All posts by Shweta Dixit

My Journey with Plants

If you had asked me about my knowledge of plants ten years ago, I would have responded with, “they are green, give us oxygen and make for good decoration”. Fast forwarding to the present day, I am now able to write an essay about my journey with plants.  Human evolution with plant life has always made me curious. I would often ask myself; why do we only eat certain plants? Why is it illegal to pick certain plants while others...

Misha Patel / July 2, 2020

Sage (Salvia Officinalis L.)

Botanical Description Sage (S. officinalis) is a perennial shrub with a woody base. This plant has a rounded shape, (Figure 1), and can grow up to a maximum of 60-70 cm in both height and width (Ghorbani, 2016). The stem fragments of S. officinalis are four sided, as are the branches coming off the base, which itself varies from a wedge-shaped to a rounded shape. The petiole, which connects the leaf to the stem is long, approximately 4.5 cm in...

Hailey Silver / July 2, 2020

Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera): A potential commercial crop with medicinal advantages

Distribution and Botanical Identifiers Ashwagandha (W. somnifera) grows well in arid environments and is most commonly found in the dry areas of Southeast Asia and Mediterranean regions and is also commonly cultivated outside of its natural habitat (Engels & Brinckmann, 2013a; Aslam et al., 2017). Ashwagandha is a woody shrub that grows up to 1.5 meters tall (Aslam et al., 2017). It has perfect, actinomorphic flowers with five yellow petals, five green sepals, five stamens and one pistil. The flowers...

Andrea J Moreau / July 2, 2020

Cinchona, Gin, Hydroxychloroquine and COVID 19 – An Interesting journey through time

Reflections on the historical and sacred value of white pine

Dr. Jayasankar Subramanian / July 2, 2020

Greetings from the Editor

Welcome to Spiritual Botany Issue Six

Praveen Saxena / July 2, 2020

Greetings from the Editor

Welcome to Spiritual Botany Issue Three - Plant Neuromodulators

Praveen Saxena / September 24, 2018

The Spiritual Value of Pine Trees

Reflections on the historical and sacred value of white pine

Verena Kulak / September 24, 2018

Melatonin in Plants and Human Diet

Despite melatonin's widespread occurrence in plants as well as the foods we consume daily, its role in the human diet is only beginning to be understood.

Lauren Erland / September 24, 2018

Plants Are All Chemists

“Plants are all chemists, tirelessly assembling the molecules of the world” - Gary Snyder

Christina Turi / September 24, 2018

Gingko

Ginkgo biloba, also called the maidenhair tree, is branded as a “living fossil”, as it is the only surviving member of the Ginkgo genus. Traditionally, G. biloba was used to treat asthma and senility. More commonly, the nut is used for culinary practices and is often used as an addition to a meal as a side dish or garnish for a dessert

Jacqueline Nguyen, Kyeesha Ocampo, Alicia Rosati / September 24, 2018

Let Me Be A Tree

Shubham Talwar discusses his connection with nature through poetry

Shubham Talwar / September 24, 2018

The Mycelium Solution to Health

As a city dweller, taking a walk through the rich biosphere of an old growth forest can feel like being transported to another world. The abundance of life in these ecosystems are evident. The embrace of mother nature seems to cancel out the noise and demands of modern life, recharging us from everyday stressors. Through these experiences it becomes apparent that ecosystems rich in biodiversity are invaluable to not only the health of the planet, but also to our wellbeing....

Sarah Pravato and Monica Lindop / September 24, 2018

Greetings from the Editor

Welcome to Spiritual Botany Issue Two - Medicinal Plant Conservation

Praveen K. Saxena / July 14, 2017

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

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: 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

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

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

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

FernHouse

Jaideep Mathur explores the artistic process behind his fernhouse painting.

Jaideep Mathur / July 14, 2017