Morgan Botanicals

  (Loveland, Colorado)
Herbal Information and Recipes
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Wanna See What I Do Behind The Scenes?

Jessica Morgan, M.H.If you'd like to take a peek at some of the stuff I do, like my garden, wild-crafting, my workshop, product making, or keep up on sales and updates for Morgan Botanicals, you can find it all on facebook. This is where I post all my pictures~ Come check it out!

I also participate in a community page called Herbal Pantry. It's a collaboration of herbal sisters to have a page where we as well as fans can share our work, passions and pantries. There are lots of goodies on there like great photos of what we are drying, tincturing, infusing, topics on medicine making, recipes, videos etc. Come over and share your work, questions and photos.

I look forward to meeting you!


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As always, please email any questions to herbalist@morganbotanicals.com.

Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Jessica Morgan, M. H., Morgan Botanicals.

Disclaimer - The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information in this article for self-diagnosis or to replace any prescriptive medication. You should consult with a health care professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem, suffer from allergies, are pregnant or nursing.

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

 

 
 

Papaya: More Than Just A Digestive Enzyme

 Jessica Morgan, M.H.The papaya has been regarded as one of the most valuable of tropical fruits and was first cultivated in Mexico several centuries before the emergence of the Mesoamerian classic cultures, but is native to the tropics of the Americas. Christopher Columbus reportedly called Carica papaya "the fruit of the angels" because they are rich sources of antioxidant nutrients, minerals and fiber.

It is now known that the papaya fruit is an excellent source of dietary fiber, folate, vitamin A, C and E and also contains small amount of calcium, iron, riboflavin, thiamine and niacin as well as being rich in antioxidant nutrients, flavonoids and carotenes, plus it's low in calories and sodium.

But, beyond the fruit, did you know that the whole papaya plant is usable. Papaya can be used as a food, a cooking aid, and in medicine. The black seeds are edible and have a sharp, spicy taste and have been used as a substitute for black pepper, plus the roots are also used to make salt. In some parts of Asia, the young leaves of papaya are steamed and eaten like spinach and in some parts of the world, papaya leaves are made into tea as a preventative for malaria. The stem and bark are also used in rope production.

Papaya is mostly marketed in tablet form to remedy digestive problems and is cultivated for its milky juice or latex (obtained from the fruit), which is the source of the proteolytic enzyme papain., but papain is also applied topically (in countries where it grows) for the treatment of cuts, rashes, stings and burns. Papain ointment is commonly made from fermented papaya flesh, and is applied as a gel-like paste.

Papaya leaf, latex, and fruit contain several digestive enzymes, which account for the herb's action as a digestive aid and its ability to tenderize, that is, predigest meat. The latex contains the most enzymes, followed by the leaves, and lastly the fruit, though the fruit still contains enough to aid digestion. The most important digestive enzyme in papaya is papain, similar to the human digestive enzyme pepsin, which helps break down proteins.  In fact, papain is sometime called vegetable pepsin.  The herb's other enzymes include one similar to human rennin, which breaks down milk proteins, and another similar topectase, which helps digest starches. 

The effectiveness of the papaya as a medicinal herb has been known since the 1750's but it wasn't until the 1870's that its source of enzymes were recognized. Papain is by far the most widely studied enzyme of the papaya and has been used for wounds in hospitals, clotting milk, for contraception and abortion and as treatment for all kinds of digestive problems.

"Women in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and other countries have long used green papaya as a remedy for contraception and abortion. Enslaved women in the West Indies were noted for consuming papaya to prevent pregnancies and thus preventing their children from being born into slavery. Medical research in animals has confirmed the contraceptive and abortifacient capability of papaya, and also found that papaya seeds have contraceptive effects in adult male langur monkeys, and possibly in adult male humans, as well. Ripe papaya is not teratogenic and will not cause miscarriage in small amounts but the Phytochemicals in papaya may suppress the effects of progesterone."

In tropical folk medicine, the fresh latex is smeared on boils, warts and freckles and given as a vermifuge.  A root decoction is claimed to expel roundworms. The leaf also functions as a primitive soap substitute in laundering. Dried leaves have been smoked to relieve asthma or as a tobacco substitute. The sap is used topically to cure inflammation and itchy skin. It is used to clarify beer, also to treat wool and silk before dyeing, to de-hair hides before tanning, and it serves as an adjunct in rubber manufacturing. You can find it in toothpastes, cosmetics and detergents, as well as many pharmaceutical preparations to aid in digestion.

But, to support digestive health, eat up and drink up! ~Place a teaspoon or so of papaya leaf in cup of boiling water. Allow to steep 3-5 minutes. Strain, serve, and enjoy. Steep time and amount of tea used can be adjusted to suit your taste.

As always, please email any questions to herbalist@morganbotanicals.com.

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Copyright 2011. All rights reserved. Jessica Morgan, M. H., Morgan Botanicals.

Disclaimer - The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information in this article for self-diagnosis or to replace any prescriptive medication. You should consult with a health care professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem, suffer from allergies, are pregnant or nursing.

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

 

 
 

Seaweed: "perfectly balanced natural food"

Jessica Morgan, M.H. Humans have been eating seaweed for ever. Many early communities lived close to the shore because the seas offered a constant and dependable food source. Neolithic communities in Britain for example clustered around coastal lands where rich and diverse foodstuffs were readily available.  The farmers of those times would certainly have supplemented their shellfish and seafood diets with some of the local seaweeds.

