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Turmeric

Turmeric

Name: Curcuma longa

Origin: India, Peru, Nicaragua

Aroma: Pungent

Flavor: Earthy with slight sweet notes

Our Products: Slices, Tea Cut, Cut & Sift, Powder

Contact PGI for micro reduction, roasting, blending, milling, and social involvement with growers.

History

Historical uses for turmeric are well documented and there are many overlapping uses across cultures. In Pakistan, Afghanistan, and many southeast Asian countries, it is applied to wounds as an antiseptic that could also help speed up the healing process. In Ayurvedic history, it is known to purify blood and aid with skin conditions. Its commonly used in folk medicine as an anti-inflammatory, to increase your body’s antioxidant capacity, to improve brain function, for joint health, to counteract damage caused by stress, and the list continues. Turmeric is also used in many cultures throughout India and other parts of Asia to help skin glow and is applied to the face and body as needed. 



Turmeric Masala Chai

For Tea
3 c filtered water
2 tsp black tea
1 large pinch of cardamom
1 large pinch of cinnamon
1 small pinch of back pepper
½ tsp grated ginger ( ⅛ tsp of powdered ginger)
2 Tbsp of local honey
For Milk
1 cup coconut milk (or try almond or hemp)
¼ tsp Turmeric
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp local honey or alt sweetener

Bring all the tea ingredients to a boil and simmer for 2 min then strain. Mix milk ingredients together with a milk frother, immersion blender, or by hand. Once tea has cooled poor into a glass with ice ¾ full and then pour the milk over top .

Traditional Uses

  Historical uses for turmeric are well documented and there are many overlapping uses across cultures. In Pakistan, Afghanistan, and many southeast Asian countries, it is applied to wounds as an antiseptic that could also help speed up the healing process. In Ayurvedic history, it is known to purify blood and aid with skin conditions. Its commonly used in folk medicine as an anti-inflammatory, to increase your body's antioxidant capacity, to improve brain function, for joint health, to counteract damage caused by stress, and the list continues. Turmeric is also used in many cultures throughout India and other parts of Asia to help skin glow and is applied to the face and body as needed.

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Spearmint

Spearmint

Name: Mentha spicata

Origin: India, USA, Egypt, Portugal, Tunisia

Aroma: Minty

Flavor: Minty, Refreshing

Our Products: Cut & Sift, Tea Cut, Powder

Contact PGI for micro reduction, roasting, blending, milling, and social involvement with growers.

History

Spearmint, and the mint family, in general, have a long history in herbalism and folklore. It is thought that the Romans introduced the mint plant to England before the 15th century and current etymology traces the word back to Old English around the 8th century. Spearmint and other species of mint have been used throughout time in many different ways. Some of those include perfumes, early forms of toothpaste, to help stabilize milk (pre-refrigeration), and is often noted as being used to welcome guests by taking crushed leaves and strewing them around a gathering space or in a visitors bath for a clean aroma. In the 16th century, the name spearmint was coined due to the shape of the leaves reflecting the shape of the warriors spears. In Greek mythology, Hades finds himself enticed by a tree nymph named Minthe. When Persephone, his wife, and Queen of the Underworld, finds out, she becomes enraged and turns the nymphs into a plant. Hades, still fawning over Minthe, casts a spell that makes the plant smell of mint so that she is never overlooked or forgotten.



Spearmint Tea

- 1 bunch of Spearmint
- 1 cup of boiling water(or 1 tsp of powder)
- 1 tsp local raw honey

Place the tea leaves in a metal tea ball, or in any vessel you like to use to steep tea. Pour boiling water over the tea and let steep for 10 minutes. For a touch of sweetness add a half teaspoon of local honey. Drink 1 cup to relax, to help sooth the belly after an extravagant meal, or for a great morning pick me up to start the day off fresh!

Traditional Uses

The use of spearmint has been spread far and wide for quite some time and with many herbs, spearmint has a multitude of folk uses. Some say that this crisp smelling plant can be used to help treat headaches, indigestion, nausea, sore throat, IBS, motion sickness, and can be applied topically to reduce muscle pain. In ancient times spearmint was used to heal ailments in children due to the flavor being milder than that of other species in the mint family.

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Yerba Mate

Yerba Mate

Name: Ilex paraguariensis

Origin: Brazil

Aroma: Camphor-like

Flavor: Earthy and bitter

Our Products: Powdered, Leaf

Contact PGI for micro reduction, roasting, blending, milling, and social involvement with growers.

