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Volume VIII, issue 3

In this issue:

Welcome to the Sacred Earth Newsletter

winter (86K)Just about made it before 2009 is coming to an end - the last issue of the newsletter in 2009 is coming right on the cusp of the New Year - and with that it is a perfect time to ring in some changes. I am very excited to introduce you to my friend and colleague Dr Deepak Acharya, who has been working relentlessly over the last decade or so to preserve the traditional healing knowledge of tribal people in India. Dr. Acharya is joining my humble efforts at Sacred Earth to bring attention to this age old knowledge. He will be making regular contributions to the newsletter and also (drum roll) moderate our new forum (bulletin board) on Indigenous Knowledge ( - also accessible via the link on the navigation bar on the left). If you have questions or comments on this subject you are invited to join his forum. I am also adding a forum/bulletin board for discussions on foraging and on herbalism. I hope you will come and visit and join these discussions - discussion forums are brought to life by their participants - so, the more the merrier. I am looking forward to chatting with you there.

Also new, we now have our own space for a photo gallery (also accessible via the navigation bar on the left). Not all pictures that are currently there are master shots, but I hope they will be helpful to some of you. If you want to contribute or have any other useful comments or suggestions, please contact me at

Meanwhile, please be gentle on me and have some patience while I am getting the drift of how all this works - it is rather new to me, so initially there may be some little bumps on the road, which I promise to resolve as quickly as possible.

I hope you will enjoy this issue of the newsletter, with its focus on spices.

Wishing you all a very happy and healthy New Year in 2010!

December, 2009

P.S. You can now easily share this newsletter and all articles on this site with your friends on facebook whenever you see this button:

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Foraging for Acorns (Quercus sp.)


Wild food - Foraging acorns - edible uses of acornsI don't know why I have been ignoring acorns all this time. But this year, out of no-where, it suddenly struck me that I should give them a try. Oaks are quite plentiful in my region and acorns are not in short supply. This is how I unexpectedly found myself filling my pockets with acorns earlier this fall. Acorns actually make for easy foraging - their size (at least that of the more common species) is such that bags can be filled rapidly without too much effort.

But before you start picking, it may be worth your while to familiarize yourself with the different species that grow in your area. Usually, where there is one type of oak there are several. Oaks and acorns come in many different varieties, shapes and sizes and not all are equally good for eating, despite the fact that all of them are edible.

Acorns are rich in tannins, a bitter, acrid substance which has been used for tanning animal hides. Tannins are very astringent and in large doses they are toxic to the kidneys, liver and digestive tract. They also interfere with the absorption of iron. This is why foragers prefer to search out species of oak that are naturally sweeter and lack the high levels of tannins. Fortunately, in most parts of Europe the species that has the lowest tannin concentration is also one of the most widespread. In the United States there is a greater range of species and all of them, even the bitterest have been used for food by Native people.

In the eastern United States, Quercus alba, or common white oak, was generally considered the preferred species to gather, since it is naturally quite sweet. In the Southwest, gamble oak was used, although the acorns are not big. But, just about every kind of acorn has been utilized for food - bitter or not. To make the bitter varieties more palatable, the tannins must be removed. Native people have been very innovative in finding ways to accomplish this task. They used many different methods to render acorns more palatable and to preserve them for later use.

Some tribes stored the nuts in underground storage vaults dug near a river. Stored in such vaults the nuts will turn completely black, but can keep fresh for years (as long as the squirrels don' find them). But a more common method is to thoroughly dry or roast the acorns and to store them in jars for later use.

When needed, the dried nuts can be ground into flour. This flour is then placed into a finely woven cloth and carefully rinsed to remove the tannins until the water runs clear. Any flour that is not used immediately must be carefully dried (e.g. low temperature in the oven) to avoid it getting moldy. The flour will 'cake up' and must be reground before use.

Alternatively, you can boil the acorns in several changes of water until the tannin is removed and then dry them. Gentle roasting will dry them completely. Once thoroughly dry, they can be ground into fine flour. Only grind enough for what you need at the time.

acorn biscuits (55K)Acorns are very nutritious. They contain not only fat and carbohydrates, but are also rich in proteins and B vitamins.

There are numerous recipes for acorn grits, cakes, breads and soups. Coarsely ground acorns (grits) can be used to replace nuts in any recipe, though they may give rather a lot of crunch. Acorn flour can be used to replace a proportion of regular flour in just about any recipe. Mix flours in a ration of 1:1 or 2/3 of regular flour to 1/3 of acorn flour, depending on how nutty a flavor you want to achieve. Experiment to create your own favorite recipes.

My experiment was based on a savoury biscuit recipe that normally calls for cashews. The crackers came out great, except that I should have ground the flour much finer. I used grits, but they turned quite crunchy in the oven. Still, on the whole they were quite tasty and not at all to be scoffed at.

Acorn Recipes

Savoury Acorn Biscuits:


Place the flours in a bowl. Add the butter, cut up in small pieces, and add the curry powder and the salt. Add 1 egg yolk and the crème fraiche. Blend all ingredients to create a smooth shortcrust dough. Cover the dough and place in the fridge for 1 hour.

Line a cookie sheet with baking paper and pre-heat the oven to 200°C (392°F).
Divide dough into two portions and roll out thinly (to approx 3 millimeters) between two layers of cling film.
Cut 4cm cookies and place on cookie sheet.
Mix second egg yolk with 2 sp of water and glaze each cookie
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese
Bake for 15 min on the middle rack until golden brown.

Here are some more recipes you might like to try or adapt to your own taste buds.

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


Copenhagen Climate Talk Flop

time is running outIt seems as though my inbox has been flooded with updates and messages about the climate talks for months now. There has been a lot of talk and debate and the feelings of the people have been made clear, not only in Copenhagen but around the world. Climate change is affecting all of us, and we have already come to feel it, all around the world. It seems that the change is not a smooth, gradual increase in temperature that we may in time be able to adjust too, but rather more extreme and unpredictable weather events: flooding, draughts, cold waves, massive amounts of snow, above average heat in the summer with potentially life threatening effects in random places.

