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Volume X Issue 1

Foraging - Wood Sorrel
Foraging Rules
Food Security and Privilege
2011 International Year of Forests
Healing Lymes Disease Naturally
Travel Feature: Hiking in the South of France
IK: Indigenous uses of Lemon

Welcome to the Sacred Earth Newsletter

spring1 (90K)Welcome to the spring/summer edition of the Newsletter! So much has happened since the winter! Most notably, and terribly, two dreadful earthquakes and a tsunami of epic impact. I was devastated that morning, when the news broke about the earthquake and tsunami that killed thousands of people and left many thousands more homeless, their lives shattered in just a few moments. But even worse emerged as we watched the news unfold about the damage at Fukushima, a place that most of us had never heard of before, but will now be scorched into our collective memory banks forever.

It is easy to forget the deadly threat that is hanging over us, constantly, no matter where we are - the threat of nuclear disasters. Nuclear power is potentially so devastating and deadly that it is simply absurd to believe, even for a moment, that we can control it. Perhaps, in a world where human error was non-existent, where equipment never failed, where climate change has never been heard of, where people lived in peace and harmony with each other and acts of terrorism are inconceivable and, where the forces of nature were always favorable to human endevor - in other words, in a world, where pigs could fly, and politicians never lie, nuclear power may be safe, - that is, once we figured out the long term problem of storing, or rendering harmless the used up fuel elements, which keep accumulating with no place safe to put them.

But such a world does not exist and will never exist. We tend to forget that essentially we inhabit a spaceship that is not only subject to tremendous forces at its own core, (which we know very little about, never mind predicting or controling them), but is also subject to unfathomable cosmic forces that are completely beyond the scope of our influence. So, how can we delude ourselves into thinking that nuclear power is safe?

spring4 (98K)We have unleashed a demon of darkness into this world and are paying the price for our comforts and greed. For we are caught in the mental trap promoted by sales people who are trying hard to convince us that we NEED nuclear power in order to run our lives with all its electricity driven gadgets of comfort. And who does not need light and heat for their creatures comforts, or the power to run their computers and all the rest of it? And of course, then there is 'the economy', ever hungry for that power juice that keeps the economic wheel go round and round. But is it worth risking our lives and the health and well-being of Mother Earth on whom we all depend for our ultimate sustenance? Our false sense of permanence, power and security derives from the fact that our lives are so short that we can barely perceive change, yet, change is the only constant, the only thing we CAN be sure of.

I ask myself, (and I have long asked myself this question), - how long will it be, before we, as a species are going to be willing and able to actually use and apply the very qualities that make us human - our faculty for empathy, foresight and the ability to act responsibly, based on decisions made by the use of intelligence and ethical integrity? I know there are many people on this planet right know that live by these values already, but why, collectively, do we not choose our leaders more wisely, and commit them to these very basic ideals? Why do we, as a society keep subscribing to the politics and lies of those who are apt to sooner or later destroy all life on earth, if we do not change our ways?

Sometimes it is difficult to end on a positive note. We cannot undo the damage that has already been done, we cannot turn back the wheel of time. But I firmly believe that we can influence the future, if we dare to care.

Peace and Green Blessings

Kat, April 2011

P.S. Just a brief note to say 'thank you!' to all of you who joined me at our Sacred Earth Facebook page. It is a lot of fun to have a space where we can interact a little bit more directly. If you have not joined yet, please drop by and stay a while. There is a lot of stuff to explore.

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Foraging for Wood Sorrel Oxalis acetosella

Wood Sorrel (Oxalis acetosella, Oxalidaceae)

Foraging Wood Sorrel, Oxalis acetosellaVery early in the year I get a real craving for wild food. My foraging fingers are itching and longingly I examine the hedges and pastures for any fresh green growth among the dry twigs and yellow grass. Not much there and certainly not enough to make a meal, but one of the plants that puts a smile on my face when I hike in the woods on early spring days is Wood Sorrel. This dainty little plant is in fact one of the first herbs I was introduced to when almost still a toddler. My mum would point it out, pick it and give me some to taste. Yummy! I loved the zippy, lemony flavour and thus, those drab walks through still quite wintery woods were at once transformed into an exciting and tasty foraging experience. Granted, wood sorrel does not make a meal either. But I just love the sensitive and delicate little flower that so determinedly defies the harsh conditions of early spring.

The shape of the leaves could fool a careless observer into mistaking it for shamrock, but the flower does not have any semblance with the pea family - nor, for that matter, is this plant related to the sorrel family, despite its name.

Wood sorrel has a long history of use for food and medicine. Native American Kiowa Indians munched the leaves to relieve thirst while on extended forays. It was variously used to treat mouth sores and sore throat, to alleviate fever, prevent scurvy and reduce cramps and nausea.

Oxalis acetosella, Wood SorrelIn the old world wood sorrel was used as a blood cleanser. In early spring, when the blood is thick and stagnant from all the heavy winter food and a more sedentary lifestyle, spring blood cleansing regimes coincided with the fasting period of lent. Sorrel and other early spring herbs were called upon to purify the blood and invigorate the spirits. They were a common ingredient of 'Green' soups and sauces which were (and still are) part of the seasonal food traditions in many parts of Europe. In the course of time innumerable variations of the original recipe have evolved.

According to Mrs. Grieves, 'an excellent conserve, Conserva Ligulae, used to be made by beating the fresh leaves up with three times their weight of sugar and orange peel, and this was the basis of the cooling and acid drink that was long a favourite remedy in malignant fevers and scurvy.' Wood sorrel is a versatile spring herb. It makes an equally excellent 'zingy' addition to a salad as it does to a soup or sauce and it complements fish dishes particularly well. It can be made into hot or cold drinks, (lemonade without lemon), syrups and juice, or it can be dried and powdered to use as flavouring.

However, it is one of those herbs that should be used in moderation. Those with a disposition to gouty conditions, rheumatism, arthritis, kidney or bladder complaints should refrain from its use altogether. Wood sorrel (like many other plants) contains oxalic acid, which can exacerbate such conditions.

Wood Sorrel Recipes

Bread spread

Mince the wood sorrel in a blender, add mustard, butter and salt to taste. This recipe is variable - you can use cream cheese instead of butter.

Planting the Future - One Seed at a Time



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.