Sprinkling a little on your food (about a teaspoonful twice a day) will provide both salt and vital trace minerals. It is also a good source of protein and a rich source of iodine and iron, iodine is important for the proper functioning of thyroid and iron is important for blood cell function.

There are many different types with different benefits but most contain iron, calcium, vitamin A, E, K,  B-complex (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12) & folic acid. Essential fatty acids, nucleic acids like RNA and DNA, phyto-chemicals as carotenoids. Rich in fiber and natural polysaccharides. This unique mixture of vitamins, minerals/trace elements, anti-oxidants and phyto-nutrients are rarely found in land plants. 

 Typical Nutritive Value of Seaweeds : Per 100 gm.

  • Vitamin A : 2 I.U.
  • Niacin : 5.7 mg.
  • Calcium : 1,093 mg.
  • Iron : 100 mg.
  • Phosphorus : 240 gm.
  • Fat : 1.1 gm.
  • Carbohydrates : 40.2 gm.
  • Protein : 7.5 gm

Here on the left is Sea Palm, and on the right Spring Nori, both wild-harvested in Norther California in Spring of '10. Look for both of these on my website www.morganbotanicals.com and here on Local Harvest as well. Both the Spring Nori and Sea Palm that I carry were locally and ethically wild harvested with permission.


 

Described as "perfectly balanced natural food" certain seaweeds, like certain land plants have been used for centuries by different cultures for medicinal and nutritional purposes from everything from warding off and treating several types of cancer, lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, to preventing ulcers, killing bacteria and treating thyroid disorders.

Check out this great recipe for a simple seaweed soup. I like to add chicken and other seasonal veggies as well. This is really delicious and nutritious.

Simple Seaweed Soup

1 oz seaweed

1/4 package of Enoki mushrooms
2 inches green onion (sliced length wise into strips)
2 cups Chicken broth
1/4 tsp. salt
Dash of pepper
1 tsp. soy sauce
 

1. Cut seaweed into bite size pieces. Wash Enoki mushrooms, cut off and discard root. Cut mushroom across into half.

2. Add pepper, soy sauce, salt (if needed), mushroom, seaweed to chicken broth. In small pot, heat to boiling. Garnish with green onion and serve.

 

 So, have you ever given any thought to seaweed? You should.

 

As always, please email any questions to herbalist@morganbotanicals.com.

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Copyright 2010. All rights reserved. Jessica Morgan, M. H., Morgan Botanicals.

Disclaimer - The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information in this article for self-diagnosis or to replace any prescriptive medication. You should consult with a health care professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem, suffer from allergies, are pregnant or nursing.

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

 

 
 

Milk Thistle: Food and Medicine

Jessica Morgan, M.H.Milk thistle is one of my favorite plants, but then again I am drawn to any of the thistles.

Thistle is the common name of a group of flowering plants characterized by leaves with sharp prickles on the margins, mostly in the Asteraceae family. These prickles often occur all over the plant - on surfaces such as those of the stem and flat parts of leaves. These prickly spines protect the plant against herbivorous animals, discouraging them from feeding on the plant. 

The term thistle is sometimes taken to mean exactly those plants in the genus Cynareae, especially the genera Carduus, Cirsium and Onopordum.  However, plants outside this genus are sometimes called thistles too. Some in the family include burdock, artichoke, cardoon, and some not in the family but are included in the thistles are salt wort and tumbleweed.

But, why do I love milk thistle so? Well because it's amazing.

Did you know, around the 16th century milk thistle became quite popular and almost all parts of it were eaten. The roots can be eaten raw, boiled or roasted. The young shoots in spring can be cut down to the root and cooked. The spiny bracts on the flower head can be eaten like globe artichokes, and the stems can be soaked overnight to remove bitterness and then cooked up like asparagus. The leaves can be trimmed of prickles and make a good spinach substitute, and can also be added raw to salads.This is another one of those eat your weeds kinda plants! This plant has been grown both as an ornamental and a vegetable, and virtually all parts of the plant have been used as food with no reports of toxicity.

Milk thistle is native to the Mediterranean region, and is now found throughout the world. This stout thistle usually grows in dry, sunny areas. The spiny stems branch at the top, and reach a height of 4 to 10 feet. The leaves are wide, with white blotches or veins. Milk thistle gets its name from the milky white fluid that comes from the leaves when they are crushed. The flowers are red-purple. The small, hard-skinned fruit is brown, spotted, and shiny. Milk thistle spreads quickly (it is considered a weed in some parts of the world), and it matures quickly, in less than a year.


But one can't stop at just the edible plant, it's medicinal too! The seeds of the milk thistle have been used for over 2000 years to treat chronic liver disease and protect the liver against toxins. It has been used for all liver diseases, hepatitis, cancer, mushroom poisoning and liver detox. By far the most famous herb for liver health, milk thistle contains antioxidant flavonoids, which protect liver cells from damage by preventing toxin absorption and enhancing regeneration.

Here a link to Dr. Christopher's run down on milk thistle.

HISTORY OF MILK THISTLE: THE BENEFITS OF THE USE OF MILK THISTLE IN HERBAL PREPARATIONS

http://www.herballegacy.com/McCorrie_History.html 

As always, please email any questions to herbalist@morganbotanicals.com.

Follow me on Twitter - MorganBotanical 

Fan me on Facebook - Morgan Botanicals

Copyright 2010. All rights reserved. Jessica Morgan, M. H., Morgan Botanicals.

Disclaimer - The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information in this article for self-diagnosis or to replace any prescriptive medication. You should consult with a health care professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem, suffer from allergies, are pregnant or nursing.

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

 
 
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