Healing herbs

Healing herbs
Echinacea and Calendula

Saturday, 29 June 2013

The Coolest Earth Houses around the World

An earth house (also known as an earth berm or an earth sheltered home) is an architectural style characterized by the use of natural terrain to help form the walls of a house. An earth house is usually set partially into the ground and covered with thin growth. Modern earth houses are built with concrete walls and insulation. Earth houses are some of the most energy efficient. 

Earth House Estate L├Ąttenstrasse is a project designed by Peter Vetsch, located in Dietikon, Switzerland. This settlement finds itself in contrast to the surrounding of traditional single houses. To the south of the lot, there is free agricultural land. The earth- covered houses are grouped centered around a small artificial lake with the entrance well hidden and integrated at the side of the settlement. That not just serves the completion of the form, but also guarantees the secondary access of the particular houses through the subterranean parking lot.

The residential settlement consists of nine houses, three 3 bedroom, a 4 bedroom, a 5 bedroom, three 6 bedroom and a 7 bedroom house. The daytime areas are situated towards the south, the nighttime area towards the north. In the middle, you find the bathrooms and the connecting stairs to the basement. All the bathrooms get natural light through rooftop windows. Situated on both lateral sides of the houses are outdoor living spaces divided through the remains of the rising of the building. The basement, as well as the parking lot is built with conventional techniques, not so the ground floor, which is constructed with the typical earthhome construction principle of sprayed concrete. The isolation consists of recycled glass, an absolute environment friendly product. The water protection is added directly on the sprayed concrete. On top of the isolation is a protective layer with natural earth, which can be used to grow grass or plants on the rooftop.

Read more here

50,000 dead Oregon bees to be honored in memorial service

A Portland resident is creating quite the buzz by hosting a memorial ceremony dedicated to the 50,000 bumblebees that died in an Oregon parking lot last week.

Just days before National Pollinator Week, tens of thousands of bees fell from the trees and were found dead at a Target parking lot in Wilsonville, Ore. A state investigation found that an insecticide coined “Safari” was to blame, and Oregon now has a 180-day ban of 18 pesticides containing the chemical dinotefuran.

More than 50 poisoned European linden trees have been covered with netting to prevent further bee deaths, and the Oregon State Agricultural Department is still investigating whether or not there was a violation of state or federal pesticide laws. 

Meanwhile, Portland resident Rozzell Medina is hosting a memorial to commemorate the bumblebees. The July 30 event will take place in the Target parking lot to “memorialize these fallen lifeforms and talk about the plight of the bees and their importance to life on Earth,” Medina wrote on the event’s Facebook page. There will be food available for attendees. 

“I thought it would be a good opportunity for people to see that this is not just a news item,” Medina told The Oregonian. “With a lot of these ecological catastrophes, they become so abstract that people become scared to feel them.”

Read more here

6 Foods That Clear Brain Fog

While on my own personal journey to learn more about the pros and cons of consuming gluten, I ran across a common theme: clouding of the mind, also known conventionally as mental fog or “brain fog,” due to the consumption of foods containing gluten.

Conversely, I found that many who were omitting gluten from their diets, either voluntarily or on a physician’s recommendation, noted improvements in memory and mental clarity. If you’ve ever put your car keys in the freezer by mistake, looked for your car in the wrong section of the parking lot, or simply couldn’t think clearly for seemingly no reason at all, you may be able to relate.  

Often chalked up to a “normal part of getting older,” symptoms of brain fog include mild confusion, forgetfulness and/or the inability to think clearly. But this doesn’t have to be your fate!!!

Certain foods such as artificial sweeteners and dairy have been linked to mental fog, but more and more physicians are discovering that mental fog is quite strongly linked to gluten intolerance. Within weeks of eliminating gluten from my own diet, I noticed an ability to think more clearly.

Luckily, there are several foods that have been associated with improved cognitive performance that are naturally gluten free. Tired of losing your keys? Here are six foods you can reach for to clear up mental fog and boost your brain health:

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The Top 10 Healthiest Seeds on Earth

They come in all different sizes, shapes and colours. The seed is an embryonic plant itself and the origin of nutrition. A plant goes to great lengths to produce each seed and fill it with high concentrations of vitamins, minerals, proteins, essential oils and dormant enzymes. If you're looking for a high quality, nutritious and filling snack, seeds are tough to beat. Let's look at the ten healthiest seeds on Earth and how to consume them.

