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Monthly Archives: November 2009

Arrowroot

Botanical: Maranta arundinaceae (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Marantaceae
—Synonyms—Indian Arrowroot. Maranta Indica. Maranta ramosissima. Maranta Starch or Arrowroot. East or West Indian Arrowroot. Araruta. Bermuda Arrowroot.
—Part Used—The fecula or starch of the rhizome.
—Habitat—Indigenous in the West Indian Islands and possibly Central America. Grows in Bengal, Tava. Philippines, Mauritius. Natal. West Africa.

——————————————————————————–
—Description—The name of the genus was bestowed by Plumier in memory of Bartommeo Maranto (d. 1559, Naples), a physician of Venosa in Basilicata. The popular name is a corruption of the Aru-root of the Aruac Indians of South America, or is derived from the fact that the plant is said to be an antidote to arrow-poison.
The product is usually distinguished by the name of the place from which it is imported. Bermuda Arrowroot was formerly the finest, but it is now rarely produced, and the name is applied to others of high standard.

It was introduced into England about 1732 though it will only grow as a stove plant, with tanners’ bark. The plant is an herbaceous perennial, with a creeping rhizome with upward-curving, fleshy, cylindrical tubers covered with large, thin scales that leave rings of scars. The flowering stem reaches a height of 6 feet, and bears creamy flowers at the ends of the slender branches that terminate the long peduncles. They grow in pairs. The numerous, ovate, glabrous leaves are from 2 to 10 inches in length, with long sheaths often enveloping the stem.

The starch is extracted from rhizomes not more than a year old. They are washed, pulped in wooded mortars, stirred in clean water, the fibres wrung out by hand, and the milky liquor sieved, allowed to settle, and then drained. Clean water is again added, mixed, and drained, after which the starch is dried on sheets in the sun, dust and insects being carefully excluded. The starch yield is about one-fifth of the original weight of the rhizomes. It should be odourless and free from unpleasant taste, and when it becomes mouldy, should be rejected. It keeps well if quite dry. The powder creaks slightly when rubbed, and feels firm. Microscopical examination of the starch granules is necessary for certainty of purity. Potato starch, which corresponds in chemical and nutritive qualities, is sometimes substituted, but it has a somewhat unpleasant taste, and a test with hydrochloric acid brings out an odour like French beans. Sago, rice and tapioca starches are also found occasionally as substitutes.

The jelly is more tenacious than that of any other starch excepting Tous-les-mois.

Arrowroot is often used simply in the form of pudding or blanc-mange. The roots could be candied like Eryngo.

—Constituents—An 1887 analysis of the root of the St. Vincent Arrowroot gave starch 27.17 per cent, fibre, fat, albumen, sugar, gum, ash, and 62.96 per cent water.

Of the starch was given: starch 83’70 per cent., fibre, fat, sugar, gum, ash and sand, and water 15.87 per cent.

The official granules, according to Pereira, are ‘rarely oblong, somewhat ovate-oblong, or irregularly convex, from 10 to 70 microns in diameter, with very fine lamellae, a circular hilium which is fissured in a linear or stellate manner.’

—Medicinal Auction and Uses—Arrowroot is chiefly valuable as an easily digested, nourishing diet for convalescents, especially in bowel complaints, as it has demulcent properties. In the proportion of a tablespoonful to a pint of water or milk, it should be prepared by being first made into a smooth paste with a little cold milk or water, and then carefully stirred while the boiling milk is added. Lemon-juice, sugar, wine, or aromatics may be added. If thick, it will cool into a jelly that usually suits weaning infants better than other farinaceous foods.

It is said that the mashed rhizomes are used for application to wounds from poisoned arrows, scorpion and black spider bites, and to arrest gangrene.

The freshly-expressed juice, mixed with water, is said to be a good antidote, taken internally, for vegetable poisons, such as Savanna.

—Other Species—
Maranta ramosissima is the M. arundinaceae of the East Indies.

