European Commission to Criminalize Nearly All Seeds and Plants Not Registered with Government

seedplantsA new law proposed by the European Commission would make it illegal to “grow, reproduce or trade” any vegetable seeds that have not been “tested, approved and accepted” by a new EU bureaucracy named the “EU Plant Variety Agency.”

It’s called the Plant Reproductive Material Law, and it attempts to put the government in charge of virtually all plants and seeds. Home gardeners who grow their own plants from non-regulated seeds would be considered criminals under this law.

The draft text of the law, Continue reading

Fighting Microbes with Microbes

Story at-a-glance

  • Microflora in soil influences plant health, helping to provide nutrients and suppress disease; there are more than 30,000 varieties of microbes in soil
  • In humans, antibiotics are often overprescribed, killing off beneficial bacteria and promoting the formation of antibiotic-resistant ”super germs”; Continue reading

Ancient Incan Super Food: Sacha Inchi Nuts A Potent Anti-Inflammatory

For more than 3,000 years, the Plukenetia Volubilis – also known as the Sacha Inchi or Inca Peanut – has been used by inhabitants of the Amazon Rainforest for better total body health and increased endurance.

Found in the highlands of the Andes Mountains in Peru, the plants are durable, Continue reading

What a Garden Can Do for Seniors

As the aging population grows, doctors and other medical health professionals are seeking ways to keep seniors healthier for longer. As it becomes increasingly obvious that pharmaceutical drugs can’t successfully bear the complete burden of age-related illness, those in the profession of geriatrics have been forced to get Continue reading

Body Clock ‘Alters’ Immune System

The time of the day could be an important factor in the risk of getting an infection, according to researchers in the US.

They showed how a protein in the immune system was affected by changes in the chemistry of the body through the day.

The findings, published in the journal Immunity, showed the time of an infection changed its severity.

An expert said drugs were likely to take advantage of the body clock in the near future.

Plants, animals and even bacteria go through a daily 24-hour routine, known as a circadian rhythm. Jet lag is what happens when the body gets out of sync with its surroundings after crossing time zones.

It has been known Continue reading

Ashwagandha is the Super Adaptogen

Life in the 21st century is full of stress in the form of emotional setbacks, environmental toxins, physical trauma & poor nutrition. This stress depletes the body of critical nutrients and causes oxidation of various cellular elements. Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that helps the body successfully adapt to stressful conditions.

Ashwagandha is also called Indian ginseng, winter cherry, & Withania Somnifera. Although it grows naturally in North America and Africa, it is most commonly associated with the Ayurvedic traditions of the east. Ayurveda is an ancient philosophy and application of natural health common in India and the Far East. This tradition is known to use the roots of the Withania Somnifera plant to prepare Ashwagandha. This herb has been used for a myriad of health conditions throughout the centuries by Ayurvedic medicine men.

Ashwagandha Improves Neurological Function: Continue reading

Organic Tomato Juice Shown To Be Richer In Antioxidants

Many health-conscious consumers have found themselves standing in a grocery store aisle, debating whether it’s worth spending an extra $1 on an organic product versus paying less for its conventionally grown counterpart.

Researchers at the University of Barcelona’s Department of Nutrition and Bromatology recently conducted a study that provides support for food grown without synthetic pesticides or chemicals, since it revealed that organic produce may contain higher concentrations of antioxidants.

Authors of the study explained that conventionally grown fruits and vegetables usually receive the essential element nitrogen through fertilizers to stimulate growth. In organic farming, plants are not supplemented and therefore must use their natural defense mechanisms to survive, increasing their levels of protective polyphenols.

“Conventionally grown plants can lose resistance to disease and present lower levels of nutrients, minerals and secondary metabolites,” said first author Anna Vallverdu-Queralt.

Source for Story: Continue reading

Herbal Abortion Helps African Women

Researchers at the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, have examined a number of plants which are used for illegal abortions in Tanzania. The lab tests show that several of the plants can make the uterus tissue contract and that the plants therefore can be used to stop lethal bleedings after birth. This new knowledge is now to be conveyed in rural Tanzania where access to medicine often is difficult.

Every year around 350,000 women die globally due to post partum bleedings – blood loss during child birth. On the African continent, one in 16 women die during their pregnancy and in some countries the number is as high as every eighth woman. The reason is poor access to medical assistance often because the women either lack money or because they live to far away. The knowledge about herbs, which can help the uterus contract after childbirth is therefore often the only life saving opportunity in remote rural areas.

