Paw Paw Time!

It’s paw paw season in eastern Ohio. The OEP crew has been keeping an eye on several groves of these trees in the woods near our home, watching their development from small, peanut-sized nuggets, and eagerly anticipating their ripening into mango-sized beauties! For those of you who are unfamiliar with this one, the paw paw (Asimina triloba) is a small deciduous tree native to the eastern US from zones 5-8. It produces the largest native fruit of North America. It’s closely related to the ylang-ylang, soursop, and custard apple, though unlike its tropical relatives, the paw paw is the only member of its family to grow in temperate climate zones. It prefers to grow in very moist, fertile,

Essential Oils, Fad vs. Fact

A particular realm of holistic health has taken the world by storm. That storm is “essential oils” and as a practicing herbalist for many years, it’s about time I weighed in on the topic. I refer to essential oils as a storm because like a storm, it has the potential to bring renewal, but it also has the potential to bring harm and strike in unpredictable ways, especially when you lack experience. Essential oils (EO’s) are nothing new. In fact, EO’s would easily be considered old earth knowledge, having been around for thousands of years. But first, what are they? We’re basically dealing with a branch of herbal medicine here. Medicinal plants contain volatile oils among other constituen

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