Morgan Botanicals

  (Loveland, Colorado)
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The Pumpkin Is More Than an Oversized Vegetable

Jessica Morgan, M.H.

To me, the pumpkin is more than just an oversized vegetable. In fact, it has a very long history-once considered a symbol of the whole world, a container of everything ever created. Early societies saw symbolism and spiritual significance in many round objects, from rocks to seeds and, yes, the pumpkin. If you look at the pumpkin you know it mean business: it's big, it's round, it's heavy and it's food, usually a lot of it. It's the whole world in a neat little package, so what else can it mean? Just that: the world. And that is exactly what it meant in the Old World. As the largest fruit of creation and full of seeds, it became a symbol of plenty. Pumpkins, together with corn (maize) and beans were an important foodstuff in the early Americas. The cultivation of pumpkins spread throughout the world when the European explorers, returning from their journeys, brought back many of the agricultural treasures of the New World. Pumpkins, and their seeds, were celebrated for a long time, both for their dietary and medicinal properties. 

But things have changed a little bit with this famous Cucurbit as its means as an important food source has declined and has fallen to the holidays merely for its ability to be a rather yummy pie and the traditional face of Halloween. And as we excitedly scoop out the endless supply of pumpkin seeds from our pumpkin patch pumpkins, we have lost sight of the value of these mere seeds. Maybe they're saved, maybe not. If lucky, they get salted and roasted and devoured. Maybe they get glued on to craft time projects or strung into kiddy necklaces. But, these seeds shouldn't be forgotten as they are one of Natures almost perfect foods and truly deserve a place in the everyday diet and medicine cabinet.

Pepitas, or pumpkin seeds, contain a wide range of traditional nutrients. Our food ranking system qualified them as a very good source of the minerals magnesium, manganese and phosphorus, and a good source of iron, copper, protein and zinc. Snack on a quarter-cup of pumpkin seeds and you will receive 46.1% of the daily value for magnesium, 28.7% of the DV for iron, 52.0% of the DV for manganese, 24.0% of the DV for copper, 16.9% of the DV for protein, and 17.1% of the DV for zinc.

In addition to their above-listed health benefits, pumpkin seeds have been associated with Prostatitis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Osteoporosis, kidney/bladder disorders, elevated blood lipids and cholesterol, help with depression, learning disabilities, and elimination of parasites from the body.

Pumpkin seeds also make a nutritious culinary oil as well as a highly nourishing and lubricating oil that is useful for all skin types. It is especially good if used to combat fine lines and superficial dryness and to prevent moisture loss.

Not bad for a seed.

As it is the time of year where most of us will be scooping seeds of plenty from our Jack-O-Lanterns, don't forget to save those seeds as they are so important to our history and health.

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

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.

 
 

Herbs For Men..We Didn't Forget About You

Jessica Morgan, M.H. Men seem to fall on the way side to women and children so often in herbal healing. But, from the heart to the prostate, ulcers , and even the common cold, herbs can play an important role on men's health. I have three men in my life; two are just babies, but none the less their health is very important to me. Knowing how to deal with and be prepared for, everyday "boy" complaints are skills I long to enhance. But, on with the men.

If you want to increase your health or suffer from symptoms associated with prostate, lowered libido, memory issues, palpitations, weight gain, depression and irritability- there are great herbs out there.

The following are some effective herbs commonly used in treating most problems experienced by men today, and are easily accessible.

Ashwangandha- beneficial for nervous tension, stress, anxiety, reduced sexual energy.

Hawthorn- cardiac tonic and vascular tonic, beneficial for treating high and low blood pressure, heart palpitations, angina, edema, and heart arrhythmia.

Motherwort- cardiac tonic and sedative, reduces palpitations, specific for tachycardia.

Gingko- improves mental stability, memory function, cardiac tonic, vascular tonic, peripheral vaso-dilator.

Oats- treats nervous system disorders, depression and anxiety, low sexual vitality, irritability, and urinary incontinence.

Kava-kava- helps reduce tension, anxiety, and stress.

Damiana- strengthens the reproductive systems, replenishes diminished sexual vitality, relaxant, antidepressant.

Licorice- beneficial for adrenal exhaustion, tiredness, and fatigue, digestive inflammation and ulcers.

Horsechestnut- vascular tonic, astringent.

Nettle- tonic for the reproductive system, liver disorders, urinary health, an edema.

Saw Palmetto- used to treat prostatitis, low energy, cystitis, bladder malfunctions, prostate cancer, and to build weight.

Hops- useful for hypertension and anxiety as well as insomnia.

Garlic, Ginger, and Cayenne- circulatory stimulants

If you looking for a herbal tea try our Men's Health Herbal Prostate Tea here in my Local Harvest Store. Our tea blend is highly nutritious and naturally benefits the maturing body. The perfect tea to support the prostate.

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

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Copyright 2009. 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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