Category Archives: Health

Aboriginal approach to mental health in times of drought

In Australia, psychological tools developed with Aboriginal people can also support farmers whose land is suffering the effects of climate change.

‘If the land is sick, you are sick’

A coal truck roars past, stirring up red dust that blows over the famished cattle and sheep lying in grassless paddocks. The carcasses of dead kangaroos lie next to empty water troughs. There is no birdsong.

Some say it has been the worst drought in a century here across the central and eastern part of Australia. As in other parts of the world, climate change and land clearing are driving soaring temperatures and extreme weather events, including heatwaves and droughts. Australia already sees several weeks each year when temperatures climb above 45ºC, but few people were prepared for the drying-up of dams and waterways.

Food insecurity is now a real threat in parts of the country as livestock and wildlife are dying in inner New South Wales. Farmers are struggling; rates of depression and anxiety are increasing among those who stay.

“I was sleeping for 15 hours a day,” says Richard, a cattle farmer living near White Cliffs in western NSW. “I felt so sick and tired I thought I had cancer. But it was depression.”

His depression hit just before this drought, and was brought on, he thinks, by extreme stress and family issues. But drought only adds to farmers’ stress: it degrades the land, which makes it harder to earn a living.

In 2018, a study from the University of Newcastle in NSW found that farmers in rural parts of the state experienced “significant stress about the effects of drought on themselves, their families and their communities”. Other research suggests that income insecurity related to drought increases the risk of suicide among farmers.

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Psychologist Pat Dudgeon at the University of Western Australia is used to people suffering in response to extreme stress. She was Australia’s first Aboriginal psychologist, and specialised in suicide prevention because of the mental health issues in her community in the Kimberley, a region of north-west Australia.

Throughout Australia, rates of suicide have increased dramatically for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people over the past 30 years. The rise is due to ongoing issues of racism, poverty and intergenerational pain, the legacy of centuries of colonisation and mistreatment by British and Australian governments. For instance, many Aboriginal people have had their land taken from them and been forcibly removed to live in missions or be fostered by non-Aboriginal people.

Dudgeon believes many lessons can be learned about grief and trauma from the loss of land and culture that Aboriginal people have experienced. She says psychology can move away from the Western tradition of expert and patient, towards a more narrative form based on Aboriginal traditions and reconnecting with the land. And as more psychologists begin to incorporate these Aboriginal concepts into their practice, such a combined approach might help farmers dealing with drought to reconnect with the land and improve their mental health, too.

“If the land is sick, you are sick,” says Fiona Livingstone, who manages a suicide prevention programme at the University of Newcastle’s Centre for Rural and Remote Mental Health.

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She explains that the traditional Aboriginal concept of health is much broader than that of conventional Western medicine. Aboriginal people, she says, are deeply connected to “country”, the place with which they have spiritual ties. The personal, social and ecological are closely interconnected: “health” is the state in which they are all in balance.

Prolonged drought affects Aboriginal communities in farming regions economically, because it leads to a lack of work. There’s also grief at the loss of nature from the deaths of wild animals and plants. These experiences of not being able to take care of the land during long periods of drought increase stress, leading to an increase in antisocial and risk-taking behaviour such as drug dependence and drinking. People begin to “mistrust each other, gossip maliciously and turn against each other,” say the authors of one report. Droughts can have the effect of “exacerbating underlying grief and trauma”.