In Association with
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food security and privilege

© Kat Morgenstern, March 2011

abundanceFood is the most basic and essential of all our human needs. Without it we perish. From the moment we are born we instinctively look for mother's breast. What we receive is not just nutrition, but a sense of security, warmth and love. Food security - or lack of it, is also one of the first mechanisms of control and manipulation a child experiences - 'if you don't do such and such you will not get your treat', or, 'if you perform well I will give you some candy'. No wonder food is one of the most fundamental 'big issues' in human psychology, earning leagues of nutritionists, dieticians and shrinks their bread and butter.

Food, as an 'issue' has become almost equally loaded and contentious as politics and religion. On closer examination they in fact have much in common and are closely linked. Food is a primary indicator of group identity. The food we ate as children reflects our ethnicity, class and religion. What we eat as adults is an indication of how much we identify still with these primary shapers of identity. Even those who have risen in social status and have learnt to appreciate the tastes of sophisticated cuisines often secretly crave the soul food that reminds them of home and provides that warm fuzzy feeling of 'mother's kitchen'.

But while sharing a meal carries the most intimate connotations of social bonding, it also defines the lines of social status and class.

husbandryIn archaic times the search for food was a communal activity, both in hunting and gathering and preparing of nuts, berries and other wild foods. It was an activity of clan bonding that confirmed social ties through the telling of stories and the passing on of ancestral knowledge. Among the men, the hunt functioned as a mechanism to establish social status. The best hunter earned the most respect, and thus power and prestige, not least with the women. Instinctively, women choose their mates not so much by looks, but rather by the male's ability to obtain food, as food is vital sustenance not just for her, but more importantly for her offspring, especially in the early days when she can not gather food for herself.

In modern societies this 'breadwinning' ability is still associated with status, though not quite so directly linked with the ability to run down a deer. Men of high social status seek to impress their prospective mates with outings to expensive restaurants to demonstrate their financial power to 'pick up the tab', thus scoring 'cookie points' and an 'alpha male' tag.

In farming societies the connections are more closely linked to the yield of actual hard labour. The 'husband's' job is husbandry, which translates into tilling the earth, casting the seed and reaping the fruits of mother earth. All of these activities have strong sexual connotations. In ancient religious mythologies the ploughing of the soil is symbolically likened to sexual intercourse as the plough pierces and opens the womb of the earth. The fertility and abundance of the earth thus treated is therefore directly related to the husband's virility. An abundant harvest brings riches that can feed a greater number of children, thus increasing the size and influence of the clan.

banquet (82K)Historically, certain 'food privileges' constituted a declared right among the upper classes. The prime cut of the hunt went to the head of the clan. During the Middle Ages the aristocracy asserted hunting rights that not only forbade commoners to hunt for bigger game (even on their own land), but also claimed the exclusive right to drive the hunt across the peasants fields, even while destroying their harvests. Food thus became a sign of social distinction. The richest and most powerful individuals frequently demonstrated their power by laying on feasts, which obviously did not merely serve to provide sustenance to the guests, but to display their access to abundant food resources. Exotic spices and foreign foods ranked high on the scale of social sophistication - just as they do now, though nowadays they have become much more universally available, especially in urban settings. Expert knowledge of foreign and exotic delicacies demonstrates cosmopolitan sophistication. Lower social classes on the other hand tend to be far more traditional and conservative about their food choices. Novel foods always become popular among the upper classes first, before they begin their process of percolation down the social scale. Potatoes, now a peasant food, were once the rave at the courts of Europe. The expansion of the empire was largely driven not only by a desire to extend power and influence, but to obtain exclusive access to certain goods and flavours. The spice wars tell their own brutal history of the links between food and prestige.

Read the full article


Year of forests

forest as communityIn an effort to draw attention to their demise the UN has declared 2011 the year of forests. To illustrate their global importance a litany of facts and statistics are usually quoted, which are intended to demonstrate our dependence on them in terms of their economic importance as a renewable natural resource.

But deep down inside me there is something that irks me about this approach. We talk about forests like we do about 'the environment'. The mental image of a forests is that of a collection of trees, which only become part of our focus once we think about their usefulness. Their 'functions' are recited like a CV: 'they purify the water, seed clouds to produce rain and supply us with raw materials for industry and firewood, as well as, oh yeah, a source of medicines - and recreation.

But forests are so much more than the sum of their utilitarian parts. In fact, we cannot meaningfully consider life on planet earth without considering forests as the primordial source - that is, once water and land had separated and creatures began to evolve outside the oceans. Forests are about community, cooperation and co-evolution not just as a collection of trees, but with other species, including us.

Language describes not reality itself, but the way we think about things - mostly as abstractions. We use terms like 'the environment' and 'the forest' to distance ourselves, as if they existed as something alien or other. But all life is interwoven in a dense fabric of relationships that include interdependent cycles of growth and decay. We serve the forests as they serve us. Destroying them is to destroy ourselves- is to destroy the foundation of life.

For the native people who call forests their home, this is a platitude. They do not distinguish between themselves and the extended forest ecosystem on which their lives depend. Much like the unborn fetus is part of the mother and wholly dependent on her for all its nourishment and existence, so the species that live in the forest are connected biologically, physically and spiritually. It is due to our individualistic, separatist mindset, which imagines the ego as the active force that can impose its will as it pleases on the 'dead matter and objects' that litter the space in which the individual exists - just like a small child might perceive that the universe has been created solely for their enjoyment. We must grow up, beyond this infantile frame of mind and become conscious of the energetic exchange of which we are a part. Instead of users and exploiters, we must become givers and guardians. Forests are more than a collection of trees. They are ecosystems composed of myriad species, from the micro-organisms that live in the soil and help roots absorb its nutrients, to the larger species that feed on and distribute the seeds. There are fungi, grasses and ferns, mosses and epiphytes, and each play their part in the wheel of forest's life. Decay is as important as new growth for its continuation; life and decay are not posed in struggle against one another, but part of the same cycle that generates and re-creates life, constantly.

Yet, razing hundreds of acres to the ground is, for Gaia, like removing large parts of skin from her body. A small patch can regrow, but denuding the earth of its forest, destroys the homeostatic balance, allows pathogens to take over and degradation and necrosis is inevitable - the process of deforestation leading to desertification. How we treat and what we do to 'our environment' is a reflection of our cultural values. If we want to maintain life on earth for future generations we must return to a sense of community that is inclusive of the 'environment'on which our lives depend - and fosters respect and love towards our plant and animal 'brothers and sisters', and our river and forest elders, in a real, personal sense and not just as a utilitarian resource. There is a difference between agri/culture, and exploitation - it is the difference between life and death.

