NATURES BEAUTY - LILY

Easter is upon us, and no flower is more associated with the celebration of Jesus Christ’s resurrection than the lily. Traditional lore says white lilies emerged where drops of Christ’s sweat fell to the earth in his final hours on the cross. The ancient Greeks believed lilies came from the breast milk of Hera, the queen of the gods. In Roman mythology, Venus, the goddess of beauty, was jealous of the flower’s white loveliness. A European legend says if you approach an expectant mother holding a lily….

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NATURES BEAUTY - SQUASH

Is squash a vegetable or a fruit? You would probably call a zucchini squash a vegetable, but you would most likely call a pumpkin a fruit. The definitive answer, from a botanical view, is squash are fruits because they contain the seeds of the plant.  Squash are some of the oldest cultivated crops on earth, believed to have originated in Mexico and Central America more than 10,000 years ago. The word squash comes from the Narragansett Native American word askutasquash, which means…..

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NATURES BEAUTY - CINNAMON

One of the best-loved spices of cooks and food lovers alike is cinnamon. Made from the inner bark of the Cinnamomum tree, cinnamon has been around since the days of ancient Egypt, where it was used to embalm mummies. The tree is native to the Caribbean, South America and Southeast Asia. Indonesia and China produce three-quarters of the world’s supply of cinnamon today.

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NATURES BEAUTY - FENNEL

neutralizing free radicals. Anethole also has disinfectant and antibacterial properties that may help with diarrhea caused by bacterial infections. Fennel seed extract has been shown to inhibit the growth of tumors because of its concentrations of flavonoids, alkaloids and phenols and can even protect against the harmful effects of radiation during cancer treatment.


Fennel extract eases colic in infants and can help with various adult digestive problems, including heartburn, gas and bloating. Because of this ability, fennel is a main ingredient in many antacids. Clinical trials have shown fennel has skin-softening and anti-aging properties. As always, check with your primary care physician before attempting any unconventional uses for fennel.


Fennel is native to the Mediterranean region of the world, but is now found practically everywhere. Fennel was used in ancient Chinese medicine to help with congestion, stimulate the appetite and increase the flow of breast milk. Fennel was highly regarded in Greece, too, where it is known as marathon in honor of the famous 490 B.C.E. battle that inspired the race. The runner Pheidippides, who alerted Sparta of a Persian invasion, receive fennel as a

reward for his effort. You don’t have to go 26.2 miles to find fennel to add to your diet. Just run down to your local grocery store – it’s bound to be there in all its bulbous beauty.


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TANYA TYLER

Tanya Tyler is the Editor of Health & Wellness Magazine

more articles by Tanya Tyler

It is easy to confuse fennel for green onions. Both feature a white bulb from which grow long green stalks, but you’ll be able to distinguish fennel because its bulb is much bigger and its leaves look like feathers. Fennel is actually a member of the carrot/parsley family. Known for its licorice-like taste, every part of this flavor-ful herb – bulb, foliage, seeds – is often used in cooking and even in absinthe, a highly alcoholic drink favored by artists with a bohemian bent. The bulbs are often sautéed, stewed, braised, grilled or even eaten raw. The leaves are used as garnishes and in salads. Fennel seeds are sometimes used in desserts. In some areas of India, roasted or raw fennel seeds are eaten as an after- meal digestive agent and breath freshener. Fennel seeds, particularly in powdered form, can act as a laxative. The herb is also used as a soup stock or brewed into a tea that is purportedly good for soothing a sore throat.


Fennel contains unique phytonutrients with antioxidant and health-promoting effects. Zinc, copper, phosphorous, calcium, iron and selenium are some of the minerals found in fennel. It also contains beta carotene, lutein, vitamins B6, C, E and K and other dietary nitrates. These components help the body build and maintain bone structure and strength. Potassium and magnesium, both present in fennel, help decrease blood pressure naturally. Fennel is a natural source of estrogen and some research suggests fennel extract may reduce the effects of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). It has significant amounts of fiber as well. In animal studies, the anethole in fennel has been shown to reduce inflammation and to prevent the occurrence of cancer by