Read the full article at Scroll 

Ancient Underground Heavy Water Medicine Re Discovered

Hey guys, today we are going to see a very strange ancient temple in South India. The temple houses something very unique. Some people think this is an underground well. Some people think there is something hidden underground inside the structure. From the air, on the eastern side of the temple complex, we can see a mysterious Keyhole shaped structure. There is a long rectangular structure and there is a circle on one end. This looks very similar to a modern day key hole. What is this structure? and why is the circle, covered with a metal fence? When I walked towards the temple entrance, my initial thought is that, this structure does not look like a Hindu temple at all. It is a square structure made of granite without the typical pyramid shaped towers. There is something strange about this place which needs to be investigated. When I entered the temple complex, I saw several sick people praying inside, as they believe they could be healed by the energy from this temple. When I walked towards the underground structure, I was surprised to see that not only was the circular part of the structure fenced, even the rectangular structure has a metal gate, and it is also locked! When I peeked through, I could see there are steps going inside, probably about 100 feet below ground level. Where do the steps lead? What will I find? More importantly, I was told the keeper who has the key for this gate, has left for the day, so it is impossible to access this. Inside the structure, there are solid granite steps which are many centuries old. The walls have been renovated with bricks and mortar recently. There are dried leaves and trash on these steps, no one has used them in many months. What is on the other end? Will it lead me to an underground tunnel which has ancient secrets? There is also an arch on top, which probably housed some kind of an idol or even a device. As I went deeper, I could finally see something on the surface. It is water. My camera is messing up because of low light. When I finally reached the end, I could see a diamond shape cut inside a square. It is filled with water. There is a large cylindrical structure built around it which goes all the way to the top, to the ground level. Is this merely a water well? If so, why the complicated Key hole structure? Even more importantly, what is the need to put gates and locks on all sides, so no one can access it? There is some strange energy in the waters, it feels amazing to be here. There is definitely something which we do not understand.

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How To Make The Best Mushroom Tea

What Is Mushroom Tea?

More than 100 different types of mushrooms are used in Chinese traditional medicine to treat a variety of illnesses. They’re often sold as extracts or consumed dried. The tea form is a delicious way to consume mushrooms and is simple to brew. The first step in brewing mushroom tea is deciding which mushrooms to use. Here are the five most popular.

Chaga

Chaga mushrooms are known by the botanical name Inonotus obliquus. These mushrooms grow on the bark of birch trees and commonly found in North America and Europe. These mushrooms are particularly popular with Russians and can be found in many tea houses across the vast nation. Chaga mushrooms are black on the outside and vibrant orange on the inside. They’re used to boost immune system health and are packed with antioxidants.

One of the main chemical compounds in Chaga tea is betulinic acid. This amino acid has been linked to lower levels of LDL cholesterol and is useful in treating digestive ailments. The taste of Chaga tea is mild with a slight hint of vanilla. Mushroom tea can be prepared using fresh mushrooms of Chaga powder if preferred.

Cordyceps

Cordyceps mushrooms are the most bizarre and intriguing of these mushroom varieties. They are parasitic in nature, growing from the bodies of hosts including ants and caterpillars. Spores from cordyceps plants enter the bodies of moth caterpillars, which burrow underground before death. The fungus then grows from the head of the deceased caterpillar in a vibrant orange stem shape. This type of mushroom essentially mummifies its host.

Cordyceps mushrooms are often referred to as zombie mushrooms because of their life cycle. They’re known in the scientific community as Cordyceps sinensis and in Tibet as yartsa gunbu. These mushrooms have been used in Chinese medicine since the 15th century. Modern medicine has found medicinal potential for cordyceps mushrooms in treating cancer, boosting energy, and improving sleep (2). 

Cordyceps mushrooms taste similar to ground, unsweetened cocoa powder. The mushrooms are earthy and offer a flavor profile that is nutty, savory and slightly salty.

Lion’s Mane

Lion’s Mane derives its name from it’s stunning appearance. These mushrooms feature lush tendrils that flow and ebb in the wind. The mushroom has several nicknames including Old Man’s Beard and Tree Hedgehog. The plant is scientifically known as Hericium erinaceus. These mushrooms grow on both dead and decaying trees in Asia, North America, and Europe. It is an endangered species in some countries, but can be grown at home given the right conditions.

The rarity in wild environments and taste of Lion’s Mane lends to its luxurious nature. Lion’s Mane is used to protect brain health and popular in traditional medicine. This mushroom has a flavor profile that is often compared to lobster. It has a sweet, savory flavor with a meaty essence. The addition of water in tea brewing turns the meaty texture into full-bodied flavor.

Maitake

Maitake mushrooms are known by the botanical name Grifola frondosa. These mushrooms grow in northern parts of Japan and across the United States. Maitake mushrooms typically grow on oak trees and can reach weights of over 100 pounds. These massive mushrooms have anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce pain and discomfort.

Maitake mushrooms taste sweeter than the other mushroom son this list. The flavor profile of maitake mushrooms is fruity, earthy, and spicy. These mushrooms contain the active ingredient L-glutamate, which lends a savory rich flavor known in Japan as umami.

