Love In The Time Of Cholera

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Everything I Learned From My Sled Dogs And More!

“A single word can brighten the face of one who knows the value of words. Ripened in silence, a single word acquires a great energy for work.”-Junus Emre

To change your mind and defer to correction is not to sacrifice your independence; for such an act is your own, in pursuance of your own impulse, your own judgement, and your own thinking. Marcus Aurelius

Comrade X, товарищ Николаевна

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Hitting The Not-High Points: Cannabinoids

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Cannabis terpenes

(THC) Additionally, it is a bronchodilator (Williams et al., 1976), neuroprotective antioxidant (Hampson et al., 1998), antipruritic agent in cholestatic jaundice (Neff et al., 2002) and has 20 times the anti-inflammatory power of aspirin and twice that of hydrocortisone (Evans, 1991). THC is likely to avoid potential pitfalls of either COX-1 or COX-2 inhibition, as such activity is only noted at concentrations far above those attained therapeutically (Stott et al., 2005).
>Are cannabis terpenoids actually relevant to the effects of cannabis? Terpenoid components in concentrations above 0.05% are considered of pharmacological interest (Adams and Taylor, 2010). Animal studies are certainly supportive (Buchbauer et al., 1993). Mice exposed to terpenoid odours inhaled from ambient air for 1 h demonstrated profound effects on activity levels, suggesting a direct pharmacological effect on the brain, even at extremely low serum concentrations (examples: linalool with 73% reduction in motility at 4.22 ng·mL−1, pinene 13.77% increase at trace concentration, terpineol 45% reduction at 4.7 ng·mL−1). Positive effects at undetectable serum concentrations with orange terpenes (primarily limonene, 35.25% increase in mouse activity), could be explainable on the basis of rapid redistribution and concentration in lipophilic cerebral structures. A similar rationale pertains to human studies (Komori et al., 1995), subsequently discussed.
>Compelling confirmatory evidence in humans was provided in a clinical study (Komori et al., 1995), in which hospitalized depressed patients were exposed to citrus fragrance in ambient air, with subsequent normalization of Hamilton Depression Scores, successful discontinuation of antidepressant medication in 9/12 patients and serum evidence of immune stimulation (CD4/8 ratio normalization).
>Amongst terpenoids, pinene was a major component of Sideritis erythrantha EO that was as effective against MRSA and other antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains as vancomycin and other agents (Kose et al., 2010). A Salvia rosifolia EO with 34.8% pinene was also effective against MRSA (MIC 125 µg·mL−1).
> The authors proposed CBD as a treatment for heroin craving and addiction relapse. A recent study demonstrated the fascinating result that patients with damage to the insula due to cerebrovascular accident were able to quit tobacco smoking without relapse or urges (Naqvi et al., 2007), highlighting this structure as a critical neural centre mediating addiction to nicotine. Further study has confirmed the role of the insula in cocaine, alcohol and heroin addiction (Naqvi and Bechara, 2009; Naqvi and Bechara, 2010). In a provocative parallel, CBD 600 mg p.o. was demonstrated to deactivate functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) activity in human volunteers in the left insula versus placebo (P < 0.01) without accompanying sedation or psychoactive changes (Borgwardt et al., 2008), suggesting the possibility that CBD could act as a pharmaceutical surrogate for insular damage in exerting an anti-addiction therapeutic benefit.
>Acute overdose incidents involving THC or THC-predominant cannabis usually consist of self-limited panic reactions or toxic psychoses, for which no pharmacological intervention is generally necessary, and supportive counselling (reassurance or ‘talking down’) is sufficient to allow resolution without sequelae. CBD modulates the psychoactivity of THC and reduces its adverse event profile (Russo and Guy, 2006), highlighted by recent results above described. Could it be, however, that other cannabis components offer additional attenuation of the less undesirable effects of THC? History provides some clues. The sentiment was repeated by Calkins (1871), who noted the suggestion of a friend in Tunis that lemon retained the confidence of cure of overdoses by cannabis users in that region. This is supported by the observation that lemon juice, which normally contains small terpenoid titres, is traditionally enhanced in North Africa by the inclusion in drinks of the limonene-rich rind, as evidenced by the recipe for Agua Limón from modern Morocco (Morse and Mamane, 2001).
>Another traditional antidote to cannabis employing Acorus calamus (Figure 3B) is evident from the Ayurvedic tradition of India (Lad, 1990, p. 131):

Cannabis antidotes

Calamus root is the best antidote for the ill effects of marijuana. . . . if one smokes a pinch of calamus root powder with the marijuana, this herb will completely neutralize the toxic side effects of the drug.

This claim has gained credence, not only through force of anecdotal accounts that abound on the Internet, but with formal scientific case reports and scientific analysis (McPartland et al., 2008) documenting clearer thinking and improved memory with the cannabis–calamus combination, and with provision of a scientific rationale: calamus contains beta-asarone, an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor with 10% of the potency of physotigmine (Mukherjee et al., 2007). Interestingly, the cannabis terpenoid, α-pinene, also has been characterized as a potent inhibitor of that enzyme (Miyazawa and Yamafuji, 2005), bolstering the hypothesis of a second antidote to THC contained in cannabis itself. Historical precedents also support pinene in this pharmacological role. (

More about Calamus/Sweet Flag/Rat Root:

Purslane Power

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Green living mulch of purslane chokes out other weeds. Here beneath young corn.

“Make hay while the sun shines,” stock up on purslane during the warm Summer season. Purslane can be frozen; over a period of weeks in the freezer it drys out to the point it can be later transferred out to room temp storage.