Some inspiration


UN year of Forest Page conservation portal
Logging and indigenous peoples
Forest People org

BOOK Review:

healinglyme (3K)Healing Lyme Disease Naturally: History, Analysis, and Treatments
Dr.Wolf Dieter Storl

Lyme disease appears to be spreading to epidemic proportions, along with other serious tick borne diseases such as tick-borne encephalitis, also known as TBE. While I do not personally suffer from these afflictions, I live in an area that is considered 'high risk' for Lyme and TBE and as someone who enjoys the outdoors and a close contact with herbs and nature, ticks are a constant concern. Unfortunately there are not many preventative measures one can take for protection - vaccinations are available for TBE, but not for Lyme. Furthermore, this vaccination is neither 100% effective, nor risk free. For Lyme, the only available treatment comes in the form of antibiotics, which I abhor. What a dilemma. But as I am out and about A LOT I figured I should inform myself about these little creepy crawlies and learn what I could from my trusted teacher, who himself contracted Lyme disease some years ago.

As a cultural anthropologist Dr. Storl's always applies a cross-cultural perspective, drawing on many different sources of information, from the anecdotal, to historical, mythological and scientific materials, which stimulates a complete rethink and adaptation of different viewpoints from which to consider the topic.

Modern citizens of 'civilized' western countries tend to be conditioned by the reductionist mindset, a simplistic, mechanistic cause-and-effect explanatory model, in which man is posed in a constant struggle against the forces of 'evil' nature. Even though we may not consciously accept such a view, it is so insidious and ever-present in western culture that it feels like an act of heresy to think differently. Yet, one can be completely oblivious to it - until it is challenged by someone who really dares to think outside the box, as Dr. Storl does.

Instead of accepting the commonly held concept of health and disease with its mechanistic explanatory model, he takes the reader on an excursion to other cultures where disease, health and healing are viewed in completely different terms. Looking at our cultural precepts from an outside perspective suddenly opens up another frame of references and leads to the realization that the western model is but one of many possible ways to look at the world and our place within it.

Dr. Storl proceeds to examine the properties and behaviours of the virus, its rise to epidemic proportions and what that might indicate in the wider context of the ecosystem and its condition. Yet, this book is far from 'merely' philosophical. It explains the science in easy to understand layman's terms and considers both, the virus and the disease within a larger system of references.

Rather than regarding Lyme as a narrowly defined disease, he talks about the virus as the manifestation of a 'miasma' that permeates our Zeitgeist and tries to illuminate its mercurial nature and the many forms of expression it can take. The simplistic cause and effect model is thrown out of the window as he urges the reader to understand that disease is a process and a highly individual journey that challenges each afflicted individual to navigate back to their true center of balance.

Dr. Storl also discusses a wide range of remedies and treatment options, many of which are based on traditional treatment approaches for syphilis, which is caused by a virus of the same family. In Storl's philosophy there is no standard medicine, no one-size-fits-all approach to healing, because as human beings we are all different and unique - and so is the expression of the symptom complex that we commonly label as Lyme disease. Much can be gleamed and learned, yet he does not offer 'a miracle cure'. Instead Dr. Storl shares his own journey of regaining his equilibrium and in doing so, hopes to inspire others to do the same. This book is not for those who search for definitive answers, but rather for those who dare to venture out and beyond the textbook models and explore their own path of healing.

The book was originally written in German, which is why the terminology and language at times may seem a little odd. Those who understand German should read the book in its original as Dr Storl's style of writing is something to savour. However, it is a blessing that this book has now become available to English speakers, and so many more people afflicted with Lyme disease will be able to benefit from the insights and wisdom contained within its pages.

Here is a little video introduction to the book:

Eco-Travel Feature:

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Cathar Trail hiking itinerary part 1 - through the Corbieres

Valley of the Agly - Corbieres, FranceBetween the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean, in the heart of the sunblessed region of the Corbières you will find the imposing, mystic stone castles, the châteaux Cathares. These castles are the remnants of a tragic, political and religious intrigue. The Cathars were gnostic Christian sect which enjoyed great popularity in the South of France during the Midlle Ages. Political jealousies stirred the first crusade - Christians pitched against Christians in a bloody war for power and control over this culturally rich region. Eventually the Cathars were exterminated, their castles burnt down and many of them died at the stake. But their spiritual legacy lives on in this mystical region and their castles bear silent witness to their sad fate. Their legendary treasures were never discovered and treasure hunters are still looking for it today.

During the week's hike you will discover landscapes of immense natural beauty, amidst vineyards, rocky hills and sheer cliffs, rolling hills and quaint sleepy villages with a surprising range of good local food and wines. The dry, mostly evergreen vegetation, of what is known as the 'garrigue', is full of fragrant herbs and shrubs, and in the spring especially, it is vibrant with unusual and colourful vegetation. A circular route from Quillan on the Cathare path, passing through historical sites that offer a remarkable diversity of Mediterranean and mountain vegetation.

See details of hiking itineraries in France

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Preserving the Traditional Knowledge of Tribal People in Patalkot - Deepak Acharya- ambassador of tribal people in India

Patalkot valley IndiaSomewhere, hidden deep within the heart of the Chhindwara district in Madhya Pradesh, lies Patalkot, a verdant valley that seems to exist within its own time and space. About 3000 tribal people live here in small villages that are scattered throughout the valley. Until recently few outsiders ever knew this place existed. But now the modern age is encroaching even on this hidden corner, and with it comes the threat of deforestation, which ultimately will undermine the basis of human existence in this fragile ecosystem. So far people have managed to live in harmony with the earth, but with commercial logging moving in that balance can no longer be maintained. Yet, there are few opportunities. The government in Delhi is far away and has no time or concern for the pleas of a handful of tribals. The future of Patalkot hangs in a precarious balance and the scales can be tipped either way.

Dr. Deepak Acharya is an ambassador for the tribals and their pleas. He has dedicated himself to helping to preserve their heritage and lifestyle by means of an independent charity. He also seeks to make the unique knowledge of the tribal people better known. You can visit the website of Abhumka to learn more about Patalkot and the traditional tribal uses of plants.