Reishi

Reishi mushrooms are also known as Lingzhi mushrooms and sold under the botanical name Ganoderma lucidum at health food stores. These mushrooms grow on decaying hardwood trees found in warmer climates. They are commonly found in Asia, Australia, and South America. 

These mushrooms are characterized by dazzling, red tops. They grow most often as large, umbrella structures, but can also grow in the shape of antlers in some regions. Reishi mushrooms were thought to offer immortality in early forms of Chinese medicine. They contain high concentrations of antioxidants and can boost white cell production.

Reishi mushrooms offer an earthy flavor. The taste is described as pleasantly bitter with woodsy notes. The meaty flavor of this tea is often balanced by adding a sweetener such as honey or almond milk.

Mushroom Tea Recipes

1. Chaga Mushroom Tea

Chaga mushroom tea offers a mild flavor and can be brewed for long periods of time without developing bitter notes. This tea is typically consumed unsweetened, but you can add a cinnamon stick or maple syrup for a hint of sweetness. Chaga tea is also commonly served as an iced tea. To make this recipe an iced version, simply brew as follows, refrigerate for 3 hours, and serve with ice cubes.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 1-inch Chaga chunk cube or chaga tea bag
  • 2 cups hot water

Instructions:

1. Use an electric tea kettle, tea pot, or a large pot to heat water. 

2. Use a coffee grinder to grind the chaga chunk into a fine powder. Chaga powder can be substituted for faster brewing. Chaga tea bags may also be used if preferred, although the health benefits tend to be better with pure chunks and powder.

3. Add the chaga powder to a tea infuser and place in the boiling water.

4. Let the chaga tea steep for 5 minutes. Aim for 4 to 6 minutes if using tea bags instead.

5. Pour the chaga tea into a cup and enjoy! 

2. Cordyceps and Ginger Tea

Our ready-to-use Thai Ginger Tea makes this recipe easy.

Ingredients:

  • 7 grams cordyceps mushrooms or 1 tablespoon cordyceps powder
  • 1/2 lemon or 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
  • 4 thin slices of fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 cups water

Instructions:

1. Heat water in a large pot on the stove until it reaches a rapid boil.

2. Add in the cordyceps pieces or powder and let steep for 10 minutes.

3. Turn the heat down to medium and add in the ginger slices and lemon juice. Steep for 5 additional minutes.

4. Use a fine mesh strainer to remove the ginger and cordyceps mushrooms. Serve in a warm mug

3. Lion’s Mane Chai Tea

Chai tea is a popular favorite thanks to its creamy texture and spicy flavor. For this recipe, we’ll use chai spice mix for faster brewing. You can make your own chai spice blends at home using you favorite ingredients. Tea bags can also be substituted for easier brewing. Chai typically contains 5 staple ingredients including black pepper, cardamom, clove, cinnamon, and ginger so make sure to use these in your homemade spice mix.

Try our Rooibos Masala Chai for a perfect blend of mellow and spicy.

Ingredients:

  • 3 grams Lion’s Mane mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon chai spice blend
  • 500 ml water
  • 1 tablespoon coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • Dash of honey

Instructions:

1. Bring water to a slow boil and add in chai powder. Simmer on low for 20 minutes. 

2. While the chai is brewing, place Lion’s Mane mushrooms, coconut milk coconut oil, and honey in a blender. Blend for 30 seconds on high speed.

3. Add the blended ingredients to the chai. Mix well and serve in a tall mug. 

4. Add frothed milk on top for a creamy texture or sprinkle a little cinnamon for garnish.

4. Maitake Green Tea

Green tea is a healthy powerhouse and research shows it can help you live longer and healthier. There are several varieties of green tea and all can be used for this mushroom tea recipe. Japanese green teas will lend a sweeter, more vegetal flavor while Chinese green teas will be more earthy and bold. Shiitake mushrooms can be substituted for maitake if needed.

For this recipe, try Sencha Fuji Green Tea, which sparked the booming green tea economy in Japan centuries ago.

