The Carob tree

Introducing the Carob tree, here in Greece also found in many warm summer climates, whose benefits and usefulness are immeasurable. WebMD has all the fine details saying there is no “evidence” for medical purposes however it has been used throughout ancient times for feeding animals, making flour, boiling and drinking, and medicinally. Carob (ceratonia siliqua) in Greek “charoupi” (χαρούπι), is a hard shelled brown pod considered a sustainability product (see ResearchGate 2018 article).

The Carob tree can be male or female and traces back to Ancient Greece. Multiple vitamins, antioxidants and high fiber; it can be boiled for its juice, ground for its flour, eaten raw, or used for its seeds. Some people prefer it to chocolate as it’s caffeine free! It’s found also in syrup form, a gluten-free product and it’s fibers help weight loss, reduce blood sugar and insulin levels (see Healthline article). Supposed benefits include:

  • Better control of diabetes (prediabetes) and cholesterol
  • diarrhea control
  • obesity
  • persistent heartburn
  • autoimmune diseases like Celiac disease
  • sinusitis and congestion (hot Carob powder drink)
  • athletic performance (chewed over several weeks), and the syrup (taken orally of course) is used to improve sperm functioning

Photos taken in Neo Oitylon, Mani Peninsula, southern Peloponnesus. A mountainous region with much stone, wind, and 🌊 sea!

Besides providing well needed shade, the Carob tree has been used throughout times.

Here are a few 😋 good recipe links you might like:

  1. Brownies (by Thespruceeats)
  2. Tsoureki (a traditional Greek Easter sweet bread) from Carob (Vicki’s Greek recipes)
  3. Apple and Carob crumble cake (by Yummly)
  4. Carob powder hot beverage drink (by Healthiersteps)
Casa Verde makes their own Carob syrup from the mature (brown) pods.

Night Sky 🌌 Astrophysics, Life purpose

Do you look up to the sky and ask yourself what is my purpose? Do you wonder what is out there? Did you notice anything strange lately like Elon Musk’s new Starlink satellites? (Those night streaks are causing both space clutter as well as obscuring astronomers’ telescope views ….. see BBC report). This was a week of contemplating about life which often happens when there are challenges, or times for relaxation. Trying to finish a summer reading book titled 📖 Someone I Used to Know by Wendy Mitchell, about her experience of Dementia. She poignantly states how her colleagues, friends and family deal with her cognitive loss, and how phrases like “living with” instead of using “suffering from” can make a big difference in curative care and survival. Other books like Thomas Moore’s Dark Night of the Soul help people philosophize about their personal life struggles.

The recent death of internationally acclaimed astrophysicist Dionysus Simopoulos, age 79, and his last message to
his friends “That’s All Folks!” having talked openly about his battle with pancreatic cancer leads me to believe we need these great examples of how to better communicate difficult topics for the general public to better understand and advocate for services. I’m not an expert in astronomy or physics but Smartphone applications like Night Sky 🌌Apps certainly help us see the world in a different light! As a matter of fact I also learned about the astronomical Ophiuchus, pronounced ‘o-few-cus’, and those with this star sign have a mix of traits from both Scorpio and Sagittarius. Ophiuchus or “the serpent bearer” is often considered as a 13th sign and it appeared on our clip, described as insightful and curious, and a “seeker of wisdom and knowledge.”

Ophiuchus is seen here …

A good friend’s father passed away and it was curious that her other siblings never came to the funeral as some cannot experience loss in the same way or the concept of filial piety seems to be fading away or very busy young people who may be lacking resources. A few years back I wrote a book chapter about Ageing, health literacy and the end of life issues both from a research perspective, and cultural histories which included commonalities of rituals and challenges as part of the acclaimed International Handbook of Health Literacy (Orkan et al., 2019). We all can and will experience this so why not be better prepared? One of the best courses we took in high school (US in the 1980s) was “Relating” which included about “death and dying” learning about Elizabeth Kubler Ross stages and having a classmate’s dad, a mortician, explain what and how they deal with the “body” and the families. Why is it that we can watch gruesome details of murders on CSI, or Law and Order, but seem not to be able to discuss about the basics?

  • Be ware of how developmental stages affect how we perceive loss and view blog post on losing a pet.
  • Keep talking and be patient with yourself, others who may have lost something special or someone special. Expect delayed reactions.
  • Practice self care always!

    Life purpose may take time but keep searching ….for sure doing good, to love ❤️ and be loved 🥰 is a basic human (and perhaps extraterrestrial) need…. Don’t underestimate the power of God and the energy of the universe.
Sunset over the southern part of the Atlantic Ocean by NASA Johnson is licensed under CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0