A seed is life. It is a living food. It is impossible to eat a raw seed and not derive nutrition.

Many seeds are edible and the majority of human calories come from seeds, especially from legumes and nuts. Seeds also provide most cooking oils, many beverages and spices and some important food additives.

In different seeds the seed embryo or the endosperm dominates and provides most of the nutrients. The storage proteins of the embryo and endosperm differ in their amino acid content and physical properties.

How to Eat Seeds:

There is only one way to derive nutrition from seeds and that is to eat them raw. Once they are exposed to heat, they produce toxic substances and the vitamin, mineral and essential oil profiles are denatured. By roasting a seed, its classification moves from a living food to a dead food. There is no seed on earth that can withstand roasting or heating without breaking down its nutritional components. Always remember, eat seeds naturally...eat them raw. This also means they can be soaked, ground or mashed (i.e. Tahini), especially if a seed's shell or coat is too difficult to pierce with the teeth.

- Choose raw and unsalted seeds
- Avoid coated or roasted seeds
- Avoid sugar coated seeds

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Wednesday, 26 June 2013

8 Foods People Think Are Healthy (But Aren't)

Agave Syrup - This is one I myself fell for. So many vegans and raw foodists rave about agave that I didn’t really stop and think it could be too good to be true. Agave is a super sweet liquid that is often touted as the “healthy” or “low GI” alternative to sugar. According to Dr Joseph Mercola, it’s hardly any better than high fructose corn syrup. It’s highly processed, and super high in fructose.

What should we eat instead? Anything from this  list of natural sweeteners.

Soy - Soy milk and tofu are often considered healthy alternatives to meat and dairy. I’m not advocating meat or dairy, but in my opinion, soy is just as bad, if not worse. Organic fermented soy products are okay in small amounts, but the majority of the western world is under the idea that processed products like soy milk and tofu (which are also generally genetically modified) are good for us. Hundreds of epidemiological, clinical and laboratory studies link soy to: malnutrition, digestive distress, thyroid dysfunction, cognitive decline, reproductive disorders, infertility, birth defects, immune system breakdown, heart disease and cancer. Don’t believe me? Read The Whole Soy Story by Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD.

What should we eat instead? If you’re after vegan protein, I recommend lentils, beans, chickpeas, quinoa, spirulina, and leafy greens.

Fish - Fish falls into two main categories: farmed and wild. Farmed fish are raised in much the same environment as factory farmed animals. They are crammed into confined spaces and forced to survive in atrocious conditions. The enormous amount of feces in their enclosures leads to rampant outbreaks of parasites and disease. In order to keep the fish alive in such unhealthy conditions, large quantities of antibiotics and other chemicals are poured into the water. Farmed fish are fed a tasty diet of junk grains, soy meal, corn gluten meal, chemicals and neurotoxins. Everything the fish endures, is consumed by you when you eat it!

Wild caught fish is a little better, but still not great. Most of it is full of mercury (with the exception of the odd sardine), which is the second most toxic element on Earth next to radiation. 

What should we eat instead? If you don’t want to give up fish, here is an Australian list of the most and least contaminated fish, and here is one for the US.

Read more here

FBI Calls Destruction of GMO Sugar Beets in Oregon 'Economic Sabotage'

In a breaking development, the FBI confirms that 1,500 GM Sugar Beet plants were destroyed this month in Oregon, in what they are calling an act of "Economic Sabotage."

When GM pollen blows into a non-GM farmer's fields and irreversibly contaminates his crop with 'biopollution,' who does the law side with? Historically, Monsanto. Also, it's not called 'economic sabotage' but rather 'copyright infringement,' and the victim not the aggressor is threatened with economic ruin.

When Monsanto's unapproved and therefore illegal GM wheat is found years after open field trials growing freely in an Oregon wheat field, the entire state crop's export fate is held in limbo, jeopardizing the present and future living of thousands of farmers and their dependents, with Monsanto receiving little more than a reprimand, followed by rapid USDA assurance that despite a lack of approval their GM wheat is "safe."

Given the unfair rules of the game, no wonder some folks in Oregon, having been treated much like feudal peasants lately, are taking things quite literally into their own hands.

