Boneset

Did You Know…

… that Boneset was one of most widely used medicinal plants of early America and has been used well into the 21st century to treat a variety of ailments…particularly influenza and fever? Continue reading

The Alexander Technique

Did You Know…

… that a unique and practical method of moment called the Alexander Technique has been shown to help alleviate tension headaches naturally, as well as ease back pain, tennis elbow—and even asthma, sleep disorders and lethargy?

If you watch toddlers playing, you will notice that they move with ease: spines straight, joints free and large heads balanced easily on their small necks.  It doesn’t take long, however, before unawareness settles in, and the body’s innate ability to move Continue reading

Smoking May Increase Depression In Teens

Teens may smoke to “self-medicate” against depression but researchers in Canada say smoking may increase depressive symptoms in some adolescents.

Lead author Michael Chaiton of the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit of the University of Toronto and co-author Jennifer O’Loughlin of the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre say the study involved 662 high-school teenagers who completed as many as 20 questionnaires from grades 7-11 about their use of cigarettes to affect mood.

“This observational study is one of the few to examine the perceived emotional benefits of smoking among adolescents,” Chaiton says in a statement. “Although cigarettes may appear to have self-medicating effects or to improve mood, in the long-term we found teens who started to smoke reported higher depressive symptoms.”

Study participants were divided into groups of: teens who never smoked; smokers who did not use cigarettes to self-medicate, improve mood or physical state; and smokers who used cigarettes to self-medicate.

Study participants were asked to rate on a rating scale depressive symptoms such as: felt too tired to do things; had trouble going to sleep or staying asleep; felt unhappy, sad, or depressed; felt hopeless about the future; felt nervous or tense; and worried too much about things.

“Smokers who used cigarettes as mood enhancers had higher risks of elevated depressive symptoms than teens who had never smoked,” O’Loughlin says.

Reduce Tension, Keep Plants in Offices, Classrooms

DALLAS – House plants can help reduce tension and stress among office workers, who spend more than 80 percent of the day indoors.

Researchers found the presence of plants in homes and workplaces exerted a positive effect on headaches and fatigue and hoarseness.

Interior plants have also been shown to increase work productivity. In one study, employees’ reaction time on computer tasks improved by 12 percent when plants were present.

Jennifer S. Doxey and Tina Marie Waliczek, agricultural scientists from Texas State University (TSU), and Jayne M. Zajicek, horticulturist from Texas A&M University, are testing the impact of plants on student performance and satisfaction in the classroom.

“Our results showed that interior plants appeared to have the greatest impact on students who were in the classroom that had no other natural elements,” said Waliczek.

The main objective of the study was to investigate the impact of plants in classrooms on course performance and student perceptions of the course and instructor.

The study was designed to include a minimum of two classes of the same course work taught by the same professor in the same room during one semester.

Three sets of two classes each and 385 students were included within the study. Throughout the semester, an experimental group of students attended classes in rooms that contained an assortment of tropical plants. The control group of students attended class in rooms with no plants.

Statistically significant differences were found between control and treatment groups when students scored questions related to “learning”, “instructors’ enthusiasm”, and “instructors’ organization”, says a TSU statement.

Students from the group whose classrooms included plants rated these items higher on the satisfaction. Conversely, of the two student groups, the most apparent differences were reported by students who attended class in the room that was windowless and stark.

These findings were published in a recent issue of HortScience.