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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.
Ashitaba and is a type of angelica that has edible leaves. The nickname is "Tomorrow"s Leaf" because if you pick a leaf, a replacement appears the next day. As such, it is regarded as a longevity plant than doubles as being anti-infective. It is maritime and a little tricky regarding germination. Then, it likes warmth and sunlight. It is very interesting looking and the stalks are edible, sort of like celery. It is a plant source of vitamin B-12 which is very interesting for vegetarians. Ashitaba is biennial and hardy to zones 6 to 12.
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.
Ginkgo, 20 seeds Ginkgo biloba
Ginkgo trees are considered by some to be living fossils since they have apparently been on this Planet for 150 million years. This is a testament to their strength and endurance. These are fresh seeds and should be planted immediately upon receipt. The germination rate is about 40% and each tree is one sex so another tree of the opposite sex is required to produce fruit and more seeds. The trees cannot be sexed until mature so it is basically necessary to plant a number of trees if one wants seeds. Ginkgo leaves are used in medicine as an anti-radiation remedy as well as brain tonic. The fruit is delicious when roasted or used in a stir fry, but it has a rather unpleasant smell if it rots on the ground. If planting these trees, give them lots of room because they will be around for generations. Do study their needs since they do not like to be transplanted!
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.
This is the true tropical tulsi with purple leaves that many use to make tea. Due to many name changes in the last years, people are justified in being a bit confused. Tulsi can be grown indoors or out. It requires light to germinate, and, for the same reason, seeds should be planted in shallow soil. Planting tulsi can be a family ritual in which homage is paid to the Divine Mother with blessings to be shared with all.
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.
Sausage Tree, African, 5 seedsKigelia africana
As the name suggests, this tree is native to Africa. It grows slowly to a height of about 60 feet. The "sausages" can be three feet long and the tree has beautiful deep red flowers. It is suitable for zones 9-12 but can be grown indoors or as a bonsai. The main use in Africa is as a famine food for both people and livestock, but the traditional use is for skin conditions, everything from psoriasis to fungal infections. The leaves have antioxidant effects, but what is interesting is that the tree contains lapachol, the same chemical found in pau d"arco so its potential as a cancer herb is being researched.
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