Danish researchers have therefore tested 22 abort inducing plants in the lab on rat tissue, and several of the plants had close to the same effect as the control drug acetylcholin.

“Half of the plants we tested made the uterus tissue contract strongly whereas 11 of the extracts induced contractions with short intervals. Continue reading

Seed Hunters Make Mad Dash to Save the Food Crops of Humanity

In the face of today`s burgeoning loss of seed diversity, the need for a doubling in food production in the next fifty years and the threatened spread of deadly food fungus has instigated seed hunters to scour world markets in a desperate search for the last varieties of wheat, rice, barley, lentils and chickpeas.

Food diversity extinction is rampant. In the USA, 90 percent of historic fruit and vegetable varieties have vanished. In the Philippines thousands of varieties of rice are now shrunk to a few hundred. China has lost perhaps 90 percent of wheat varieties. This former diversity was the result of more than 10,000 years of domestication.

Without seed diversity,  Continue reading

Alternative Food Sources that Bestow Availability, Nutrition and Other Uses

Alternative food sources in a world of shrinking resources are those that offer a diverse profile in terms of availability, nutrition and other important uses. Some food plants grow well in marginal soil, offer high nutrition, and have medicinal uses that could make them high priority in years to come. Easy propagation, tolerance of diverse growing conditions, multiple uses of its products, and beneficial nutrition would be earmarks of life-saving food crops. Another food source already utilized in other countries is insects. An online search for nutritious foods yields results such as broccoli, kale, avocadoes, bee pollen and others equally well-known. While these all-stars undoubtedly have a place in the pantheon of nutritious foods, a few other candidates could nose them out.

Moringa oleifera, also known as horseradish or drumstick tree, is a miracle tree grown throughout the tropics that can nevertheless withstand frost and frozen soil. It propagates easily from stumps, seeds, direct sowing, cuttings or natural regeneration. It is drought-resistant and fast-growing.  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

Phytoremediation Uses Plants to Detoxify Soil from Radiation

Concerns about radioactive materials accumulating in soil and water since the nuclear accident in Japan this year have led individuals to look at natural ways to clean their property of possible radiation. One method worthy of examination is phytoremediation. Phytoremediation uses plants to detoxify areas contaminated by the accumulation of hazardous substances, heavy metals and pollutants such as radioactive material.

Remediation using various plants relies on the plants ability to draw material out of the soil through their roots and up into their stalks, leaves and flowers. Some plants are particularly adept at leeching heavy metals and radiation from soil and water. The prospect of using plants to clean up radioactive messes is attractive because plants are a natural, economical means to restore areas contaminated by radiation. In the face of nuclear accidents like the  Continue reading

Nanoparticles Damage Healthy Soil Bacteria

Though some might argue that nanotechnology offers benefits not afforded by normal molecules, the environmental and human health consequences of this “breakthrough” technology appear dire, to say the least. New research published in the Journal of Hazardous Materials explains that nanoparticles damage beneficial soil bacteria and ultimately ruin plants’ ability to uptake necessary nitrogen.

Researchers Niraj Kumar and Virginia Walker from Queen’s University in Canada set out to investigate the effects of nanoparticles in the environment, comparing soil from the Arctic — which they believed would be the least contaminated with nanoparticles — to soil that was deliberately contaminated with various nanoparticles, including silver nanoparticles. Continue reading

African Plant Extracts being used for Fighting Malaria

The malaria parasite has gradually developed resistance to the most commonly used medicines. To make matters worse, several mosquito species that host and transmit the parasite have become resistant to insecticides, making it difficult to eliminate them from populated areas.

Now researchers at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB), south of Oslo, are studying and testing plant extracts that have been used in traditional African medicine to fight malaria. Ultimately, the researchers hope to find supplements and replacements for today’s conventional medicines.

Plants used in traditional African medicine may have an effect on the malaria parasite as well as the mosquitoes that spread the disease. A Norwegian pilot project is now indexing and testing these plants. Continue reading

Eat Greens for St. Patrick’s Day

Why not have the luck of health and eat green! The color green symbolizes growth, harmony, nature, freshness, and fertility–and we can thank our lucky charms for Mother Nature’s abundance of delicious green antioxidant-rich plants. Plus, foods that are green boast a bonanza of phytonutrients and cancer-fighting compounds. Get in the spirit of the shamrock season by eating greens that will boost your longevity.

Why Go Green?

Popeye was certainly onto something with his love of spinach. We all know how important it is to eat our greens, and countless studies prove the power of these cancer-fighting plants. One health-giving compound found in plants is chlorophyll,  Continue reading