Monday, 28 January 2013


A traditional Chinese extract from the bark of the magnolia tree, an ancient genus that goes back some 95-million years, gives you fresh breath by killing off the nasty oral microbes that cause halitosis.

My favorite individual tree is the magnolia growing on the grounds at Balboa Park. It is a magnificent example of the family Magnoliaceae and takes up nearly a whole city block. Older magnolia have this elegant quality of long draping branches, perfect for avoiding a predator while enjoying an afternoon's snooze.

Given that our ancestors decended from the trees, pre Lucy now it seems, and that we've seen bits of magnolia bark in firepits from 10,000 to 80,000 years ago, we may have enjoyed Magnoliaceae as a comfortable perch, hearth and perhaps even some additional oral benefits -- magnolia toothpaste anyone?