In March 2020, the pandemic called coronavirus (COVID-19) triggered a rush on hand sanitizers. Consumers and businesses alike rapidly jumped on the DIY hand sanitizer bandwagon. Unsafe and inaccurate DIY recipes swept social media. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) warned consumers, “FDA recommends that consumers do not make their own hand sanitizer. If made incorrectly, hand sanitizer can be ineffective, and there have been reports of skin burns from homemade hand sanitizer. The agency lacks verifiable information on the methods being used to prepare hand sanitizer at home and whether they are safe for use on human skin”1
Many things can happen in our lives to disrupt our emotional balance and create thoughts and feelings of stress, sadness or anxiety. Psychoneuroendoimmunology (PNI) is the study of the mind's effect on health and resistance to disease. PNI researchers have studied how emotions and thoughts impact the brain, hormones, nervous system, and the immune system's ability to protect.
A perennial plant that thrives during spring into mid-autumn. Catnip plants are drought tolerant (and require good drainage to avoid getting soggy roots). Nepeta species love sunshine, but can also do well in mild shaded areas as long as the plant has access to sunlight for at least six or more hours. Catnip is considered to be an invasion plant and since it is part of the Lamiaceae botanical family-as are mint plants, be sure to map out where you’d like for the catnip to grown (in a separate garden, pots, or larger raised beds secured with wooden boards, etc.) to ensure it doesn’t take over too much garden space-unless, of course, if that is your intention (or, should I say, your cat’s intention!), to have a specific catnip garden just for your cats! (See bottom section for photos on ideas to start your own catnip garden).
As mentioned, pomegranate (Punica granatum) was thought to be one of the first plants cultivated for its beneficial properties. Traditionally the leaves, seeds, juice, flowers, bark and roots were all used for their various effects, of which some of the most important are lowering fever, treating diabetes, diarrhea and ulcers, as well as stopping bleeding and acting as a blood tonic.¹³
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is a perennial herb that is highly aromatic. It has been described as having the flavor of black licorice, or anise (Pimpinella anisum), but many find it to be much milder, which makes it suitable for a variety of applications. There are three different plant parts that are used in cooking: The seeds, the stalk/bulb, and the fronds.