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In this issue:

Welcome to the Sacred Earth Newsletter

Magnolia (52K)Spring came - and almost went before I had a chance to say 'Hey, spring is here!' and now it has just about turned into summer, at least that is what it feels like where I am, baking already in 30 degree heat. It is really hard to stay at my desk instead of running out into the sun, so I am not even going to appologize much, sorry folks, this is going to be the spring and summer issue and if things cool down I will do my best to come up with another issue in the early fall.

The rest of the summer is going to be busy - Sacred Earth is planning a move and, well, need I say more? With any luck it will be a more permanent place to settle and stick the roots into the ground. But I will tell more when it happens.

I won't bore you with a long prologue - this issue is still all about food. The twisted cultural attitudes towards fat and slimming and food in the bigger context of food security/scarcity - a topic that has recently been much talked about. We also examen one of those new superfoods - Acai, the miracle antioxidant bomb from the Amazon. Does it really hold what it promises? Read on to find out more.

I hope you will enjoy this issue
See you all next year!

Kat,
May, 2008

I would love to hear your comments, so please send your feedback to: kmorgenstern@sacredearth.com

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foraging wild garlic (allium ursinum)

Wild Garlic - aka Ramson

Allium ursinum

© by Kat Morgenstern


Wild Garlic (Aliium ursinum) covering forest floorThe birds have been singing on the top of their lungs, announcing finally and irrevocably that spring is here at last. It came in with a blast of flowers that seemed to be popping up all at once, and now there is a veritable flood of petals both on the ground and in the trees. It is a lush and exuberant time - sheer bliss for any and all nature spirits. And it is incredibly hard to stay put, in front of a screen.

If you have been out there enjoying this blooming bliss, you might have noticed that in some parts of the woods there is a strong whiff of garlic lingering among the trees. You probably will have smelled it long before you discovered its likely source - a small, but prolific plant, with broad leaves and a single flower stalk that rises from the center and explodes into a white globe of star like, white little flowers. You have discovered Ramson (Allium ursinum), also known as wild garlic. This is a favourite foraging herb, prolific, tasty, versatile and very healthy.

All parts of this plant are edible, but personally, I usually restrict my gathering to the leaves, just to safeguard the continued proliferation of this herbal treasure. I also don't take the whole plant, but only some, preferably young, leaves from each. One does end up gathering lots though, as during cooking it is quickly reduced in bulk.

Read More...

planting the future - one seed at a time

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Remember:

That all the earth is fragile and that we must not take from her beyond what she can sustain. Overharvesting, particularly due to commercial collection of medicinal plants has brought many once plentiful plant species to the brink of extinction. As 'plant people', we should adopt an attitude of green guardianship for mother earth, who so plentifully provides for us.

Here are the rules that every forager should live and breathe by:

Get to know the plants that grow around you on a personal, first name basis: familiarize yourself with the herbs, bushes and trees in your neighborhood, try to learn as much as possible about the ecosystem of which you are a part and the plant members of your 'extended family'. Learn to identify them correctly and investigate all their uses. Try to understand it as part of a larger ecosystem. Which animals like it or dislike it? With which other plants does it form communities? Is it native or invasive? Does it protect the ground or deplete it of any of its nutrients? How does it 'fit' into its environment? What can you learn from its chemistry? Building this kind of holistic knowledge base will give you a much deeper insight into the nature of a plant and its role within the ecosystem. Its a lengthy process, but vital if you want to truly get to know your plant friends and the habitat you share.

It is especially important that you learn to identify the poisonous plants you are likely to encounter, lest they inadvertently end up on your dinner plate, which could be most unpleasant or in the worst case scenario, even lethal. The importance of this point is completely obvious, but cannot be stressed enough. Some people hold the false and dangerous belief that what can be found in nature cannot harm them. DO NOT EAT ANYTHING YOU CANNOT POSITIVELY IDENTIFY AND DEEM SAFE. When you think you know a plant, think again and see what other, non-edible look-alikes might be fooling you. This is even more important when it comes to collecting mushrooms, as there are many poisonous mushrooms out there that have evolved to be masters at deceiving unsuspecting mushroom hunters. There are also many more potentially deadly mushrooms with edible look-alikes than there are deadly plants with edible look-alikes.

