All posts by Christina Turi

eco-2221567_1280

Greetings from the Editor

Welcome to Spiritual Botany Issue Two - Medicinal Plant Conservation

Praveen K. Saxena / July 14, 2017
meditation-582464_1920

Bodhi Beads in China

Bodhi beads were used by Buddhists as a prayer tool for counting the number of prayers chanted while reciting mantras. Nowadays, buyers in China use Bodhi beads as ornaments, collectibles or high-grade gifts. As a result of the market hype, the price of Bodhi beads has risen quite quickly, especially for beads that have been traditionally collected by people for many years.

Li Fei-fei / July 14, 2017
black-cohosh-969277_1920

We Have Lots of Work to Do!

The herbal industry is growing at a rate much faster than the slow growing forest botanicals. Susan Leopold, executive director for the United Plant Savers, shares her thoughts on medicinal plant conservation.

Susan Leopold / July 14, 2017
Tulsi flower_Microscope

Tulsi: A Strong Candidate for Controlled Environment Cultivation?

Plant tissue culture is a technique used to grow plants under sterile and controlled environmental conditions. Using this technology, sustainable mass production of high quality medicinal plants can be achieved, which in turn can reduce pressures created by wild harvesting.

Mukund Shukla / July 14, 2017
forest-1868028_1920

Construction of the Bruce Trail

Serving as trail director, Philip Gosling was instrumental in building the Bruce Trail (the oldest and longest marked hiking trail in Canada) in the early 1960’s. Here he discusses how one trip into the woods led to a life long commitment to protect the environment.

Philip Gosling / July 14, 2017
Feature Image

Notes from the Congo (Brazzaville)

Réka Komáromi, a freelance ethnobotanist based in Berlin, Germany recounts her time spent with a traditional practitioner from Sounda Village, Congo (Brazzaville).

Reka Komaromi / July 14, 2017
Photo by IO-Pan. Copyright 2004 by Erowid.org

Ayahuasca

Over the last 20 odd years, interest towards the medicinal and spiritual properties of ayahuasca has grown immensely outside its area of origin, leading to increased consumption of raw materials which in turn has raised concerns that B. caapi and its admixtures are not being harvested sustainably.

Dalton Smith, Tanja Gaehwiler, Curtis Spoelstra / July 14, 2017
Jadeep Painting

FernHouse

Jaideep Mathur explores the artistic process behind his fernhouse painting.

Jaideep Mathur / July 14, 2017
poland-1157250_1920

First Snow

Katharine Reszetnik explores the ambiance of a first frost through poetry.

Katharine Reszetnik / July 14, 2017
smoke-1287286_1920

Emotion and Plants: A Traditional Healing Potion for Success

Jessie McFadden shares her experience learning about indigenous uses of plants while visiting the Blue Sky Community Healing Centre (Thunder Bay, Ontario).

Jessie McFadden / July 14, 2017
girl in lavendar-1208307_1920

How Is Botany Connected to Spirituality and Human Health?

In honour of our first issue, we have asked experts from fields related to spiritual botany to send us their thoughts on how botany (the science of plants) is connected to spirituality, consciousness, and human health”.

Praveen Saxena and Christina Turi / November 3, 2016
river lone trip may

The Effects of Experiencing Green Spaces on Health and Well-being: Insights Into a New Research Domain

There is increased interest in multidisciplinary studies that relate human health and well-being with environmental factors. One of the new frontiers relates to the effects that experiencing green spaces have on mental and physical health. The shinrin-yoku research model is presented here as an example of this captivating enterprise.

Verena Kulak / November 3, 2016
columbineforchristina

Spiritual Uses of the Buttercup Family in North America

Classic ethnobotany describes a strong connection between plants used to treat neurological diseases and those associated with ceremonial and/or ritualistic practices. This article examines current phytochemical and pharmacological understanding for several spiritual species belonging to the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae) which have previously been employed as medicines during ceremony

Christina E. Turi / November 3, 2016
tulip-694349_1920

Where’s Your Head at? Plant Intelligence and Medicinal Plants as a New Window Into This Complex Case

Can plants think? It is a controversial question that inspires both skepticism and interest. This article will highlight instances in which plants (though not in the same manner as animals), demonstrate kinship and altruism, the presence of reasoning or control centers, and the capacity to communicate with the surrounding environment.

Lauren A E Erland and Praveen K Saxena / November 3, 2016
lotus side

Sacred Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera Gaertn.)

Sacred Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) is the national flower of India and Vietnam and is widely employed for religious or spiritual purposes around the world. In honour of our first issue, the plant profile is dedicated to the ethereal sacred lotus, the flower which graces our spiritual botany logo.

Christina E. Turi and Praveen K. Saxena / November 3, 2016
mushroom log 3

Mycomagicians

Maya Goel marvels the world of saprophytes through poetry

Maya Goel / November 3, 2016
Woods-S Image

Peony Nascent

Sylvia Woods a visual artist based in Guelph, Ontario presents her painting of the European peony (Paeonia officinalis L.), a plant once regarded as a healing symbol during the Renaissance.

Sylvia D. Woods / November 3, 2016
Madhur - Anand_Final Cover

What We Don’t See in Light’s Dark Reactions

An excerpt from a book of poetry entitled "A New Index for Predicting Catastrophes" by Madhur Anand

Madhur Anand / November 3, 2016
laboratory-1149152_1920

Plants: Nature’s Treasure Chests

Did you know that in the last 30 odd years approximately 73% of all small molecule antibacterial drugs are from or derived from natural sources including plants? Devanshi Shukla a high school student from Guelph, ON shares her experience while investigating plant antimicrobials during a recent visit to the Gosling Research Institute for Plant Preservation.

Devanshi Shukla / November 3, 2016
Plants as Persons Photo ubcr201305_Sonnet_LAbbe-122_ProcessedA

Seeing Plants as Persons

The notion that plants are intelligent beings capable of responding to their environment in a strategic and planned manner is a controversial topic amongst members of the scientific community. Sonnet L’Abbé questions how our intellectual embarrassment to accept plants as persons might hinder scientific advancements in plant science.

Sonnet L’Abbé / November 3, 2016