M. allouya and M. nobilis are also West Indian species. The term arrowroot is applied to other starches.

BRAZILIAN ARROWROOT, or Tapioca Meal, is obtained from Manihot utilissima (bitter) and M. palmata (sweet) . It is also called Bahia Rio, or Para-Arrowroot. See MANDIOCA

TAHITI ARROWROOT is from Tacca oceanica (pinnatifida). It is a favourite article of diet in the tropics, being found in the Sandwich and South Sea Islands, and is said to be the best arrowroot for dysentery.

EAST INDIAN ARROWROOT is from Curcuma augustifolia, or longa.

TOUS-LES-MOIS is from Canna edulis and C. achiras, of the West Indies, called Indian Shot, from their hard, black seeds, used as beads, and Balisier, from the use of their leaves for packing, in Brazil.

OSWEGO ARROWROOT, used in America, is from Zea Mays, Indian Corn.

MEXICAN ARROWROOT is from the seeds of Dion edule.

CHINESE ARROWROOT is said to be from the tubers of Nelumbium speciosum.

PORTLAND ARROWROOT was formerly obtained from Arum maculatum, but it was acrid and not very satisfactory.

M. dichotoma has stems used, when split, for making shade mats in India.

M. Malaccensis has poisonous roots used as an ingredient in a Borneo arrow-poison.

Juno

Juno was the Queen of the Gods and Jupiter’s wife. The Goddess of heaven and of the moon Juno symbolized the matronly qualities desired for in Roman women. She was the protector of woman during childbirth, rearing, and their preparation for marriage. It was said that she was present and watching during all marriage ceremonies.

Juno protected the City of Rome when the Gauls attacked. Before the attack the sacred geese in the temple of Juno alerted the Romans of the pending danger. This warning gave the Romans the opportunity to attack and defeat the Gauls and save their city.

In addition to geese the peacock was also a sacred symbol of Juno.

A daughter of Jupiter, Minerva, is born through magic. It was said she came directly from the head of Jupiter , not needing the aid of Juno for her birth. This turn of events caused Juno to feel jealousy. Angry, Juno seeks a magic flower that is suppose to allow fertilization without a man. Finding the rare flower juno uses it to become pregnant and gives birth to Mars.

Juno is the Roman supreme goddess and is married to the ruling god, Jupiter. She is believed to watch and protect all women. Every year, on the first of March, women hold a festival in honor of Juno called the Matronalia. To this day, many people consider the month of June, which is named after the goddess who is the patroness of marriage, to be the most favorable time to marry. The peacock is sacred to Juno.

Mabon Guided Meditation

Breathe deeply and relax. Close your eyes. Let your breathing become slow, even, more and more relaxing. Relax, relax into the darkness. Relax deeper into yourself. Descend into yourself as deeply as you desire. As you descend, experience fully the sense of darkness. And know that although you descend to the depths of darkness, you are safe. And experience, too, that although you are deep within yourself, you are connected to all those here, and to many who have come before, and also to future generations.
In this darkness tonight we remember especially those who have come before us in this life and have passed from it. We may have experienced their death as darkness and we know that both darkness and light are part of nature’s cycle.
You may want to remember now one particular person. You may even be able to sense their presence, here, now. See them now, if you wish, in the darkness surrounded by light. They are your past, but they can light your present and your future.
(Pause)
flares of light in a dark backgroundOn this night of balance, we seek to restore the balance in the world, and in ourselves. On this night of increasing darkness, we ask guidance in seeing clearly. On this night of beginnings and endings, we seek to understand the past, to fully experience the present, and to know what is necessary to continue successfully into the future.
Let us take a few minutes to gaze into the flames–or if you prefer, you may keep your eyes closed–to see, to know, these things. Let us look first to the past. See in the flame, or in your mind’s eye, a time in the past that still concerns you.
(Pause)
Ask what you need to know about that time to put it to rest. See it clearly now.
(Pause)
And now see it fade, slowly, slowly, fade into the darkness. And as it fades you are at peace with it. It is over now, it has faded until you can no longer see it. And you are ready to look at the present.
And so a second time you look into the flame with your eyes, or with your mind’s eye. And you see a present situation.
(Pause)
See it now clearly.
(Pause)
If you are happy with this situation, keep it clearly in your sight. If there is something in this situation you would like to change, see it change now to exactly what you would like. See it clearly.
(Pause)
flares of light in a dark backgroundAnd now, for the third time, look into the flame. And if there is anything about the future you need to know, you see it now, you know it now.
(Pause)
And now, in your own way, you thank Our Great Mother for these visions and for this guidance now, as in the past, and in the future.
(Pause)
And when you are ready, come back to this place and time.
Adapted, by the author, from the 10th anniversary, revised and expanded edition of She Lives! The Return of Our Great Mother, Judith Laura.

