Category Archives: Plants & Medicine

Antibiotics That Get Into The Water Supply Could End Up In Our Food

To track the antibiotic’s journey from water to pepper, the researchers labeled TCC with radioactive carbon (C14). They grew the pepper plants hydroponically and, after 12 weeks, sampled the C14 content in the roots, stems, leaves and fruit. While the pepper fruit itself had relatively low levels of TCC, it contained a hefty portion of C14 in molecules that started out as TCC but then were converted to other molecules by the plant. According to the researchers, this finding indicated that the plant was metabolizing the antibiotic, and the health impact of these metabolites would need to be taken into account to fully assess the safety of TCC consumption. (Click on title for full story)

Toxic Squash Syndrome: Who Knew?

Although it’s rare, other cases of cucurbit poisoning have been described in the medical literature; in those cases, people developed food poisoning after eating bitter-tasting squash, zucchini and other gourds, according to the new report. But these are the first two reported cases linking the consumption of bitter-tasting gourds with hair loss (Click on title for full story.)

You Want To Take Herbal Cures, But Can You Be Sure The Herb Is What It Says It Is?

“Thanks to globalization, special medicinal plants that grow in a single region only have a worldwide market,” says Peter Nick of KIT’s Botanical Institute. If the rapidly changing superfood trends lead to a sudden increase in demand, these often cannot be met by existing capacities, the professor for molecular cell biology says. The result is a booming trade in counterfeits. “The caterpillar fungus is deemed to have a strengthening and aphrodisiac effect in traditional medicine. Every year, however, the exported quantity of this mushroom is eight times that of its harvest,” (Click on title for full story.)

Human Anesthetics Work On Plants. Good For Research (Not Suggested Just For Pruning)

Plants are sensitive to several anaesthetics that have no structural similarities. As in animals and humans, anaesthetics used at appropriate concentrations block action potentials and immobilize organs via effects on action potentials, endocytic vesicle recycling and ROS homeostasis. Plants emerge as ideal model objects to study general questions related to anaesthesia, as well as to serve as a suitable test system for human anaesthesia. (Click on title for full story.)

Asthma Rates In Urban Areas Reduced By Adequate And Appropriate Greenspace

We wanted to clarify how urban vegetation may be related to respiratory health. We know that trees remove the air pollutants which can bring on asthma attacks, but in some situations they can also cause localised build-ups of particulates by preventing their dispersion by wind. And vegetation can also produce allergenic pollen which exacerbates asthma.  We found that on balance, urban vegetation appears to do significantly more good than harm. However, effects were not equal everywhere. (Click on title for full story.)

Is This Plant The Cure For The U.S. Opioid Crisis?

“There’s a huge wealth of anecdotal evidence, and some scientific, that there is definite medical potential for this plant. If it’s not in the treatment of mild and moderate pain, it’s definitely in the treatment of potential opioid withdrawal,” (Click on title for full story.)

The Amazing Moringa Tree: Medicine, Food, Fertilizer. What Can’t It Do?

If plants could be superheroes, the Moringa (Moringa oleifera) tree would be one of them. Although native to the foothills of the Himalayas in India, moringa can thrive in most tropical and subtropical regions. It is drought tolerant, grows rapidly, has leaves that can be used as a biofertiliser, and has seeds that can help purify water. Today, moringa is most commonly found in India and the Philippines but its cultivation is increasing throughout Asia, Africa, Central America, and the Caribbean. Even more interesting about this tree, is that it’s a food, a vegetable, and a medicine. Every part of the tree can be consumed; leaves and young fruits (pods) as food; and the seeds, bark, flowers, and roots as medicine. (Click on title for full story.)

Traditional Medicinal Plant Yields Cancer Shrinking Substance

Laboratory experiments show that the substance damsin in the plant Ambrosia arborescens inhibits the growth and spread of cancer stem cells. The similar substance, chemically produced by chemistry, has the same positive effect,. The plant Ambrosia arborescens grow wild in much of South America and is traditionally used as a medicinal plant. (Click on title for full story.)

Controlling Malaria By Pruning Flowers Off Of Trees

Gardening could be a powerful weapon against malaria, culling mosquito populations by cutting off their food supply, say researchers.A team tested their idea in nine villages in the arid Bandiagara district of Mali, West Africa.Removing flowers from a common shrub appeared to kill off lots of the older, adult, female, biting insects that transmit malaria. (Click on title for full story.)

Menopause Symptoms Eased With Fermented Red Clover

The vast majority of women in the menopause are familiar with the status of Red Clover as an herbal medicine that soothes hot flush symptoms and hormonal fluctuations. This holds true, new research shows, if the red clover is taken in a fermented form.  Fermented Red Clover extract is demonstrated to decrease significantly both the number and severity of daily hot flushes. The study also found that the extract prevents the normally accelerated menopausal bone loss affecting one in three women over the age of 50 (e.g. results showed treatment blunted bone loss in the spine completely). These findings are very promising as the benefits take place without any of the side effects of traditionally proscribed hormone therapies that increase the risk of cancers and cardiovascular diseases. (Click on title for full story.)