonable amounts for vata types and in somewhat higher doses for kapha types. The use of cumin in cooking stimulates the flow of saliva and gastric secretions thus making food easier to digest. This means that assimilation is improved and even minerals are better absorbed. The aromatic properties help to relieve gas and toxins. Cumin is very easy to grow and is suitable for zones 5 to 10.
Guggul, 5 seeds, organicCommiphora wightii
The guggul plant is the source of a precious resin used in incense, but it possesses many valuable medicinal properties as well as having a lovely aroma. Guggul is a rasayana herb, meaning it is both antioxidant and life sustaining. It emulsifies lipids and therefore is used extensively in obesity, but it also lowers cholesterol as well as the risk of heart attacks. The plant usually has to be grown indoors in the temperate climates but in zones 10 to 12, it thrives in quickly draining soils.
This basil comes from Amritapuri, India, where it is used mainly for tea. It has reddish purple leaves tinged with green leaves, but the very young leaves may be initially green. It has a lovely aroma. Amrita is the nectar of the gods and is believed to promote longevity. Tulsi is adaptogenic, antifungal, and antibacterial. Seeds are normally sown outdoors in spring but tulsi may be grown indoors throughout the year. This tulsi is hardy to zones 10 to 12.
Sacred Red Lotus, 7 seedsNelumbo nucifera
Sacred red lotus is edible, but it is also often used in rituals. Young roots can be marinated and eaten raw. Older roots should be cooked in more or less the same manner as carrots or burdock, but there are many recipes to try in Asian cuisine, both Indian and Chinese. The seeds are also edible. They are often popped and can be eaten more or less as we would eat popcorn. The taste is quite bland but becomes more zesty with some ghee, turmeric, sea salt, and cayenne pepper.
Lotus seeds are sweet and mildly astringent. They are regarded as tonics for the spleen, heart, and kidneys. The root is also beneficial for the heart and kidneys. The leaves can also be eaten, but they are more bitter. They are mainly used to reduce lipids.
Sacred Red Lotus is suitable for zones 8 to 12.
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