Ingredients:

  • 10 grams Maitake mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/2 a vanilla bean
  • 1 tablespoon loose leaf green tea
  • 8 ounces hot water

Instructions:

1. Heat water in a large pot until it reaches a boil.

2. Add the Maitake mushrooms and steep for 10 to 15 minutes.

3. Turn heat down to medium before adding vanilla and green tea leaves.

4. Steep for 5 more minutes.

5. Strain the tea leaves and mushroom pieces using a fine mesh strainer. Enjoy!

5. Reishi Marjoram and Honey Tea

Reishi mushrooms tend to have a slightly bitter flavor, so most recipes even this out by adding sweeteners. In this recipe, we’ll add the sweetness of honey with the spicy and earthy taste of marjoram. This results in a smoother mushroom tea. You can also substitute marjoram with peppermint, basil, rosemary, or dried flowers such as jasmine and chamomile.

Ingredients:

  • 10 small pieces of reishi mushrooms – finely sliced
  • 8 fresh marjoram leaves or 5 drops of marjoram oil 
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 8 ounces hot water
  • 1 lemon slice

Instructions:

1. Bring 8 ounces of water to a rapid boil in a tea kettle or stovetop pot.

2. Once the water is boiling, add the reishi mushrooms.

3. Turn the heat down to medium high and add honey, oil, and leaves.

4. Steep for 5 to 10 minutes. Taste the concoction every 30 seconds after 5 minutes to find the perfect flavor for your tastebuds.

5. Serve in a drinking mug and garnish with a slice of lemon or add a dash of fresh lemon juice.

Get Creative With Mushroom Tea

Mushroom use dates back centuries. Traditional medicine prescribed these ingredients for a variety of ailments. Medicinal mushroom tea is a delicious way to get the health benefits of mushrooms without having to cook up a full meal. Mushroom tea preparation takes minutes and only a few basic ingredients so you can drink this tea at home or on the go in no time.

Mushroom tea is extremely versatile. Use one of these five common mushrooms or branch out with psilocybin mushrooms or other favorites such as morels. These recipes are intended to be malleable so you can mix it up with ingredients you love. Mushrooms are hearty, earthy ingredients that pair well with both spices and herbs. Use flowers to sweeten these mushroom teas and add a dainty touch. Spice things up by adding cayenne and black pepper to these mushroom recipes. The possibilities—and flavors—are endless!

Sources:

1. https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/cancer-in-general/treatment/complementary-alternative-therapies/individual-therapies/mushrooms-in-cancer-treatment

2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3121254/

History of The Acai Bowl

The history of the acai bowl traces back to time before memory. Throughout the Amazonian basin the acai palm thrives. The edible palm heart and berry are a vital source of food for many people of the region.  Unlike the modern incarnation of sweetened acai bowls, the acai berry pulp was (and still is) eaten as a staple, unsweetened and alongside manioc, and perhaps with a main course like fish. This is the original acai bowl.

There is deep history between acai berry and the Amazon. But how did acai make its way out of the Amazon?  Here is an account of the modern history of the acai bowl.

Modern History of the Acai Bowl

 

In the early 1970’s,  frozen acai pulp began to travel from the Amazon to northern Brazilian cities.  In the 80’s,  it was legendary Brazilian Jujitsu founder Carlos Gracie who likely popularized the acai bowl (frozen acai pulp blended with banana) in southern cities like Rio de Janiero.  Gracie established his own brand of diet called the Gracie Diet which sought to maximize the performance of his fighters.  A center piece of it was the acai bowl.  You might imagine for a moment, his rough, tough, and buff students hanging out in Rio near the beach, eating an acai bowl on a hot summer day.  More than a few impressed passerby’s likely remarked, “what are they eating?” with the hopes of manifesting similar physiques, bite by delicious bite.  Sorry people,  acai is very good for you,  but not capable of creating miracle health breakthroughs.  Aside from an organic acai bowl everyday,  it will take some sweat and effort.

As time went on Brazilian surfers and fitness enthusiasts began to partake in the acai bowl trend through the 90’s.  In the 2000’s organic acai pulp first boarded a flight to the USA- the party was only just beginning.  Hawaii and Southern California became the first places where the acai bowls really found a home.  It was popularized by surfers who sought a tasty and healthy after session pick-me-up.  Imagine eating cool organic acai topped with fesh banana after a mid-morning, scorching session:  heavenly.   Acai bowls can now be found all over Hawaii and Southern California, where they have become a staple, and beyond.  Cafes like Banzai Bowls in Southern California and Basik Acai  in Kona, HI are dedicated to serving ultra premium and contemporary acai bowls. We are proud they serve organic Tambor Acai.

acai bowl, basik acai
Tambor Acai in an bowl from Basik Acai

Hala Fruit

Hala Fruit: the Fruit that Looks Like an Exploding Planet
PHOTO REDDIT

The hala fruit is a large edible fruit made up of numerous segments called keys or cones and is found in Southeast Asia, eastern Australia, Pacific Islands and Hawaii. 

