“If we lose our connection with nature, what might it mean for our planet?”

–Renee Cho

The research over medicinal herbs was conducted with the help of Alicia and Martina in Aloha Redlands in conjunction with Art at the farm. Along with Marita Romea, who helped develop this idea further in the aim to educate individuals about nature, I’d like to take this moment to thank them!

My aim for this project is to reconnect individuals with nature. I started to volunteer in Aloha this year, and learned a lot about the process of farming and plants thanks to the mentorship of Alicia and Martina. I feel very fortunate to have this experience and access to a unique opportunity to form a closer bond with the environment.

After learning about the benefits of medicinal herbs my project for Art at the farm took a unique turn. For this special exhibition, I wanted to highlight the amazing plants in Aloha. There are approximately 21 medicinal herbs in the farm, each with unique benefits. In order to bring individuals closer with nature I decided to create infographics. My interest with words and communication along with the advice of Alicia lead me to generate signs for each plant. This approach was lead by my eagerness to educate individuals about the wonderful nature of the environment.

Bellow, you can find photographs of each of the plants along with information about the benefits of each one. Also, before that I developed a structure to proceed with my process thanks to Marita.


Disconnection from nature:

  • “nature-deficit disorder”— reduced awareness and a diminished ability to find meaning in the life around us.
  • Nature is “out there” 
  • Biophilia—the aversion to nature due to fear of being in it, and that nature is nothing more than just a disposable resource.


Reengage people with nature by rethinking its role in our society:

  • Reconnect people with medicinal herbs using an infographics/signs. 
  • Individuals will be able to scan code on the labels next to each medicinal herb with phone which will redirect them to the Aloha website to find more information about the particular plant of interest.

Plant Profile

Rama Holy Basil Ocimum tenuiflorum

is part of the mint family closely related to sweet basil but it has different health benefits, the leaves are hairy and pale-green and it historically has been used in Asia for religious purposes. It has stress relieving qualities (an adaptogen) and contains vitamins A and C, minerals (calcium, zinc, phosphorous, iron), saponins, tanins (pattanyak), and eugenol (1-hydroxy-2methoxy-4-allylbenzene) is the key bioactive in Tulsi. 

Cuban Oregano Coleus amboinicus

can be used as a topical ointment for minor closed wounds, or for respiratory purposes for example coughs, asthma, and bronchitis. It can also be used for joint pain such as ankle sprains, back pain, osteoarthritis, and muscle pain. Eating comfrey in a salad is not recommended because it is unsafe due to the pyrrolizidine alkaloids that this leafy green contains. 

Lagos Spinach Celosia argentea

is a broadleaf annual crop that will grow with minimal effort and resources. Its leaves, shoots and tender stems can be eaten for culinary use in sauces or soups. The seeds are also edible. C. argentea is high in antioxidants, it’s an outstanding source of iron and a very good source for protein and vitamin C and A. This leafy vegetable is reported to treat ailments such as: abscesses, colic, cough, diabetes mellitus, diarrhea, dysentery, eczema, eye problems, gonorrhea, infected sores, liver ailments, menstruation problems, muscle troubles, skin eruptions, snakebites, and wounds. 

Moringa Moringa oleifera
Nopal Cactus Opuntia cacti
Okinawa Spinach Gynura crepioides
Hoja Santa Piper auritum
Collard Greens Brassica oleracea var. viridis
Chaya Cnidoscolus chayamansa
Barbados Cherry Malpighia emarginata
Comfrey Symphytum
Banana Musa acuminata 


Alfrey, P., 2020. Comfrey: Its History, Uses & Benefits. Permaculture Magazine. [online] Permaculture magazine. Available at: <https://www.permaculture.co.uk/articles/comfrey-its-history-uses-benefits&gt; [Accessed 15 December 2020]. 

Arseniuk, A. (2020, December 9). Gynura bicolor – Okinawan Spinach. Herbs from Distant Lands. http://herbsfromdistantlands.blogspot.com/2019/10/gynura-bicolor-okinawan-spinach.html

Baessler, L. (2018, September 17). Uses For Firebush Plants: What is Firebush Good For. Gardening Know How. https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/shrubs/firebush/uses-for-firebush-plants.htm 

Barbano, P. (2012, November 14). Cuban oregano has many names and uses. Cape Gazette. https://www.capegazette.com/article/cuban-oregano-has-many-names-and-uses/37136 

Boyles, M. (2020, April 29). 12 Uses for Mint Leaves From Health to Home. Old Farmer’s Almanac. https://www.almanac.com/benefits-of-mint-plant 

Cadman, B. (2020, January 2). What makes moringa good for you? Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319916 

Caswell, D. (2016, May 14). CRANBERRY HIBISCUS – Health Benefits. Brisbane Local Food. http://brisbanelocalfood.ning.com/group/herbs-spices-culinary-medical-other/forum/topics/cranberry-hibiscus-health-benefits 

