Before 1940, More than 85% of the U.S. Population Used Drugless Healers

The news blackout and disinformation campaign of natural cures has been so effective since WWII that Continue reading

Astaxanthin—Nature’s Most Powerful Antioxidant

 Story at-a-glance

  • Astaxanthin is believed to be the most potent antioxidant nature has to offer. In terms of antioxidant power or potency, astaxanthin is 550 times stronger than vitamin E, and 6,000 times stronger than vitamin C
  • While it is related to other carotenoids like beta-carotene, Continue reading

Want to Be More Creative? Get Back to Nature

Feel as if your creativity is gone? Lack new ideas for your work — or your life? Don’t chalk it up to getting older or not being a “creative” or artistic type. Instead, what you may need is to simply get back to nature.

According to a study by psychologists from the University of Utah and University of Kansas, backpackers scored 50 percent better on a creativity test Continue reading

An Ancient Eating Secret for Great Health

Health secrets reign in the land of Traditional Chinese Medicine, an amazing path to healing. At its root is the concept of Tao. What does this mean to you, and how can you keep a diet like a Taoist? Read on!

Aside from its likeness to our notion of karma, Taoism is like being at one with nature. Its essence, Continue reading

How to Slow Down Cancer Naturally

orgThe fatal nature of cancer lies doesn’t lie so much in the tumor that develops; it’s the spread of cancer throughout the body that’s most lethal. A new health breakthrough turned the tables a little bit and opted not to look at what natural substances can fight a tumor — but rather, which ones can slow the spread of cancer. And it’s led to some enlightening and positive news for treating cancer.

The unique study, Continue reading

Fight Stress by Going Green

Some of the best health advice out there is to hang out in nature as often as your schedule allows. That goes particularly for people whose lives are under stress, according to a new health tip. Researchers found that parks and forests help people cope when depression, anxiety and stress has entered their lives.

The study showed that stress levels of unemployed people are linked more to their surroundings than to all other facts that could be contributing to stress — including lack of disposable income. The presence of parks and woodland in economically deprived areas may help people cope better with job losses, post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic fatigue, and anxiety.

The key lay in the color green. Researchers specifically found Continue reading

Improve your Health by Hugging a Tree

Tree hugging, that much maligned hippy generation idea, has now been shown to have scientific validity after all. Contrary to popular belief, touching a tree does make you healthier. In fact you don’t even have to touch the tree to get better, just being within its vicinity has the same effect.

In a recently published book, Blinded by Science, (www.blindedbyscience.co.uk) the author Matthew Silverstone, proves scientifically that trees improve many health issues such as; mental illnesses, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), concentration levels, reaction times, depression and the ability to alleviate headaches.

Countless studies have shown that children show significant psychological and physiological effects  Continue reading

The Power of Thought on Water

Water is one of the most amazing and mysterious elements in all of nature. Research conducted in various universities throughout the world has repeatedly shown that it is the structure or alignment of the molecules within water that are of much greater importance than its chemical purity. It has also been shown that positive thoughts, intent, and words of blessing directed at water can alter its structure in positive ways and thus increase its life giving properties.

It is well known that water has some mystifying properties. If even one of these properties were not present, life on the planet could not exist. For example, scientists still don’t know why water – of all elements alone – can exist in the three states of matter (solid, liquid and gaseous). They don’t know why water has the highest surface tension of all liquids or why it is the most powerful solvent on earth. Continue reading

Biodynamic the New Organic?

The biodynamic movement, advocating food that is grown and harvested in accordance with lunar cycles, is taking off.

 Its fans say you can taste the difference in biodynamic produce.

Organic food has had a terrible recession. Before the crunch, the organic sector had been growing steadily year on year – but sales came to a crashing halt when cost-conscious customers began to look for cheaper alternatives.

Last week, sales of organic vegetables were revealed to be down by a fifth, while demand for organic wine and bread sales has halved in 12 months. On top of the dip in sales, the Food Standards Agency’s Organic Food Report this summer concluded that the nutritional benefits of organic food were negligible.

So you might think that now is no time to get into biodynamic food, a spin-off of the organic revolution.

Biodynamics embraces a holistic view of nature: it is by definition organic but it also involves biodiversity and – strangest of all – astronomy. Food is grown, harvested and sometimes even consumed in accordance with lunar cycles.

Biodynamism is not new: its principles were first outlined by Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian philosopher, in a series of lectures in 1924. Devotees of this “uber-organic” regime argue that the best days for harvesting, planting and sowing are in accordance with whether the moon is in the ascendant (when a plant’s sap rises) or descendant (when the vitality is in the roots).