Don't be greedy!

Familiarize yourself with the plants that are listed on the endangered species list for your area. Apart from being unethical, it is also highly illegal to pick endangered plant species. Instead of taking rare plants, consider sowing their seeds in the wild.

Only pick as much as you need and never take ALL the plants of any one kind in a given patch. After harvesting an area give the plants plenty of time to recover before returning to the same patch. Be especially conscientious when it comes to harvesting roots and barks. Remember that often harvesting roots means the death of the plant, so before you start digging ask yourself if this plant is really plentiful and if it can sustain a harvest of its roots. If in doubt, don't collect. Consider growing some in your garden rather than depleting natural stands. Collecting barks can also be fatal to a tree. If you must collect this part, try to collect it from smaller branches rather than the stem, from branches that have fallen, or from trees that are due to be cut for other purposes.

However tempting it may look, never pick in places that are subject to pollution from roads, industry or heavy spraying of farm chemicals (pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers etc.). And don't collect from nature reserves either - these are areas set up to protect wild species, so give them their space and let them be!

Cast seeds of native species to the earth and to the winds once in a while - as a way of giving something back. Consider adopting a little patch that you are particularly fond of. When you are out and about, never leave any litter behind, but try to bring some back with you - I always carry two bags, one for foraging and one for litter picking. Give thanks to the plants and to Mother Earth who has provided them.

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Industrial Food Production vs. Biodiversity

Commercial apple varieties - the same few species, the world overHow many different types of apples are on display at your local supermarket? Three? Four? Perhaps even six? Are any of them local varieties or have they all travelled from New Zealand, Chile or China? Nobody really knows exactly how many varieties exist, but estimates range from 8000 - 20000, which would include hundreds of non-commercial or heirloom varieties that only grow in certain regions. The average supermarket carries about 5 varieties, chosen mostly for their transportability and shelf-life - rather than their taste or nutritional profile.

Industrial Farming - the death of biodiversityThere are regulations that determine exactly what qualities a perfect apple (or orange, or banana or any other type of commercially available vegetable) should have, its size, its roundness its colour - all are standardized as if they were factory produced. There is no room for variety or imperfection. An apple that does not come up to the norm will be tossed out - perhaps for juice production.

World market prices for fresh produce are highly competitive - and usually unfair, but that is another issue, which we are not talking about here today. The pressure to produce a standard quality product with as little variety as possible is huge.

There are many hundreds of food crops around the world, yet only a few plant families and species are cultivated extensively for commerce. If you don't grow your own you are left with just a handful of options - carrots or potatoes, corn or cabbage. Your choice is limited by what is marketable, and these highly commercialized crops become ever more 'standardized - nurtured by an agrochemical cocktail that ensures its good looks, never mind the taste.

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Tahuayo Lodge, near Iquitos Peru

Sunset at TahuayoThe northwestern corner of the Amazon basin, often referred to as the "green paradise" of the Amazon forest,is home to several exceptional national parks and reserves, which offer some of the best wildlife viewing experiences to be found in the Amazon.

The Lodge

Uakari monkey, Tahuayo LodgeThe lodge is located appoximately 100 miles southeast of Iquitos. To get there, international travellers must first fly into Lima, Peru's international and national traffic hub, and connect to a domestic flight to Iquitos from there. This usually requires a night in Lima. A member of staff will meet you at the airport, take you to the hotel Melodia and help you check in. After breakfast the next morning she will come to pick you up from the hotel and take you back to the airport for your internal flight to Iquitos. In Iquitos you will be met at the airport and taken to the lodge by boat, first travelling up the mighty Amazon River for about 50 miles, then up the Tahuayo tributary for another 40 miles. Overnight in Lima at the hotel Melodie and the transfers between airport and hotel are included in the package price.