It is listed by the World Health Organization as one of the most used medicinal plants, and it has been given the term “Global Panacea” [11]. The Chinese folklore described it as “vegetable for long life” and it has been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese Medicine [12, 13]. It is cold in nature and sour in taste and is used to cool the blood, stanch bleeding, clear heat, and resolve toxins. The dried aerial part of this plant is indicated for the treatment of fever, dysentery, diarrhoea, carbuncle, eczema and hematochezia, with a recommended dose of 9–15 g [14–16].
Gamma linolenic acid content is worth noting:
>It is very good source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and gamma-linolenic acid (LNA, 18 : 3 w3) (4 mg/g fresh weight) of any green leafy vegetable. It contained the highest amount (22.2 mg and 130 mg per 100 g of fresh and dry weight, resp.) of alpha-tocopherol and ascorbic acid (26.6 mg and 506 mg per 100 g of fresh and dry weight, resp.).

More about purslane in a previous post:


Eggs, Butter, Coffee

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Linaria vulgaris is now classified in the Plantain Family.

Imprudent lawyer enjoying coffee along the path of enlightenment…
This lovely plant with leaves resembling French tarragon, also known as butter and eggs, imprudent lawyer, yellow toadflax, is thick on an east-facing little mound opposite my garden. Since last summer in warm weather I have noticed a smell like coffee drifting from that area. Could it be?

Why called imprudent lawyer? When the throat is pressed the mouth of the flower opens.

linaria 2

>The name “snapdragon” originates from the “popping” or “snapping” sound that is made when you squeeze the flower. According to Wildflowers of Wisconsin, the other common name, toadflax, is based on how the flower opens wide like a frog or toad’s mouth when squeezed. (I wonder if the name “imprudent lawyer” is linked to that wide open mouth, too?)

A European import, it has now naturalized over most of North America, including inside my greenhouse. Though less commonly used than many other herbs, it does have anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties.

The Reality Of Modern Medicine

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cow hunting

If your doctor trusts the drug company data you can’t trust your doctor. That is the reality of “evidence-based medicine.”

An interview I heard on the radio a week ago finally resurfaced from what rattles around below the surface of my memory. The warnings about drugs apply also to medical devices. “The overwhelming majority of medical devices that are on the market, that are implanted in patients, undergo no clinical trials,” journalist and author Jeanne Lenzer says.

>Did you know…

  • Medical interventions have become the third leading cause of death in America, killing more Americans each year than diabetes, murders, car accidents and AIDS combined.
  • You might think medical devices—like pacemakers, artificial hips, cardiac stents, etc.—don’t have side effects like drugs do. Nothing could be further from the truth.
  • The FDA does not require clinical testing for most high-risk implanted devices, and only 5% of the highest risk cardiac devices undergo the equivalent of the standard requirement for drug testing: two randomized, blinded clinical trials. Patients serve as unwitting test subjects to determine whether devices are safe.
  • Tens of millions of Americans have an implanted medical device, and yet the death rate caused by these devices is unknown, because no one is keeping track. Not the FDA. Not the manufacturers. Not hospitals. Not doctors.
  • The FDA habitually defends the interests of industry over the public interest, in part due to the “revolving door” between the businesses being regulated and the FDA. (

Back to the clickbait subject, drugs.

Examples of Methods used Pharmaceutical Companies to Get the Results They Want from Clinical Trials:

Conduct a trial of your drug against a treatment known to be inferior.

Trial your drugs against too low a dose of a competitor drug.
Conduct a trial of your drug against too high a dose of a competitor drug (making your drug seem less toxic).
Conduct trials that are too small to show differences from competitor drugs.
Use multiple endpoints in the trial and select for publication those that give favourable results.
Do multicentre trials and select for publication results from centres that are favourable.
Conduct subgroup analyses and select for publication those that are favourable.
Present results that are most likely to impress—for example, reduction in relative rather than absolute risk.


The much bigger problem lies with the original studies, particularly the clinical trials, published by journals. Far from discounting these, readers see randomised controlled trials as one of the highest forms of evidence. A large trial published in a major journal has the journal’s stamp of approval (unlike the advertising), will be distributed around the world, and may well receive global media coverage, particularly if promoted simultaneously by press releases from both the journal and the expensive public-relations firm hired by the pharmaceutical company that sponsored the trial. For a drug company, a favourable trial is worth thousands of pages of advertising, which is why a company will sometimes spend upwards of a million dollars on reprints of the trial for worldwide distribution.

Overall, studies funded by a company were four times more likely to have results favourable to the company than studies funded from other sources. In the case of the five studies that looked at economic evaluations, the results were favourable to the sponsoring company in every case.


Wolf Totem

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The Great Wall(s) of China were built to keep the Han Chinese farmers in, so as not to rile the Tatars, as much or more than to keep the Mongol/Tatars out. The Tatars held back the Han Chinese farmer tide inside the Yellow River barrel for two thousand years before the Yuan, Jinghis and Kublai Khan. It’s ironic now that under the “Communist” PRC Han Chinese have become the supreme global Bourgeoisie.

Myth #2: The name for China, Zhongua, meaning middle region/country, is not from an arrogant attitude that it is the center of the universe (any more than other people call themselves The People in their own language) but because they were farming passive people squeezed for millennia in the middle between more war-like belligerent cultures and tribes to the north and to the south.

