Milk Thistle: Multiple Benefits but Not a Good Garden Plant

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STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • The compound with the highest bioactivity in milk thistle is silymarin, which helps reduce inflammation
  • Milk thistle protects the liver against poisons such as alcohol, death cap mushrooms and chemotherapy
  • It’s used in dairy cows to increase milk production and has been found to help increase milk in lactating human mothers; it also has antibacterial and antiviral properties
  • The fast-growing, invasive species is poisonous to grazing animals; however, the flowers can be harvested for the seeds and used in salads, smoothies or brewed tea

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Why Bats Are Ecological Superheroes

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STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Bats are ecological superheroes. They feed on agricultural pests and pollinate many popular food crops including bananas, cacao, mangos, peaches and figs
  • Did you know that without bats, we wouldn’t have tequila? Bats pollinate agave, the primary ingredient in tequila, which blooms at night in the Desert Southwest
  • “Bats — Unsung Heroes” highlights several hotspots for bats, including the South Congress bridge in Austin, Texas, and Bracken Cave, near San Antonio, Texas
  • About 20 million bats live in Bracken Cave. Each night they eat 147 tons of insects, most of which are agricultural pests
  • Bats save farmers in the U.S. up to $53 billion per year

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Diluting blood plasma rejuvenates tissue, reverses aging in mice

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New study suggests that plasma exchange could be the key to unlocking the body’s regenerative capacities

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Pollinator Gardens: Creating A Pollinator Garden

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You don’t need a lot of space to start a pollinator garden; in fact, with only a few pots of flowers, you can attract beneficial creatures such as bees and butterflies to the area. Continue reading

A giant mammoth graveyard was just discovered outside Mexico City

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Researchers have found a “graveyard” of about 60 mammoths ahead of the construction of an airport just outside Mexico City, according to the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) in Mexico. Continue reading

Murder Hornets Are Traveling South From Canada

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STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • As the insect population is declining, Asian Giant Hornets, dubbed murder hornets, have made an appearance in Washington state and are a significant threat to honeybees
  • The hornets measure 2 inches in length, have teeth-like pincers and can sting multiple times, delivering seven times more venom than a honeybee
  • They don’t normally attack humans, but cause up to 50 deaths each year in Japan; scientists in the U.S. began preparations during last winter to eradicate them
  • Experts warn you should not try to capture or kill the hornets, but get away and report the sighting to your state department of agriculture

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In the absence of people, crocodiles take over Oaxaca beaches

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With the tourists away the crocs come out to play Continue reading

Coronavirus — What Are the Best Alternatives for Self-Care?

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STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Certain pre-existing conditions may make you more vulnerable to coronavirus, including being overweight and having a heart condition or diabetes
  • While there are no proven treatments for COVID-19 yet, some doctors are reporting success with intravenous doses of vitamin C
  • The FDA has given the go ahead for the administration of plasma from previously infected patients to help critically ill people with the virus
  • One way to fight coronavirus and other infections is to boost your microbiome diversity with healthy foods and probiotics and/or certain supplements
  • Learning relaxation techniques and stress management can help, too — studies show that relaxation therapy increases levels of secretory immunoglobulin-A, one of the molecules protecting mucosal surfaces, like those in the lungs, from infection

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BREAKTHROUGH? Single dose of common agricultural drug Ivermectin found to “essentially eliminate all viral material” of COVID-19 coronavirus within 48 hours

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A new study published in the journal Antiviral Research finds that Ivermectin, a common agricultural drug used as a de-wormer for cats, dogs, horses and livestock — achieves a 5000-fold reduction in replication of the SARS-cov-2 “Wuhan” coronavirus. Continue reading

Remains of 90 million-year-old rainforest discovered under Antarctic ice

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Fossil traces of an ancient rainforest were just unearthed in West Antarctica. Continue reading

Grassroots Rising — A Call to Change the World

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STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Ronnie Cummins’ new book, “Grassroots Rising,” details how transforming our food and farming system worldwide can solve many of our most pressing problems, including environmental pollution, health problems, climate change and rural poverty
  • Transitioning to regenerative organic farming has the ability to solve all of these problems simultaneously
  • Far from solving world hunger, genetically engineered crops destroy soils and make food more toxic and less nutritious. Regenerative farming has demonstrated its superiority with regard to yield and nutrition, without the use of toxic chemicals
  • Education, innovation, policy changes and investment are the four things that drive this change of paradigm
  • The Via Organica farm in Mexico is promoting a novel way to produce inexpensive yet highly nutritious animal feed made from native agave plants

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Mosquito begone: 5 Natural ingredients that work as a mosquito repellent

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For many people, mosquito bites can be quite a nuisance when they’re trying to enjoy the great outdoors. If you happen to be a mosquito magnet, you’re probably already tired of having itchy, bumpy skin all the time. Just like with overall health, avoiding mosquito bites is all about practicing preventative measures as the first step. This includes keeping mosquitoes as far away from you as possible. Those looking for alternatives to synthetic mosquito repellents can use natural repellents that are very effective at protecting against their annoying bites. Continue reading

The Hidden Risks of Pesticides

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STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Exposure to low doses of atrazine leads to changes in the gut microbiota of wasps, increasing their resistance to pesticides
  • Researchers exposed wasps to atrazine at concentrations of 300 parts per billion, an amount meant to simulate the exposure level that would occur among pollinators visiting a field that was recently sprayed
  • Changes in gut microbiota occurred, Changes in gut microbiota occurred, including not only the herbicide atrazine but also glyphosate — a chemical to which the wasps had not been exposed
  • The microbial changes in the wasps’ guts persisted across successive generations, meaning that the wasps’ offspring were affected even though they weren’t exposed to atrazine
  • Host-microbiome interaction is not part of standard biorisk assessments for pesticides

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Why Everything You Learned About Viruses is WRONG

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Groundbreaking research indicates that most of what is believed about the purportedly deadly properties of viruses like influenza is, in fact, not evidence-based but myth… Continue reading