I am not inclined to hysteria or alarmism, but at the same time it is foolish to be looking a looming problem in the eye without acting upon it, in as much as it is within our power to act. Perhaps the earth would be warming anyway, due to sun spot activity, as some scientists maintain. But perhaps it might be a good idea to try and reduce our own additional impact anyway. After all, we cannot do anything about the sunspots, but we can do something about our own greenhouse gas emissions. No matter what, reducing the output of these harmful gases will keep the air and consequently the water and the soil cleaner, which can't be a bad thing. Likewise, planting more trees can't be a bad thing - unless they are planted as part of a scheme which runs along the lines of: buy carbon credits so we can cut down the rainforest in order to create oil palm plantations which we will then sell you as biofuel - just one of the many scams that are out there getting away with environmental destruction under the pretence of tackling climate change with the aid of the latest bubble-lie called 'cap and trade'. Watch this short video to find out why this is 'BS' in capital letters.

The Story of Cap & Trade from Story of Stuff Project on Vimeo.

Anyhow - what Copenhagen has shown is that politicians can not be trusted to carry out the will of the people. If there was a will to take steps to change the current state of affairs and avert possible future disasters, surely the way ahead would have been forged, even through difficult territory. But where there is no real will, politicians will poker for the deal that best serves their own interests - and the interests of those who fund them, of course. It is a sad shame that whenever humanity is faced with a challenge and an opportunity to really rise to the lofty heights of a common vision for our common destiny as a species, national/corporate egos show up and start demanding this and that so that we end up with a deal that keeps us in bondage to the lowest common denominators. Congratulations to the politicians for having missed another great chance to further any progress on our evolutionary road towards actually becoming humane.

But, just because the politicians have failed does not mean WE, the people have to fail. We can continue to demand greener solutions and make our own consumer choices as sustainable and earth-friendly as possible. Many of us are already doing 'our bit', but we can all do more, not just in our own lives, but also by demanding that the businesses and institutions we deal with follow suit and by helping and supporting each other in making our dreams for a more harmonious life on earth come true.

Find out what has been happening at Copenhagen:

Inter Press Service Climate Specials
United Nations Climate Change Conference Website
Yes Magazine Resource Guide for climate action

Figure out the odds for yourself:

Eco-Travel Feature:

Discover Southern Belize

Cotton Tree Lodge Toledo District, Southern Belize

Cabanas at Cotton Tree Lodge, Toledo District, BelizeDespite its small size, there is plenty of variety to discover in Belize. Most people visit for the Cayes and to dive the second longest Barrier Reef in the world. But inland Belize is fascinating in its own right. Especially the southernmost region, known as Toledo district, which is the least visited part, consisting largely of dense jungle rich with wildlife. Even Scarlet Macaws are resident here. The most interesting lodge in this area is Cotton Tree Lodge, which runs many interesting programs with a focus on cultural tours. Get to know local people and share in their daily activities, learn about making tortillas, or the process of making chocolate. However, they also have plenty of active adventures, such as hiking, canoeing, caving etc. as well as bird watching tours or trips to explore local Mayan ruins.

See more information about some of the fascinating tours offered at this lodge

Cotton Tree Lodge is the perfect base from where to explore this hidden region of Belize. Cotton Tree Lodge is an all-inclusive ecolodge nestled in a 100 acres private rainforest reserve. Guests stay in detached thatched cabanas with private bathrooms. The lodge is 'off-the-grid' and electricity is provided by solar power, while the fresh produce that provides the ingredients for the delicious meals comes right from their own organic garden. They offer a full meal package as well as daily tours to the surrounding waterfalls, ruins, villages, caves, and jungle.

Read more about Cotton Tree Lodge
See all Belize adventures

or to make enquiries, just send an e-mail to info at

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History of the Spice Trade

Spice marketAs Christmas is nearing once again, and warming scents of cinnamon, vanilla and cloves waft from many a kitchen throughout the land, I find myself pondering the by no means insignificant role that spices have played in shaping world history. We normally do not consider humble, everyday spice rack items as instigators of world events with massive, global consequences. But that is precisely the story of spices - or rather, the story of the spice trade. Shrouded in legends and tall tales with regard to their obscure origins, spices apparently always carried a certain allure, an air of the exotic, a whiff of mystique...

The first documented use of spices dates back to 3000 BC, to Sumerian clay tablet inscriptions, but it is likely that spices have played a significant role in our cultural history since mankind first learnt to control fire and began to evolve a culinary culture. By 1500 BC there was already a thriving trade network spanning the orient to the Far East, from whence the exotic spices came. For 1500 years or so the spice trade was entirely controlled by the Arab world, since Arabs had penetrated the East early on. It is hard to fathom, but back then the spice trade played a similar role in world economics as the oil industry does today. Spices were highly sought after, not only for culinary purposes, but also for the manufacture of cosmetics and perfumes, incense, anointing oils and as gifts to the gods, as ingredients of medicines and ointments and for embalming the bodies of the Pharaohs, a task that required very large quantities of gums, resins and spices. Cities which lay on the crossroads of the major trade routes benefited greatly from the passing caravans of merchants, as each levied taxes on the goods that passed through its gates. During this period the Arab world flourished.

network of ancient trade routesBut this changed around the time of Christ, when a Greek trader by the name of Hippalus utilized the monsoon winds to ship spices from the Orient, instead of traveling the traditional land route. This journey was to change history, for it broke the monopoly of the Arabs and henceforth Greeks and Romans energetically joined in the race to control spice trade. The Romans in particular have been largely responsible for expanding the trading network north and introducing northern palates to exotic tastes. Spices became quite the rave (thanks to the usual marketing of 'wonder drugs' and aphrodisiac properties) and phenomenal sums were paid for even the smallest quantities. Fortunes have been built on these tantalizing epicurean thrills. Considering how conservative many people are when it comes to food and flavours, it is quite astounding that spices earned such triumphant glory. No doubt clever marketing increased their allure. The very fact that they were expensive and difficult to get classified them as a desirable status symbol. But just as today, marketers of old sold these new foods as 'miracle substances', deemed to improve many and varied health conditions, and not least of all, to improve sexual stamina. Practically all spices were said to act as aphrodisiacs - a claim which many still hold to this day.

Read the full article

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Preserving the Traditional Knowledge of Tribal People in Patalkot - an Interview with Dr. Deepak Acharya

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 Acharya with healers of PatalkotFor the past 12 years, Dr Deepak Acharya who is known as 'the Ambassador of Tribal Knowledge', has devoted his life to documenting the knowledge of these people and has tried to raise awareness, not only about their environmental predicament, but also about the cultural treasure these people are guarding. Most people have heard of the traditional Indian healing system known as 'Ayurveda', which teaches the philosophy of 'right livelihood' as the foundation of good health. But few people are aware of the fact that the many tribal people of India also have their own traditional healing systems and age-old knowledge regarding the uses of medicinal herbs.