Wolf Totem is a book (and movie) about this problem. How bourgeois communist Han Chinese destroyed the environment, people and life of Inner Mongolia. The wolf represents the life of the Nomad people and cannot survive.


Feel The Burn

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Pungent Plants Rape/Mustard seed, Moringa, Curry Leaf (Murraya Keonigii, in the photo)

See also-

No pain, no gain? >Rapeseed-mustard is an important source of edible oil in Indian diet especially in Eastern and North-Western India. The major fatty acids of rapeseed-mustard oil are oleic, linoleic, linolenic, eicosenoic and erucic acid. Erucic acid in oil of Indian rapeseed-mustard varieties is quite high (Chauhan et al. 2007). High amount of erucic acid in edible oils has been reported to impair myocardial conductance, causes lipidosis in children and increases blood cholestrol (Gopalan et al. 1974; Renard and McGregor 1976; Ackman et al. 1977). Rapeseed-mustard cultivars grown in India also have high level of glucosinolate content (Chauhan et al. 2007). Glucosinolates, a group of plant thioglucosides, found principally among members of family Brassicaceae are responsible for the characteristic pungency of rapeseed-mustard oil. The glucosinolates are broken down by the enzyme thioglucoside glucohydrolase commonly known as myrosinase to yield sulphate, glucose and other aglucon products. Cleavage products from hydrolysis are detrimental to animal health as they reduce the feed palatability and affect the iodine uptake by the thyroid glands thus reducing feed efficiency and weight gains (Bille et al. 1983; Fenwick et al. 1983; Bell 1984) especially in non-ruminants such as pigs and poultry. (
* But glucosinolates are also considered to be healthy constituents in human diets.
>The enthusiasm for the health benefits of M. oleifera is in dire contrast with the scarcity of strong experimental and clinical evidence supporting them. Fortunately, the chasm is slowly being filled. In this article, I review current scientific data on the corrective potential of M. oleifera leaves in chronic hyperglycemia and dyslipidemia, as symptoms of diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. Reported studies in experimental animals and humans, although limited in number and variable in design, seem concordant in their support for this potential. (
>Status of lipid peroxidation was studied in rats induced high fat diet and some commonly used spices, viz. Murraya koenigit and Brassica juncea. The study revealed that these species alter the peroxidation (thiobarbituric acid reactive substances) level to a beneficial extent. Histological studies also focus on modulation of hepatic functions to near normal level. (
>M. koenigii is a traditional Indian Ayurvedic herb. Apart from being a useful food supplement in curries and chutneys, the herb possesses immense therapeutic potential. The therapeutic usefulness of the herb can be easily understood from the present review. Leaves, fruits, roots and bark of this plant are a rich source of carbazole alkaloids. These alkaloids have been reported for their various pharmacological activities such as antitumor, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antidiarrhoeal, diuretic and antioxidant activities. Apart from these activities, the plant is reported to possess a wide spectrum of biological activities.
>An infusion of the roasted leaves is used to stop vomiting. The green tender leaves are eaten raw for the cure of dysentery. A decoction of the leaves is sometimes given with bitters as a febrifuge and the leaves have been claimed to be used with mint in the form of chutney to check vomiting. (

The Mighty Moringa

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Although you might not like the taste, it comes with the high content of health-promoting glucosinolates (think broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts) and the dried leaf can be used in any similar foods or nutritional supplements where that taste is pleasant such as curries or other savory foods…
And, see below, may be best not to use hot water or to cook it.

A general precaution in any nutritional evaluation is described here for the traditional Ayurvedic herb combination Triphala: >The increased popularity of herbal remedies such as Triphala has led to dramatic improvements in the processing of crude plant materials that serve to maximize the absorption of otherwise poorly absorbed plant components. Despite these improvements, these preparations still display pronounced variability in efficacy, which is likely related to the natural variation in composition of gut microbiota species that catalyze the biotransformation of herbal components. This response variability is not unique to herbs and, in fact, may be the case for virtually all health-promoting compounds ingested by humans. >Polyphenols in Triphala modulate the human gut microbiome and thereby promote the growth of beneficial Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus while inhibiting the growth of undesirable gut microbes. The bioactivity of Triphala is elicited by gut microbiota to generate a variety of anti-inflammatory compounds.

>Despite the recent advancements in chemotherapeutics, chemotherapy is still associated with severe adverse effects such as nephrotoxicity, nausea, hair loss, skin irritation, anemia, and infertility [38], [39]. Therefore, naturally occurring anticancer compounds from natural plants, especially those with low toxicity and high potency, have important implications for chemotherapy and chemoprevention.
>In the field of anticancer drug discovery and development process, compounds with the highest anticancer activities often have bulky hydrophobic groups within their chemical structures, rendering them water insoluble [53]. Low water solubility leads to both formulation issues and serious therapeutic challenges. Administering the poorly soluble drug candidate intravenously might result in serious complications such as embolism and respiratory system failure due to the precipitation of the drug [54], while poor absorption would result from extravascular dosing [55]. Therefore, increasing water solubility and/or developing soluble bioactive compounds with high anticancer activities have attracted increasing attention. In this study, I focused on the new water-soluble MOL extracts and examined its potential as an anticancer drug candidate.
>The reason why the difference in the cell cytotoxicity between cancer cells and normal cells is not clear at this time, but I think complex effects caused by some compounds in the extract can protect normal cells from severe cytotoxicity. Overall, these data suggest that the cold water (4°C)-soluble MOL extract may become a good candidate for anticancer therapy with high specificity and less adverse effects. In conclusion, I demonstrated that the soluble MOL extract may have be a new promising candidate for a natural anticancer drug. Further studies are required in this regard.
>Compared to the data, I had much greater inhibition rate of up to 90% by using cold-MOL extract (see Figure 2). The possible difference in anticancer activities between cold- and hot-DW treated MOL extract might be resulted from the heat inactivation of some bioactive molecules within M. olefeira leaves, but obvious reason needs to be clarified through further research.