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Lemon in Herbal Formulations Applied by Indigenous Tribesmen in India

Dr Deepak Acharya and Dr Anshu Shrivastava

Lemon (Citrus limon) is a well known member of the Rutaceae family. Though it originated in Asian countries such as Malaysia and India, today, it is cultivated worldwide. Lemon grows as a short, bushy and aromatic shrub. Its fruit is juicy and has few seeds. Lemon fruit can be used in any form, i.e. dry or fresh, ripe or mature. It is commonly known as Bara, Nimbu, Naranga, Nyomb and Limbu..Lemon has various culinary, therapeutic as well as medicinal properties.

The fruit is rich in vitamin C, which helps the body to fight off infections and also to prevent or treat scurvy (Grieve, 1984; Chevallier, 1996). Lemon juice is an astringent and is used as a gargle for throat problems (Grieve, 1984). Lemon juice is also a very effective bactericide (Chiej, 1984). It is also a good antiperiodic and has been used as a substitute for quinine in treating malaria and other fevers (Grieve, 1984). The stem bark is bitter, stomachic and tonic (Duke and Ayensu, 1985). Lemon is used in salad preparations, syrups, pickles and cosmetic products. It can be stored at room temperature for weeks or for months under refrigeration. About 100g of lemon provides 57 Kcal of energy. It contains carbohydrates (11g), proteins (1 g), Fats, (0.9 g), Vitamin C (39 mg), Magnesium (373 mg), Potassium (270 mg), Calcium (70 mg), Phosphorus (10 mg) and Fibers (1.7 g).

Known Uses of Lemon

lemon (66K)Lemon is effective against mild fevers, cold, stomach upsets, tooth disorders and certain skin problems. Lemon acts as an antioxidant due to its high vitamin C content. Lemon is preferably used in pickles, ice-creams, jams and jellies. A substance called pectin helps to set preparations like jams and jellies. Lemon slices are a popular addition to tea and cold drinks. Lemon improves the immune system by building up resistance against infection. For the treatment of dehydration and diarrhea, lemon juice makes a good base for oral electrolyte solution. It may be attributed to its potassium and other mineral content. According to a study, lemon juice relives rheumatism. Lemon contains oils that stimulate the liver to expel toxins from the body. Some studies show that lemon may be effective in the treatment of blood cancer and may also be used as a general anti-cancer agent. Lemon juice is used for treating certain afflictions of the skin, thanks to its acidic nature.

Traditional Herbal Knowledge about Lemon

Indian tribesmen utilize this plant in various therapeutic preparations. Local healers known as Bhumkas (in Patalkot valley of Central India) and Bhagats (in Dangs of South Gujarat) prepare various herbal remedial formulations to cure various health ailments.

by Dr Deepak Acharya and Dr Anshu Shrivastava

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Author's Profile

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Dr Deepak Acharya (MSc PhD) is Director, Abhumka Herbal Pvt Limited. He can be reached at deepak at or deepak at For more information about him, please visit and

Dr Anshu Shrivastava (MSc PhD) is Botanist at Abhumka Herbal Pvt Limited, contact him at anshu at or ansh24 at

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book_cover (17K)Acharya, D. and Shrivastava, A. 2008. Indigenous Herbal Medicines: Tribal Formulations and Traditional Herbal Practices. Avishkar Publishers Distributors, Jaipur. ISBN 978-81-7910-252-7.


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(Cocos nucifera)



cocosunset (35K)Coconut trees don't really warrant a description - they are probably the most familiar of all palm trees. In fact, their image is so archetypal that they represent this plant family per se. The tall, unbranched, smooth and slender stems terminate in a crown of long feathery fronds. Coconuts palms are often found on tropical white-sand beaches, though they can be grown up to 100m altitude and a short distance in land. However, their natural habitat is the beach. They prefer sandy, well draining soil, and their seeds have adapted to endure long sea journeys. Coconuts can float in the ocean for more than 3 months and still be viable. Thus, their position along the seashore ensures their far flung distribution. In turn, Coconuts help the shore by preventing erosion.

Coconut trees take 5-7 years to mature before they start to produce flowers. The branched flower stalks arise in the leaf axils, bearing many male and some female flowers, which however, do not flower at the same time. The male flowers are already withered by the time the female ones open, thus preventing self-fertilization.

The nuts, which technically speaking are not 'nuts', but drupes, are roughly football sized green fruit with a smooth skin. The cortex between the shell of the seed and the outer green skin is of a densely fibrous nature. This fibrous part is universally known as 'coir' and serves as a valued raw material for a wide variety of items, from rope to brushes. This part is usually removed before coconuts are shipped to stores around the world. What is commonly referred to as 'coconut' is in fact the seed with its hard brown fuzzy shell and the moist white flesh inside. Fresh coconuts are filled with a watery liquid, which turns into a jelly like substance as the seed matures, and finally becomes the familiar white fruit flesh.

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Coconuts are highly valued as a source of food, medicine and various materials. They grow well in plantations, but only grow between approximately 23 degrees north and south of the equator. As the trees continually produce flowers and fruit, coconuts in all stages of development can be found on the same tree. One of the greatest hazards that coconuts present is the fact that they fall when mature, which can be fatal to anything or anybody who happens to walk beneath them. The best way to prevent accidental damage is to continuously harvest ripe coconuts. But as the trees are very tall, this can be difficult. In Indonesia monkeys have been trained to pick ripe nuts. Elsewhere the task often falls to young children, who climb the trees with the help of a foot sling. In tropical countries the nuts are cut with a machete, for immediate consumption. Cutting the top off a coconut is a skill that requires a lot of practice, yet native children usually have mastered it by the age of 5.

It is not known where coconuts originally evolved, but there is some evidence that suggests their home is to be found in the South Pacific, as this is the only place where wild relatives have been found. Coconut's ability to travel by letting the seeds float to shores far away ensured a widespread distribution, probably long before man gave a helping hand.

coconut milk productionThe island nations of the South Pacific have a deep reverence for the coconut tree and they often refer to it as a tree of life. It supplies them with almost all they need for daily life - raw materials for building and thatching shelters, for making ropes and mats, brushes and containers and even clothes. The fruit flesh provides nourishment and is a valued source of oil, which is used for cooking, in cosmetics and as lamp oil. The watery liquid of immature seeds often provides the only source of pure, sterile 'water' that not only quenches the thirst, but also provides nutrients and can be used as a restorative medicine.

