Prepping 101: Building an apothecary garden

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Herbal Medicine Saves Lives, Lifts Villages out of Poverty

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Until recently, herbal medicine in Vietnam relied on finding wild medicinal herbs and importing traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) herbs from China. The latter added more expense for average Vietnamese, and quality control for Chinese imports has been lacking. Overharvesting wild herbs and medicinal trees has proven to be unsustainable, Continue reading

Ginger Found to Inhibit Human Respiratory Syncytial Virus

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Medical researchers from a Taiwanese Medical School have determined that fresh ginger is an effective treatment against human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

The researchers, from the College of Medicine at Kaohsiung Medical University, tested fresh ginger and dried ginger (Zingiber officinale) Continue reading

Was the E.coli Super Bug Bioengineered?

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Even as the veggie blame game is now under way across the EU, where a super resistant strain of e.coli is sickening patients and filling hospitals in Germany, virtually no one is talking about how e.coli could have magically become resistant to eight different classes of antibiotic drugs and then suddenly appeared in the food supply.

This particular e.coli variation is a member of the O104 strain, and O104 strains are almost never (normally) resistant to antibiotics. In order for them to acquire this resistance, they must be repeatedly exposed to antibiotics in order to provide the “mutation pressure” that nudges them toward complete drug immunity.

So if you’re curious about the origins of such a strain, you can essentially reverse engineer the genetic code of the e.coli and determine fairly accurately which antibiotics it was exposed to during its development. This step has now been done (see below), and when you look at the genetic decoding of this O104 strain now threatening food consumers across the EU, a fascinating picture emerges of how it must have come into existence.

The genetic code reveals the history Continue reading