Food as Medicine: Pistachio (Pistacia vera, Anacardiaceae)

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

The pistachio (Pistacia vera) is the only commercially grown species in its genus, which belongs to the Anacardiaceae family. Members of the genus Pistacia are among the oldest flowering nut trees and are small to medium in size, and characterized by their ability to exude mastic (plant resin).1,2 Other economically important plants in Anacardiaceae include cashew (Anacardium occidentale) and mango (Mangifera indica).

Pistachio trees are temperate, deciduous trees adapted to the dry, hot, drought-prone climates of the Middle East.1,2,3 The pistachio tree can grow to a height of 10 meters (about 33 feet) and has pinnately compound leaves containing three to seven leaflets.3,4 The trees are dioecious; both male and female pistachio trees produce their own flowers.4 Female trees are wind-pollinated and produce green and brown flowers with no petals during the early summer.1,5 Female pistachio trees produce clusters of nuts…

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Why Is Peppermint Like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

The Herb Society of America Blog

By Kathleen M Hale, Western Reserve Herb Society

peppermint for XmasMy herb spiral is my mad scientist laboratory.  Just outside my kitchen door, it is the only part of my garden to experience full sun.  The soil is much-amended with compost.  And, that is where I plant essential kitchen herbs and the occasional experiment, like a new herb that bears close watching.

However, over the last few gardening seasons, it has devolved largely into a jungle of mint.  Mystery mint.  Muddle mint.  A promiscuous genetic mix of whatever mint I have ever planted, plus whatever mint blew in on its own. In my defense, that’s what mint does.  And sometimes, the result is something else.

Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) is a hybrid plant, a cross between water mint (Mentha aquatica) and spearmint (Mentha picata).  It was first mistakenly identified by Linnaeus in 1753 as a separate…

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La Befana Cake: Honouring The Old Witch of Winter – Gather Victoria — Good Witches Homestead

According to Italian anthropologists and authors Claudia and Luigi Manciocco, Befana’s origins back to Neolithic beliefs in a great goddess associated with fertility and agriculture. Author Judika Illes writes, “Befana may predate Christianity and may originally be a goddess of ancestral spirits, forest, and the passage of time.” In the book Vestiges of Ancient Manners […]

via La Befana Cake: Honouring The Old Witch of Winter – Gather Victoria — Good Witches Homestead