Read more here

Saturday, 22 June 2013

GM food off the menu in Parliament's restaurants despite ministers telling the public to drop their opposition

GM foods are banned from restaurants in the Houses of Parliament despite government claims it is ‘probably safer’ than other meals.  Government ministers are demanding that ordinary families should abandon their reluctance to eat genetically modified food, however they are banned from MPs’ plates.  This week the food and farming secretary, Owen Paterson, launched an extraordinary propaganda campaign to encourage the nation to accept GM crops and farming

He bolstered his campaign with claims that some seven million children in the Far East could have been saved from blindness or  death in the last 15 years if only people had opened the door to a new form of GM ‘Golden Rice’.  However, his efforts were unraveling today amid evidence that GM food is banned from the dinner tables of MPs, while his claims for the GM rice proved to be bogus.  The House of Commons Catering service today confirmed that the ban on GM ingredients which dates back to 1998 remains in place as a matter of ‘customer choice’.  It said: ‘In line with its procurement policy, the House of Commons Catering Service avoids, wherever identifiable, the procurement of foods that contain genetically modified organisms.

‘To this end, as part of the tendering process, food suppliers are required to work to a strict GM organisms policy and give assurances that goods supplied be free from genetically modified materials.’  It added: ‘The decision to avoid GMs is seen as largely a matter of customer choice.’  Mr Paterson has set himself up as the chief cheerleader for so-called Frankenstein Foods, however it appears that he has been unable to convince fellow MPs to accept them in their restaurants.  As a result, the minister and fellow MPs leave themselves open to accusations of hypocrisy and complaints that they are telling people to ‘do as I say, not as I do’.  Speaking earlier this week, Mr Paterson said: ‘The use of more precise technology and greater regulatory scrutiny probably makes GM organisms even safer than conventional plants and food.

Read more here

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Buckwheat - 9 Great Reasons to Know it, Plant it, Grow it and Eat it!

Buckwheat is one of those plants that may be unfamiliar to most Americans. It is a staple crop in parts of China, Russia and Eastern Europe, but is less well known to U.S. food consumers.

Buckwheat is not a cereal grain, although it's name might lead you to think it is. Rather, it is a flowering plant. Buckwheat is a relative of sorrel, dock and rhubarb, whose 'fruit seeds' are a great source of nutrition, cancer fighting phytonutrients, antioxidants and fiber.

A major crop which has been cultivated throughout the world for centuries, buckwheat production in the U.S. is currently far lower than in other parts of the world.

In the U.S. it is often planted not for the harvest of its seeds but as a weed control cover crop, a green manure to be cut and either tilled or left on the soil as organic matter, or as a honey crop for bees.

There are some powerful benefits offered by buckwheat in the garden and in the diet, not the least of which is its ease of growing and ability to thrive without fertilizers or pesticides.

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Whole Foods Shows Customers the Bleak Future of Produce Without Bees

The decline in bee populations has been all the buzz lately, which led Whole Foods Market to team up with the Xerces Society to show us what a world—or at least, produce section—without bees would look like. The University Heights, Rhode Island store removed all foods that are reliant upon the important pollinators, and it leaves a pretty slim selection; 52% of the produce department’s offerings would be pulled from shelves without bees around to help.

Busy bees help pollinate countless essential plants that make their way into our daily diets. To show just how important they are, Whole Foods removed quite the shopping list from their produce section: apples, onions, avocados, carrots, mangoes, lemons, limes, honeydew, cantaloupe, zucchini, summer squash, eggplant, cucumbers, celery, green onions, cauliflower, leeks, bok choy, kale, broccoli, broccoli rabe and mustard greens from their shelves. Although the store only yanked the fruits and veggies from the shelf temporarily, the scene could be a glimpse into the future, with the harsh reality of dwindling bee populations.

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Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Flower power: Fighting the Man with guerrilla gardens

I’ve never thought of myself as much of a rebel. You generally won’t find me smashing car windows or setting garbage cans aflame. (Let’s get real: You probably won’t find me speeding. Such are the depths of my rule-following nature.) But I realize now that all along, I’ve just been waiting for the right weapon with which to battle The Man.

