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Compass B al an ce HEALING HOLISTIC Herein lies the potential to cultivate a sustainable community by learning to use the vast medicinal plants and herbs that are found in Florida, connecting the mind, body & spirit via total holistic living. T E X T BY F R A N CE S C A C R UZ With their main campus located in Orlando, The Florida School Of Holistic Living is a non-profit educational organization with the mission of empowering individuals through hands-on education that promotes healthy, holistic living. Programming includes a comprehensive curriculum of herbalism, plant medicine and botanical gardens many of which offer continuing education for health professionals. Our ancestors knew how to work with plants to nourish and heal; modern medicine treats trauma and serious illness like no other system, but largely fails to educate us on our options for preventing illness and maintaining health. We, as a culture, have become disconnected from the earth that supports us in very tangible, physical ways. Learning how to work with plants to support our health is one of the most immediate and intimate ways we can reconnect with nature and heal that wound of separation; HolisticLivingSchool.org. BACKYARD GOODIES Waiting to be put to good use in a backyard near you, these locally available herbs and plants could guide you on the right path toward a more holistic — and healthier — life. TEX T BY FR ANCESCA CRUZ 32 LIFE SPICE FRUITY DELIGHT LIFE NEEDLE Cayenne and ginger are very easy to grow in tropical gardens and both act as incredible anti-inflammatory herbs. They are also very helpful in limiting the duration of a cold, and in helping improve circulation and increase metabolism. Both work to eliminate toxins in the body and aide in boosting the immune system. Papaya leaf makes an excellent topical application for swelling and inflammation. That’s because when the leaves are prepared as a tea, it acts as a powerful tonic that helps enhance digestive enzymes. The better we digest, the more nutrients we capture from our food, and the healthier our body glows. Bidens Alba, also known as Spanish Needle, is a southern weed that is a powerful anti- bacterial herb, and also a tasty green full of minerals. Cooked like spinach, it boasts a more dynamic spectrum of minerals, which are essential for healthy teeth, bones and hair. As a tea, it has an earthy taste — add some honey, and it can be served up as an elixir.