Coconut seeds are marked by three round indentations at one end, which, with a little imagination can be regarded as a monkey face. In Hinduism, the eyes of the coconut represent the three eyes of Lord Shiva. Coconuts are offered as a ritual sacrifice in many kinds of ceremonies. The hard shell of the coconut is ceremonially split, representing the breaking of the ego. The liquid (potential) and fruit meat (divine consciousness) is released and offered to the gods.

Read the full article

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ethnobotany, agro forestry and NWFP news items

African nations ride the possibilities of homegrown bamboo bicycles

Source: AFP in the Vancouver Sun, 12 February 2011

The sight of tall, green bamboo stalks swaying above the dusty lands of his West African country led Ibrahim Djan Nyampong to an unusual conclusion: bicycles. Under the shade at a workshop in Ghana, young artisans are making them — from mountain racers to cargo bamboo bikes — to suit needs of customers, now as far afield as the United States and Europe. "The beginning was not easy as people thought it was a joke to make bicycles from bamboo," Nyampong said as he supervised work at the small factory outside Accra. "Now people are warming towards the bamboo bike." With bamboo a strong, affordable and environmentally friendly material readily available to manufacturers, African countries including Ghana, Uganda and Zambia have seen the start of production of such bicycles. It has not gone unnoticed. The Ghana initiative is one of 30 recipients of the 2010 UNEP SEED awards for projects that tackle poverty while promoting the sustainable use of resources.
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Medicinal plants in Peru: The Maca root and biopiracy in Peru

Traditional knowledge Bulletin, 16 March 2011

The Maca root (Lepidium meyenii) is an herbaceous, perennial, cultivated crop that is native to the Andes in Peru. Maca plants have medicinal values that include increasing stamina, fertility, and alleviating insomnia. The market for maca is large in Peru. For centuries, the people in the Andes have been using the maca root for its medicinal properties and now maca is exported around the world. The Peruvian people’s use of maca for medicinal purposes is an example of valuable traditional knowledge. The Commission for the Promotion of Exports (PROMPEX) indicates that maca exports have grown in the U.S. from US$1 056 287 in 1998 to US$3 016 240 in 2002. The main markets are Japan (with almost 50 percent of maca exports) the United States, Venezuela and Hungary. In 2002, 13 557 metric tons of maca extracts were exported to the U.S., valued at US$863 094. Concern about possible biopiracy of the maca root is one reason why Peru established the National Anti-Biopiracy Commission, to develop ways to identify, prevent, and avoid acts of biopiracy.
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Medicinal plants in Egypt under threat

Source:, 2 March 2011

Since prehistoric times, people all over the planet have used plants' curative properties as medicinal remedies for various ills. More than half a million species of plants have been identified on earth, of which approximately 10 percent, mostly growing in the wild, are used for medicinal purposes. Egypt, due to its strategic location at the junction of four bio-geographical regions, is home to a wide variety of flora. Medicinal plants in Egypt have been part of the country’s natural and cultural heritage for thousands of years. In desert countries like Egypt, communities live far away from each other, and thus many are almost deprived of proper medical infrastructure, which contributes to the major role played by traditional healers even now. Today, Egypt is home to 384 different species of medicinal plants found in the Mediterranean coastal region. The area of Saint Catherine is one of Egypt's most fertile grounds for medicinal plants, and no less than 102 species are to be found in this 4 000 km² protectorate. But here plant life is facing various threats, and a decline in the variety of species has been observed. What’s more, 16 of the 102 medicinal plant species found in the southern part of the Sinai Peninsula are endemic, which means that they have to be protected, collected and replanted in order to avoid their complete disappearance. In order to preserve this natural and cultural heritage, the NGO Medicinal Plants Conservation Project, supported by the National Conservation Sector, was created in 2003 in Saint Catherine to protect native medicinal plants and also include the local Bedouin communities. The project's manager, Adel Abd Alla Soliman, says its goal is to "develop and empower the local communities to conserve these plants, use them in a sustainable way and benefit from them." He adds that medicinal plants have been traditionally used by local Bedouin communities as a source of affordable and accessible health care. As a consequence, some of the elderly possess an immense amount of knowledge regarding the properties of these plants and their curative values.
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USA: Agreement on protecting rare forest species

Source: Associated Press in the Seattle Times, 4 March 2011

Conservation groups and the U.S. Forest Service have agreed to a new rule for protecting hard-to-find but ecologically important species in Northwest forests such as snails and mushrooms. Pete Frost, a lawyer for the conservation groups, said Friday the agreement would exempt restoration projects, such as thinning young stands of trees, from the so-called survey and manage rule, while maintaining the protections for old growth forests. The agreement must be approved by a federal judge. The Bush administration had tried to dismantle the rule to allow more logging, but it was reinstated by a federal judge. The rule was part of the Northwest Forest Plan, which cut logging on national forests in Oregon, Washington and Northern California to protect salmon, the northern spotted owl and other species.
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Biodiversity panel will put species loss in the spotlight

Source: Tierramérica network in, 8 March 2011

After five years of preparation the international community is expected to launch the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services this year. For some of its proponents, even the decisions of the World Trade Organization (WTO) should be subject to its analysis. IPBES would be analogous to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), but focused on biological diversity. The idea behind this effort is that decisions by all levels of government are largely responsible for the decline in species and ecosystems that support life on the Earth. To put an end to species decline, governments need an independent, authoritative scientific body that can assess the impacts of proposed policies and decisions that biodiversity experts have long recommended. "People generally have yet to appreciate the importance of biodiversity and ecosystem services, and how much is at stake in biodiversity loss," Charles Perrings, Professor of Environmental Economics at Arizona State University in the U.S. southwest, told Tierramérica. "Biodiversity" is the term used to describe the wide variety of living things that comprise the planet's biological infrastructure and provide us with health, wealth, food, water, fuel and other vital services. Several reports, including last year's Global Biodiversity 3, show that policy decisions and failures to enforce regulations have put the biological infrastructure in jeopardy. Many people fail to understand how much humans rely on the many natural services provided by nature and how fast this is changing, said Perrings. "Decisions taken today that change the biosphere will have profound implications for humanity's welfare. They must be well informed by science," he said. IPBES will not only raise awareness about the importance of biodiversity among decision makers, it will provide them with authoritative projections of the effects of their policies, according to Connie Martinez, senior policy officer at the IUCN in Gland, Switzerland. "Officials in all departments (ministries) need a better understanding of how economic development can impact biodiversity," Martinez told Tierramérica. As such, IPBES would not just inform environment ministers, it would look at all major policy decisions with the potential to affect ecosystems, said Perrings, who has worked for years to establish such an organization. Perrings says there is also an urgent need to understand the consequences of the rapid changes in biodiversity occurring over recent decades. It is not solely a matter of conservation, because natural ecosystems provide a huge range of valuable economic services to humans, write Perrrings and Harold Mooney of Stanford University, co-authors of a recent paper on IPBES in the 18 February edition of the journal Science. For example, forests and wetlands prevent flooding. An average 1 ha of coral reef provides services to humans valued at US$130 000/year, and in some places as much as US$1.2 million/year. The European Union has urged that IPBES become operational as quickly as possible to demonstrate that "the international community is determined to tackle the grand challenge of biodiversity loss."
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World’s sixth mass extinction may be underway: study