History

Yerba Mate is native to South America and was thought of as a gift from the gods by the Guarani people. Many origin myths for this plant have circulated, but all have a common theme around goodness and hospitality. One myth speaks about a daughter whose father could no longer travel as the tribe moved to a new homeland. The daughter, the beautiful Yary, after much internal debate chose to stay behind with her father in isolation. This gesture of love was noted by the gods and was rewarded by an unknown shaman bearing a plant as a gift. The shaman instructed the father and daughter to make a tea from this plant and told them “In this new beverage, you will find healthy company, even in the sad hours of the cruelest solitude.” The shaman then disappeared and after sipping the beverage the father was able to make the journey to his tribe’s new location. Overjoyed by their return the tribe adopted this new plant and to this day it is still commonly consumed. This myth shows the culture of drinking this tea and unfortunately, the history of its cultivation was not as kind as the myths of its origin. When Spanish colonizers arrived in South America they noted that this plant was not yet domesticated and was wild harvested instead. Recognizing the economic potential of this cultural drink, a sect of the Catholic faith, the Jesuits, worked to discover the secret of its cultivation. Around 1580 c.e. the Jesuits were successful and so, started the first plantation and large scale distribution of yerba mate. Consumption throughout South America grew, though it never really caught on in the European market. In 1767 the Jesuits were expelled from the Spanish colonies and with them left the knowledge of cultivation. This not only affected the yerba mate market, but it also left the already exploited indigenous peoples under the control of the government whose treatment was even more horrific. Due to this, many indigenous peoples abandoned the missions and the trade of yerba came to a temporary end. Without the knowledge of propagation, people reverted back to wild harvesting which reignited its commodification. Eventually, its secrets were re-discovered and since then Yerba Mate has continued to be a social drink throughout South America and has spread to other continents.



Yerba Mate Chocolate Truffles

*adapted from a Whole Foods recipe

- 8oz organic dark chocolate melting chips
- 8 Tbsp full fat coconut milk
- 1/4 of a vanilla bean scraped
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- pinch of pink Himalayan salt
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 2 Tbsp of loose leaf Yerba Mate
- 1/4 c. unsweetened raw cacao powder

Over a double boiler melt the chocolate. In a saucepan, bring coconut milk to a boil. Cover with a lid and take off the heat. Combine the vanilla, cinnamon, cayenne, and yerba. Once the milks temperature has drops to about 70℉/21℃ add your mixture. and let steep for 5-10 min. Strain the mixture into your now melted chocolate. With a whisk, stir slowly and gently to incorporate the two components. Pour mixture into a deep bowl, cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours. Once the mixture has set, prepare a sheet pan by sifting the cocoa powder over it. Use a small melon baller or ice-cream scoop to scoop the truffles into a ball shape. Roll briefly in your hands then drop the ball into the cocoa powder. Shift the pan back and forth to fully coat the chocolate in the powder. Once all the chocolate has been rolled, store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Traditional Uses

Traditionally yerba mate is consumed as a form of hospitality and bringing people together. Along with this beautiful tradition, it is said that this plant has many healing properties. Some of this plants known treatments help to fight fatigue, boost energy, reduce appetite, aid gastrointestinal disorders, and stimulate immune systems. The plant has also been studied for its antioxidant and mineral properties that may aid with inflammation and lowering cholesterol. Yerba is traditionally drunk from a gourd or clay pot with a bombilla, a special straw with a built in filter at the end. The brew begins with filling your cup about ⅔ of the way up with the tea leaves then shifting to one side of the cup forming a mound. Then it is time to dampening the yerba leaves with tepid water and insert your straw to the emptier side. Once you’ve secured your straw you add more hot, but not boiling, water to the cup. As you sip and pass this communal drink along, you continue to add water. Some variations include added sugar, lemon zest, or other botanical.

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Elderberry

Elderberry

Name: Sambucus nigra L.

Origin: Albania, Croatia, Bulgaria

Aroma: Flowers are floral, creamy, and summery

Flavor: Berries range from tart to tangy to bitter

Our Products: Dried berries, Leaf, Powder

Contact PGI for: micro reduction, roasting, blending, milling, and social involvement with growers.

History

Native to parts of Canada and the United States, this intriguing plant caused quite a stir in mythology and folklore. The earliest traces of cultivation of elderberry came from Switzerland and dates to around 2000 BCE. Beliefs about the use of the wood implied that it had mythical properties and depending on your culture and religion they were either good or devilish. One such Norse belief was that the Elder Mother (or Hylde Moer) lived within the elder tree and she would haunt or harm any soul that built from her wood. Though, many cultures used the elder wood to make small instruments that produce a pleasant yet piercing sound quality that was said to be pleasing to faeries and spirits alike. When Christianity gained popularity the tree became associated with witches as well as sorrow due to the cross in which Jesus was hung being made from elder wood. Despite this association, many places around the world thought that elder plants could protect them from evil spirits and sometimes branches placed inside graves or sapling trees were planted on top to aid the deceased. 