Click to access article_33038_779fe5464be753c3717f3f80c0b6ebe0.pdf



AA, Aloe arborescens

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Small woodland tobacco, rat root, and Aloe arborescens. Grow your own: “Let food be your medicine and medicine your food.”

Neuroprotective potential of Aloe arborescens against copper induced neurobehavioral features of Parkinson’s disease in rat

The present investigation have brought, on the one hand, an experimental evidence of an altered dopaminergic innervations following Cu intoxication and on the other hand, a new pharmacological property of Aloe arborescens that may be used as a neuroprotective plant for neurodegenerative disorders, such as PD, touching the dopaminergic system trigged by heavy metals.

A Randomized Study of Chemotherapy VersusBiochemotherapy with Chemotherapy plus Aloe arborescens in Patients with Metastatic Cancer

Aloe is one of the of the most important plants exhibiting anticancer activity and its antineoplastic property is due to at least three different mechanisms, based on antiproliferative, immunostimulatory and antioxidant effects.

The percentage of both objective tumor regressions and disease control was significantly higher in patients concomitantly treated with Aloe arborescens than with chemotherapy alone, as well as the percent of 3-year survival patients.

Candelabra aloe (Aloe arborescens) in the therapy and prophylaxis of upper respiratory tract infections: traditional use and recent research results

Originally introduced to support the healing and recovery in cornea transplant patients, aqueous A. arborescens extracts soon became popular in the treatment of upper respiratory tract infections with a focus on toddlers and children. Recent preclinical and clinical data show that immunomodulatory, antiinflammatory, and antiviral effects contribute to its therapeutic efficacy.

In contrast, Aloe arborescens Miller (Candelabra Aloe) is characterized by a generally very low anthranoid content and is thus suited for other therapeutic purposes without
exerting laxative effects.

Secondary Phenol Metabolites (SPhMs), Distribution and Content of Some Aloe Species, Originated from Arid Zones of South Africa: A Review

Whole leaves of A. arborescens can be used as fresh food (Shioda et al., 2003). According to some studies, A. arborescensis richer than A. vera in respect to medicinal properties. The leaves of A. arborescens have long been used externally for therapeutic and cosmetic purposes. Experimentally, it has been demonstrated to exert a number of pharmacological effects (Suga and Hirata, 1983).

Barbaloin has been found to have a strong inhibitory effect on the histamine release from mast cells, while aloenin has a weak inhibitory effect. The inhibitory effect of barbaloin is much higher than that of a potent anti-inflammatory drug, such as Indomethaacin (Nakagomi et al., 1987).

Barbaloin content as a percentage of the dry weight of an Aloe arborescens leaf cut on 27 April 1993 and the consequent new growths from the same place on the plant cut on 27 May, 27 June and 27 July. The number above the column is the weight of the cut leaf (Gutterman and Chauser-Volfson, 2000a)

aloe arborescens phenol

The younger the leaf the denser is the vascular bundles and therefore the higher the content of the SPhMs.
Leaf pruning increase the content of the SPhMs in the leaves. The more times the plant is pruned the higher is the SPhMs content of its leaves, up to even 85% of the leaf dry weight.
Even pruning of one young leaf at the top part of the branch affect an increase in the leaves below. The closer the leaf below the one pruned, the higher the content of its’ SPhMs. The leaves oriented at the opposite side of the pruned leaf are also affected by increasing their content of SPhMs.



Pre-Hispanic Mexican Eats

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According to the Conquistadores the Aztecs called themselves La Mexica pronounced La Mechica.

In this video:

Elotes (sweet corn as called in English) originated in Peru but was brought to Mexico many centuries ago and the best quality comes from the high plateau of central Mexico.


Pericon or Anisillo (in English known as Mexican tarragon or sweet mace or sweet marigold or Mexican marigold and other names) is a true marigold, Tagetes lucida, the original flower of the dead, now sometimes applied to other marigolds or pot marigold, calendula. The Spanish word margarita and name of the tequila drink can also mean daisy, while a translation of marigold can be maravilla. I wish I could grow or buy pericon in sheafs like she puts in the pot to flavor the sweet corn in the video above and shown in the street market below! The video below explains that pericon is a corruption of the latin name of St Johnswort, Hypericum or hypericon, above the icon.

Tequesquite is a regional mineral salt found on the margins of rivers and lakes.

More on the subject in this searchable text version of 1905 book:

Full text of “Plantas comestibles de los antiguos mexicanos



Medicinal Plant Names & Uses

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Page too narrow. See here instead:

Medicinal plants used by the Aboriginal people of boreal Canada, a list of plants by Latin name, common name and uses…

Medicinal Plants in the Boreal Forest

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Traditional use of medicinal plants in the boreal forest of Canada: review and perspectives

The boreal forest of Canada is home to several hundred thousands Aboriginal people who have been using medicinal plants in traditional health care systems for thousands of years. This knowledge, transmitted by oral tradition from generation to generation, has been eroding in recent decades due to rapid cultural change. Until now, published reviews about traditional uses of medicinal plants in boreal Canada have focused either on particular Aboriginal groups or on restricted regions. Here, we present a review of traditional uses of medicinal plants by the Aboriginal people of the entire Canadian boreal forest in order to provide comprehensive documentation, identify research gaps, and suggest perspectives for future research.