Dr. Acharya is determined to help these tribal people. As part of his effort to do so he started up a company in 2007, Abhumka Herbal Private Limited, which carries out research to verify the tribal knowledge and create therapeutic formulae intended not only for the benefit of human health, but also for animals. Strong and healthy animals are still a vital part of the agricultural system still operated by small farmers in rural India. Effective, non-toxic, inexpensive remedies and supplements would be of great benefit to them.

Dr Acharya doing field research with the Tribal people of Patalkot valley, IndiaDr. Acharya regularly visits Patalkot to learn more from the traditional healers and in turn to teach about environmental issues and how they may impact the tribal communities and way of life. He has expressed an interest to share his expertise and knowledge within the Sacred Earth Forum and I am delighted to welcome him on board. Dr. Acharya will be contributing regular articles on tribal uses of plants and will also moderate the IK (indigenous knowledge) forum. To introduce you to Dr. Acharya and his work, I have prepared a little interview with him:

Dr. Acharya, I am delighted to welcome you to Sacred Earth and am looking forward to your contributions and expertise.
You have been deeply involved with researching traditional tribal knowledge in various places in India. What first inspired you to become involved with Tribals and to research and document their traditional plant knowledge?

As a child I suffered a critical health disorder and the doctors wanted to operate on me. Someone suggested that my father should visit and meet with a certain herbal healer, who had the reputation of being an expert in curing this particular disorder. My father met him and asked him to treat me. He gave me an herbal treatment to for 30 days and amazingly I was all well at the end of the 30th day. It was like a miracle and even the doctors, who had wanted to operate, could not believe it. Two decades later, after I completed my master's degree in Plant Sciences and started my PhD in medicinal herbs, I wished to meet that herbal healer. But, when I reached the village where he had lived, I was told that he had passed away 10 years earlier. I was deeply upset over his demise. Nobody ever documented his knowledge, nor did his children tried to learn it. It was a great loss. That day I knew that my mission was to scout out and document the traditional herbal knowledge of the tribal people.

Your company, Abhumka, sets out to create phytopharmaceuticals based on Tribal knowledge. Do you have a benefit sharing agreement with the tribal healers you work with?

Yes, we pledge to share any profits with them. Tribal healers are the reservoir of traditional knowledge. Unfortunately, the younger generation does not want to learn this age old traditional knowledge. Young tribesmen migrate to other places in search of better paying work and consider this knowledge useless. The healers themselves think that this knowledge should be given to the right candidate who not will not only do it justice, but will also use it for good cause. I have been involved with researching and documenting this knowledge for more than 12 years now. Their herbal practices and detailed medicinal plant profiles have been compiled in the form of a digital library. Currently we have included those practices for validation that seem particularly effective. The criteria for selecting the practices are based on feedback we receive from the patients. After validation, when this herbal formula is launched on the market, a part of the income generated by it will be shared with these healers, who are the actual knowledge holders. Throughout the entire process, we take primary consent in writing from the respective knowledge holder(s).

What is your vision and mission for this company and for the Tribal people with whom you work? What would be your definition of success?

We have formulas available for various disorders such as kidney ailment, wound healing, skin diseases, anaemia, obesity, immunity improvement, haemorrhoids etc. Right now our mission is to make herbal solutions available for such disorders by means of effective herbal products that will be available at an affordable price. It is said that success comes from good decisions, good decisions come from experience and experience comes from bad decisions. I shall be able to define success once I attain it, right now, I have miles to go.

How do the Tribal people regard your work? What are their hopes or fears with regards to their traditional plant knowledge, and your mission to find larger scale applications for it?

Tribals are innocent people; they have full faith in us and their hopes are high. They know that we are the custodians of their knowledge and that it is in safe hands. I think of myself as an ambassador of the tribal traditional herbal knowledge; I shall take it to new heights

How do these Tribals benefit from the commercialization of their knowledge? Are you aiming to popularize these tribal knowledge products within India or are you addressing a global market?

They shall share our profits, no doubt about it. The whole world should benefit from their knowledge, but that is not easy to achieve due to the different rules and regulations pertaining to traditional herbal medicines. We are facing a biased attitude from the authorities, but we are hopeful that one day the whole world will become aware of the power of traditional herbal knowledge.

How is the knowledge of the older healers preserved/ passed on to the younger generation?

Traditional knowledge is passed on to the younger generation by the word of mouth only. Though in many parts of India, young tribesmen are hardly interested in learning this practice. We have our own limitations right now; still, we have documented 20000 practices for human, animal and agricultural purposes.

Globally, herbs and trees are under an immense pressure these days - global warming, urban sprawl, deforestation, non-sustainable gathering practices, especially by poor laborers who do not understand the fragility of ecosystems all threaten their survival. If certain products indeed become very popular, how will this impact the natural stands of the source plants? Will this not degrade and reduce natural stands of such herbs further? Can the supply be safeguarded and guaranteed long into the future?

To bring a product to the market, you need to have tremendous back-up supply particularly when, as you said, a product is very popular. We motivate herbal healers and other tribesmen of the village to cultivate herbs that we need. This not only gives them an opportunity to earn some money, but we also successfully implement in situ conservation of herbs. This is called "reverse integration". When these tribesmen themselves will be cultivating these plants then there won't be any question of deforestation or forest stripping. Until now, no such efforts were made; no one cared for these tribesmen or their plants.

Many scientists have conducted research for their papers in patalkot valley and have published information about the medicinal plants of this valley. This made for impressive bio data in their papers, but no one ever returned to see whether those plants are still there, or not. No one dared to stop the mediators, but I have gathered strength to do so and I believe the world will definitely salute the knowledge of these tribesmen one day.

India has many ancient healing traditions that are based on natural medicines and rely heavily on herbs. Where do you see India with regards to the global phytomedicine market?

We respect them, but don't adopt at them as a first recourse. We are lagging behind in terms of investigating them scientifically, but this is the biggest challenge at the moment.

Traditional knowledge is often not taken very seriously by the scientific community. It is regarded as 'old wives tales'. How do you respond to that?

Traditional knowledge is too big to be measured within the parameters of a biased scientific community. They have the attitude that what they don't see doesn't exist.

What message would you like to send out to the world?