Wildflowers, of course. More precisely: ping-pong ball-size globs of clay and compost laced with wildflower seeds called seed bombs (or green grenades — military nomenclature is a must). The other day, I stood in front of a fenced-off lot on a busy stretch of asphalt, fingering the tiny seed arsenal I’d packed into a Ziploc bag. I looked back and forth, took a deep breath, and let one fly over the chain links; the ball came to rest on a scrubby patch of dirt in the sun. “Take that!” I muttered under my breath.

Finally, I was beginning to understand the rebel thrill. This must be what Marlon Brando felt like.

Lobbing that seed bomb was my first foray into the worldwide movement of “guerrilla gardening,” or reclaiming underused land — empty lots, vacant yards, alleys, and other areas you technically don’t have the right to plant — for lovely and/or productive gardens. In this case, the enemy takes the form of a disinterested, wasteful society that misses out on abundant opportunities to beautify the ugly and cultivate the barren.

Sometimes it’s as simple as taking over an adjacent lot with some extra pepper plants, but often there’s more at stake. Among guerrilla gardeners, you’ll hear plenty of chatter about “land use,” “re-creating space,” and “Who actually owns the earth, man?” Make no mistake: Those petunias are political.

Read more here

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Become More Self-Reliant – Start Here

Self- sufficient – Self-reliant – Homesteading

For the majority of the American population, these terms probably conjure images of ’60′s hippies, rugged mountain men or perhaps Little House on the Prairie.  For me, it’s all about simply taking more personal responsibility and control of caring for my family.  I am tired of big corporations and big government dictating my health and food choices.  I believe we need, as a country, as communities and as individuals to develop our own resources, not be dependent on some foreign power that may pull the plug at any time.

When you can provide for yourself, and become more self-reliant, even in a small way, it gives you a feeling of empowerment, which often transfers to the rest of your life.  You don’t have to rely on experts to make your decisions for you.  You can help your body to heal.  We’re here to help.  Through this website, through our Facebook community, and through our network of resources that we’re continuing to build, we’ll help you get the information you need.

Small Steps Lead to Big Changes, Personal Growth

Ben Franklin made up a list of 13 virtues that he aspired to, and worked on one each day, until they became habit.  The Japanese concept of “kaizen” translates to “continuous improvement”.  It involves taking small steps, every day, to make a process better.  Take these time tested approaches and use them to change your world.

Make a List of Changes You Would Like to Make, Things You Would Like to Do, Skills You Would Like to Learn

Pick one thing off the list – start there.  Don’t go for “all or nothing” – that usually winds up being “nothing”.  Don’t put off starting until this or that happens – there will always be a reason not to get started.  Don’t think you can’t be a homesteader or more self-reliant because you live in the city – urban homesteading options are growing by leaps and bounds.

For instance, if you wanted to improve the quality of food your family eats, you might start with replacing a single prepackaged food item with a homemade version of that item.   Continue until most things you eat are homemade or better quality pre-made.  Eat out less (or not at all).  Source your ingredients closer to home, either via CSA, farmer’s market or growing your own.  Add more veggies to your family’ meals.  Ditch the highly processed snack foods.  Buy in bulk and learn how to store foods. Experiment with fermenting.  Try sprouting.   – As you can see, there are many steps you can take, you just need to choose what’s right for you and try it.

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The Russians Prove Small Scale Organic CAN Feed the World

If you’ve already been through an economic collapse, you might know a thing or two about how to feed your family with little money. More importantly, you might know how to do it without pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and GMO seed. On a total of about 20 million acres managed by over 35 million Russian families, Russians are carrying on an old-world technique, which we Americans might learn from. They are growing their own organic crops - and it’s working.

According to some statistics, they grow 92% of the entire countries’ potatoes, 77% of its vegetables, 87% of its fruit, and feed 71% of the entire population from privately owned, organic farms or house gardens all across the country. These aren’t huge Agro-farms run by pharmaceutical companies; these are small family farms and less-than-an-acre gardens.

A recent report from Agro-ecology and the Right to Food says that organic and sustainable small-scale farming could double food production in the parts of the world where hunger is the biggest issue. Within five to 10 years we could see a big jump in crop cultivation. It could also take the teeth out of GMO business in the US.

Read more here

Asia curbs US imports of wheat after genetically modified sample found

Billions in food exports at stake following disclosure by US Department of Agriculture of the existence of the GM wheat.