Clearing Incense

You Will Need:

1:    3 Parts Dried Frankincense
2:    3 Parts Dried Copal
3:    2 Parts Dried Myrrh
4:    1 part Dried Sandalwood
5:    A Lighter or Matches

To Prepare / Make The Incense:

Burn this incense when there seems to be anger and rage stirring about your home

Burn the Frankincense, Copal, Myrrh and Sandalwood together at an open window to ensure that all negatives can flee through it.

White Salsa

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup sour cream

1 cup mayonnaise

Juice from 3 limes

4 cloves garlic, crushed

1 1/2 cups finely chopped cilantro

6-ounce can black olives (pitted), drained and chopped

1 1/2 cups green onions, finely chopped

5 teaspoons hot pepper sauce

pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:
In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise and sour cream, mixing well. Add lime juice, garlic, cilantro, black olives, scallions, hot pepper sauce, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings for personal preference. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving to allow flavors to blend. Serve with tortilla chips.

Love Bath

3 drops lavender essential oil
3 drops ylang ylang essential oil
2 drops coriander essential oil
1 drop neroli essential oil
Disperse the oils in a bathtubful of warm water. Soak in the bath for
twenty minutes

Candy cane Roses

Candy cane Roses

This sweet addition can be used to dress up your holiday table. Not to mention the smell of minty roses that hangs in the air. This easy craft is fun and will be a conversation piece amongst your guest.

Materials
*2 sided tape
*cylindrical vase
*candy canes about 24
*a thick rubber band
*wide red satin ribbon
*red roses,unbloomed.

Wrap lengths of 2 sided tape around your vase of choice.Then place your thick rubberband around the vase as well.Place the candycanes one at a time to keep the curls of the candy facing out.Go around the entire vase with the candy canes…carefully sliding the fragile candy behind the rubberband,until it is completely covered.
Use a length of red satin ribbon,tied with a bow to hide the rubberband…and secure the candy canes in place.Fill your vase with water.
Using red roses…cut them on an angle under room tempeture water to fit just above the rim of your vase.To add a festive touch try adding sprigs of evergreen clipping’s or even holly.Simple and easy way to bring a centerpiece together.Enjoy!

*Tip-replace your water for your roses,every two days.Take the time to pull off petals that have turned brown or wilted,to keep your arrangement looking fresh.Remember to always use room tempeture water to avoid shock.

Blessing for a Meal

Great Spirit,
We thank you for the gifts s of this food.
We send blessings of peace, love, and release to all whose bodies and
energies went into bringing us this nourishment.
We honor you in our enjoyment and utilization of this meal.
May it bring us health and joy.
Reminding us of our interconnections with All That Is.
As we receive, so do we give back
And give thanks for this gift in the Cycle of Life.
Younger children:
Thank you, Great Spirit
Thank you, chicken and peas and milk (other foods)
Thank you, Mother EaEarth
We love this food.
When you cook for another, you are giving health and pleasure. Always
cook with love and it will be received with love.

Author Unknown

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