Sudhir Ahluwalia
Holy Herbs

Holy Herbs

With the growing trend towards “organic” products, and “coming back to nature” worldwide, the rising interest in herbs and herbal remedies, in culinary use, heath products, medicine, cosmetics, and religious rituals is not surprising. A wide audience, including...
Costus in history

Costus in history

Costus comes from the root of plants in the Saussurea genus that grow in the higher elevations of the Himalayas in Asia, Tibet, and China. The name costus means “coming from the East” in Greek. The rhizome is cut, dried, and exported. Costus is rich in resinoids,...
Oncyha Part 1

Oncyha Part 1

Feature photo: From Florihana Onycha is one of the four spices mentioned in the Old Testament (Exodus 30:34) and as an ingredient of Ketoret. Like many other herbs and spices mentioned during Biblical times, the origin of onycha is shrouded in debate, starting with...
Sumatra Benzoin Incense

Sumatra Benzoin Incense

Styrax benzoin inhabits the Sumatran region of Indonesia, India, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, and Malaysia. It is grown as an ornamental shade tree in West Africa. It grows to a height of 12 meters. The tree is a source of benzoin resin. Sumatra benzoin is produced from...
Frankincense In History And Religion

Frankincense In History And Religion

One of the most well regarded of the ancient incenses, frankincense has a fresh pine-lemon scent with resinous and woody overtones that emanates from the milky white latex of the stem and branches. The name frankincense comes from the French words franc encens, which...