I would like people to understand the immense potential of herbs and their role in everyday cures for chronic and minor human health disorders. In recent times, we have been too pre-occupied with synthetic drugs and we forget that there are herbs that play an important role in correcting various disorders. It is high time to act fast and to try and understand the role of herbs in our lives, and to safeguard them, to document the knowledge of folk and traditional healers so that one day, herbs and knowledge pertaining to them will become a boon for all of us and future generations.

Dr. Acharya, I thank you for this interview and welcome you again to Sacred Earth.


medicinal uses of spices by Tribal People in India

Dr Deepak Acharya and Dr Anshu Shrivastava

Spices are an integral part of holistic cookingWhen it comes to necessity of culinary herbs in human life, spices play a major role as they are versatile in feature (Rathore and Shekhawat, 2008). Indian traditions have long been utilizing various spices and there is a scientific basis to their use. Spices have tried, tested and trusted medicinal values and a profound effect on general health. They have a wide variety of biological functions and their cumulative or synergistic effects are likely to shield the body against a variety of ailments. Spices also improve digestive processes by intensifying salivary flow, by cleaning the oral cavity and checking infections. Traditionally, spices used as part of the diet, have holistic effects on human health (Acharya and Shrivastava, 2008).

The history of spice is almost as old as human civilization. India may be recognized as the 'The home of spices' as its share in the world spice market has gone up to 47 per cent in quantity and 40 per cent in value (Anonymous, 2008). The world trade in spices is estimated to be around 800,000 tons, valued at US $2 billion. Indian spice exports amount to 39,200 tons of spice products and have reached a major milestone by crossing the one billion US dollar mark in 2007-08 (Anonymous, 2008). Spices are widely employed by the food-, pharmaceutical-, perfume- and cosmetic industries. Here, in India, you will find a wide range of spices in every home. They form an inseparable part of every kitchen. Each spice has its own aroma, flavor and medicinal value. Their healing properties rejuvenate the body.

There are more than 80 spices grown in different parts of the world and around 50 of them are grown in India (Rathore and Shekhawat, 2008). Spices are derived from all different parts of plants i.e. from bark (Cinnamon), root (Ginger, Garlic etc.), leaf (Curry Leaf), buds (Cloves, etc.), Seeds (Poppy, Sesame etc.), berry (Black Pepper), and fruit (Paprika).

In this article, the authors aim to bring together detailed information about 20 common Indian spices and their medicinal applications by the indigenous tribesmen in various pockets of India. The authors have extensively documented the traditional knowledge of the indigenous people of Patalkot, Dangs and Aravalli regions in India. The article will be presented in a 4 part series, each part of which will discuss 5 important spices in detail. In this article, we will discuss the medicinal uses and indigenous formulations of Onion, Garlic, Coriander, Cumin and Mango Ginger.

Onion (Allium cepa L.)

Onions (Allium cepa) - medicinal usesOnion is among the earliest cultivated vegetables and is mostly used as base for curries in India. Medicinally, it is very important plant as it has powerful antioxidant properties. Research indicates that Onion nourishes, heals, renews and softens the skin and aids in tissue regeneration. It acts as a cleansing agent to remove dirt, dust and makeup from the skin. Allicin (Onion extract) works wonders on scars, calluses, stretchmarks and other skin hardening, and scar tissue (Sezik et al., 1997). The bulb is said to be effective in diabetes (Gray and Flatt, 1997), hypertension (Al-khalil, 1995), as an aphrodisiac (Alami et al., 1976), for amenorrhea (Gimlette, 1939), cough and fever (Giron et al., 1991), abscess (Fujita et al., 1995, Sezik et al., 1997). According to the findings made by Leporatti and Pavesi (1990), the onion bulb is helpful for alleviating menstrual and uterine pains. In Morocco, the bulb is used as an anti-asthmatic agent and for dental hygiene, while externally it is used for skin disease (Bellakhdar et al., 1991). The fresh bulb is good in bronchial asthma (Dorsch and Wagner, 1991). Juice of the fresh bulb is used to improve eye sight, the tangy scent is said to have good effects in improving eye sights (Singh, 1986) and as an anti-inflammatory substance in insect bites (de Feo and Senatore, 1993).

Indigenous Formulations:

Circulatory Stimulant:
According to an herbal healer in Patalkot, mix Onion extract with honey and consume it daily in winter. This gives warmth to cold body as it improves circulation.
Weight Gain
Onion and Jaggery (unrefined sugar) in equal proportion helps in gaining weight. In case of non-availability of Jaggery, it can be replaced with sugar.
About 30g Onion and 7 Black Pepper (Piper nigrum) fruits can be finely pounded and given to the cholera patients. According to the healers, this formulation checks the microbial growth thus resulting relief in Cholera. In Sukhabhand village of Patalkot, herbal healers prescribe another formulation for the same. Camphor (Cinnamomum camphora) around 4 mg is mixed in Onion juice (5 ml) and given to the patient for 4 times a day.
Prepare an extract of Onion bulb, Peppermint (Mentha piperita) leaves in equal amount and add 2 teaspoon Lemon (Citrus limon) fruit juice. This mixture should be consumed three times a day to stop excessive dysentery.
Wound Cleansing
According to Rajelal of Chimtipur in Patalkot, chop one raw Onion and cover with salt and leave it overnight. Apply the juice 3-4 times a day on warts or wounds.
Cough Syrup
A syrup of 1 teaspoonful raw Onion juice with 1 teaspoonful of honey kept over 3 to 4 hours serves as an excellent cough syrup.
About 50g of Onion should be soaked in water along with 10g sugar and it should be taken internally twice a day to heal piles.
Kidney Stones
In kidney or urinary stone, Onion juice and sugar is given to the patient. The juice relieves the pain and also helps in dissolving the stone deposition.

Read full article or jump to:

Acknowledgement: We acknowledge tribesmen of Patalkot, Dangs and Aravallis for sharing their much valued information with us.


