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Una Biologicals is an independent company proud to bring you Organic Beauty & Wellness products. All of our products are hand-crafted just for you.  

Because we believe that your body deserves the best that nature has to offer, we use only premium organic oils to nourish your skin and never include harsh chemicals, additives, or artificial fragrances.  Our goal is keep you Healthy & Gorgeous!

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Health & Beauty Blog

This is where we can expand a little on the ideas of health & wellness.  All information is shared in the spirit of education and fun.  We hope you find a little inspiration, perhaps a new recipe, or even a new way of looking your day.  Thanks for spending a little time with an open mind.

~Namaste, Jessica

Filtering by Tag: Natural

Honey, I'm Home!

Jessica Graves

Sweet Gold

Honey, a delicacy that could last as long as its extensive history. Offered as a sacrifice to the gods by ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, honey is revered. And for good reason! Honey contains 5,000 live enzymes, 27 minerals, 22 amino acids, and is chock full of antioxidants. It’s known to treat a number of ailments from diabetes to anemia and contains quickly digested natural sugars that don’t spike blood sugar. It has antimicrobial properties, meaning it protects and fights against bad micro-organisms and for this reason honey was often used on wounds to heal and protect against infection and disease. It is said to strengthen organs and treat many gastrointestinal disorders, due to its alkalizing nature. In Ayurveda, the medicine of ancient India,  honey has been used to dissolve fat. This is probably because honey naturally lowers triglycerides, constituents of natural fats and oils that pose a health risk.

The makers of honey are just as fascinating as their creation. A honeybee is capable of flying 6 miles and up to 15 mph. Each hive of honeybees contains one Queen bee along with her drones and worker bees. Drones are fertile male bees and their sole purpose in life is to mate with the Queen, who produces about 1,500 eggs a day. Worker bees are all infertile females and they run the hive, collecting nectar from flowers while passively pollinating plants. Other worker bees then turn the nectar into honey by adding enzymes and letting water evaporate. It takes a bee 150 trips to make just one teaspoon of honey. All the honey a hive makes in the spring and summer must sustain the hive through the winter. It’s all quite incredible, and throughout history honey bees have been held in high regard. A honeybee has been taken as the emblem of a pope, a king, two gods, and Napoleon. It wasn’t until the renaissance that honey lost its distinction as a sweetener and honeybees fell out of the spotlight. Now honeybees face colony collapse disorder and a parasite known as varroa mites, which are threatening honey bees everywhere. 

Now who would think just a spoonful of raw local honey in your tea could offer so many benefits!

 

All information is shared for educational purposes only.  Una Biologicals does not offer medical advice or purport to treat, cure, diagnose or assist with any illness.  Always consult your physician before using herbs.

FDA has not approved these statements.

Contributed by Margot Pomeroy, © Una Biologicals ® 2015.

Introduction to Permaculture

Jessica Graves

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Permaculture is a farming method developed in 1978 by Australians Bill Mollison and David Holmgren. It mimics nature to build a low input, high output edible ecosystem. While it’s origins lie in Australia, permaculture has now been implemented around the globe in various climates. Founder Bill Mollison describes Permaculture as “ a philosophy of working with, rather than against, nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless labor; and of looking at plants and animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single product system”.

Most of permaculture was built through observation. Founder Bill Mollison watched nature and thought that he could do the same thing, producing an abundance of food while letting mother nature do all the heavy lifting. The first way to do this is to observe a niche in nature and replace it with a productive element. For example, when your garden is overrun with vexing weeds, it means that there was a niche in your garden that was filled by those weeds. Instead of spraying your garden with weed killer, a better solution is to replace those weeds with a productive plant that fills the same niche. Diversity is key here because if you have only one plant species, a monoculture, there will be numerous niches for less desirables to fill. However the more diversity you have, the more likely your man-made ecosystem will thrive. It is very important to recognize that each element of an ecosystem can play more than one role. All living things are complex the same way humans are complex. You can be an athlete, but you could never be just an athlete. Likely an athlete is someone’s mother, daughter, friend. An athlete could be an artist or a gardener, or both. Permaculture abolishes the idea that things are black and white; simply one or the other rather than both. In many cases, even pesky weeds have a place in Permaculture.

Permaculture is organized in zones, and each zone has a concentration of daily, weekly or even yearly work. The first zone, Zone 0 is centered around the house, where a family will spend most of it’s time. The second zone, Zone 1 is near the home and houses elements that need regular or daily attention, such as a greenhouse or kitchen garden. These zones see frequent activity, however the larger the zone, the less frequent the activity. Zone 5 is often left alone completely, donated permanently to nature and her wildlife.

One of the first developments in permaculture is known as the food forest, which is essentially a forest of edible plants. It follows nature’s layers, in a technique known as stacking. Stacking is a way of utilizing earth’s space functionally. There are many layers to a forest, starting with the canopy layer, then the understory layer of smaller trees, followed by the shrub layer. Vines grow up trees in the vertical layer and herbaceous plants grow in the next layer, under which grow groundcover and root plants. Lastly, fungi and bacteria can be considered the last layer, propagating above and below the soil. In permaculture, often the goal is to grow as much food as possible in one square foot. The only way to do this is by stacking the same way mother nature does in her own forests. Aside from food forests we see stacking in guilds, small groups of mutually beneficial plants. Native Americans traditionally used a guild known as “The Three Sisters”, a garden of beans grown up the stalks of corn, surrounded by squash plants. These three plants thrive best when grown together, each plant possessing a quality the others need to prosper.  

Another important key to permaculture is waste and energy. Permaculture doesn’t recognize waste, since anything produced should be able to return to the earth, increasing fertility in the soil. To take “waste” from the property would be wasting resources, and that is a big no-no in permaculture. Waste water, rain water, food waste, and even human waste can all be beneficially utilized in a permaculture system. Energy yields are important, and a good permaculturist won’t let an energy source leave the property until they have exhausted every use. A great example of this is another australian-born invention commonly utilized in permaculture, known as Aquaponics. Aquaponics is a method of growing fish in conjunction with plants by filtering fish waste water through beds of produce. While the plants filter and consume the nitrogen and waste, the water returns to the fish clean and the cycle repeats itself. Aquaponics uses approximately 2% of the water used in commercial produce farming, not to mention the waste produced by commercial aquaculture.

Don’t be fooled by Permaculture’s exotic origins. Permaculture principles can be utilized in any climate. Permaculturists like Geoff Lawton have worked to solved drought, flood, and forest fire problems in the dry climates. In the tropics, where there is a significant breakdown of organic matter, permaculture puts emphasis on promoting aerobic breakdown rather than the noxious anaerobic decomposition. Even in cold climate, permaculture thrives, and emphasis is put on energy efficiency and what is known as “appropriate technology”, or efficient technology that is used responsibly and to it’s fullest potential. A man named Sepp Holzer has a very successful food forest and farm up the side of a valley in the Austrian Alps where he manages to grow citrus. A permaculture haven has even been achieved in a small urban lot in drought-ridden California. Start now. Go outside and observe what mother nature does in your area and how you can mimic her in your garden. Work with nature and not against it.

 

Contributed by Margot Pomeroy, © Una Biologicals ® 2015.