Additional file 1:

Medicinal plants used by the Aboriginal people of boreal Canada. Plants are sorted by scientific name. For each plant, family name, growth habit, vernacular name(s), part(s) used, use(s), and reference(s) are provided.

The main file, link below to the original on ncbi.nlm.nih (national library of medicine aka pubmed) study, is full of big data type info not as useful to me, though some interesting broad perspectives. The two “Additional files” at the bottom are Additional file 1 sorted and listed by plant scientific name and Additional file 2 sorted and listed by uses. #2 I found to be not so useful, and #1 by scientific name I found to be very useful, listing various names and ways used by different identified groups or tribes. If you do not know the scientific name you can use find in your word processor software. Although it may not be 100% because for example there is no “rat root” for Acorus calamus or Acorus Americanus! Even though it is only about 1 M size my own computer sometimes chokes on this file.  I saved a copy in rtf in case that is easier to navigate.


Le Jardin Des Traiteurs

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Tansy and Tennessee


>According to liquor historian A. J. Baime, in the 19th century Tennessee whiskey magnate Jack Daniel enjoyed drinking his own whiskey with sugar and crushed tansy leaf.

Tansy was used as a face wash and was reported to lighten and purify the skin.[6][7] In the 19th century, Irish folklore suggested that bathing in a solution of tansy and salts would cure joint pain.[14] …tansy is still a component of some medicines and is listed by the United States Pharmacopeia as a treatment for fevers, feverish colds, and jaundice.[4][7][12][medical citation needed]

Ran across a pamphlet, Cajun Herbal Healers pdf, from a tourist village in La Louisianne.

Interesting info… in English French and Creole, Tansy = Tennessee according to their spelling. But the correct French Tanaisie would be pronounced ~ the same.

From Fr wiki:
Cette plante est citée dans le capitulaire De Villis datant du début du ixe siècle, parmi les plantes potagères et aromatiques recommandées. Une recette du Liber cure cocorum en utilise les feuilles hachées pour aromatiser l’omelette10.
Séchée, cette plante est utilisée par certains apiculteurs comme combustible pour l’enfumoir11. Elle aurait l’avantage d’avoir un effet calmant sur les abeilles et l’odeur de la fumée produite serait sans incidence sur le goût du miel (contrairement à l’usage du carton par exemple).
C’est aussi une plante ornementale, notamment la variété crispum à feuilles frisées et très découpées.
Répulsif contre les tiques. On peut se frotter les poignets, la nuque, les chevilles avec une feuille, les tiques et moustiques détestent cette odeur12

> Small amt used as culinary herb px omelette, rub the leaves on the skin and mosquito and tick repellent that is good for the skin.

Wormwood, Artemisia absinthium, is a different plant, it is not Tansy. However, both are maligned for alleged toxic effects of the constituent thujone. “The dose makes the poison.” For absinthe the drink historically banned in some countries, the liver damage was probably more due to chronic alcoholism and also copper sulfate also sometimes added to the concoction for the intense green color.

Feverfew, Tanacetum parthenium, Costmary, T balsemita, are in the same genus as common Tansy, T vulgare.

Medicinal and culinary herbs that contain thujones include, but are not limited to: sage, mugwort, oregano, tansy, wormwood, and some species of mint. Source:

Back to the initial subject, download the pamphlet here:

Click to access Healer’s%20Garden%20Brochure%20Web.pdf


BBC Health Foods

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Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cauliflower

Extracts of 3-day-old broccoli sprouts (containing either glucoraphanin or sulforaphane as the principal enzyme inducer) were highly effective in reducing the incidence, multiplicity, and rate of development of mammary tumors in dimethylbenz(a)anthracene-treated rats. Notably, sprouts of many broccoli cultivars contain negligible quantities of indole glucosinolates, which predominate in the mature vegetable and may give rise to degradation products (e.g., indole-3-carbinol) that can enhance tumorigenesis. Hence, small quantities of crucifer sprouts may protect against the risk of cancer as effectively as much larger quantities of mature vegetables of the same variety.

For example, a commercial product:

Supplement Facts
Serving Size 1 vegetarian capsule
Amount Per Serving
Broccoli super concentrate extract (seed and plant) [providing glucosinolates] 400 mg
I3C (indole-3-carbinol) 80 mg
Watercress 4:1 extract (whole herb) 50 mg
Rosemary extract (leaf) [std. to 20% diterpenic compounds, providing carnosic acid/carnosol] 50 mg
Cat’s claw extract (bark) 50 mg
Apigenin 25 mg
Cabbage extract (leaf) 25 mg
DIM (3,3’-diindolylmethane) 14 mg
Other ingredients: vegetable cellulose (capsule), maltodextrin, vegetable stearate, silica.


Aloe Vera: EAT IT!!

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What is Aloe good for?

“How come you’re always such a fussy young man
Don’t want no Cap’n Crunch, don’t want no Raisin Bran
Well don’t you know that other kids are starvin’ in Japan
So eat it, just eat it…”

Probably other kids are not starving in Japan, and furthermore in Asia drinks with Aloe vera gel pieces floating about are common while Aloe yogurt is trending as the latest big fad.


Grow your own Aloe, filet the leaves to remove the skin as you would filet fish. Use the skin to rub on your own skin for the remaining gel then dry and powder the skin to put in your garden or on potted plants.