Author's Profile

Dr_Deepak_Acharya (21K)

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

Dr_Anshu_Shrivasta (14K)

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


plant profile: Cinnamon - Cinnamomum zeylanicum Blume


(Cinnamomum zeylanicum Blume)


Cinnamomum zeylanicum Blume


Cinnamon trees belong to a large genus of some 250 species, most of which are aromatic. True Cinnamon is native to Sri Lanka, formerly known as Ceylon and the south-eastern coast of India, while the closely related Cassia is native to China. Cinnamon and Cassia are both small tropical evergreen trees that grow up to 20 - 30 feet tall, with aromatic bark and leaves. Young leaves employ a typical trick of tropical trees to make themselves look unappealing to predatory insects by assuming a limp, reddish appearance, as if wilting. Once they mature they perk up and darken to a deep green. The leaves are elongated ovate with a pointed tip, shiny and dark green on the upper surface, lighter below. The inconspicuous whitish flowers grow in panicles, which later develop into bluish berries. The bark is reddish brown and smooth.

Chinese Cinnamon (Cassia)


Despite of its exotic, distant origin, Cinnamon was known and widely used in the ancient world. The Arabs were the first to introduce it to the west and dominated the trade for centuries via their network of trading routes that went as far as China. Their account of where and how Cinnamon and Cassia were obtained proves that exaggerated marketing techniques were not invented yesterday. Herodotus (484BC - 425BC) gives the full account:

Their mode of obtaining Cassia is this: - The whole of their body, and the face, except the eyes, they cover with skins of different kinds; they thus proceed to the place where it grows, which is in a marsh, not very deep, but infested by a winged species of animal much resembling a bat, very strong, and making a hideous noise; they protect their eyes from these, and then gather the cassia.

Their manner of collecting the Cinnamon is still more extraordinary. In what particular spot it is produced they themselves are unable to certify. There are some who assert that it grows in the region where Bacchus was educated and their mode of reasoning is by no means improbable. These affirm that the vegetable substance which we, as instructed by the Phoenicians, call Cinnamon, is by certain large birds carried to their nests constructed of clay, and placed in the cavities of inaccessible rocks. To procure it thence, the Arabians have contrived this stratagem: - they cut in very large pieces the dead bodies of oxen, asses or other beasts of burden and carry them near these nests: they then retire to some distance; the birds soon fly to the spot and carry these pieces of flesh to their nests, which not being able to support the weight, fall in pieces to the ground. The Arabians take this opportunity of gathering the Cinnamon which they afterwards dispose of to different countries.

This and similar stories were circulated in order to obscure the true origin of the precious bark to put off any competition. It worked, for some time. Pliny the Elder (1st century AD) was the first to assert that Cassia and Cinnamon do not grow in Arabia.

Bundles of Cinnamon sticksCinnamon trade was big, even in the ancient world. Tons of it were imported, as it was extensively used for ritual and mundane purposes. The Egyptians used it for embalming potions, perfumes, incense and oils. It is also mentioned in the Old Testament. In fact, the word 'Cinnamon' is derived from the ancient Hebrew word 'kinnämön, which in turn probably originates from the Malay or Indonesian term 'Kayumanis', meaning 'sweet wood'. In China, the city of Guilin was originally known as 'Kwei Lin' meaning 'cassia forest', in allusion to the fragrant groves of cassia that that surrounded the ancient city.

The Italians found that the appearance of Cinnamon quills reminded them of cannons and thus they called it 'canela', which became 'kaneel' in Dutch and 'cannelle' in French.

Both Cassia and Cinnamon was known in the ancient world. Cassia was the more widespread species, though Cinnamon was considered to be of finer quality. Even now, Cinnamon fetches a higher prize. In classical times it was very precious indeed: Pliny gives the market price for an Egyptian pound (350g) of Cinnamon at the time (1st century) as over 1000 Denares, which was equivalent to 5kg of silver.

All the more incredulous that Emperor Nero (not known to have been a very nice sort of chap) demanded every scrap of Cinnamon that could be found in Rome to be delivered to him to be burnt on the funeral pyre of his second wife Poppaea Sabina, after he had killed her by kicking her pregnant belly. This amounted to an entire year's supply of Cinnamon.

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ethnobotany, agro forestry and NWFP news items

Monsanto nominated for worst lobbying award

Monsanto has been nominated for the Angry Mermaid Award for worst climate lobbying. Monsanto is lobbying for RoundupReady (RR) soy to be considered a "climate-friendly" crop that is eligible for carbon credits and subsidies under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) - and pushing for a meaningless "responsible" label for RoundupReady soy, which could be used to certify "sustainable" agrofuels.


You can see other nominees for the award and cast your vote here:

India: Kinnaur tribals of Himachal agitated over damage to rare Chilgoza pine trees (Pinus gerardiana)

Source: myHimachal, India, 8 December 2009

High altitude tribals of Rispa panchayat in Kinnaur are an agitated lot as a hydropower construction company executing 100 MW project in the vicinity tears through steep mountains slopes constructing roads, damaging precious Chilgoza trees (Pinus gerardiana) and raising clouds of dust along. With the private company allegedly violating both tribal land laws and forest act, Narender Negi, panchayat pradhan, Rispa over phone said, "neither was the government intervening nor was the contractors paying heed to the objections being raised by the resident villagers. "With over 2,000 trees already damaged the construction company has already exceeded the 1261 number of trees that were permitted for the project," he said. Forests of Chilgoza (locally the edible pine is called Neoza) are highly valued in Kinnaur for not only are they part of community ownership but also provide livelihoods means as one tree produces about 10 Kgs of Chilgoza annually which fetches about Rs 3000/- for the villager. The clouds of dust and rolling boulders causing heavy soil erosion has damaged our local environment badly says Bhuvneshwar Negi, president of Paryavaran Evam Van Sanrakshan Samiti, a local NGO. "Damage to these rare trees, which are only found in parts of Afghanistan, Kashmir and Kinnaur has threatened our livelihoods," he said.

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India: Medicinal plants to take root in city schools

Source: Times of India, 8 December 2009

Pune - With the intention of taking students back to grandmother’s remedies and to the wonders of traditional medicine, the Directorate of Social Forestry will introduce the concept of herbal gardens in various schools across the state of Maharashtra from early 2010. The directorate will set up the herbal gardens under the promotional scheme of the National Medicinal Plants Board (NMPB), Government of India. "The objective is to sensitise students about conservation of the rich biodiversity and the role of medicinal plants in providing a holistic healthcare, both in traditional and modern systems of medicine," said Prakash Thosre, nodal officer for Directorate of Social Forestry, Maharashtra. Schools which are not part of the NGC programme can also be part of the herbal gardens initiative. "The deadline for registering with us is December 31," said Thosre.

