Tag Archive | herbal medicine

A Tree Stands in the Desert….

A Saudi desert expert recently told me about an unusual tree that grows near the old town of ‘Ain Dar, in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province. More than a decade ago, there were two of these trees there; only one has survived. The tree is four or five meters tall, and local lore maintains that it […]

Costus: Vermifuge with a Difference

Costus is a medicinal plant that grows in the high valleys of Kashmir and some other parts of the Himalayas. It is usually found in moist shady locales, sometimes as the undergrowth in birch forests. Costus root is used extensively in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, and has been a minor product of Arabian traditional medicine […]

Almost Myrrh

The celebrated aromatic tree resin and health remedy myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) has a poor cousin called bdellium (Commiphora mukul). In ancient times bdellium was sometimes mixed with or substituted for “real” myrrh, which was widely regarded as superior both as a medicine and an incense. Bdellium was sometimes steeped in wine to enhance its fragrance […]