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And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow every tree for food, whose leaf shall not wither, neither shall the fruit thereof fail; it shall bring forth new fruit every month … and the fruit thereof shall be for food, and the leaf thereof for healing. (Ezekiel 47:12)   

The arbor at Temple Sinai’s garden. /Catherine WaltersThe arbor at Temple Sinai’s garden. /Catherine WaltersPlants played many roles in Biblical times, as they do today, for food, personal beauty, hygiene and ritual, and as aids to healing. Israeli botanical scholar Michael Zohary maintains that “Although healing by plants is not explicitly mentioned in the Bible, herbal remedies were numerous and specific. The ultimate healer was God, and prayer was therefore the remedy most often prescribed. Because mentioning medicinal uses of plants would defy the belief in God’s exclusive healing power, they were rarely mentioned in scripture.” And indigenous knowledge of medicinal attributes of herbs and their uses in healing belonged to the women.

As Rhode Island, along with the rest of New England, digs itself out of a historic winter, the housing market is springing forward and entering the season of renewal.

“In the coming year, Rhode Island will be one of the key growth areas in New England,” Tara Demyan, of Lila Delman Real Estate, said. “With international flights coming to T.F. Green, this summer will open Rhode Island to an entirely different market.”

PHOTO | KONSTANTIN YUGANOV/FOTOLIA.COMPHOTO | KONSTANTIN YUGANOV/FOTOLIA.COMStatePoint – Do you know what ingredients are in the cleaning products you buy? Probably not, as there are no federal government regulations requiring companies to disclose their contents. But harsh chemicals can take their toll on the indoor air quality of your home, are harmful to the environment and may irritate eyes and skin.

So how can you learn more about the cleaning products you plan to purchase? Luckily, certain retailers are making it easier for consumers to make informed decisions. For example, in 2011 Whole Foods Market introduced the Eco-Scale Rating System, which is the first household cleaner standards offered by a retailer.  

StatePoint – Giving your home’s exterior a fresh look starts with color. And this year, many home improvement trend-spotting experts say the leading color family is gray, with its neutral yet refined elegance.

 “Gray is an important home exterior color because it works equally well on all home styles, from historic to contemporary, and in every part of the country,” says Kate Smith, president and chief color maven of Sensational Color. “Quite versatile, gray tones can range from cool, clear bluish gray to a true neutral gray through a warm French gray or even taupe. With gray, it’s really hard to go wrong.”

StatePoint – From burns to slips to trips, bathrooms can be hazardous. In fact, hundreds of thousands of injuries occur in the bathroom annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Hot water can be a dangerous bathroom peril. More than half a million scald burns occur in the U.S. annually according to the CDC. Prevent “shower shock” by setting your water heater at a maximum of 120 degrees .