The discovery of rogue genetically modified wheat in a farmer's field in Oregon shook global confidence in the safety of America's food supply on Friday.

Billions in food exports were potentially at stake following the disclosure by the US Department of Agriculture of the existence of the GM wheat plants.

The GM variant, developed by the agricultural giant Monsanto, has never been approved for human consumption.

The discovery in Oregon, about a decade after field trials ended in that state, raised concerns among the main buyers of America's wheat abroad, as well as an increasingly active GM movement at home.
The European Union advised member states on Friday to test some wheat shipments from the US. The EU imports more than 1.1m tonnes of wheat a year.

Asia was also shutting its doors to American wheat imports. South Korea, which last year imported half of its wheat from the US, cancelled imports, following Japan's lead. Thailand puts its ports on alert. China and the Philippines said they were closely watching the USDA's investigations into the GM escape.

Read more here

Monday, 3 June 2013

Gut Reaction: Stress, Genetically Modified Food, Gastrointestinal Disorders And Possible Cures

All of your feelings create physiological changes, and stress is no exception. While under stress, your heart rate can go up, your blood pressure may rise, and blood is shunted away from your midsection, going to your arms, legs, and head for quick thinking, fighting, or fleeing. 

This is meant to be a temporary response to help with survival, but when stress becomes chronic, as it is the case for millions of people reading this, it can pull the rug out from beneath your health, wreaking havoc on your gut and digestive health.

How Stress Impacts Your Gut:

The stress response causes a number of detrimental events in your gut, including:

  • Decreased nutrient absorption
  • Decreased oxygenation to your gut
  • As much as four times less blood flow to your digestive system, which leads to decreased metabolism
  • Decreased enzymatic output in your gut – as much as 20,000-fold!

But that's not all.  

In a very real sense you have two brains, one inside your skull and one in your gut. Interestingly, these two organs are actually created out of the same type of tissue. 

During fetal development, one part turns into your central nervous system while the other develops into your enteric nervous system.  

These two systems are connected via the vagus nerve, the tenth cranial nerve that runs from your brain stem down to your abdomen.  

This "brain-gut axis" is what connects your two brains together, and explains why you get butterflies in your stomach when you're nervous, for example.  

Likewise, stress results in alterations of your brain-gut connection, which can contribute to or directly cause numerous gastrointestinal disorders, including:

Read more here

Genetically modified food
Digestive Problems And GM Wheat
Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine And Crohn's Disease
The use of Peppermint to soothe an upset stomach or to aid digestion
Anti-inflammatory, anti- bacterial, and anti-viral actions of the Aloe Vera plant
TrutherGirl Sonia: Crohn's Disease Natural Treatments and Possibly Even Cure
Anti Inflammatory Foods – List Of 63 Foods To Choose From For Natural Healing

Student science experiment finds plants won't grow near Wi-Fi router

Ninth-graders design science experiment to test the effect of cellphone radiation on plants. The results may surprise you.

Five ninth-grade young women from Denmark recently created a science experiment that is causing a stir in the scientific community.  

It started with an observation and a question. The girls noticed that if they slept with their mobile phones near their heads at night, they often had difficulty concentrating at school the next day. They wanted to test the effect of a cellphone's radiation on humans, but their school, Hjallerup School in Denmark, did not have the equipment to handle such an experiment. So the girls designed an experiment that would test the effect of cellphone radiation on a plant instead.  

The students placed six trays filled with Lepidium sativum, a type of garden cress into a room without radiation, and six trays of the seeds into another room next to two routers that according to the girls calculations, emitted about the same type of radiation as an ordinary cellphone.

Read more here

Saturday, 1 June 2013

What Plants Talk About - Full Length Documentary


This program integrates hard-core science with a light-hearted look at how plants behave, revealing a world where plants are as busy, responsive and complex as we are. From the stunning heights of the Great Basin Desert to the lush coastal rainforests of west coast Canada, scientist J.C. Cahill takes us on a journey into the "secret world of plants," revealing an astonishing landscape where plants eavesdrop on each other, talk to their allies, call in insect mercenaries and nurture their young. It is a world of pulsing activity, where plants communicate, co-operate and sometimes, wage all-out war.

Scientists Confirm that Plants Talk and Listen To Each Other, Communication Crucial for Survival.

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