black cumin seed

 

smallerI’m constantly searching out new plants and oils to incorporate into to my products. Black Cumin Seed Oil, the newest weapon in my arsenal of powerful and effective organic ingredients, is hardly new. This ancient oil, derived from the seeds of the lovely Nigella Sativa flower, a member of the Buttercup family, has been a dynamic healer seemingly since the beginning of time.

Hipppocrates, referred to as the father of western medicine, considered black cumin a valuable remedy, while the first written reference to the oil can be found in The Old Testament, where the prophet Muhammad states that it’s “a remedy for every illness except death.”

Packed with over 100 beneficial chemical compounds, black cumin seed oil is a medicinal powerhouse. Studies show this wonder oil not only boosts immunity and treats a multitude of ailments, but it does wonders for the skin, hair and nails as well. It not only soothes psoriasis, eczema, acne, burns and infections, but it is a superb moisturizer, minimizing wrinkles and other signs of aging.

It’s also an essential component of my new Eye Serum. The latest introduction to the HollyBeth Organics skincare line fights signs of aging, dark circles and puffiness with an organic blend of black cumin seed, carrot seed, pomegranate seed and sandalwood essential oils.

mums & fall planting

mums (2)When my mums start blooming in the backyard I know it is time to order bulbs for fall planting. Now is the best time to go on line and get bulbs, there are so many deals going on and one I have been happy with is Dutch Bulbs. I plant them outside and inside in pots. Mums are second to roses for the most popular flower, probably because of their longevity once placed in water. Chrysanthemums, mums, began their journey to Europe 2500 years ago from China. Considered as one of the Four Noble Ones, symbolizing the 4 seasons, they are grown with plums, bamboo and orchids. Its original color was gold therefore the Greeks named them chrysos for gold and anthos meaning flower. Buddhist monks took them to Japan in 400 AD where the emperors fell in love with the flower and sat of thrones of mums. There still exists a Festival of Happiness that celebrates mums. Mums can to the US in the 19th century and because the official flower of Chicago.

swallowtail butterfly

buttefly

This swallowtail butterfly greeted me this a.m. in my backyard. There are over 550 species of swallowtail globally and roughly 30 in the US. They are the largest butterfly species in North America. Their name comes from the forked wings that resemble swallows. Their wings are transparent, reflecting light through the scales of proteins that fall of while aging. It appears as 2 wings but there are actually four. The average life span of butterflies is 2-4 week. Swallowtail are solitary beauties and do not normally migrate. They communicate, as do all butterflies, through scent and sight. During mating males will do a dance of sort and pheromones to attract the female.  Among others, they substitute on zinnias, oregano, purple coneflower, butterfly bush, overripe fruits, mud and some manure. Fill your yard with native plants that invite bees and butterflies. The Eastern tiger swallowtail (yellow one) is Georgia’s state butterfly.

hummingbirds

hummingbird in my backyard

hummingbird in my backyard

Why have I only now truly appreciated the flora and fauna around me? Take hummingbirds for example, all the years living and traveling in other countries and I am just now truly in awe of them in my backyard when clearly they were more abundant in Latin America. The charming hummers blatantly buzzing around me in other countries are now more allusive in my backyard. They announce their arrival with a subtle chirping, basically to ward off the other hummer that is nearing its source of nectar. They can be quite ferocious little critters. And contrary to believe they will sit long spells guarding a feeder or flowers waiting for another to enter their domain. Of the 356 known species, 51 are endangered. In Georgia we have 11 species and only one nests here, the ruby-throated, that has iridescent feathers that you only when the sun hits its throat and it weigh less than 3 ounces. We also have the calliope hummingbird that is the smallest bird found in North America an. the rufous humming bird that has the longest migration in North America, 3000 miles. They gear up for their long treks by consuming ½ of their body weight in sugar and feed around 5-7 times a day. I am amazed at how often they are in my backyard in the flowers in August. They used to come in July but it seems that every year they come later. These ardent fliers can live up to 12 years, so I intend to plant a hummingbird jungle feast for next year.