Part of its popularity is that it’s a striking plant to look at, but the gel inside the leaves also has strong healing capabilities for a number of maladies and conditions. In fact, the gel could easily remedy many of the problems thousands of people purchase creams and lotions for, purportedly containing extracts from the aloe vera plant, but often containing only a fraction of the healing power available from the genuine article.

It’s the gel inside the leaves that contains the highest levels of bioactivity, but here’s what’s really amazing, according to holistic nutritionist and author Laura Dawn, who launched Happy and Raw:3 Aloe vera’s got you covered at least eight different ways, as it’s:

Disinfectant Antibiotic Antimicrobial Antiseptic
Antibacterial Germicidal Antiviral Antifungal

One study shows aloe vera contains 75 potentially active compounds, including lignin, saponins and salicylic acids and amino acids, 12 anthraquinones, which are phenolic compounds traditionally known as laxatives. It also provides campesterol, β-sisosterol and lupeol, and the hormones auxins and gibberellins that help in wound healing and have anti-inflammatory action.6

As an adaptogen, aloe boosts your body’s ability to adapt to external changes and increases your ability to deal with stress, be it physical, emotional or environmental. Scientists believe adaptogens balance your system and stimulate your natural defense and adaptive mechanisms, further helping to combat illness and disease.

The Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry notes that aloe helps the body cleanse itself,10 and a four-study review acknowledged that it could reduce the healing time of burns by as much as nine days in comparison with conventional medicine’s remedies.11 In addition, aloe vera:

Reduces dental plaque, kills plaque-forming bacteria andCandida albacans12 Helps heal and alleviates pain of canker cores13 Improves cardiovascular health as beta sitosterol helps optimize cholesterol
Aids digestion; reduces constipation due to the compound aloin, or barbaloin14 Lowers blood sugar levels15 Reduces inflammation
Helps detoxify your body Boosts your immune system due to polysaccharides May improve skin, increase collagen production16 and alleviate wrinkles



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Because of its central importance as a universal regulator of metabolism and gene expression, systemic intervention of the cAMP metabolism is associated with numerous, sometimes considerable, side effects.


Forskolin Rescues cAMP Deficient Signaling

Forskolin is a naturally derived diterpenoid extracted from the roots of the Plectranthus barbatus (Coleus forskolii) plant that grows naturally in Asia and that has long been used in various Aryuvedic teas and therapeutic preparations. Forskolin, which is a skin-permeable compound, directly activates adenylate cyclase to induce production of cAMP. Our laboratory was among the first to show that topical application of forskolin promoted UV-independent production of eumelanin in an MC1R-defective fair-skinned animal model [53], resulting in robust UV protection by interfering with epidermal penetration of UV photons [68]. Pharmacologic stimulation of cAMP using forskolin may protect the skin in ways other than through melanin induction. For example, cAMP provided enhancement of keratinocyte migration to promote wound healing [69] and it also decreased blister formation [70]. De Vries and co-workers proposed using a topical cAMP approach to regulate beta-adrenergic response in psoriasis patients [71]. Interestingly, cAMP stimulation has also been studied as an activator of hair follicle activity and has been considered as a therapy for age-related hair loss [72,73].


Pentacyclic Triterpene Distribution in Various Plants – Rich Sources for a New Group of Multi-Potent Plant Extracts

The pharmacological relevance of these triterpenes has increased during the last two decades demonstrating multi-target properties such as wound healing, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, antiviral, hepatoprotective and anti-tumoral effects, combined with low toxicity.

Mediterranean spices and fruits contain, besides other nutraceuticals, pentacyclic triterpenes from the lupane, oleanane and ursane groups (see Figure 1 and Table 1), that are regularly isolated as active substances from these plants. For example, they can be found in rosemary and other spices of the Lamiaceae family as well as within olive leaves and fruit. Virgin olive oil contains up to 197 mg/kg triterpenes, indicating the importance of these substances as nutraceuticals [1-4]. Furthermore, the bioguided fractionation of several hundred plant extracts led to the isolation of betulinic acid (BA), oleanolic acid (OA) and ursolic acid (UA) as the active principles [5]. Apples are among the fruit most consumed worldwide and anti-tumoral effects from apples are correlated with the fruit peel [6] which contains OA, UA and maslinic acid (MA) [7]. Known sources for triterpenes are mainly plant surfaces such as stem bark or leaf and fruit waxes [8]. Depending on the plant material, betulin (birch bark), betulinic acid (plane bark), oleanolic acid (olive leaves, olive pomace, mistletoe sprouts, clove flowers), ursolic acid (apple pomace) or an equal mixture of the three triterpene acids (rosemary leaves) are the main components of these dry extracts. They are quantitatively characterised plant extracts supplying a high concentration of actives and therefore can be used for development of phytopharmaceutical formulations. The preparation of a semi-solid topical formulation of triterpenes is realised for instance with the above mentioned triterpene dry extract from the outer bark of birch. It has been used successfully in treating actinic keratoses.


S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine (AdoMet), S-Adenosyl- L-Homocysteine (AdoHcy), adenosine, trehalose and oleanolic acid were measured in six medicinal herbs and three spices. The findings showed that AdoMet content was forty six fold higher in the leaves of Catharanthus roseus as compared with average AdoMet content of rest of the plants.

