Yuzu Seedlings

Today I tried to find places to plant my yuzu seedlings around my neighborhood. There was so much concrete, or weed-killed areas, that it was really difficult to find any places where they might survive. When they grow, some people might enjoy them, while others will tear them out of the ground, and that is their right. To me, it is a little gift that I can give back to the world. I hope that many years from now, if someone wants a yuzu fruit and can’t find one at the store, they can take a walk and pick one from a wild tree.

These past few weeks I have been enjoying picking some of my vegetables from forgotten corners in my neighborhood, and from my willing neighbor’s trees. Wolfberry shoots are bitter but taste so nutritious, and mulberry shoots are delicious and tender. I was told to pick some bamboo shoots… But they are two feet tall now!If we can make more space on our roadsides and unused spaces for wild edible plants, we can raise our resilience levels for times when food might be scarce.

It scares me to think that this could have been MERS instead of CoVid-19. If that had happened, the food system would have collapsed.

If everyone knew what plants are edible, that would be great, but after two weeks or even a few days they would be gone. We need to create a world with more kindness towards other species, plant and animal. Birds spread mulberry seeds. Mulberries can provide not only berries but a nutritious vegetable for your dinner plate. But mulberries often get wacked away. We don’t know the value of the species we are destroying by laying down concrete, either.

When I was doing research in a small town down south, the elderly residents said they hadn’t seen a valued ethnobotanical plant (Ashitaba) for a long time in their neighborhood. I asked them why they thought that was, and they answered that they thought it was because there is too much concrete everywhere.

It seems like it is okay to rip trees and plants out of the ground, destroying other species’ homes, but it isn’t okay for us to defend them. Ask the town office why they overprune the roadside and park trees; it is their right to do that but the tree has no rights. The river by my house, covered and sided up by concrete, also has no rights. It isn’t okay to plant trees where people don’t want them, either. It isn’t okay to try to create a viable world for our grandkids.

I think CoVID-19 is a wake-up call for us to realize that we cannot do ‘business-as-usual’ anymore. We HAVE TO change, or we will fail, big time. But how to change?

Today I found a plant I had never seen before. It had been cut down and was growing out of its stump with the most beautiful leaves. I’m sure whoever hurt it didn’t care, and just wanted to make more room in their unused parking lot. Changing is taking baby steps. Opening our minds to new ways of thinking. Refusing to follow those who tell us that “this is the way we have always done it” or “this is the way business will prosper,” because business will not prosper long term and neither will any of us if we don’t change, NOW. Small actions count!! Let’s begin doing little things, thinking about things differently, and the world will change, one person at a time, one community at a time, one city at a time, one country at a time…

So if I would like to make a little Earth Day Wish, it would be for you, the reader, to do something small this week for the natural world. Whether it be planting some edible tree seeds, making a nest box, labeling some wild plants, stop using weed-killer and weeding (cut them and do mulching, cover them with cardboard and compost and plant species you want instead), de-investing in bad companies, donating to a trusted natural cause, sharing an article, making a bird bath, planting a tree in a parking lot, or destroying some concrete and replacing it with something else, or another warm-hearted action. I hope you can do it for yourself, your children, and the world around you.

SARS and Corinavirus: looking to history and enthnobotany for a cure

Here are the herbal combinations that the Chinese government finally turned to during the SARS epidemic. I first heard about them during my research about Houttuynia cordata as an ethnobotanical in Japan. During the SARS epidemic, modern medicine wasn’t enough. It seems, looking at the numbers, that SARS was far more virulent than the current 2019 Corinavirus, however, it is good to know some remedies that we might be able to turn to in case modern medicine fails again. This case demonstrates the power of looking back into historical events and finding clues for how to deal with life in the moment.
The following table is easier to read inside the text. It is towards the end. The therapeutic functions are listed in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) lingo; just understand that these formulas worked and that is why they were used by thousands of people. Look up the meanings online if you want to learn about them. The methods for making the medicines are in the linked document. Basically, you make a tea and drink it three or more times a day, depending.

Ingredients Lists:

Formula 1
Astragalus (huangqi) A. propinquus
Patrinia (baijiangcao) Valerianaceae – species Thlaspi arvense or Patrinia scabiosaefolia
Coix (yiyiren) Poaceae – Coix lacryma-jobi (also known as Job’s Tears, the seeds)
Platycodon (jiegeng) – P. grandiflorus
Licorice (gancao) – Glycyrrhiza uralensis (the root)
Therapeutic Functions
benefit qi, remove moisture, clear heat, clean toxin

Formula 2
Houttuynia (yuxingcao) H. cordata
Chrysanthemum (yejuhua) C. indicum
Capillaris (yinchenhao) Artemisia capillaris
Eupatorium (peilan) E. fortunei
Tsao-ko (caoguo) Lanxangia tsaoko
Therapeutic Functions
clear heat, clean toxins, resolve turbidity

Formula 3
Taraxacum (pugongying) dandelion
Trollius (jinlianhua) T. chinensis (globeflower)
Isatis leaf (daqingye) I. indigotica
Pueraria (gegen) P. lobata (Kudzu)
Perilla leaf (zisuye) Shiso
Therapeutic Functions
clear heat, clean toxin, dispel wind, expel pathogens

Formula 4
Phragmites (lugen) P. australis (Reed Root)
Lonicera (jinyinhua) Flo’s Lonicerae japonicae (Japanese Honeysuckle flower)
Forsythia (lianqiao) Forsythiae fructus (ripened fruit of the plant)
Mentha (bohe) Mentha haplocalyx (peppermint)
Licorice (gancao) Glycyrrhiza uralensis (the root)
Therapeutic Functions
clear heat, dispel wind-chill, expel pathogens

Formula 5
Astragalus (huangqi) A. propinquus
Atractylodes (baizhu) Atractylodes macrocephala
Red Atractylodes (cangzhu) A. lancea, A. chinensis, and A. japonica all function similarly.
Pogostemon (huoxiang) (Patchouli)
Adenophora (nanshashen) A. triphylla
Lonicera (jinyinhua) Flo’s Lonicerae japonicae (Japanese Honeysuckle flower)
Dryopteris (guanzhong) Dryopteris crassirhizoma (Wood Fern root. There are other Dryopteris that can be used)
Therapeutic Functions
strengthen spleen, benefit qi, resolve damp, clean toxins

Formula 6
Pseudostellaria (taizishen) Pseudostellaria heterophylla, ginseng of the lung. Gentler than Panax Ginseng. Cures lungs.
Dryopteris (guanzhong) (referring in particular to Dryopteris filix-mas), or buckler ferns, is a genus of 300-350 (or possibly 400) species.
Lonicera (jinyinhua) Flo’s Lonicerae japonicae (Japanese Honeysuckle flower)
Isatis leaf (daqingye) I. indigotica
Pueraria (gegen) P. lobata (Kudzu)
Perilla leaf (zisuye) Shiso
Pogostemon (huoxiang) Patchouli, in the mint family. Not specified whether leaves or stems.
Red Atractylodes (cangzhu) A. lancea, A. chinensis, and A. japonica all function similarly.
Eupatorium (peilan) E. fortunei
Therapeutic Functions
benefit qi, disperse pathogens, clean toxins, remove moisture

http://www.itmonline.org/arts/sars.htm

A post with A Gallery

Below you can see some photos in my blog up until June, 2020 when this gallery page was created. I’m not sure how to edit the metapicture below.

This blog post is an exhibit of the photos in my posts. I hope you have found your visit interesting and informative. Cheers!