Also called the Tahitian screw pine or thatch screwpine, the hala fruit tree is one of the 750 or so trees that belong to the Pandanus species. The hala fruit tree can reach up to 14 metres in height, with a spiny trunk that grows between 5 – 11 metres in width. This is a large fruit that can be up to 30 cm long, with dozens to hundreds of segments (or phalanges, keys) that are attached together by a core, each being around 20 cm long. 

HOW TO EAT HALA FRUIT

The phalanges contain the edible pulp of the hala fruit. But in order to get to the pulp, you may have to remove a few of the phalanges with the claw of the hammer to make it easier to pull out the others. The outer edges of the keys are green and very fibrous. Pull out a segment, start from the inner end by chewing on it to squeeze out the sweet pulp from the inside. 

Photo: Wikimedia Commons, AntanO, CC BY-SA 4.0

WHAT DOES HALA FRUIT TASTE LIKE?

It looks a bit scary and reminds you of an exploding planet. But don’t let appearances scare you off, because chances are, you might have already tried a variant of the hala fruit at one point in your life, especially if you are a fan of Southeast Asian food. 

Pandan chiffon cake, pandan curry, pandan custard – do any of these ring a bell? Pandan, usually in the form of an essence or paste is made from the leaves of a pandanus tree belonging to the same family as the hala fruit. If you’ve ever wondered why some of those desserts were a fluo green, it was probably because of pandan.

The hala fruit itself has a delicate, sweet taste, similar to the paste made from the leaves. It is eaten fresh, boiled or ground into a paste, or squeezed into juice.  

Source – https://www.finedininglovers.com/blog/out-of-the-blue/hala-fruit-pineapple/

Weight Loss Support Group For Children

I still get quite a lot of messages so I thought I’d share her story. Hey everyone this is my daughter Melanie. She has always been a thick baby, but in the last two years she packed on a lot of weight and yes it was my fault. I just didn’t understand or know how to feed her. She is my first child and all I knew is if she was hungry, feed her. Her weight got so bad that she was complaining about being tired just walking, she wheezed trying to breathe normal and snored at bedtime. She also couldn’t keep up with other kids on the playground, showing signs of diabetes and was already getting teased. As a mom I felt so guilty and sorry for her at the same time. I was so determined to help her but I had to do my research. The hardest part of getting her to lose weight was honestly starting. I was so confused with “how”. I tried in the past and failed miserably.

After doing some research I found the book “red light, green light, eat right” written by Joanna Dolgoff a pediatrician that specializes in childhood obesity. From this I was able to calculate her BMI and figured out what an appropriate calorie was for her. (I needed a calorie allowance idea to help me plan her portions.

For her this was 1200 calories. This I broke into meals breakfast (breakfast 300, snack 100, lunch 300, snack 100, dinner 400) sometimes I switch the calories around. This helped alottttt with portions. In the beginning fruits and vegetables were free food… so if she was hungry after a meal I gave fruits/veg. We also did not waste calorie on drink.. so we only did water and flavored water.

Ok so it was time to start: I went through the cupboard and got rid of everything I didn’t want on our plan then I had a conversation with her telling her that we are going to get healthier so we can run faster, play and keep up with other kids, swim better and do gymnastics. I keep saying we because we did it as a family. Everyone ate and drank the same thing…total house support. I went and bought her a water bottle and the plates came in sections. I learned that variety and presentation helps a lot too.

We didn’t hang out in the kitchen because I noticed that she wanted to eat more when she saw the fridge…. OMG did we play and we played alottt!!! This was a main source of exercise… trampoline, park, swimming, gymnastics, scooter, bike, walk, run, water balloon fight, water gun and dart fight… anything to stay active.
I allowed her to cook with me.. I disguise vegetables in food and smoothies as I introduce them to her. Initially we did gummy vitamins to help with the change. Gummy fibers for bowel changes while we work on vegetables intake.