AdoMet aka SAMe

Overlooked Health and Nutrition Gold Mine

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Because it is a warm weather plant I always delayed planting outdoors until later in the season, until wild purslane would appear… but now I kick myself! I start other warm weather plants two months earlier indoors. What I can do from now on, plant seeds in the soil of the basil, edible chrysanthemum, and many others when I transfer to quart size or gallon pots ready to move outdoors. The purslane is a low spreading edible ground cover that chokes out weeds and give a healthy harvest underneath the primary herb or vegetable. Synergy!

Purslane might tolerate cold nights better than basil plants but neither grow well until the days and nights are warm.

Heads-up, chukes seem to instinctively know it is delicious and will mow it right down unless there is plenty to satisfy them. I protect it from them.



портулак каландриния
Purslane (Portulaca oleracea L.) deserves special attention from agriculturalists as well as nutritionists. Purslane is a common weed in turfgrass areas as well as in field crops [1, 2]. Many varieties of purslane under many names grow in a wide range of climates and regions. Purslane has wide acceptability as a potherb in Central Europe, Asia, and the Mediterranean region. It is an important component of green salad and its soft stem and leaves are used raw, alone, or with other greens. Purslane is also used for cooking or used as a pickle. Its medicinal value is evident from its use for treatment of burns, headache, and diseases related to the intestine, liver, stomach, cough, shortness of breath, and arthritis. Its use as a purgative, cardiac tonic, emollient, muscle relaxant, and anti-inflammatory and diuretic treatment makes it important in herbal medicine. Purslane has also been used in the treatment of osteoporosis and psoriasis.

Recent research demonstrates that purslane has better nutritional quality than the major cultivated vegetables, with higher beta-carotene, ascorbic acid, and alpha-linolenic acid [3]. Additionally, purslane has been described as a power food because of its high nutritive and antioxidant properties [4]. Different varieties, harvesting times, and environmental conditions can contribute to purslane’s nutritional composition and benefits [5].

Purslane is popular as a traditional medicine in China for the treatment of hypotension and diabetes. Scientifically, it is not proven to have antidiabetic effects, but still people use it for this purpose. An experiment has been carried out for the extraction of crude polysaccharide(s) from purslane to investigate the hypoglycemic effects of these constituents with animal tests for the use of this plant in the treatment of diabetes [6].

>As a companion plant, purslane provides ground cover to create a humid microclimate for nearby plants, stabilising ground moisture. Its deep roots bring up moisture and nutrients that those plants can use, and some, including corn, will follow purslane roots down through harder soil that they cannot penetrate on their own (ecological facilitation). It is known as a beneficial weed in places that do not already grow it as a crop in its own right.
>When water is abundant, purslane performs photosynthesis mostly by C4 carbon fixation, which is more widespread in nature. When stressed by low availability of water, however, purslane, which has evolved in hot and dry environments, switches to photosynthesis using an alternative pathway, crassulacean acid metabolism (the CAM pathway). At night its leaves trap carbon dioxide, which is converted into malic acid (the souring principle of apples), and, in the day, the malic acid is converted into glucose. When harvested in the early morning, the leaves have ten times the malic acid content as when harvested in the late afternoon, and thus have a significantly more tangy taste. (Opuntia cacti, which are eaten as a vegetable, “nopales”, in Mexican cuisine, also employ the CAM pathway and are similarly best harvested in the early morning, though the pickled nopales sold commercially have citric or malic acids added to the pickling liquid.

The crunchy purslane withstands moderate cooking such as stir fry without wilting or becoming soft and mushy.

A new study shows that using metformin over many years increases the risk of dementia.1 Chinese researchers followed 9,300 diabetics for up to 12 years. Half the patients were taking metformin. The results showed that people on the drug had more than double the risk of Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s.
Compared to non-users, metformin increased:
Parkinson’s rates by 127%
Alzheimer’s dementia rates by 113%
Vascular dementia by 130%
And the risk went up the longer the patients took the drug and the higher their dose…
People who took the highest doses had a 254% higher rate of Parkinson’s compared to the controls. For people who took the drug for more than 400 days, rates of Parkinson’s were a whopping 349% higher!
AD/PD 2017: The 13th International Conference on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases by Yi-Chun Kuan, MD, Shuang Ho Hospital, Taipei Medical University, New Taipei City, Taiwan.
Vs. Purslane. Chinese medicine has been using this herb for thousands of years as a natural remedy for diabetes. In a study of 30 diabetics, half took 1,500 mg per day of metformin. The other half ate five grams of purslane seeds twice a day. After eight weeks, purslane reduced triglycerides, blood sugar levels, insulin and weight just as well as metformin.
El-Sayed MI. “Effects of Portulaca oleracea L. seeds in treatment of type-2 diabetes mellitus patients as adjunctive and alternative therapy.” J Ethnopharmacol. 2011;137(1):643-51.

And the reductionist approach:



Tobacco in the Library!

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Mystery Plants and horrors. (Oplopanax horridus, Devils Club)


“Some say that they’re comin’ back in a garden
Bunch of carrots and little sweet peas
I think I’ll just let the mystery be”

“A foolish consistency is the Hobgoblin of little minds…”-Emerson

Perhaps because in a more enlightened view the “consistency” is found to be inconsistent with logic and facts.

Wrapping up the Mystery Plants series at the Library next week, Wednesday evening at 6 PM, 2/23/17, a presentation including slideshow, many specimens of healing plants and herbs, based on 50 years of personal “anecdote” and experience in sports competition and nutrition, feeding racing sled dogs and chickens.