The program is one of the most flexible lodge stays in the Amazon - upon arrival you will be assigned your own guide with whom you can plan your itinerary according to your interests and fitness level. There is no extra charge for your private guide. There is no single surcharge either, making this a great option for individual travelers who want an personalized package. There are a wide range of options, such as are standrad at other lodges, to the most adventurous - like a jungle survival training, which lets you test your nerves and teaches you essential jungle survival skills. You can watch birds, learn about medicinal plants or visit a local indigenous community or a shaman. Tahuayo Lodge is great for flexibility - and definitely a lodge with a difference.

Find out more about Tahuayo Lodge

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Salcantay Trek - 5 days/4nights - the alternative inca trail

Mount Salcantay TrekOne of the best non-traditional routes leading to the famous Inca city of Machu Picchu is the trail known as the "Salcantay Machu Picchu Inca Route" or "Alternative Inca Trail". This remote path leads us through an amazing array of landscapes and habitats varying from green, rich valleys full of lush forests and trees of different species to highland fields and glacial moraines flanked by steep rocky and icy peaks of impressive beauty. During our trip we have to cross a high pass below the spectacular glaciers of the Humantay (5,917m - 19,414ft) and Salcantay (6,270m -20,572ft.) peaks. From our last camp site, crossing awesome mountain terrain and lush cloud forest landscapes, we trek down to the shores of the Urubamba River and from there by train we will be transported to the small town of Aguas Calientes for a well deserved rest in a comfortable hotel. On the following day we will enjoy a full day tour to visit the amazing "Lost City", of the Incas: The fabulous Machu Picchu.

Itinerary for the Salcantay Trek

During the summer season there are daily departures in group service - not just on Sundays and Thursdays.

Although a little harder than the Inca Trail, this is a rewarding trek with fabulous scenery along the way. But - there are other wonderful hiking itineraries, a hike in the Andes is always fabulous. Have you considered a trek to Choquequirao

See all Peru programs

We can also customize any itinerary you have in mind, just drop us an e-mail with your ideas.

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Food Fads and Diet Crazes


Secret's of the perfect dietAre you eating wheatgrass, drinking Ale Vera juice or maybe Noni, eating macrobiotic, or strictly fruitarian? The world is full of food fads. Every bookshop stocks at least a shelf full of diet books and popular women's magazines talk about little else. Diets, in their innumerable permutations occupy our minds and thought processes to quite an unbelievable extend. Elsewhere - in fact, in far too many places the world over - food is only thought of in connection with alleviating starvation. Food fads, nutrition and world food security are enormous issues laden with complexities.

Although there has been much talk recently about food shortages that will become a new threat in the near future, Supermarkets are bursting at the seems with food stuffs in all shapes and sizes. Only a relatively small section occupies fruits and vegetables from around the world, while the rest is dedicated to colourful packages that contain processed foods - inventions of a food industry that profits from our lack of time, lack of knowledge and lack of interest in the foods that sustain us.

Most of these processed foods have labels with long lists of scary sounding words and numbers, which few people take the time to decode. Thus, a simpler system has been devised to indicate the 'health index' of various food items. Foods are categorized as 'heart friendly' for example, or 'diet suitable'. Fat free, sugar free, cholesterol free, preservative free etc. - labels that make consumers think that these items must good for them, because we have all been conditioned to believe that 'fat etc. is bad'. And in the 'thou shalt not eat fat/sugar/chocolate etc' circles this belief provides a great hook for guilt complex projections.... oh, it is so sweet to sin - feel the guilt and do it anyway...

