This killer, and ultimate, edition of Students of Ethnobotany comes from the mysterious E. Green.
One of the draws of botanical research, in my opinion, is the chance that you will discover something extraordinary, some intricate mechanism, adaptation, or chemical that has implications able to expand the scope of human knowledge. However, there are times when less information can be more exciting than a thorough chemical or physiological analysis. These are the instances where investigation into the mystery surrounding a plant actually reveals more about humans than the plant in question.
Antlers? Photo credit Melissa Tong
This healthy edition of Students of Ethnobotany comes from the spicy Melissa Tong.
This ornamental edition of Students of Ethnobotany comes from the impressive Thomas M.
Odds are if you’ve lived on the west (aka wet) coast and ever done some adventuring in the fantastic plethora of nature that thrives here you will have come across some salal.
This sugary edition of Students of Ethnobotany is brought to us by the sweet Bryan Q.
In most parts of the world, sugar, the sweet kick to every meal, has been an important part of the human diet. Apart from making human food palatable, it also provides energy. However, the health risk of diabetes has been an ongoing concern throughout the world. Increasing the consumption of sugar-sweeted foods can cause an increase in blood sugar levels, which can be dangerous to many known and unknown diabetic patients. Can this epidemic be solved with our ongoing desire for tasty candy, yummy ice-cream, and 1000+ flavors of cake?
This garlicy edition of Students of Ethnobotany comes to us from the healthy Alison V.
Garlic has been used by humans for centuries, possibly best known in western culture as a deterrent to ward off attention from less than friendly vampires. It is also used extensively in cooking, where many people may be familiar with it. According to no-on but myself, its use in cooking probably arose as a covert way to detect whether the new next door neighbours are going to come suck your blood in your sleep.
Figure 1: Saffron crocus. Photographer: Gut Gimritz (Germany) from Wikimedia Commons
This flavorful edition of Students of Ethnobotany comes from the glittering Fiona Thompson.
At between $1,000 and $10,000 USD per kilo, saffron is the most expensive spice in the world. Why is it that the stigma of this small flower is worth (one fifth) its weight in gold?
Edit: This post won Best post by a high school or undergraduate blogger from the Science Seeker blog awards. Well done, Joycelyn!
This holiday themed edition of Students of Ethnobotany comes from the festive Joycelyn Cheung.
I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus, underneath the mistletoe last night.