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India in talks with USA for granting access to TK data to curb biopiracy

Source:, India, 2 November 2009

After sharing the database of Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) with European countries, India is now in talks with more countries including the US for similar agreement to grant access to the details in a bid to prevent wrong patents across the world on Indian medicinal plants. The talks with US Patent and Trademark Office (US PTO) are in advanced stages and the agreement will be concluded soon. Likewise, the authorities are also negotiating with other countries like Japan and China so that it becomes a 'win-win’ situation for all sharing countries, sources with the National Institute of Science Communication and Informative Resources (NISCAIR) said. In February this year, India granted access to TKDL to the examiners at the European Patent Office (EPO) to prevent attempts at patenting existing traditional knowledge or to curb 'biopiracy'. Sources said the trend of giving wrong patents has come down, especially after India successfully set up the TKDL. In a study carried out in 2000 by the TKDL task force, as many as 4,896 patent references were found on the medicinal plants at the international level. It went up to 15,000 in the year 2003. However, another study in 2005 found that the number of patents on medicinal plants was 35,587.

After successfully fighting the wrong patents granted at US PTO on turmeric and basmati and at EPO on neem, the TKDL was created as fighting the wrong patents was expensive and time consuming. TDKL establishes prior art for approximately 2.04 lakh formulations transcribed in 5 international languages – English, French, German, Spanish and Japanese – and prevents the grant of wrong patents, if claimed at the international patent offices. The TKDL is a joint venture between five agencies including NISCAIR and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). The vast database includes 54 authoritative textbooks on ayurvedic medicine, nearly 150,000 Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha medicines and 1,500 physical exercises and postures in yoga, more than 5,000 years old. The TKDL allows examiners to compare patent applications with existing traditional knowledge. New patent applications need to demonstrate significant improvements and inventiveness compared to prior art in their field. The TKDL is so precise that it lists the time, place and medium of publication for prior art. This new catalogue system, called the Traditional Knowledge Resource Classification (TKRC), ensures meticulous documentation. More countries across the globe are also framing such database and sharing with other countries. In 2008, the Chinese patent office (SIPO) granted the EPO access to its 32000-entry database on traditional Chinese medicine.

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India: Climate change endangering medicinal herbs

Source: Indopia, New Delhi, 7 October 2009

Climate change is threatening the existence of several Indian herbs which are key ingredients of traditional Ayurvedic system of medicine, President Pratibha Patil said today and expressed concern over the trend. "The Ayurvedic medicines make intelligent use of herbs. Climate change is disturbing the ecological balance which is making herbs, used in Ayurvedic medicines, extinct. It is a big challenge for us," she said while inaugurating centenary celebrations of All India Ayurvedic Congress here. She said herbs and plants which are becoming extinct should be properly categorized and efforts made to protect them. "In this work, help of National Medicinal Plants Boards and Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plant should be taken" Patil said. Herbs like Kutki, Atees, Kasturi, Praval which form the base of several Ayurvedic drugs are getting difficult to find because of the ecological changes, Vaid Devendra Triguna, the Chairman of the Congress, said on the sidelines of the function. "Good herbs are getting difficult to secure because of changes in climate. We used to get good herbs from Himachal Pradesh but now it is becoming difficult. We have helped the states to constitute medicinal plant boards which are working in this area" Triguna said.

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Biodiversity loss accelerating, UN target will be missed

Source: Environment News Service, 13 October 2009

The world will not achieve its agreed target to stem biodiversity loss by next year, the International Year of Biodiversity, say experts in Cape Town for a science conference on the variety, abundance and conservation of plants and animals. The target was agreed at a conference of Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity in April 2003. Some 123 world ministers committed to "achieve, by 2010, a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss at the local, national and regional levels, as a contribution to poverty alleviation and to the benefit of all life on Earth." "We will certainly miss the target for reducing the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010 and therefore also miss the 2015 environmental targets within the UN Millennium Development Goals to improve health and livelihoods for the world's poorest and most vulnerable people," says conference speaker Georgina Mace of Imperial College, London.

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Development agencies call for indigenous people to play role in forest management

Source: Voice of America, 1 October 2009

A new report calls on industrialized countries to ensure financial support to efforts to conserve and manage forests. The report says indigenous people in Asia should play a key role in forestry, to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The report by the conservation group Forests Dialogue says indigenous communities must be involved in decisions about managing forests in the Asia-Pacific region. The loss of forest cover globally amounts to as much as 13 million hectares a year. Deforestation is a prime contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, largely carbon dioxide, which scientists say contribute to global warming. The report was unveiled on the sidelines of United Nations climate talks in Bangkok Thursday. The meetings here are to pave the way for a global agreement on cutting greenhouse gas emissions and preparing for climate change, which is to be drafted in Copenhagen in December. "Drawing from our experience over many difficult situations around the world, and if we've learned anything in the last 25 or 30 years, it is that we really need to be very thorough and effective in involving local people, local stakeholders in forestry management," said Patrick Durst, an FAO forestry official. "Without that we certainly set ourselves up for failure."

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Kenya: Forest plants grown for traditional medicines

Source: Voice of America, 26 November 2009

Kakamega Forest is one of Kenya's last remaining virgin forests, containing many trees and plants that have curative properties. To protect these medicinal plants from harm, local farmers are being encouraged to grow them instead of harvesting the plants from the forest. The farmers also win by getting good money for their crops. This is an increasingly common sight in Kenya, graveyards of what once were mighty forests, teeming with life. The Kakamega Forest in Western Kenya is one of the country's last remaining stands. Plants in the forest are being damaged or killed because people harvest them for traditional medicines. So, to save Kakamega Forest, an international research group has transferred two popular plants out of the forest and into the hands of farmers such as Mary Shimuli. Shimuli grows a half-acre's worth of Ocimum kilimandscharicu and harvests the plant every six months. She says that, besides saving the forest, her harvests bring her family a better income. "I used to go to the forest for firewood, but I was afraid of being arrested. After I realized that the project is fruitful for me, I stopped going to the forest. I managed to buy three cows," she said.