Source: Vancouver Sun (Canada), 2 March 2011

Mankind may have unleashed the sixth known mass extinction in Earth's history, according to a paper released on Wednesday by the science journal Nature. Over the past 540 million years, five mega-wipeouts of species have occurred through naturally-induced events. But the new threat is man-made, inflicted by habitation loss, over-hunting, over-fishing, the spread of germs and viruses and introduced species and by climate change caused by fossil-fuel greenhouse gases, says the study. Evidence from fossils suggests that in the 'Big Five' extinctions, at least 75 percent of all animal species were destroyed. Palaeobiologists at the University of California at Berkeley looked at the state of biodiversity today, using the world’s mammal species as a barometer. Until mankind's big expansion some 500 years ago, mammal extinctions were very rare: on average, jut two species died out every million years. But in the last five centuries, at least 80 out of 5 570 mammal species have bitten the dust, providing a clear warning of the peril to biodiversity. "It looks like modern extinction rates resemble mass extinction rates, even after setting a high bar for defining 'mass extinction'," said researcher Anthony Barnosky. This picture is supported by the outlook for mammals in the 'critically endangered' and 'currently threatened' categories of the Red List of biodiversity compiled by IUCN. On the assumption that these species are wiped out and biodiversity loss continues unchecked, "the sixth mass extinction could arrive within as little as three to 22 centuries," said Barnosky. Compared with nearly all the previous extinctions this would be fast-track. Four of the 'Big Five'events unfolded on scales estimated at hundreds of thousands to millions of years, inflicted in the main by naturally-caused global warming or cooling. The most abrupt extinction came at the end of the Cretaceous, some 65 million years ago when a comet or asteroid slammed into the Yucatan peninsula, in modern-day Mexico, causing firestorms whose dust cooled the planet.
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Pollination and bees: UN alarmed at huge decline in bee numbers

Source: AFP in Yahoo News, 10 March 2011

The UN on Thursday expressed alarm at a huge decline in bee colonies under a multiple onslaught of pests and pollution, urging an international effort to save the pollinators that are vital for food crops. Much of the decline, ranging up to 85 percent in some areas, is taking place in the industrialized northern hemisphere due to more than a dozen factors, according to a report by the UN's environmental agency. They include pesticides, air pollution, a lethal pinhead-sized parasite that only affects bee species in the northern hemisphere, mismanagement of the countryside, the loss of flowering plants and a decline in beekeepers in Europe. "The way humanity manages or mismanages its nature-based assets, including pollinators, will in part define our collective future in the 21st century," said UNEP executive Director Achim Steiner. "The fact is that of the 100 crop species that provide 90 percent of the world's food, over 70 species are pollinated by bees," he added. Wild bees and especially honey bee colonies from hives are regarded as the most prolific pollinators of large fields or crops. Overall, pollinators are estimated to contribute US$212 billion worldwide or 9.5 percent of the total value of food production, especially fruit and vegetables, according to the report. Honey bee colony declines in recent years have reached 10 to 30 percent in Europe, 30 percent in the United States, and up to 85 percent in Middle East, said scientist Peter Neumann, one of the authors of the first ever UN report on the issue.
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Speech by Bolivia at UN Dialogue on Harmony with Nature

Source: Nature, 10 December 2010

Speech by Ambassador Pablo Solón, Permanent Representative of the Plurinational State of Bolivia to the United Nations, on the Occasion of the General Assembly Interactive Dialogue on Harmony with Nature New York, April 20th, 2011 Victor Hugo, the author of Les Misérables, once wrote: quot;How sad to think that nature speaks and mankind doesn't listen." We are here today to attempt to have a dialogue not just among States, but also with nature. Although we often forget it, human beings are a force in nature. In reality, we are all a product of the same Big Bang that created the universe, although some only see wood for the fire when they walk through the forest. These three questions are the point of departure for our discussion today: First, what is nature? Is it a thing, a source of resources, a system, a home, a community of living and interdependent beings? Second, are there rules in nature? Are there natural laws that govern its integrity, interrelationships, reproduction and transformation? And third, are we as States and as a society recognizing, respecting and making sure that the rules of nature prevail? Read full story

EU beekeepers stage win against GM crop producers, 15 February 2011

The EU's highest court may classify honey containing traces of genetically modified material as "food produced" from modified plants. Such a ruling may enable beekeepers with hives close to GM crops to seek damages. Beekeepers with hives close to fields of Monsanto genetically modified maize can't sell their honey in the European Union without regulatory approval, an adviser to the European Court of Justice has said. The presence in honey "even of a minute quantity of pollen" from the maize is reason enough to restrict its sale, Advocate General Yves Bot told the court last week.,,14843153,00.html


April 27, 2011

ACHS HerbDay Celebration Portland, Oregon, USA

American College of Healthcare Sciences, Portland, OR, USA. Join ACHS for the 2011 HerbDay Celebration on April 27 from 11am-2pm. Presentation topics include: how to use herbs, the tradition of herbal medicine, herbs and essential oils for spring seasonal balance, and DIY strategies for using herbs in your everyday life. Event is free and open to the public, but space is limited.