Read more

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plant profile: Acai

Açai

Euterpe oleracea

Bunch of Açai Fruit
Description:

Açai Grove -natural habitatA slender, graceful palm of the Arecaceae family, native to the lowland inundated forests of eastern south America, especially Brazil. The Açai palm develops several stems from its base and takes about 4-5 years to mature. It can reach a height of about 15-25m. Commonly each rootstock gives rise to about 4-8 stems, but it is possible for a single seed to give rise to more than 20 individual stems, all deriving from the same root system. The roots are especially adapted to the seasonally inundated and waterlogged conditions of its habitat, by developing special root structures known as pneumatophores. These vertically erect pencil like shoots grow from the submerged horizontal roots that are below the soil. They not only help to stabilize the plant and protect the soil from erosion, but also help the roots to obtain oxygen since they will be exposed to the ground above the mud or flooded ground.

The leaves of the Açai palm are typical pinnate palm fronds that arise from a reddish crown. It produces 4-8 bunches of fruit throughout the year, though fruit yield is heaviest during the dry season, while most of the flowering takes place during the wet season. The fruits grow in bunches of small, black berries, each with a large stone in its center and a minimal covering of purple-red fruit pulp. The individual bunches can weigh up to 6kg each. The fruits are an important food source of rodents and birds, who also help to spread the seeds. Due to their general usefulness this palm is often planted near human habitations.

History

Açai juice and smoothies have become all the rave among health conscious consumers in the US. But in the Amazon it is has long been a staple part of the diet - it is so ubiquitous and consumed in such large quantities, especially among indigenous people and riberenos, the river communities of the lowland rainforest, that it is often referred to as 'poor man's food'.

Açai porridgeRecently though the young fitness crowd and surfers have discovered it as their new superfood. Amazing qualities are ascribed to it - almost everything from better looking skin to anti-cancer activity - boosting not only the immune system but also energy levels in general, and sex drive in particular. No wonder it sells like hot cakes. If you google Açai you will instantly get a return of 5 million (!) pages - mostly advertising various products derived from this magic bullet. There is no end to the hype. But is it really true? Searching for solid evidence based on actual studies one is baffled to find - precious little. There has been almost no research on this fruit at all. The hype appears to be mostly the product of a very clever marketing campaign, touting the incredible virtues of an exotic superfood - in true food fad fashion.

Not that the fruit is bad for you, far from it. It does indeed have quite an impressive amount of anthocyanins, the antioxidant substance that gives it its colour - same as it does in blue berries. The actual amount of this substance is said to be twice as high in Açai than in blueberries, however, it comes in a very unstable form which is highly liable to deteriorate very rapidly after picking. It also contains protein, calcium, Vitamin B1, A and E as well as a good amount of calories - but despite the superlative claims its overall profile is not that outstanding. In the Amazon the berry itself, although a widely popular food/drink stuff, has never been used medicinally.

Read the full article...

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Medicinal plants in USA: Native medicinal herb could become New Mexico cash crop

Source: El Paso Times, USA, 21 April 2008

Alcalde. Through the centuries, settlers in the Southwest have discovered the medicinal benefits of the native plant yerba del manso (Anemopsis californica), commonly called swamp root or lizard-tail. With the renaissance of medicinal herbs in the United States, a New Mexico State University agronomist believes the plant could become a cash crop for New Mexican organic farmers. A feasibility study conducted by the NMSU College of Agriculture and Home Economics indicates that some herbs, depending on market demand, could provide an above average per acre gross income for small-scale farmers.

Native Americans first introduced the native herb to Spanish settlers. The Europeans learned that the plant's antiseptic and antibiotic properties had many uses. One explorer wrote in his dairy, "Of all the plants we gathered none was endowed with so much magic as the yerba del manso." Yerba del manso's benefits have been passed down from generation to generation. The plant with the large white flower spikes found in riparian habitats of northern Mexico and the Southwest in the United States can be used as a remedy for colds, sinus infections, gum diseases, toothaches, ulcers and upset stomachs.

Read full article ...