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Cinderella fruit: wild delicacies become cash crops

Source: NewScientist, 10 November 2009

If you had come here 10 years ago, says Thaddeus Salah as he shows us round his tree nursery in north-west Cameroon, you would have seen real hunger and poverty. "In those times," he says, "we didn't have enough chop to eat." It wasn't just food - 'chop' in the local dialect - that his family lacked. They couldn't afford school fees, healthcare or even chairs for their dilapidated grass-thatch house. Salah's fortunes changed in 2000 when he and his neighbours learned how to identify the best wild fruit trees and propagate them in a nursery. "Domesticating wild fruit like bush mango (Irvingia gabonensis), has changed our lives," he says. His family now has "plenty chop", as he puts it. He is also earning enough from the sale of indigenous fruit trees to pay school fees for four of his children. He has been able to re-roof his house with zinc sheets and buy goods he could only dream of owning before. He even has a mobile phone.
"If you come back here in 10 years' time, I hope - I'm sure - you'll see improved varieties of indigenous fruit tree on every smallholding," says Tchoundjeu. "I think you'll see a great diversity of different tree crops and a much more complex, more sustainable environment. And the people will be healthier and better off."

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Rafflesia: new hope for world's biggest flower

Source: The Brunei Times, 10 November 2009

Deep in the jungles of Southeast Asia blooms the world's biggest flower — a massive fleshy orb designed by nature to attract insects by mimicking the colour and stench of rotting meat. The bizarre bloom, named Rafflesia after famed British colonialist Sir Stamford Raffles who stumbled across one in Borneo in 1818, is under threat from deforestation and harvesting for traditional medicine. But under an innovative Malaysian scheme, indigenous tribes who once gathered Rafflesia buds by the sack load are being trained as custodians of the rare flowers, and to act as guides for ecotourists. "We used to pick the buds and sell them to traders. We took many, many sack fulls," said Long Kadak, a member of the Semai tribe in Ulu Geroh, a scenic village in northern Perak state which has embraced the scheme. "But now we're not selling them because we want tourists to come and see our flowers. We make much more money that way," he said. Long is one of a dozen guides who take visitors to the elusive blooms as well as to enchanting butterfly groves and waterfalls. As she guides a number of tourists behind her, she said the scheme had revived traditional skills and knowledge. "Only older people used to pick them because they knew the places where they grew. At that time we didn't know because we didn't often go deep into the jungle. Now the young people know how to reach them and return," she said. "Now we know the value of the flowers we don't allow our people to gather them. We've got to take care of this place," said Long, whose tribe is one of Malaysia's indigenous people known collectively as "Orang Asli". New interest in the Rafflesia has seen more studies carried out, into its range and even its DNA. But Abdul Latiff says its best hope is with the Orang Asli. "They have had an association with the jungle much longer than us. If they fail in looking after the Rafflesia, what chance do I have?" he said. "I'm emotional about it because I'm a scientist and I don't think we have the right to drive anything to extinction. Without this programme, they would have faced a slow death."

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Google to aid tropical rainforests

Source: Middle East and North Africa Financial Network, Jordan, 23 November 2009

A proposed Google program would allow anyone with Internet access to spot illegal logging in tropical rainforests and report it, the company said. The program, to be released next year, would let so-called armchair detectives report their findings to an agency monitoring whether countries were meeting their commitments to reduce deforestation, The Times of London reported Friday. Countries allowing illegal deforestation would lose their share of a new $30 billion global fund established to pay nations for leaving forests standing. The fund (REDD) is to be approved at the United Nations climate change summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, in December, said Google executive Philipp Schindler. Schindler spoke Thursday at a seminar on deforestation in London attended by Britain's Prince Charles and leaders of several rainforest countries, including Guyana and Brazil. Frequently updated satellite photos in the Google program will allow comparisons with historical images and let those viewing the images spot rainforest destruction almost as soon as it happens, Schindler said.

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WFI International Fellowship Program

Source: World Forestry Centre, 10 December 2009

For over a decade, the World Forest Institute (WFI) has offered a unique International Fellowship Program to professionals in natural resources--such as foresters, environmental educators, land managers, NGO practioners and researchers--to conduct a practical research project at the World Forestry Centre in Portland, Oregon, U.S.A. In addition to their specific research projects, Fellows participate in weekly field trips, interviews and site visits to Northwest forestry organizations, state, local and national parks, universities, public and private timberlands, trade associations, mills, and corporations. The Fellowship is a unique opportunity to learn about sustainable forestry from the Pacific Northwest forestry sector, and to work with colleagues from around the world. The WFI Fellowship is a great way to continue learning, explore career paths in the natural resource sector, and develop contacts in the region. We have enjoyed the participation of over 80 Fellows from 25 countries. The program is open to applicants from any country (including the U.S.), and there is a matching grant from the Harry A. Merlo Foundation. Applications are accepted year-round.

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January 21-24, 2010:

7th Annual Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine’s Natural Supplements: An Evidence-Based Update. Paradise Point Resort, San Diego, CA, USA.

During this comprehensive conference, renowned faculty will present a clinically relevant overview of the latest information on natural supplements and nutritional medicine with an emphasis on disease states. This popular course provides practical information for health care professionals who make nutritional recommendations or manage dietary supplement use. Special activities include: pre-conference seminar, botanical gardens tour, workshops, reception and research competition with poster presentations
More information is available at: .

January 22- 24, 2010

Circles of Caring NOFA-NY's 28th Annual Organic Farming and Gardening Conference in Saratoga Springs, NY.

Join us for more than 80 workshops, 3 keynote speakers, organic trade show, entertainment, and local organic meals.
Information about Registration, Sponsorships, and Trade Show is available online at
Questions? Contact Greg Swartz (570) 224-8515
conference at

February 22-26, 2010

African Forestry and Wildlife Commission, Brazzaville, Republic of Congo

Every two years, the African Forestry and Wildlife Commission (AFWC) meets to discuss and address forest and wildlife issues on the Continent. Created in 1959, the AFWC is one of six Regional Forestry Commissions established by the FAO to provide a policy and technical forum for countries to discuss and address forest and wildlife issues in their respective regions. 2010 will mark the 17th session of the Commission. The gathering will be in conjunction with the first ever African and Forestry Wildlife Week. The theme of the events will be common: "African Forests and Wildlife: Response to the Challenges of Sustainable Livelihood Systems."

The session will seek to highlight the important contribution of forests and wildlife to reducing poverty, hunger and malnutrition on the continent. The introduction of an entire week dedicated to African Forestry and Wildlife aims to draw the attention of policy makers to the contribution of forests and wildlife to the national economy and to the lives and livelihoods of Africans. Some 400 participants from a variety of backgrounds are expected at the event, including policy makers and practitioners from the public and private sectors, NGOs, civil society organizations, development agencies as well as experts from academia. They will discuss and exchange knowledge on the social, economic and environmental values of forests and wildlife and the need to manage them sustainably, particularly in the face of current global trends like the financial and food crises and Climate Change.