With other specimens will be several tobacco species. Tobacco was introduced and popularized in Europe beginning 500 years ago not for smoking but as one of many “miraculous” healing plants “discovered” in the New World. Monardes wrote about them. He is honored in the name of the Monarda genus, the bee balms such as wild bergamot and Oswego tea.

Jean Nicot, the French ambassador to Portugal learned about tobacco and used crushed leaves to treat skin diseases such as ringworm and a form of skin cancer. He sent some to Catherine de Medicis, Queen of France, to be used like snuff for the Dauphin, the crown prince later to become Francois II, who was cured of migraine headaches in this way. Or was it for her own migraines? The tobacco genus is named Nicotiana.


Tobaccos are easy to grow and can be a useful nurse, companion or chaperon plant protecting others. The leaves attract and kill aphids and fungus gnats. Neo-nics, neo-nicotinoids, synthetic pesticide derivatives of tobacco leaf nicotine, are problematic because they persist in the environment for longer time continuing collateral harm to non-target species like honey bees, unlike nicotine and tobacco leaf extracts used historically for the same purposes. Several night blooming species perfume the air with a lovely smell sometimes compared to jasmine. 450 years later laboratory studies have shown the anti-cancer effects of an AMP, anti-microbial peptide, extracted from the flowers of Nicotiana alata, aka jasmine tobacco.


Woodland tobacco, Nicotiana sylvestris, is an ancestral species of Nicotiana from which most of the commercial and common tobaccos are descended, bred for particular reasons and purposes a thousand or thousands of years ago in South America. The flower perfume is similar to the alata species.Woodland tobacco thrives in the shade of trees or on the north side of buildings. Nicotiana rustica, Hopi tobacco, flowers are quite different in form and have little odor, if any, detectable to humans. One variety of rustica is Oneida said to be originally from the Oneida tribe of Wisconsin.

>Traditional Tobacco History

Prior to colonization, American Indians had

an intimate knowledge of the world around them.

This included animals, geography, and plants.

Some plants were used for food, others for housing

or making tools, and some were used as physical

or spiritual medicines. Tobacco is one such plant

that was used as a medicine. Tobacco came to

American Indians a very long time ago. Each

community has a story about how tobacco has

come to them. We have included some of those

stories in this document.

Prior to colonization, in the Great Lakes area,

the plants used by themselves or in combination

to make tobacco were Nicotiana rustica (traditional

tobacco), red willow tree bark, sage, sweet grass,

cedar and other botanicals. Since colonization,

and with it the commercialization of tobacco,

there has been a shift in the type of tobacco used

by Native people. Many American Indians substitute

Nicotiana tabacum (commercial tobacco) for

the original N. rustica (traditional tobacco)

(American Lung Association, 2004; Struthers &

Hodge, 2004). This shift may be partly caused by

the ease of access to commercial tobacco. Part of

this shift may also have started during the time

when it was illegal for American Indians to practice

their spirituality. The American Indian

Community Tobacco Project (AICTP) reports that,

“It is believed that the need to conduct ceremonies

in secret and begin using commercial tobacco to,

‘hide in plain sight,’ was a factor in the inculcation

of commercial tobacco into American Indian

cultures in this region” (American Indian

Community Tobacco Project, 2006). It was not

until the passage of The Indian Religious Freedom

Act of 1978 that American Indians were allowed

to use tobacco legally in ceremonies.

Click to access tabacco-booklet-web-.pdf

Plant Intelligence

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Do plant interactions with their surrounding environment reach the threshold of what could be called intelligence and learning? What’s in a name? More important, more useful “actionable information” comes with understanding specific facts used to support one side or the other in the argument related to the definition of intelligence.


>…we’re talking with scientists about how to compare plants to animals—and whether or not we can use words we associate with animals, like learning or sex, in reference to plants.

So, calling this field plant neurobiology made a certain amount of sense—but the name was also intended to make a statement. That, although plants may not have brains, they are sophisticated, and modern science should treat them that way. Some biologists even argued that plants deserved to be called. . .intelligent.

Lincoln Taiz is a retired professor of biology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and he’s been a vocal skeptic of plant neurobiologists. He’s also an expert on an older semantic dispute, one that arose in the late 17th century when botanists had just discovered that plants reproduce sexually. To call plant reproduction sex at the time though, or to make any comparison between the way plants reproduce and the way humans do, was extremely controversial.

Monica Gagliano, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Western Australia, generated evidence that plants can learn.

Gagliano and some colleagues recreated Pavlov’s famous experiment in associative learning—that’s the one where a dog learns to associate a treat with a bell—but they did it using plants. If you want to get into the details of this experiment, I wrote about it for The Scientist, and we’ll put a link to that story in the episode description.

Gagliano, for her part, is fine with swimming against the current. After all, scientists live in the world of unconfirmed hypotheses—that’s their job.

“Humans are the ones we know the best—it’s ourselves, right? And we are still struggling to talk about intelligence, consciousness, memories, learning with us. Let alone when we move to animals, and let alone when we move even further away from our own kingdom.

“But we, you know, we are here to explore, so why not?”bloodroot-3-sanguinaria-canadensis–Episode-1–Smarty-Plants/


Another Language Of Plants

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Watch out vegetarians, plants might be able to hear you coming! Biologist Dr Monica Gagliano and Bio-inspired engineer Dr Rob Malkin show Sam and Si how to listen in on noise made by plant roots. It may be too early to tell if they’re making noises intentionally, but timelapse footage shows that other plants can detect the sounds and fire into action!


Note that the lower photo communication between plants to defend against aphids would not work if the plants are in adjacent pots but not connected via fungus in soil.

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