Konnyaku (cone-yah-ku) hails from Japan and is a wonderfully buoyant and gelatin-like food made from a tropical potato. It is nearly 97% water and the rest of the 3% constituents are fiber and minerals. Because it has very little calories and actually expands in your stomach, it has been touted as a wonder diet food.
Kudzu was introduced from Japan to the United States in the late 1800s, and this hardy little vine has thrived to epic proportions across the landscape of the Southeastern part of the country. One of the most interesting scientific findings concerning kudzu is that this plant may contain chemical properties that can help curb cravings for alcohol.
Chayote, commonly called vegetable pear, is a member of the gourd family and is native to Central America – an amazing addition to the green superfoods family. Various Central American cultures have been using this plant as a staple in their diet and, believe it or not, as a way to dissolve kidney stones and treat other urinary disorders.
Gotu Kola is a low-growing vine-like plant native to India, Sri Lanka, Japan, and parts of Northern Australia. This nondescript little plant grows lovely and tasty leaves that are a favorite food of the elephant and, more recently, us humans.
Normally when someone says ginger, I think about that chewy candy I can’t get enough of or my favorite way to spice up a stir-fry. But recently, I’ve learned about the unique Thai massage therapy techniques that use ginger, specifically cassumunar ginger, to relieve deep-seated muscle and joint tension.
Juniper berry oil has depurative, diuretic, and tonic properties that are both cleansing and invigorating to the lymphatic and circulatory systems. When massaged into the skin, the oil stimulates blood flow which, in turn, cleanses and flushes those near-skin fat stores that are responsible for cellulite. The tonic properties in Juniper can even help restore muscle tone and skin elasticity.
For many of us, another season of summer fun and sun can be pretty hard on the skin causing heat rash, bug bites, sunburns, and various scrapes and bruises. Well, if you’re looking for some topical relief without all of the synthetic chemical strings attached, look no further than a fabulous little flower called calendula.
One taste of turmeric and you’ll know why this vivacious root vegetable has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine to cleanse the liver, reduce arthritic inflammation, and improve energy levels. This powerful plant is a close cousin of ginger and has the same kind of super-concentrated flavor.
Ah oolong! The perfect anytime tea with a rich, versatile flavor that is a great compliment to just about any meal or as a stand-alone beverage. Most people have tried oolong tea once or twice in their lives because it is commonly served in Chinese restaurants. But oolong, like so many other teas, has a long and rich history.
Pu’erh tea hails from the Yunnan province in China where it has been cultivated for over 1700 years—that’s some serious history. Pu’erh is made from fermented tea leaves and comes in three basic varieties: black, green, and white. Pu’erh teas are known to have some pretty amazing effects on the human body.