Elder-flower Champagne

- 8 large elder flowers
- 2 pints boiling hot filtered water
- 6 pints cold filtered water
- 1.5 pounds sugar
- .25 cup cider vinegar

Combine the boiling water and sugar until completely dissolved. Add the cold water and stir in the vinegar and flowers. Cover with a clean dish towel and let sit at room temperature for 48 hours. Stir the mixture every couple hours throughout the day. Once froth has gathered at the top, pour the liquid through a fine mesh sieve and transfer to a clean glass container. Leave about an inch of space from the top and leave at room temperature for one week. Make sure that each day you briefly open the bottle (called burping). After the week is over, move them into the fridge for another week and proceed to “burp” the bottle once a day. When the second week is up, pour a glass and enjoy!

Traditional Uses

Despite much of the superstitions,  all parts of the elderberry plant were used for a variety of ways and possess an impressive list of folk medicinal uses. The concoctions that favored this plant are limitless and could range from edible medicine to amulets and charms to aid a person's ailments. The berries themselves are thought to be rich in vitamins and minerals especially when taken as a syrup or tonic. More modernly, herbalists employ the use of elderberry flower as well as the berries to ward off sinus and lung infections at the onset of winter.

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Passion Flower

Passion FLower

Name: Passiflora incarnata

Origin: Germany, Honduras, India

Aroma: Soft and mellow

Flavor:  Floral

Our Products: Cut & Sift, Leaf, Flower

Contact PGI for micro reduction, roasting, blending, milling, and social involvement with growers.

Lavandula angustilfolia

History

Mostly found in Mexico, Central and South America, these stunning flowers have a long history and many symbolic uses. In Virginia, seeds, that were dated to be over a thousand years old, were found alongside sites known to be used by the Algonkian Native Americans. A written record of their consumption was noted by early European settlers. Other groups native to the Americas have used this plant for food, beverages, healing, and rituals. When the Spanish first arrived, they saw this plant as the Passion Flower as it related to Christian theology. In parts of India, the flower represents the five Pandava brothers with Krishna at the center of an opposing army. In Japan, the symbol of the passion flower has come to represent homosexuality. The importance of the symbology of this flower can also be seen through the many forms of art ranging from sculpture to paintings.



Lemon Dill White Bean Dip

-  1 tbsp dried leaf & stem
-  8 oz filtered water
-  1 tsp raw honey

Pour boiling water over tea and steep 5-8 min.
Strain Tea and enjoy! If your looking for a bit of sweetness try adding 1 tsp of raw local honey

Traditional Uses

The passion flower can be traced to Mesoamerican times as a semi-domesticated crop. Some cultures, including many Native American ones, use the dried leaves to smoke or as a tea to aid in insomnia, epilepsy, and hysteria. It has also been noted to have calming and sedative properties. Modern medicine has also been working to understand the healing properties and has found that it is a helpful medicine for generalized anxiety disorder.

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Paprika

Paprika

Name: Capsicum annuum

Origin: Spain, Isreal, Peru, Hungary, China

Aroma: Sweet, Earthy

Flavor: Mild, Sweet

Our Products: Powdered, Smoked

Contact PGI for micro reduction, roasting, blending, milling, and social involvement with growers.

History

Paprika is native to the Americas but didn’t gain global notoriety until the pepper plant was brought over to Spain in the 16th century. Originally it was displayed for decoration by the nobility and wealthy citizens of Hungary. This plant was popularized as decor before it was ever considered for use in various cuisines throughout Europe. In 1570 the pepper plant was mentioned to be in Margit Széchy’s, a Hungarian aristocrat, garden titled “Red Turkish Pepper”. By the 17th century the Capsicum annuum plant was being cultivated to treat the Typhus epidemic and by the 18th century, paprika was being introduced as a spice to various countries through trade by the Turkish. After this point in history, paprika begins to pop up in many different recipes throughout the known world, with Hungary playing a large role in cultivating their own specialty species. In Aztec mythology, the deity Chantico, goddess of hearth fires, personal treasures, and volcanoes, was said to have eaten paprika with roasted fish after a religious fasting period. At the time eating paprika after religious fasting was forbidden in Aztec culture. Punishment for this was handed down by Tonacatecuhtli, the creator god, who turned her into a dog.