During an ascending moon, the upper plant is filled with vitality, which, in biodynamic terms, is a perfect time to harvest. For the other two weeks of the lunar cycle, it’s open season on root vegetables. Other more complex issues regarding where the moon falls in relation to the planets, and within the zodiac, can also come in to play.

Even the most discerning foodie might think this a touch faddish. But according to Sebastian Parsons, chair of the Biodynamic Agricultural Association, you can taste the difference in biodynamic produce. Producers of biodynamic food need a Demeter certificate – a DEFRA-approved scheme – with which they commit to farm organically, encourage biodiversity, trade fairly, take a holistic approach – and keep an all-important eye on the moon’s movements.

“Essentially, it’s about working with nature, not against it, and making the most of the land with the minimum cost impact,” says Sebastian Parsons. “It is a strategy for saving the world.”

The results can already be found at many farmers’ markets, though not many stallholders shout about it, preferring to trumpet their organic status (see www.farmersmarkets.net for a nationwide list). But this weekend marks the start of the Biodynamic Food Fortnight, a nationwide push to educate the public about biodynamic farming that chimes in, naturally enough, with the next full moon.

Explaining the lunar connection, Parsons says that biodynamics offers a view of nutrition that is “a bit wider than usual. In principle, it means that it produces stronger food – more ‘carrot-y’ carrots, more ‘potato-y’ potatoes – which not only taste better but require a healthier digestion to process, which in turn makes you fitter.”

A surprising advocate is a man who is surely paying penance for an outsized carbon footprint: the former Formula 1 champion Jody Scheckter. He got into biodynamic farming for his family: “Organic farming tells you what you shouldn’t do – biodynamic what you should. It will never become mainstream in the same way but does the food taste better? I would say yes.”

Scheckter’s Hampshire farm, Laverstoke Park Farm (www.laverstokepark.co.uk), which is hosting events during the food fortnight, produces award-winning biodynamic meat, as well as biodynamic buffalo milk, which is available at Waitrose supermarkets. Selfridges in London has also just started to stock exclusively his biodynamic buffalo mozzarella – at £3.50 for a £125 gram ball (compared to an average £2.50 for basic organic).

Given that organic food has been rubbished of late, is there any reasonable health imperative to step up a level and choose biodynamic? Ian Marber, the Food Doctor, says: “It’s not so much what you do get so much as what you don’t. You would choose biodynamic food to cut down your overall toxic intake. But it’s the principles of sustainability that will prove more beneficial in the long term.”

This rhythm-of-life approach applies not just to food but to wine production, too. In Germany and France biodynamic wineries have existed widely for some time. German gardener Maria Thun is the acknowledged guru and has published her biodynamic calendars for more than 40 years in 18 different languages. Maria has identified ‘fruit’, ‘flower’, ‘leaf’ and ‘root’ days, which affect gardening, harvesting and eating practice. For the first time, she has published a calendar for biodynamic wine drinkers, which explains what to drink at what point on the lunar cycle.

 

It might sound bonkers but hard-nosed supermarkets have endorsed the notion: Tesco and Marks & Spencer hold their press wine-tasting days on “fruit” days, the best for wine appreciation; root days are the worst. Atmospheric pressure, which changes with the phases of the moon, can also affect the taste.

Earlier this month, Marks & Spencer held a “fruit vs root” wine tasting – the first retailer to do so – to show the impact the moon can have on taste. At the end of the event, all but one of the critics correctly guessed which day was which.

David Motion, owner of The Winery in London’s Maida Vale, used to be a biodynamic sceptic, until he tried a similar taste experiment with wines. Motion, whose shop specialises in German wines, is now a convert and stocks a range of biodynamic vintages (look for the tiny green dot on his shop labels). “A root day won’t make a good wine taste bad, but on a fruit day the wine is almost leaping out of the bottle and singing “ta-dah!” he says. He recommends beginners try La Petite Ourse Cotes-du-Rhone Villages 2007 (£13.99), which has a strong nose due to the wild yeast, and a silky taste.

To introduce some biodynamic principles into your life, Parsons suggests we try to live more rhythmically. “Before going to bed, develop a process – brushing your teeth, putting on your pyjamas, reading your book – so that your body knows what’s coming. As skin renewal begins around 11.30pm, you should try to be asleep by then. Don’t apply any fatty night creams – it means they do all the work instead of your skin, leading to early sagging and creasing. And, of course, try to eat biodynamic food.”

As for howling at the moon, you really don’t need to do that.