Moringa oleifera: Student researchers study natural water purifier

Source: University at Buffalo The Spectrum, USA, 16 April 2008

University of Buffalo undergraduate researchers Kelly Miller and Daniel Loscalzo have been working to find a natural water filtration system that could be used in Africa, where potable water is a luxury. The students, like other researchers around the world, are trying to develop a plausible way to use the seeds of the Moringa tree to purify water naturally and with Africa's available resources. While many scientists have been focusing on commercial use of this technique, Miller and Loscalzo are trying to make it easier for people to purify their own water at home. "We are basically trying to make a cookbook instruction of how to use this technology in their homes, and testing out the dosages and what is needed, so individuals can have this technology," said Miller, a senior environmental engineering major.

Read full article...


Moringa oleifera: 'Malunggay better oil source'

Source: Visayan Daily Star, Philippines, 2 May 2008

Malunggay is the only plant that provides both biofuel and food at the same time, and this versatile tree is attracting a slew of local and foreign investors, Director Alicia Ilaga of the Department of Agriculture-Biotechnology Program Office said in a press release from BioNet Pilipinas. As biofuel feedstock, Ilaga says malunggay seeds can produce up to 40 percent oil. The oil derived from malunggay seeds is so good that the North American Biofuels Inc. opted for it rather than jatropha, a plant native to Asia long used as source of oil to light up rural homes in India and run farm equipment, the press release said. Unlike malunggay, jatropha is poisonous and thus could not provide any help to sustain the nutritional needs of millions of Filipinos. On the other hand, malunggay leaves have seven times the Vitamin C found in oranges, four times the calcium and twice the protein found in milk, 75 percent of the iron in spinach, 400 percent more Vitamin A than carrots and thrice the potassium in bananas. It even has copper and all the essential amino acids, the press release said.

Read full article...


Brazil: Plans to control access to Amazon

Source: BBC News, 26 April 2008

Brazil's Congress is to be asked to consider a law which could require foreign visitors and workers in the Amazon region to have a permit. The legislation is designed to prevent outside interference and illegal use of the rainforest's resources. Those in the region without a permit would be fined up to $60,000 (£30,000). But some scientists have warned that if passed the measure could have a negative impact on research, and would force experts to look elsewhere. There has long been a suspicion in some sections of Brazilian society that not all the attention focused on the Amazon region is well motivated. Brazil's National Justice Secretary Romeu Tuma now says a bill is to be sent to Congress requiring foreign visitors and workers in the area to have a permit. In an interview with the Associated Press news agency, Mr Tuma said Brazil wanted the world to visit the Amazon. But he also said they wanted visitors to inform the government when they are coming, and what they were planning to do while they were there. "We want to establish the Amazon as ours," he said. In recent years the Brazilian government has become increasingly fearful of what it views as bio-piracy, or the appropriation of traditional or indigenous knowledge and biological resources, in what is the world's largest remaining rainforest. The Brazilian government insists that it is not trying to criminalise foreigners visiting or working in the region, but simply trying to distinguish between the good and the bad. The proposals would require overseas organisations, including religious groups and individuals, to seek authorisation to be in the area from both the justice and defence ministries.

Read full article...


Vietnam: Ecological tourism development to protect forest biodiversity

Source: VietNamNet, 10 April 2008 in RECOFTC Community Forestry E-News April 2008

At a seminar held in Da Lat, participants established that eco-tourism could be a helpful way to protect natural resources in Vietnam’s national parks and reserves. However, the dependence of people dwelling near these forests on the parks’ natural resources has resulted in the unfavourable loss of biodiversity in these areas. Delegates noted that because forest-dependent people live in poverty, improving their living conditions is necessary in order to reduce their reliance and resulting exploitation of the forest resources desired for conservation. These speakers emphasized that the needs of local communities thus must be addressed before plans for eco-tourism and preservation can be successful.

Read full article...
Indian berries may fight dengue mosquitoes

Source: Reuters India, 3 April 2008

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Berries of a common weed found in India may be effective in fighting mosquitoes that spread dengue fever, a study has found. Synthetic insecticides are increasingly useless in fighting disease-spreading mosquitoes, such as the Stegomyia aegypti that can spread dengue and yellow fever viruses. In the online open-access journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, scientists in India described how they used juice and extracts from the Solanum villosum weed and found it was particularly effective in eliminating S. aegypti larvae.