RSVP to (503) 244-0726 or email
More information is available at: and

Sunday, May 1, 2011,

HerbDay Austin. American Botanical Council, Austin, TX, USA.10:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Celebrate HerbDay 2011 at the American Botanical Council! Free and open to the public
10:30-11:00: Arrivals and welcoming by Mark Blumenthal, Founder & Executive Director of the American Botanical Council
11:00-11:30: Using Chinese Herbs - Dr. Yaoping (Violet) Song, faculty member at AOMA (Academy of Oriental Medicine at Austin)
11:30-12:00: Using Ayurvedic Herbs - Charlotte Jernigan, Certified Ayurveda Practitioner with NAMA (National Ayurveda Medical Association)
12:00-12:30: Climate Changes in Central Texas Gardening - John Dromgoole, Owner of The Natural Gardener, Austin's organic garden center, and Lady Bug Natural Brand. For 27 years, John has hosted America's longest continuously running organic gardening radio talk show on 590 KLBJ.
12:30-12:45: Tea tasting activity led by the Texas Chapter of the American Herbalists Guild

American Botanical Council
6200 Manor Rd.
Austin, TX 78723
United States

This event does not require an RSVP. Registered users can request event reminders.

May 5, 2011,

Beauty of Sourcing with Respect: The Strategic Importance of Biodiversity for the Beauty Industry. Paris, France 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

This conference targets cosmetics, personal care, pharmaceutical and food companies that are sourcing natural ingredients from the world's rich biodiversity. For those dealing with marketing, sourcing, research and development, sustainability or corporate social responsibility.

More information is available at:

This event does not require an RSVP. Registered users can request event reminders.

May 23-27, 2011

6th Planta Europa Conference, : Actions for Wild Plants, Kraków, Poland

Kraków, Poland. The usual three-year rhythm of the events was intentionally modified here to account for the rich programme of the International Year of Biodiversity declared in 2010. Planning the conference in the following year allows, on the one hand, to avoid an excessive accumulation of biodiversity conservation-related events and, on the other, makes it possible to have an overview of the IYB outcomes. The forthcoming meeting will be focused on the major issues of the wild plant conservation at the European, country and regional levels. The main axis of the conference will be based on the targets of the European Strategy for Plant Conservation (ESPC) published by Planta Europa in 2008 and will provide the updated framework and directions for plant conservation in Europe.
More information is available at:

May 31 - June 5, 2011

TCM Kongress Rothenburg. Rothenburg o.d.T, Germany

Our topics are virtually going under the skin: The potential of Chinese Medicine in dermatology truly deserves high acclaim. Pain treatment and holistic view of pain, very well-known here in the West, will be another leading topic at the Kongress. Finally, the third main topic will explore the depths of the mind: Depression, a pathology that is becoming more and more common in our society, will take us to a discussion of the causes and treatment options for this mental-social ailment.

More information is available at:

June 4-6, 2011:

Medicines from the Earth Herb Symposium. Blue Ridge Assembly, Black Mountain, NC, USA.

At beautiful Blue Ridge Assembly near Asheville, NC. Keynote presentation: Herbal Adventures with Jim Duke and Mark Blumenthal. Intensives: Fire Remedies with Cascade Anderson Geller. State of the Science in Perimenopause and Menopause with Tori Hudson, ND. Conventional Cancer Options and Holistic Cancer Protocols with Donald Yance. Other topics: Malaria and Herbal Medicines; Adaptogens in the Treatment of Female Disorders; Helichrysum: Ancient Healing Oil; Integrating Western Diagnostic Techniques and Biochemical Research with TCM Therapies; Ritual Uses of Herbs and more! Herbal experts include: Mary Bove, Bevin Clare, David Crow, Ryan Drum, Doug Elliott, Jason Miller, Rhonda PallasDowney, Jill Stansbury, David Winston, and 7Song. Friday Field Study, June 3 with David Winston. CE credits for health professionals.
*Mark Blumenthal, ABC's Founder & Executive Director, will be speaking at this event.

More information is available at 1-800-252-0688 or

June 4-8, 2011

Agroforestry: A profitable land Use, University of Georgia, USA

The 12th North American Agroforestry Conference, Agroforestry: A Profitable Land Use, will be held 4-8 June, 2011 with the Association of Temperate Agroforestry (AFTA). Dr. Dennis Garrity, Director General of the World Agroforestry Centre, will be a featured speaker during the opening plenary session. Recognized as the international leader in agroforestry research and development, the Centre promotes global recognition of the key role trees play on farms.

For more information, please contact:

Carla Wood, Conference Office Director
University of Georgia
College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Athens Conference Office
202 Hoke Smith Building
Athens, GA 30602, USA
Phone: 706-583-0347

June 4-9, 2011

American College of Healthcare Sciences Mediterranean Herbs and Essential Oils in Greece, Syros, Greece

If you've always wanted to learn more about Mediterranean herbs and essential oils, this program is a must for you! Led by ACHS President and Wellness Expert Dorene Petersen, Guerilla Distiller Robert Seidel and Guest Lecturer Aromatherapist Mindy Green, this program provides hands-on experience working with Mediterranean herbs and essential oils for therapeutic use including: making preparations, harvesting cultivated and wild-crafted botanicals; essential oil distillation; and therapeutic blending of essential oils. Fees include all instruction, five nights' accommodation, two fresh meals per day, transfers to and from meeting points, all tours and applicable entry fees during tour days, and a certificate of completion.

More information is available at: or call Tracey Miller, Program Coordinator, at (503) 244-0726

14-16 June 2011

Forest-Europe Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe, Oslo, Norway

The Forest-Europe Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe represents a major European contribution to the International Year of Forests. At this Ministerial Conference, European countries will take decisions aimed at the preservation of forests and the safeguarding of their environmental, societal and economic benefits for present and future generations. Ministers are expected to adopt a vision, goals and targets for Europe’s forests and address ways to strengthen cooperation on sustainable forest management in Europe. In this context, they will consider opening negotiations on a legally binding agreement on forests and their management in Europe.
For more information, please contact:

Kristin Dawes
Communications and Public Affairs, Forest-Europe
Liaison Unit Oslo
Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe
P.O. Box 115
NO-1431 Aas, Norway
Tel: +47 64 94 89 30
Fax: +47 64 94 89 39
E-mail: liaison.unit.oslo at

June 24 - 26, 2011

10th International Herb Symposium, Wheaton College, Norton, Mass

The International Herb Symposium is well known for representing a wide range of ideas, beliefs, and the various ways we have of working with healing plants from shamanic and folklore to ethnobotanical, clinical and scientific. We think the teachers and classes we’ve chosen for this year’s IHS represent some of the great diversity found amongst herbalists and herbalism.