For the vegetables she didn’t like we played games at the dinner table and I would watch her eat vegetables she denied in the past. We made popsicles with flavored water, some with low fat yogurt and fruits. I packed her lunch for school. She did well I’m super proud of her. Everyone in the house loss weight and it didn’t feel like work. Thanks for supporting her. I’ll share more as I think it up.

I created a group to help other kids and we have been having amazing result from other kids.

Feel free to join the facebook group for support: https://www.facebook.com/groups/374254066737508/?ref=share

LL Cool J | Hotboxing with Mike Tyson EP 32

I found this interview very real in a way that reflected the true friendship between Mike and LL Cool J. What I found even more interesting was the family history that they shared with each other. You can be following habits that run in your family for ages but never know until you find out who you truly are.

Sweat Bloom & Flourish w. Maya Louisa

 

With a surprise flight to New York I thought I would make good use of my time and find someone worth capturing! As I scrolled down the timeline I saw Maya was having an event! It worked out perfectly since I was coordinating a meet up later that day in the same area! After 2 trains a bus and a nice little walk from Marcy I arrived! Check out Maya_Louisa on IG to keep up with all the moves she is making!  November – Barbados  Look forward to it!

 

Adventures with the trip doctors

THE RESEARCHERS AND RENEGADES BRINGING PSYCHEDELIC DRUGS INTO THE MENTAL HEALTH MAINSTREAM.

Written by Michael Pollan

My first psilocybin journey began around an altar in the middle of a second-story loft in a suburb of a small city on the Eastern Seaboard. On this adventure I would have a guide, a therapist who, like an unknown number of other therapists administering psychedelics in America today, must work underground because these drugs are illegal. Seated across the altar from me, Mary (who asked that I use a nickname because of the work she does) began by reciting, with her eyes closed, a long and elaborate prayer derived from various Native American traditions. My eyes were closed, too, but now and again I couldn’t resist peeking out for a glance at my guide: a woman in her 60s with long blond hair parted in the middle and high cheekbones that I mention only because they would, in a few hours, figure in her miraculous transformation into a Mexican Indian.

I also stole a few glances at the scene: the squash-colored loft with its potted plants and symbols of fertility and female power; the embroidered purple fabric from Peru that covered the altar; and the collection of items arrayed across it, including an amethyst in the shape of a heart, a purple crystal holding a candle, a bowl containing a few squares of dark chocolate, the personal “sacred item” that Mary had asked me to bring (a little bronze Buddha a friend brought me from Tibet) and, set squarely before me, an antique plate holding the biggest psilocybin mushroom I had ever seen.

The crowded altar also held a branch of sage and a stub of palo santo, a fragrant wood that some Indians in South America burn ceremonially, and the jet-black wing of a crow. At various points in the ceremony, Mary would light the sage and the palo santo, using the crow’s wing to “smudge” me with the smoke — guiding the spirits through the space around my head.

The whole scene must sound ridiculously hokey, not to mention laced with cultural appropriation, yet the conviction Mary brought to the ceremony, together with the aromas of the burning plants and the spooky sound of the wing pulsing the air around my head — plus my own nervousness about the journey in store — cast a spell that allowed me to suspend my disbelief. Mary trained under one of the revered “elders” in the psychedelic community, an 80-something psychologist who was one of Timothy Leary’s graduate students at Harvard. But I think it was her manner, her sobriety and her evident compassion that made me feel sufficiently comfortable to entrust her with, well, my mind.

As a child growing up outside Providence, R.I., Mary was an enthusiastic Catholic, she says, “until I realized I was a girl” — a fact that would disqualify her from ever performing the rituals she cherished. Her religiosity lay dormant until, in college, friends gave her a pot of honey infused with psilocybin for her birthday; a few spoonfuls of the honey “catapulted me into a huge change,” she told me the first time we met. The reawakening of her spiritual life led her onto the path of Tibetan Buddhism and eventually to take the vow of an initiate: “ ‘To assist all sentient beings in their awakening and enlightenment.’ Which is still my vocation.”