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Vietnam: Anti-cancer pines virtually wiped out

Source: VietNamNet Bridge, Vietnam, 18 February 2008

Illegal loggers have felled half the remaining stand of Vietnam's unique Thong do trees in the Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands). Their destruction has so shocked scientists that they have broken a 100-year-old oath to keep the location of the trees - renowned for their medicinal qualities - secret in an effort to save the last 65. They want people to know about the trees so that they can be protected. The Thong do, Taxus wallichiana Zucc, pine is treasured for its resin which is used to treat cancer and other diseases. The perennial trees are believed to have first grown at Nui Voi, elephant mountain, in the Lang Bian highlands, about 2,000-5,000 years ago. "My colleagues and I have spent more than 15 years trying to protect their original genes," says Tran Van Tien of the Lam Bong Silviculture Research Centre. Our objective in nurturing the young pines was to reproduce the species to help cancer patients. "But the trees have now been brutally felled for timber. I'm very sad to see them so mercilessly exploited. It's high time for us to act to protect these precious trees and their 'green drug' to treat cancer."

Read full aricle...


Environmental damage costs $4.8 trillion annually

Source: mongabay.com, May 29, 2008

Environmental damage and biodiversity loss in forest ecosystems costs 2.1 to 4.8 trillion dollars per year, according to a report released Thursday at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity meeting in Bonn, Germany. The report, entitled "The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity" and commissioned by the European Union and the German government, attaches a monetary value to services provided by species and ecosystems. The report says these services are often undervalued by humanity.

"Nature provides human society with a vast diversity of benefits such as food, fibres, fuel, clean water, healthy soil, protection from floods, protection from soil erosion, medicines, storing carbon (important in the fight against climate change) and many more," the report stated. "Though our well being is totally dependent upon these 'ecosystem services' they are predominantly public goods with no markets and no prices, so they often are not detected by our current economic compass. As a result, due to the pressures coming from population growth, changing diets, urbanization and also climate change, biodiversity is declining, our ecosystems are being continuously degraded and we, in turn, are suffering the consequences."

Read full article...
Europe revokes U.S. patent on Indian neem tree

Source: BBC, May 11, 2000

The European Patent Office revoked a six-year old patent covering the use of neem tree oil as a fungicide, upon learning that the oil had been used for the same purpose in India years before the patent was filed. The patent was held by the USDA and W.R. Grace, an international agriculture company. Members of the Green Party and others opposed the issue of the patent, claiming such "biopiracy" of plants or genes hurts people in developing countries. Such patents are becoming increasingly common as new botanical uses are discovered - there are close to 70 patents covering neem tree products alone.


After acquittal, fear of open season on activists in the Amazon

Source: Michael Astor, the Associated Press, May 14, 2008

ABAETETUBA, Brazil (AP) - Bishop Flavio Giovenale was crushed by the acquittal last week of a rancher accused of ordering the killing of a crusading American nun — and not just because he admired Dorothy Stang. Giovenale, who spends much of his time battling child prostitution, police corruption and drug abuse, fears the verdict means it's open season again on activists in the Amazon jungle state of Para. The Italian priest has long received death threats for his denouncement of the organized crime he says carries more weight than the law in Abaetetuba, a teeming Amazon River port city where trucks barrel past hauling rain forest hardwood. During his three decades in Brazil, he has tried to ignore them. But since rancher Vitalmiro Moura walked free after a retrial last week, Giovenale fears the wealthy and shadowy business interests driving deforestation of the Amazon will be emboldened to order his killing. Last year, Moura was sentenced to 30 years in prison for ordering the killing of Stang, a 73-year-old nun from Dayton, Ohio, in a ruling seen as a watershed event ending impunity in a region where community organizers, union leaders and clergy are routinely marked for death.

