All posts by Lynn DeVries

New Herbal Articles for You!

Olive grove

Check out my latest articles on the web site:

Check Out My New Articles on and

AloeRecently, I’ve been hired to write articles for two very important web sites. One is and the other is Here’s a list of my articles from the past month. I hope you’ll go check them out. :-)

Exotic Herbs in Prime Time Again


Once again, a prime-time crime-solving drama has used exotic herbs in an episode. This time, it was CSI: NY and the herbs were integral to both the mode of death and to solving the cirme.

The first herbal culprit was the so-called Miracle Fruit. Amazingly, when a person swishes the seed of this berry in their mouth for a few seconds, everything that’s bitter or sour will taste sweet to the person for a half hour to two hours afterward. It’s a very unusual concept and if mothers of toddlers get the idea of this, there might be a lot more vegetables eaten…

But then, I doubt that it is a good idea to use exotic plants on our children…who knows what harm they might be able to cause.

The other odd plant that was ingested in the episode was one commonly chewed as a stimulant in in Asia. It’s called Betel Quid and according to the show anyway, its chewing is supposed to keep a person’s DNA from being detected. I was curious and did some research online about it and sure enough, it’s a commonly chewed herb in Asia…but I found no references to the DNA anomoly. But whether it’s true or not, it made for good television.

Let’s hope it doesn’t become used by criminals in the commission of crimes to mask their DNA…unless it doesn’t work. Then it could be great, since it would offer a false sense of safety.

I love how TV writers are getting more creative with their use of herbs and herbal treatments in the plots of their shows. It’s just another indication that people are becomming more used to herbs being used for medicinal and other uses. I just wish the herbs on TV didn’t always have to the be killers… 😉

Find out more about Betel Quid here.

A Deadly Herb Hits Prime Time

One advantage to having a TiVo is the fact that I can watch a TV show when it’s convenient to watch, not just when the show airs. So with that in mind, I just watched the second episode of a new series on CBS. The show is called Eleventh Hour and I’m not sure yet if I like it enough to recommend it, but I admit that the second episode was MUCH better than the premiere was.

In episode 1.02, the seriously smart science-guy and his hottie female FBI sidekick were called in to figure out why several 11-year-old boys had suddenly died of heart attacks in the same small town. After a lot of investigation, including that of poisonous toads, the pair arrived at the culprit – fox glove. Fox glove is a purple-flowered herb that grows wild in the woods. It’s extremely poisonous if used improperly. If a person knows what they are doing, it can be used to make Digitalis, a powerful medicine for heart problems.

There’s a video clip on the CBS site that shows the team finding the fox glove. Believe it or not, the killer turned out to be a boy genius who was killing off his classmates…I don’t want to spoil it for you if you haven’t watched it yet.

But the interesting part was the woman in the town who grew herbs of all kinds with which to make and sell herbal medicines, such as the digitalis.

I think it’s cool how the idea of medicines being made from plants is gaining such credibility. In earlier generations, it was just taken for granted that medicines were taken from plants. But then “modern” medicine convinced so many for so long that only chemically created medicines were good. I’m glad the awareness is returning.

But as this program illustrates, some herbs are not to be played with at all. And if one doesn’t know what they are doing, those dangerous herbs can kill. So be very cautious when harvesting and using herbs!! It’s important to give them the proper respect for their power. Find out much more about fox glove here.

I'm Going to Grow My Own Saffron!

I admit it, I’m a huge lover of paella, that wonderful Spanish rice and seafood and whatever-else-you-want-to-add dish! The only drawback is that for a truly tasty pan of paella, one must use the most expensive spice in the world…saffron. It’s made from the tiny filament in the center of a specific crocus flower and must be harvested in the fall using a pair of tweezers!

The incredibly wonderful news is that I found a source for the bulbs of the saffron crocus! It’s a web site for the Rosemary House. I just ordered a bunch of bulbs and apparently, this is the perfect time of year to plant them. so next fall, about this time, I should be able to harvest my own saffron.

So if you like dishes that use saffron, you have a choice of substituting turmeric (not perfect, but it’ll do in a pinch) or you can grow and harvest your own saffron!

Learn about the midicinal uses of saffron at the Medicinal Herb Info site.