wellness

Keep Your Brain Healthy

Sunday, 01 September 2013 22:05

By Anne Salazar-Dunbar, 

Master Herbalist

ginkgoKeeping the brain vital and elastic is a topic of major concern these days. With a focus on Alzheimer's and with the baby boomers heading into their later years, more and more people are looking for ways to keep their mental capacities and abilities strong and viable.

Fortunately, a lot of information and research findings on this topic are readily available. There are many herbs known to be helpful, as well as nutrition, supplements, and lifestyle practices, all of which go hand in hand. With some solid information and a bit of self-discipline, keeping your brain and cognitive abilities strong is not difficult.

First, let's talk about herbs that are great for brain health.

• Gingko biloba: This is a well-known herb used for the purpose of increasing blood supply to the brain. In addition, it neutralizes several kinds of dangerous free radicals that can damage brain cells. Gingko acts as an anti-inflammatory agent, increases neurotransmitter activity, increases sugar metabolism in the brain, increases alpha brain waves associated with mental alertness, and works as an antioxidant to protect the brain.

Read more: Keep Your Brain Healthy

 

Gaia Herbs: Rooted in Integrity

Sunday, 01 September 2013 20:33

Interview with Mariah Rose Dahl
by Joe Romano, 
Marketing Manager

mariah-gaiaEarlier this year, GreenStar Marketing employee Mariah Rose Dahl entered GreenStar in a contest for the best display highlighting the mission of Gaia Herbs. Her display was picked as a winner, and she and others were invited to the Gaia Farm to see their operations. In the interview below, she shares some of what she experienced there.

Tell us about Gaia Farm.

The Farm is on 550 acres in Brevard, North Carolina. They grow about thirty-five different herbs on the farm, which supplies 25 percent of their crop needs. They were certified organic in 1997. Every year, they're recertified under the Oregon Tilth program, which looks at the supply chain from seed to equipment, how they manage the borders around the farm, crop rotation, pest management, what they use for winter crops, and soil test results. One interesting aspect that reflects the balance they're trying to create is the way they deal with pest management. Instead of trying to chemically wipe out Japanese beetles, which had become a serious pest, they brought in Tiphia wasps, which lay parasitic eggs in the beetle grub. The larvae consume the entire grub, and in the spring the wasps emerge and fly up into the tulip poplar trees, which I thought was a beautiful image of a natural cycle.

What did you notice about the day in the life of a farmer there?

Read more: Gaia Herbs: Rooted in Integrity

Cooking Under Pressure

Sunday, 04 August 2013 23:44

 

By Jeffrey Juran

fagor-pressure-cookerI can still recollect the childhood evenings when my mom made use of her pressure cooker, especially the sound of the vibrating round weight at the top letting off steam — and excess pressure — two or three times a minute. Little did I think...

The idea behind cooking in pressurized water-as-it-turns-into-steam is this: the increased pressure (which also contributes to better penetration of the water/steam) is accompanied by increased temperature, something experimentally confirmed and made into a usable formula by Robert Boyle and his assistant, Robert Hooke, three-and-a-half centuries ago. The first application of this principle — the first actual cooking demonstration — came less than two decades later. It would be another two centuries before attempts could realistically be made to popularize it, in this first go around, by making the cooker out of cast iron. However, another half-century plus passed — to the mid-twentieth century — before industry, no longer turning out parts for war aircraft, turned its factories towards such mass-fabrication, making consumer appliances such as pressure cookers out of aluminum. Competition proved stiff; design and manufacture were too often done on the cheap; reliability and safety too often went missing, and in the long run, the technology was not adopted. Pressure cooking even fell into disrepute — who wanted a pot blowing up in their kitchen? I don't know how often this might have happened — probably quite rare — but just the idea that it could, with that constant "reminder," the incessant sound of hot steam periodically hissing while it operated, while all very normal, couldn't be very enticing for potential users who weren't sure that there might be an upside.

Read more: Cooking Under Pressure

 

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Anna Stratton,
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make-artVisit the GreenStar Bazaar for your gift-giving needs — from stocking-stuffers to bigger items, we have a great selection.

Snowy, wintry December has arrived, so get ready for the season of gifting! We're excited to introduce the GreenStar Bazaar, located at the West-End store, hearkening back to the quaint holiday market times of yore — ah, but with a Fair Trade, progressive twist. Looking for a quick host/hostess gift? We've got gorgeous maple trivets, organic cotton napkin sets, and a variety of adorable ornaments from Peru and Nepal. Shopping for the wee ones? Come play with our toys: musical instruments, toddler-friendly jigsaw puzzles, boomerangs, log cabin sets, and DIY project kits. Those with teens in their lives may want to check out our selection of beautiful and radical posters from Syracuse Cultural Workers, funky organic socks from Pact Apparel, and notepads and journals from Sri Lanka made from (no, really) elephant dung fiber (and they're awesome!). See you at the Bazaar!

  • By Dan Segal

    As more people choose clean, healthy, local food, it’s clear most of us have more than one reason for our choices. We may want to support farming methods we see as cleaner, safer and healthier for all creatures—an endorsement. We may want to keep more of our money in the local economy. For some it’s about community, the vibrant, essential bonds that good food nurtures. Of course all these reasons make sense, and at some level, they’re factors for just about all of us. Most peopl...

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