More information and registration:

June 24-26, 2011

7th Herbal Asia. Matrade Exhibition & Convention Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

7th Herbal Asia is organized by and Gitex (M) Sdn Bhd. This timely event will showcase the industries finest, from Herbal, Natural and Green products and services, technology, to the latest in traditional and alternative medicine now seen as potential markets in the health tourism industry. It will be a global platform for producers, manufacturers, investors, health and industry-related professionals to meet, exchange ideas and promote this rapidly growing industry.

More information is available at:

July 6-9, 2011

1st International Symposium on Medicinal, Aromatic, and Nutraceutical Plants from Mountainous Areas. Saas-Fee, Switzerland

The objective of the symposium is to present and discuss various scientific topics related to the medicinal, aromatic, and nutraceutical use of plants from mountainous areas. Growing at high elevation, these plants are considered to be rich in secondary metabolites and have been collected for centuries from the wild. However, the amount of plants required by the industry has drastically increased in recent years and conservation of natural population can only be achieved by cultivation. In addition, domestication and selection of varieties provide well-suited genotypes with the desired phytochemical profiles, an optimum management in the field, as well as a sustainable source of raw material.

More information is available at:

July 9-13, 2011:

52nd Annual Meeting of the Society for Economic Botany. William L. Brown Center, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO, USA


Featured Symposium - Healing the Planet: Medicinal Plants and the Legacy of Richard E. Schultes. Hosted by the William L. Brown Center at the Missouri Botanical Garden.

More information is available at:|meetings_by_year/2011.

July 17-20, 2011

2nd Annual Conference of the American Council for Medicinally Active Plants (ACMAP). Alabama A&M University, Huntsville, AL, USA.

Conference Objectives:

More information is available at:

July 22 - 24

11th Montana Herb Gathering


More information available at:

July 30 - August 3, 2011

The 52nd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Pharmacognosy & the Phytochemical Society of North America

San Diego, CA, USA. The annual meeting and exhibition continues to be an excellent opportunity for scientists and engineers from academia, government and industry to exchange information, share ideas, network, and advance the science of pharmacognosy.

More information is available at:

September 4-9, 2011

59th International Congress & Annual Meeting of the Society for Medicinal Plant & Natural Product Research. Maritim Pine Beach Resort, Antalya, Turkey

This congress series has been organized annually in Europe since 1953 in order to stimulate cooperation among scientists of the world for the advancement of research and development into the science of phytomedicine, medicinal and aromatic plants and their products. The importance of the 59th GA Congress is that it is organized for the first time in Turkey where one of the first herbals, “De Materia Medica” was written in the 1st century AD by an Anatolian doctor Pedanius Dioscorides of Anavarza who had served in the Roman Army as a physician. Anavarza, the birthplace of Dioscorides is not far from Antalya. It is in Kozan - Adana, southern Turkey.

The congress is expected to attract global attention in the International Year of Chemistry of the United Nations proceeded by the 42nd International Symposium of Essential Oils (ISEO 2011) in the following week in the same venue. This will give most of the participants a feast of natural products chemistry for two weeks in early September 2011 at an excellent venue where business and leisure can be combined for pleasure and satisfaction.

More information is available at:

September 11-14, 2011

ISEO 2011: 42nd International Symposium on Essential Oils. Maritim Pine Beach Resort, Antalya, Turkey

This congress series has been organized annually in Europe for the last 41 years in order to stimulate cooperation among scientists for the advancement of research and development into the science of essential oils and aromachemicals. The 28th symposium was also organized in 1997 by us in Eskisehir, Turkey.

The congress is expected to attract global attention in the International Year of Chemistry of the United Nations preceeded by the 59th International Congress and Annual Meeting of the Society for Medicinal Plant and Natural Product Research in the previous week at the same venue. This will give most of the participants a feast of natural products chemistry for two weeks in early September 2011 at an excellent venue where business and leisure can be combined for pleasure and satisfaction.

More information is available at:

September 25-29, 2011

The 6th International Medicinal Mushroom Conference (IMMC6). Zagreb, Croatia

The International Medicinal Mushroom Conferences are worldwide conferences presenting the latest findings in the fields of medicinal properties of mushrooms and their use as medicinal agents. They have been organized biennially since 2001, gathering on average more than 500 participants from all over the world. The participation of most recognized scientific authorities – from mycologists, ecologists, forestry and agronomy experts, scientists from the fields of genetics, biochemistry and biotechnology, to pharmacists, nutritionists, medical doctors and medicinal sciences experts is a regular and integral part of every such conference. Equally important is the participation of numerous experts and business people working with mushrooms – from growing mushrooms and producing quality mycelia, food industry, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industry to all other interconnected production and commercial initiatives.

More information is available at:

October 14-16, 2011

Bioneers Conference, San Rafael, Californ

More information at

October 20-22, 2011

2nd Global Summit on Sustainable Development & Biodiversity (GLOSS 2011)

Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India. The objective of this conference is to explore different models of sustainable development on preservation of indigenous knowledge, lands, sovereignty and culture while providing for integrated economic development, institutional capacity building and technological advancement.

More information is available at:

November 6-12, 2011

The 12th Annual Science and Clinical Application of Integrative Holistic Medicine

Renaissance Vinoy Resort, St. Petersburg, FL, USA. Join Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine and the American Board of Integrative Holistic Medicine for a one-of-a-kind educational experience that includes an up-to-date review of integrative holistic medicine science and research, as well as an opportunity for personal renewal. The course format includes lectures followed by question-and-answer sessions, experiential morning programs and evening study groups. Faculty are renowned experts in integrative holistic medicine and provide practical summaries on a wide-range of mind-body-spirit topics. Pre-Conference Seminar: Bringing Integrative Medicine to Your Practice - November 6, 2011. Optional ABIHM Board Certification Exam - November 12, 2011.

More information is available at:

November 15-18, 2011

International Symposium on Medicinal & Aromatic Plants. Chiang Mai, Thailand

The International Symposium on Medicinal and Aromatic Plants is scheduled to be held from 15-18 November 2011 in a hotel in Chiang Mai, the beautiful northern city of Thailand, in association with the "Royal Flora Ratchaphruek 2011: International Horticultural Exposition - A Tribute to the Royal Perseverance" under the theme, "Greenitude - Reducing Global Warming to Save Planet Earth and to Improve the Quality of Life."

More information is available at:


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