Paprika Tonic

- 1 tsp Paprika
- 1/2 a lemon - juiced
- 1/2 tsp raw honey
- 6 oz filtered water

Pour lemon juice into your favorite mug and add paprika and honey. Bring water to a rolling boil and slowly pour into your mug while stirring. Enjoy as soon as it’s cool enough to sip on. For added spice and benefits peel then chop 1” of ginger and add to the water while it’s heating up. This tonic can help cleanse the body during the flu as well as energize you first thing in the morning or before a workout!

Traditional Uses

Paprika has many uses in folk medicinal journals and has been well documented in scientific journals to have high levels of Vitamin C, even more so than citrus fruits and tomatoes. Prof. Albert Szent-Györgyi won a Nobel Prize in 1937 for isolating and obtaining Vitamin C from paprika as a cure for scurvy. Other folk benefits associated with paprika is the ability to aid digestion, improve circulation, normalize blood pressure, protect the digestive tract with its antibacterial properties, strengthen the immune system, and help the body absorb and assimilate iron. This beautiful spice has many other medical remedies from different cultural perspectives but it can also be used as a dye to produce a vibrant orange hue used for clothing and hair coloration, some face mask recipes also employ paprika for glowing skin.

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Moringa

Moringa

Name: Moringa oleifera

Origin: India, Africa

Aroma: Strong, Fresh, Grassy

Flavor: Mild, Nutty

Our Products: Leaf, Powder

Contact PGI for micro reduction, roasting, blending, milling, and social involvement with growers.

History

Moringa was first described in India as a medicinal herb around 2000 BC and has continued to influence herbal healing throughout the world. The Egyptians used it as an oil to protect their skin in the harsh desert climate and the Greeks and Romans used it in combination with other scents to make luxury perfumes. One story tells of Alexander the Great’s attempt in 326 BC to conquer the Maurya Empire but was met by fierce warriors who fed on a liquid Moringa diet and was unable to defeat them after 60 battles. Roman historians noted that these warriors needed less sleep and hardly got sick, they were known as “men of stamina and valor”. Moringa is also called the “Miracle Tree” and has been studied extensively for its medicinal and nutritional value. In addition to consuming the moringa plant, it’s fibers can be used for rope making, paper making, tannin, soap, and as a natural dye that produces a rich blue color.  



Minty Lavender Tea

- 1.5 cups of Full-fat organic coconut milk
- 1 tsp Moringa Powder
- 1 tsp raw honey

Combine Moringa powder and honey in your favorite mug. Steam coconut milk in a saucepan or with the use of a milk frother. Pour into mug slowly while stirring. Enjoy first thing in the morning for an added energy boost!

Traditional Uses

Many different cultures throughout Asia and Africa have noted using moringa for a variety of ailments as well as a staple in their diet. In Ayurvedic medicine, used in both India and Africa, up to 300 diseases are said to be treated with this miracle plant. Some of these include diabetes, skin disorders, digestive problems, problems with sight, and heart disease. In developing countries moringa has been used in powder form to combat malnutrition and to help strengthen immune systems in HIV-infected individuals.

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Lemongrass

Lemongrass

Name: Cymbopogon citratus

Origin: Egypt, USA

Aroma: Lemony

Flavor: Citrus, Lemon

Our Products: Leaf

Contact PGI for micro reduction, roasting, blending, milling, and social involvement with growers.

History

 Lemongrass can be traced back to ancient Greek and Roman times. Some scholars are even producing research that points to this lemony scented plant as the calamus oil used in the Bible. In the early 17th century records show that lemongrass was being distilled in the Philippines and shipped to other countries for use in perfumes. For many Asian cultures, lemongrass is consumed in many recipes and in India, it is highly cherished as an oil. In Chinese traditional medicine, this plant is noted to warm the Interior and/or expel cold from the body. This is in relation to the Ying and Yang system of inner balance. Besides medicinal qualities, this herb is used in soaps, shampoos, and essential oils to aid in relaxation.



Lemongrass Tea

-  1 Tbsp Lemongrass tea cut
-  1/4 in fresh ginger
-  2 cups filtered water

Bring water to a rolling boil and add in lemongrass, ginger, and chamomile flowers. Take your mixture off the stove and let steep for 15 minutes. Strain into your favorite cup and enjoy! This tonic is especially useful for nausea and women experiencing morning sickness.