Read full article...


Announcement:

Medicinal plants – Plants for Life: Medicinal plants under threat

From: Belinda Hawkins, Botanic Gardens Conservation International

Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) has published the findings of a year-long investigation into the state of medicinal plants around the world.

Report Summary

As well as outlining the key trade, livelihood and conservation issues surrounding medicinal plants, the report illustrates the many ways in which botanic gardens can and do contribute to protecting the plants that heal us. What came across very clearly was the expansion of the role of botanic gardens; from traditional ex situ conservation to more and more involvement with community work and partnering with other bodies to contribute towards really successful in situ medicinal plant conservation work.

Today, the relevance of botanic gardens to medicinal plant conservation is as strong as it was hundreds of years ago, when the very first botanic gardens were developed specifically for medicinal plant cultivation and research. From visionary education initiatives to cutting-edge genetic technology research; the report draws together the inspirational myriad involvement of botanic gardens in medicinal plant conservation and recommends focus areas for future work.

Herbal Education in the UK

The British Herb Society has recently revamped their website. It is now quite informative and has a number of useful sections on all kinds of herbal topics, including a listing of institutions and organizations that provide herbal education as well as its own website of herbal education for school kids. Very cool!


Events

2008 AHG National Symposium!

Dates for 19th Annual American Herbalists Guild National Symposium Are Set!
The 2008 AHG Symposium is now set for October 24-26, 2008 (preconference intensives on October 23) at the Marriott Town Center in Redmond, Washington. "Botanical Medicine in Oncology, Immunity, and Chronic Illness" is the theme of this year's conference. Details about the program and this year's teachers will be available on the website soon.


May 31-June 2, 2008:

Medicines from the Earth Symposium, Black Mountain, NC

Medicines from the Earth Symposium. Black Mountain, NC.Annual symposium on herbal medicine at Blue Ridge Assembly near Asheville, NC. Workshops include herbs of Belize; HPV and cervical dysplasia; eye disorders; the Shaman’s Pharmacy; Reducing the Effects of Environmental Toxins, and research on multiple drug-resistant pathologies. New this year: herbal therapeutics series with certificate. Pre-conference intensive May 30 with Mary Bove ND on children’s health. CE credits for health professionals.
For more information please phone: 800-252-0688 or visit Web Site: http://www.botanicalmedicine.org/.


June 1 - 5, 2008

49th Annual Meeting of the Society for Economic Botany, Duke University, Durham, NC

The 49th Annual Meeting of the Society for Economic Botany will be held at Duke University in Durham, NC, June 1-5, 2008. The meeting is sponsored by the Sarah P. Duke Gardens, the North Carolina Botanical Garden, and the J. C. Raulston Arboretum. Members of the local arrangements committee are Richard A. White, Peter White, Denny Werner, Robert Healy, and Mary Eubanks is the local arrangements chair. A day-long symposium will focus on the diverse roles gardens currently play in botanical education. We will look at how they can become more involved in classes and programs to preserve the future of botanical knowledge and research, and how they can better communicate the importance of plants in all aspects of human activities to a wide range of audiences from university and K-12 students to life-long learners.
For more information visit Web Site:http://www.SEB2008.com/.


June 12 - 15, 2008

Food As Medicine, Baltimore, MD

Food as Medicine Professional Nutrition training Program. Baltimore, MD. This program provides the latest in science-based nutrition education and is designed to give graduates the knowledge, confidence, compassion and skills required to integrate food as medicine in their clinical practices.
For more information please visit Web Site:http://www.cmbm.org/


June 16 - 17, 2008

2008 Symposium "Gardening for the Soul" Robesonia, PA

Symposium "Gardening for the Soul" Robesonia, PA. The Pennsylvania Heartland Unit of the Herb Society of America is pleased to announce the 2008 Symposium. We have planned an exciting two-day event. The first day, Monday, will feature lectures, workshops and opportunities for learning about cooking, and gardening. Every aspect is planned to enhance your knowledge and delight of herbs! The second day, Tuesday is the garden tour by bus to Lancaster. Our Symposium concludes with a banquet on Tuesday evening in Lancaster.
For more information please visit Web Site:http://www.phhsa.homestead.com/ or contact Barbara Jefferis 610-375-8061.


