Consumption of Avocados May Reduce Adult Weight Gain but Depend on Initial Body Mass Index

Avocados (Persea americana, Lauraceae) are nutrient-dense and medium-caloric food. They provide dietary fiber, phytochemicals, mannoheptulose, and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs). In vivo studies indicate an association between lower body weight and avocado consumption. However, according to the authors, very few studies have examined the relationship between avocado intake and adiposity in humans, with inconsistent results. … Continue reading Consumption of Avocados May Reduce Adult Weight Gain but Depend on Initial Body Mass Index

Chocolate – Food of the Gods

The Herb Society of America Blog

By Maryann Readal

In 1753, it was Carl Linnaeus who gave cacao, the Herb Society of America’s Herb of the Month, its botanical name: Theobroma cacao, from theos meaning god and broma meaning food – food of the gods. The Mayans gave it the name xocoatl, (pronounced sho-KWA-til). According to The True History of Chocolate authors Sophie and Michael Coe, the most likely history of the word “chocolate” is that the Spaniards combined the Maya word chocol, meaning “hot,” and the Aztec atl, meaning “water,” to produce chocolatl.

It is believed that Olmec Indians began using cacao beans for beverages as early as 250 BCE. But it was the Mayans who really domesticated the tree and discovered its many uses. They were the first to grow cacao trees on plantations. The drink they made from cacao beans was reserved for the Mayan wealthy and important and was…

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Where and How to Grow an Herbal Groundcover – Richo’s Blog

The urge to muck about and create plant habitat goes hand-in-hand with the urge to grow more and more species of plants that need individualized growing conditions.   As your species list increases, you will probably feel motivated to prepare specific plant habitats.  After all, making your plants happy is a way to spread a groundcover … Continue reading Where and How to Grow an Herbal Groundcover – Richo’s Blog

Bibliometric Analysis of Curcumin Research Reports Great Increase in Publication Rate, New Emphasis on Delivery and Bioavailability

Turmeric (Curcuma longa, Zingiberaceae) rhizome has been used as a medicine for thousands of years. It has been used as a tonic, for blood cleansing, and for treatment of skin diseases, stomach disorders, anorexia, rhinitis, sinusitis, cough, complications of diabetes, liver and bile disorders, and rheumatism. Curcumin and other curcuminoids are major active components of … Continue reading Bibliometric Analysis of Curcumin Research Reports Great Increase in Publication Rate, New Emphasis on Delivery and Bioavailability

Ginger Reduces Disease Symptoms and Modulates Gene Expression of Immune and Inflammation Markers in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune-inflammatory disease in which the severity of disease and pain are associated with inflammation and oxidative stress. Patients with RA have elevated serum levels of inflammatory cytokines and altered expression of immune factors, including nuclear factor-kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB), peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPAR-γ), forkhead box P3 (FoxP3), T-box … Continue reading Ginger Reduces Disease Symptoms and Modulates Gene Expression of Immune and Inflammation Markers in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis

True Alkanet — The Saga – Richo’s Blog

Alkanet roots are rich in alkanninBefore I stood two test-tubes, one full of olive oil, the other containing pure grain alcohol.  I dropped a fragment of Alkanet (Alkanna tinctoria) root into each and watched as the fragments drifted down, trailing in each case a tail of bright red pigment, like barnstorming biplanes emitting colored smoke at … Continue reading True Alkanet — The Saga – Richo’s Blog

Plants Go To War – A Book Review

The Herb Society of America Blog

By Maryann Readal

To quote author Judith Sumner in the preface to her new book, Plants Go to War: A Botanical Plants go to war coverHistory of World War II, “The war could not have been won without rubber, but the same might be said about wheat, cotton, lumber, quinine, and penicillin, all with botanical origins.” In her book, Sumner documents many of the plants that were critical to World War II efforts on all sides of the battlefield. Indeed, her research is exhaustive in that she covers not only the military uses of plants but also civilian uses as well by the major countries involved in the war.

As the war disrupted supplies of plants needed for medicine, food, and manufacturing, governments had to look for alternatives. Some were successful in growing tropical plants and food crops on their own soil; some began to look for chemical alternatives. A chemical synthesis of quinine…

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Raspberry, Herb of the Year and Herb of the Month: History and Lore

The Herb Society of America Blog

HOM Brambles

By Pat Greathead

Raspberry, Rubus spp., is the International Herb Association’s Herb of the YearTM for 2020 and The Herb Society of America’s Herb of the Month for January (Brambles). The genus Rubus includes both the red and black raspberry and the blackberry as well as almost 700 other species. Rubus is in the Rosacea family.

My Wisconsin Unit of The Herb Society each year examines the IHA Herb of the Year.TM In this blog post, I have mainly focused on red raspberry leaf and have used information from many websites in writing this article. I hope you enjoy reading it as this is the year of the raspberry!

Raspberry leaves are among the most pleasant tasting of all the herbal remedies, with a taste much like black tea, without the caffeine. Raspberries are native to Asia and arrived in North America via prehistoric people, with the first…

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Cannabis and the Incidence of Psychotic Disorder – A Multi-cohort Study

While cannabis (Cannabis sativa, Cannabaceae) prohibition is being discarded by many nations, epidemiological studies and biological evidence continue to report links between its use and psychotic disorder (PD). A meta-analysis reported a dose-response link, with the highest risks of PD among people with heaviest cannabis use. It is unclear whether cannabis use affects the incidence … Continue reading Cannabis and the Incidence of Psychotic Disorder – A Multi-cohort Study

Clinical Efficacy of Bitter Orange Aromatherapy for Premenstrual Syndrome

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) affects up to 40% of reproductive-age women worldwide. PMS symptoms include irritability, depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, and bloating in the days before menstruation begins. Bitter orange (Citrus × Aurantium, Rutaceae) has traditionally been used as a carminative, antiemetic, antidepressant, anxiolytic, analgesic, and sedative and to treat headache, inflammation, insomnia, and uterine prolapse. Previous clinical … Continue reading Clinical Efficacy of Bitter Orange Aromatherapy for Premenstrual Syndrome