Traditional Uses

A popular tonic in East India and Sri Lanka combines lemongrass leaves with other herbs to treat fevers, irregular menstruation, diarrhea, and stomachaches. in Brazil and the Caribbean, this herb is popular in the treatment of nervous and digestive problems. In aromatherapy, the oil produced from lemongrass is used for antibacterial and anti-fungal issues as well as to reduce chronic inflammation for conditions such as arthritis and cardiovascular disease.

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Ginger

Ginger

Name: Zingiber officinale

Origin: India, Peru, China, Nigeria

Aroma: Sweet, Aromatic, Spicy

Flavor: Spicy with mild heat

Our Products: Cut & Sift, Tea Cut, Powder

Contact PGI for micro reduction, roasting, blending, milling, and social involvement with growers.

History

Ginger is native to southern China and the bordering southeast Asian countries. The oldest traces of domestication comes from people within the Austronesian language family who used this plant to flavor foods as well as used the leaves to weave mats. Cultures included in this family are located in southeast Asia, Oceania, and East Africa. In the archaeological record and regional folklore, ginger was noted as a highly valuable plant that was used to seek protection from the spirits and used in healing rituals. Due to the geography of these regions, Austronesian cultures were very capable sailors and around 5,000 BP they began expanding to other regions including the Pacific Islands where ginger was first introduced. During this time it is thought that the plant was also spread through India and from India up into the Middle East and Europe. The ancient Romans were also captivated by ginger, trading for it with people from India, and it quickly became a staple in their society. After the Roman Empire fell, people within the Arabian peninsula took over the trade of ginger and prices soared making it more of a luxury item. Even with its extensive use, ginger was more commonly a medicinal plant than it was a food commodity. In the last 200 years its use in cultural cuisines has soared with many variations in how it is prepared and what it is paired with.



Ginger Latte

1 cup unsweetened hemp milk
1 tsp ginger powder
.5 tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp raw honey
1 tea bag of black tea (or 1 Tbsp of loose leaf)

Place all ingredients, except tea bag (or tea ball), in a saucepan. Heat on high until hot but not boiling. Take off heat and use a milk frother or immersion blender to get a smoother texture. Pour into mug and add your black tea to steep for 3-5 min. Drink this anytime of the day for a spicy sweet treat!

Traditional Uses

Ginger, an ancient folk medicine, has been used to treat a variety of ailments. Some of the most common treatments cross-culturally include flu prevention, nausea, blood circulation, constipation, and headache relief. In Congo, tangawisi juice, made from the sap of the mango tree and ginger, is a noted cure-all tonic and in Chinese medicine it is considered to help the lungs, spleen and stomach with its warming properties. In more modern times ginger has been used as a light snack that aids in motion sickness for long journeys as well as a treatment for inflammation.

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Dill

DIll

Name: Anethum graveolens L

Origin: Tunisia, Europe

Aroma: Grassy, Herbal

Flavor: Slightly Sweet

Our Products: Cut & Sift, Tips

Contact PGI for micro reduction, roasting, blending, milling, and social involvement with growers.

History

  Though native to the eastern Mediterranean region of western Asia, the name Dill comes from the old Norse word dylla meaning to calm or soothe. The first mention of this herb can be traced to around 3000 B.C. when it was found in Egyptian medical texts as a way to keep witches at bay, as well as an aphrodisiac. In ancient Rome dill was used as a token as good luck and was woven into wreaths and placed on the heads of champions. It was also common for men in Rome to rub dill on their bodies to sooth muscle pain. Many cultures in time have used dill to treat a wide variety of ailments such as stomach pains, stimulate women’s milk production, aid in urinary tract infections, and is thought to be used as a mild diuretic. This plant is also noted to have antibacterial properties and the seeds were often chewed to aid digestions while also freshening the breath.



Lemon Dill White Bean Dip

- 1 15oz can of white beans rinsed
- 2 Tbsp Dried dill
- 1 lemon juiced
- .25 cup avocado oil
- 1 clove of garlic minced
- .25 tsp ground black pepper

 Place all ingredients, except oil, in a food processor and blend. While blending slowly add your oil. Continue blending until smooth then adjust to taste.Once your happy with the flavor profile transfer to your favorite serving bowl and garnish with a little dill and lemon zest!

Pairings

Dill has a herbal flavor that is slightly sweet when used fresh and the seeds have a bright strong spice quality to them. Though pickles are often the most common association with dill, many other dishes are enhanced with the use of this weedy plant. Amongst some of its best pairings are lemon, beets, cashew cheese, potatoes, grains, and fresh greens. Dill and dill seeds can be used fresh or dried on top of dishes or incorporated into your favorite recipes.