July 26-27, 2008

NW Herb Fest, Eugene, OR

NW HERB FEST. Eugene, OR. Annual symposium on herbal medicine at Wise Acres Educational Farm. Two days with a variety of presenters. Beginning and advanced classes offered. Herb walks are available throughout the conference. CE credits available for some health professionals. $145 prior to May 1st. For more information please visit Web Site: http://www.herbaltransitions.com/


October 12 - 17,2008

Destination Health: Renewing Mind, Body & Soul, Kaua, Hawaii

Join us for our eighth annual conference and experience a luxury vacation combined with lectures, workshops and activities designed to empower you on your personal journey toward health and education. Whether your goal is wellness, enhanced medical knowledge or a renewed sense of spirituality, this week is for you! Whatever you choose as part of your healing journey in Kauai, you have time to learn, experience, reflect and play.
For more information: Web Site:www.scripps.org/conferenceservices


October 13 - 15, 2008

IV Symposium of Integrative Medicine Professionals in the Land of Enchantment, Santa Fe, New Mexico

SIMPLE IV the fourth annual Symposium of Integrative Medicine Professionals in the Land of Enchantment (SIMPLE),Santa Fe, New Mexico. Learn about the philosophy of, and advances in, integrative medicine from world-renowned experts Drs. Larry Dossey, Tieraona Lowdog, Lee Lipsenthal, Vasant Lad, and others innovators in the field.

Special guests from around the country, along with faculty from the University of New Mexico and the University of Arizona, will share their growing integrative medicine knowledge and experiences in compassion, forgiveness, humor, energy medicine, spirituality, progressive nutrition, botanical medicine, Ayurveda, Curanderismo, Nia, pain and chronic disease management, integrative medicine education, music and art, and stress management in health and healing. The two and half day conference offers 8 plenary and 40 different breakout sessions, as well as opportunities for an authentic Sweat Lodge Ceremony, and sunrise Yoga and Meditation sessions. For more information please visit Web Site:http://hsc.unm.edu/som/cfl/simpleConf.shtml


November 7 - 8, 2008

Ethnobotany: Integrating Biology and Traditional Knowledge, St. Louis, MO

The WLBC will host the second William L. Brown Symposium at the Missouri Botanical Garden. This two-day symposium, entitled Ethnobotany: Integrating Biology and Ethnobotany. It will consist of a series of lectures and workshops. During the meeting, we will also honor Dr. Nancy Turner of the University of Victoria in British Columbia for her work on traditional land and resource management systems of indigenous peoples in western Canada; Dr. Turner is this year’s recipient of the Wm. L. Brown Award for Excellence in Genetic Resource Conservation.
For Additional information please visit Web Site: http://www.wlbcenter.org/drawer/Symposium/website/homepage.htm


November 9 - 14, 2008

4th World Congress on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (WOCMAP), Cape Town, South Africa

4th World Congress on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants (WOCMAP). Cape Town, South Africa. The 4th WOCMAP—Using Plants to Benefit People—will be held by the non-governmental body, the International Council for Medicinal and Aromatic Plants. This organization strides to encourage international understanding and cooperation between national and international organizations on the role of medicinal and aromatic plants in science, medicine, and industry. The conference will be held in Cape Town, once called heaven on earth by Carl Linnaeus because of its floral diversity, at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC). The CTICC is situated near high-quality accommodations, and tourist attractions such as the Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden and the famous Victoria and Alfred Waterfront, which is tucked between Robben Island and Table Mountain. The conference will include presentations by leading scientists on the developments in medicinal and aromatic plant knowledge, and all abstracts will be published in the South African Journal of Botany.
For more information visit Web Site :http://www.ahpa.org/

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