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August 2023 Blue Moon

Today’s full moon is a unique one - it’s a Blue Moon. A Blue Moon occurs when there is a second full moon in a single calendar month. August 2023 got a double header, ha! As such, I thought is might be fun to highlight a unique plant that many don’t often think of as medicinal - Okra.

Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) is a member of the Malvaceae family of plants that also include hibiscus, marshmallow, and cacao. This family of plants is most commonly known for being mucilaginous and high in polysaccharides…meaning they’re a bit slimy! That slime is their superpower. Herbalists use mucilaginous plants to coat and soothe irritated and inflamed tissue. Okra fruits are specific to the gastrointestinal tract and genitourinary system. They can be of use when addressing conditions from ulcers to bladder infections. Externally a poultice can be of assistance for minor skin inflammation. Native to Africa, Okra is now enjoyed as a culinary vegetable around the world. And it grows like a dream here on the Eastern Shore!

The Okra pictured here is from my neighbor’s garden. The beautiful plants tower a good six-plus feet and have been incredibly generous in their fruits. We had the treat of sitting out with our good friends and neighbors nibbling the Okra flowers recently. The mouth-feel was super interesting; it was cool, coating, and slightly sweet. All the things one would expect from a Malvaceae.

I wish you a blessed Blue Moon and invite you to bring a little uniqueness into your life today! Cheers!

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