D. (2019, November 4). Firebush, Scarletbush. Eat The Weeds and Other Things, Too. http://www.eattheweeds.com/hamelia-patens-edible-pharmaceutical-2/

Dyer, M. H. Necklace Pod Plant Information – Can You Grow Necklace Pod Plant Plants. Retrieved November 15, 2020, from https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/shrubs/necklace-pod/necklace-pod-plant-info.htmÂ

Fanous, S. (2020, August 28). 7 Amazing Uses for Aloe Vera. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/7-amazing-uses-aloe-vera 

Goldman, R. (2017, July 26). What Is Comfrey? Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/what-is-comfrey 

Gotter, A. (2017, May 26). Nopal Cactus: Benefits and Uses. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/nopal 

Grant, B. (2019, July 21). Cuban. Oregano. Uses—How to Grow Cuban Oregano In The Garden. StackPath. Gardening Know How. https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/herbs/cuban-oregano/growing-cuban-oregano.htm 

K. (2018, February 12). 5 Benefits of Drinking Cranberry Hibiscus Tea. Kiki Dahlke. https://kikidahlke.com/5-benefits-of-drinking-cranberry-hibiscus-tea 

Kenyon, C. (2020, July 20). Add Flavor to Sauces With the Mexican Herb Hoja Santa. The Spruce Eats. https://www.thespruceeats.com/hoja-santa-mexican-herb-2342959 

Kuti, J.O. and E.S. Torres. 1996. Potential nutritional and health benefits of tree spinach. p. 516-520. In: J. Janick (ed.), Progress in new crops. ASHS Press, Arlington, VA. 

Malpica, T. (2004). Herb Article Yerba Santa. Rebecca’s Herbal Apothecary. https://www.rebeccasherbs.com/pages/herb-article-br-yerba-santa 

Martignier, K. (2020, June 29). ​​Okinawa Spinach. Retrieved November 16, 2020, from https://www.permaculturenews.org/2020/06/29/%E2%80%8B%E2%80%8Bokinawa-spinach/ 

Martin, C. (1992, July 1). Comfrey Medicinal Uses: The Herbalist’s Notebook | MOTHER EARTH NEWS. Mother Earth News. https://www.motherearthnews.com/natural-health/comfrey-medicinal-uses-zmaz92jjzshe 

McCulloch, M. M. S. (2018, July 2). What Are Kumquats Good for and How Do You Eat Them? Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/kumquat

McDermott, A. (2019, August 9). 10 Reasons to Drink Lemongrass Tea. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/lemongrass-tea 

Morton, J. 1987. Barbados Cherry. p. 204–207. In: Fruits of warm climates. Julia F. Morton, Miami, FL.

PhD, D. M. F. R. C. P. I. (2020, September 25). Does Eating Holy Basil Have Health Benefits? The Evidence Reviewed. Retrieved November 15, 2020, from https://healthybutsmart.com/holy-basil-healthÂ

Purdie, J. (2019, October 12). Barbados Cherry Nutrition Facts. Verywell Fit. https://www.verywellfit.com/barbados-cherry-nutrition-facts-4690723 

Raman, M. R. S. (2019, March 21). Limes: A Citrus Fruit with Powerful Benefits. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/limes

Raman, M. R. S. (2018, May 26). 8 Impressive Health Benefits of Pineapple. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-pineapple

Rao, C. (2018, August 7). What Are Surinam Cherries? Know All About This Colourful Healthy Fruit! Https://Www.Boldsky.Com. https://www.boldsky.com/health/nutrition/2018/what-are-surinam-cherries-know-about-this-colourful-healthy-fruit-124731.html

Vann, M. (2012, August 24). Hoja Santa. The Austin Chronicle. https://www.austinchronicle.com/daily/food/2012-08-24/hoja-santa/ 

Vincentz, F. PlayaDelCarmen.com. (2018, June 13). Chaya: The Superfood & Miracle Mayan Spinach. Playa Del Carmen Blog – News, Reviews & Fun Things to Do. https://www.playadelcarmen.com/blog/chaya-miracle-mayan-spinach/

Ware, M. R. (2019, December 4). Is mint good for you? Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/275944#_noHeaderPrefixedContent 

Ware, M. R. (2019, October 9). What are the health benefits of nopal cactus? Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320293

Ware, M. R. (2018, August 16). Why you should eat your collard greens. Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/277957#_noHeaderPrefixedContent 

Ware, M., 2020. Bananas: Health Benefits, Tips, And Risks. [online] Medicalnewstoday.com. Available at: <https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/271157&gt; [Accessed 15 December 2020]. 

White, A. (2018, January 13). What Is Acerola Cherry? Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/acerola-cherry 

Yang, E. (2020, September 29). 7 Proven Health Benefits of Collard Greens, According to Nutritionists. Prevention. https://www.prevention.com/food-nutrition/a34212046/collard-greens-nutrition/ 

Yarger, L. (2007, January 20). Lagos Spinach. ECHOcommunity. https://www.echocommunity.org/en/resources/fd822e3e-2d8f-482e-9708-03689f901078