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The CDC tracks outbreaks of the flu and has been a reliable source of current flu information. Here you can find an updated map with the latest reported outbreaks. Here are a few of the FAQ’s from the CDC website: Will new flu viruses circulate this season? Flu viruses are constantly changing so it's not unusual for new flu viruses to appear each year. For more information about how flu viruses change, visit How the Flu Virus Can Change. Will the United States have a flu epidemic? The United States experiences epidemics of seasonal flu each year. This time of... Read More!
If I were to make a riddle I would ask: What is sweeter than sugar, and grows on a bush on marshy ground, and has been the well-guarded secret of two or three countries for hundreds of years? Give up? Well it’s a spindly little bush that is found in South America at about 25 degrees South Latitude and indigenous to Paraguay. It grows about two feet tall on the edges of wet pastureland where it rains about 55 inches a year. It likes to keep its roots wet. It likes humid weather that this sweet, little plant Ca-a jhee,... Read More!
This sounds strange, but I know of almost a half dozen herbs referred to as squaw vine, or squaw bush. Likewise, this herb is known by a half dozen or more names like “partridge berry,’ “checker berry,” “squaw berry,” “winter clover,” “deer berry,” “one berry,” and many more. A hundred years ago, this wasn’t a big problem because no one traveled very far. Everyone around each part of the country knew their herbs by their particular name. Some master herbalists got together to straighten this problem out. Since Latin was an international language, they gave each herb its own first... Read More!
Many folks have written in and asked if we would write about different herbs and fruits and different. However, recently someone asked me why I sometimes write about vegetables, instead of herbs. Well to quote a grand old herbalist I used to study with, “Remember, not all herbs are vegetables, but all vegetables are herbs.” To start out with, all plants that we know as vegetables were once wild and uncultivated “weeds.” Even today, there are many weeds that some folks consider useless. However, some of these weeds are being cultivated and domesticated and are becoming useful vegetables. For examples,... Read More!
As a legend has it, there was a lady named Veronica who wiped the sweat or blood from the face of the Lord Jesus as he carried his cross up the rugged hill toward Calvary. His sweat, blood and tears left a mark on the cloth that the Saint Veronica used. They say the blossoms on the plant speedwell resemble these marks left on the cloth. The commemorate this; they named the genus or scientific name of this plant Veronica. The common name, speedwell, comes from the word “thrive.” Speedwell is a hardy plant, thriving in most stony or gravelly... Read More!
One of the most common herbs that almost everyone knows about is spearmint. Lots of people know where a wild patch of it is growing; yet, very folks take the time to pick it and use it. I am reminded of a young father who had a brand new son. He was real proud of his young son, only whenever he tried to show him off, the little guy was always crying. The crying got worse and disrupted the sleep of almost everyone in the house. One day, the parents were given spearmint stalks by an older lady. They were... Read More!
When I lecture on slippery elm, I like to tell the story of a pioneer wagon train going across the Sierra Nevada Mountains late in the fall. One wagon broke a wheel. But they told the other wagons to keep going down the hill; that they would catch up the next day. During the night, an early winter storm came raging over the mountain, trapping the lone wagon in a blizzard that would hold them there all winter. It looked like certain doom for all six persons in that wagon. The next spring, some of the other members of the... Read More!
Mother Nature knew we might not always have some of the great outstanding herbs growing around us at our disposal. So, she made some herbs that were rough and tough and would grow in any kind of soil; some that could withstand bad weather, as well as drought and freezing cold. Shepherd’s purse is one of those herbs. However, with the progress of time and the progress of men and medicine, we tend to forget the old herbs and old remedies that kept mankind well and healthy for thousands of years. We tend to look for a faster remedy or... Read More!