And now seated before her in her treatment room was me, the next sentient being on deck, hoping to be awakened. She asked me to state my intention, and I answered: to learn whatever the “mushroom teachers,” as she called them, could teach me about myself and about the nature of consciousness.

PSYCHEDELIC THERAPY, whether for the treatment of psychological problems or as a means of facilitating self-exploration and spiritual growth, is undergoing a renaissance in America. This is happening both underground, where the community of guides like Mary is thriving, and aboveground, at institutions like Johns Hopkins, New York University and U.C.L.A., where a series of drug trials have yielded notably promising results.

I call it a renaissance because much of the work represents a revival of research done in the 1950s and 1960s, when psychedelic drugs like LSD and psilocybin were closely studied and regarded by many in the mental health community as breakthroughs in psychopharmacology. Before 1965, there were more than 1,000 published studies of psychedelics involving some 40,000 volunteers and six international conferences dedicated to the drugs. Psychiatrists were using small doses of LSD to help their patients access repressed material (Cary Grant, after 60 such sessions, famously declared himself “born again”); other therapists administered bigger so-called psychedelic doses to treat alcoholism, depression, personality disorders and the fear and anxiety of patients with life-threatening illnesses confronting their mortality.

 

Read the full article over at NYTIMES

Edible Wild Flowers

CALENDULA
Known as the “poor man’s saffron,” the sunset-hued marigold flower really does taste like saffron when it’s sautéed in olive oil to release its flavor. Here’s how to make a calendula oil infusion. Uncooked marigold petals have a more subtle, slightly spicy taste and add depth to deviled eggs.

Courgette Blossoms

Meatballs and Milkshakes

ZUCCHINI BLOSSOMS
The bright yellow flowers of the courgette or zucchini plant have a delicate and slightly sweet taste. Enjoy them the classic way–stuffed with herbs and goat cheese–or on a pizzalike this one, which features fresh pesto, a summertime favorite.

Hibiscus

Bustle

HIBISCUS
Both tart and sweet, hibiscus petals have a cranberry-like flavor that makes them perfect for teas and cocktails. Drop fresh hibiscus buds into glasses of bubbly and let your guests watch them bloom before their eyes.

Lavender

Climbing Grier Mountain

LAVENDER
Sweet and slightly perfumed-tasting, lavender works well when the buds are sprinkled in champagne and cocktails and over desserts like chocolate cake. Or try it in a lavender peach crisp served with vanilla ice cream. Click here for the recipe.

Nasturtiums

boroughmarket.org

NASTURTIUMS
These gorgeous flowers have a slightly peppery taste, almost like watercress, which makes them perfect for summer rice paper rolls like these. You can also stuff a whole flower with a savory mousse or enjoy nasturtium flowers like this with beef carpaccio.

Pansies

Carla Ruben

PANSIES
Pansies have a slightly grassy—even minty—flavor, so they work well in herb-flavored summer cocktails and fruit salads. For a quick, easy, and festive summer hors d’oeuvre, spread some cream cheese on a small round cracker and top it with a whole pansy.

Roses

Bon Appetit

ROSES
While roses have a strong floral scent, their flavor is quite subtle and fruity. Roses lend themselves well to everything from soups and salads to teas, jams, and desserts like this delicious strawberry, pomegranate, and rose petal treat.

Sage Flowers

Cooking with Toddlers

SAGE FLOWERS
With their soft, yet sweet-savory flavor and beautiful color, sage flowers add dimension to a variety of dishes. For summer, pair them with lemon and other garden treats in a popsicle for a surprisingly refreshing treat.

Violets

Brooklyn Locavore

VIOLETS
Violets, which come in a range of pastel and vibrant colors, have a sweet and floral taste, making them a perfect companion for everything from salads to iced drinks. They are particularly beautiful when crystallized and used to top frosted cakes and other desserts.

FLOWER PICKING TIPS
Be sure to avoid using flowers that have been sprayed with pesticides or other chemicals. Always purchase your edible flowers from the produce section of your grocery store or, for online sources, try The Chef’s GardenGourmet Sweet Botanicals, or Marx Foods.

FLOWER PREPPING TIPS
When cooking with or serving edible flowers, clean them by washing them gently in a large bowl of cold water and letting them air dry on a paper towel. Use them immediately or store them in the refrigerator for up to a week in an airtight container lined with a damp paper towel.