Fore more information, please contact: Mr. Foday Bojang, Senior Forestry Officer, FAO Regional Office for Africa, Gamel Abdul Nasser Road, P.O. Box 1628, Accra, Ghana. Tel. 233-21-675-000 Ext.3202; Fax: 233-21-668-427; e-mail: foday.bojang at or afwc at; website:

February 25-27, 2010:

Integrative Healthcare Symposium. Hilton New York, New York, NY, USA.

The Integrative Healthcare Symposium held at the Hilton New York, NYC, February 25-27, 2010 is the gathering place for today’s most forward thinking practitioners and professionals seeking the latest research and clinical pearls to improve patient care and expand your practice. Be inspired through keynote and plenary sessions by renowned speakers including Christiane Northrup, M.D., Jeffrey Bland, PhD, FACN, CNS and Jay Lombard, DO.

Register today at, enter Priority Code 100131 to receive 15% off your registration!

March 8 - 12, 2010

IUFRO Kuala Lumpur 2010, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

IUFRO Kuala Lumpur 2010 is the joint conference of IUFRO Working Parties 2.04.01 (Population, Ecological and Conservation Genetics) and 2.04.10 (Genomics) and will be hosted by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) and Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM). The conference includes invited and contributed presentations and posters, discussion sessions, workshops, satellite and business meetings and an in-conference tour.


For more information, please contact:

Wickneswari Ratna wicki at
Norwati Muhammad norwati at


March 24 - 26, 2010

CIFOR conference: "Taking stock of smallholder and community forestry: Where do we go from here?", Montpellier, France

Conference sessions will be organized to maximize comparisons of key topics drawing from cases in temperate and tropical forests from around the world. The workshop will be multidisciplinary, and papers may be presented from biophysical, socio-economic, policy or development perspectives. Particularly welcome are papers that compare or synthesize research across countries or regions, but country-level comparisons will also be considered. Each paper should close with a section aimed at answering the question, where do we go from here?

If you are interested in presenting a paper or poster please submit a title, an abstract of 250 words and 3 keywords to l.feintrenie at by 10 January 2010.

For more information please see:


April 10-11, 2010:

Southwest Conference on Botanical Medicine. Tempe, AZ, USA

Join us for a sunny weekend in the blooming April desert! Keynote speaker: Rosita Arvigo. Conference topics: Specific Indications for the use of Pelvic Decongestant Herbs; Herbal Pairing from the Vitalist Tradition; Cardiovascular Blood Markers--Natural Therapies for Restoring Health; Uses and Cautions for Prescription-Only Botanicals and much more. Preconference intensive on April 9: Women's Health: Alternatives to Statins, HPV Vaccine, Anti-depressants and Anxiolytics with Amanda McQuade Crawford. Lots of outdoor events: Friday Field Studies, herb walks at the Desert Botanical Garden, and outdoor classes in medicinal herb preparation. CE credits for health professionals.
More information is available at:
or 1-800-252-0688 1-800-252-0688 .

April 12-15, 2010:

9th Annual Oxford International Conference on the Science of Botanicals. Oxford Conference Center, Oxford, MS, USA

The National Center for Natural Products Research (NCNPR) within the School of Pharmacy at The University of Mississippi is pleased to announce a conference on Quality and Safety Issues Related to Botanicals. The conference is supported by a cooperative agreement between the NCNPR and the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This conference is also being co-sponsored by the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica/CAS, China, The Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR - India), Ministry of Indigenous Medicine, Sri Lanka, American Society of Pharmacognosy (ASP) and the Society for Medicinal Plant Research (GA).

The purpose of this conference is to review, discuss, and explore the confluence of current research topics in natural product chemistry, Pharmacognosy and botanicals. Topic areas will include such issues as authentication, cultivation, collection, post-harvest practices for producing quality plant material, chemical and toxicological methods for quality/safety assessment of botanicals. Contributed presentations, both oral and poster, are invited. Each session will open with a plenary speaker outlining the current approaches, limitations, and research needs of the topic area.

Speakers will be leading researchers from industry, academia, nonprofit institutions, and government. Each speaker will address current approaches, limitations, and research needs.

Topics Include:

More information is available at:

May 11-16, 2010:

41st TCM Kongress Rothenburg 2010. Wildbad Conference Center, Rothenburg, Germany

The TCM conference in Rothenburg is an event held annually by the AGTCM (Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Klassische Akupunktur und TCM e. V.), which is organized by a group of volunteers, the Rothenburg team, and the project management Conventure Messe Frankfurt Venue GmbH & Co. KG.

Our aim is to offer a wide range of knowledge related to Chinese Medicine and demonstrate the variety that has grown through the centuries. The five so-called classical therapies of acupuncture, pharmacology, Tuina, dietetics and Qigong are represented in great detail, but some fringe subjects such as Feng Shui are also considered. We have always been interested in listening to philosophers, historians and sinologists at the conference as well. And last but not least, our meeting at Rothenburg offers a forum to discuss the latest issues of scientific investigations.

A major concern of our conference is to present in detail the different schools of Chinese Medicine (e.g. TCM, the French school, Professor Worsley, different oriental family styles, the school of Stems and Branches, Daoist medicine, etc.) without any dogmatism. From our point of view, a dogmatic position would be contradictory to the principles of Chinese Medicine. We would like to discuss subjects which are interesting to therapists in Germany, Europe, as well as in China and the USA. The continued analysis of these subjects contributes to an increased solidarity amongst all practitioners. Chinese Medicine has become very popular in recent years. By trying to get the highest possible quality of lectures and seminars we want to make our contribution to its steady and consistent development.

Since its beginning in 1968, the TCM conference in Rothenburg has been a centre for professional exchange and a meeting place for colleagues. The enjoyment and fun of study while meeting other colleagues is a major part of Rothenburg as well as the commitment and quality of the speakers.

More information is available at:

May 23-26, 2010:

7th Annual Meeting of the Natural Health Products Research Society, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

You are invited to join respected international experts, researchers and the leaders of the future in a discussion of emerging trends and significant findings in natural health products' research. The Society's 7th annual conference will gather top scientists, government regulators and industry representatives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

More information is available at:

May 25- 27, 2010

People, Forests and the Environment: Coexisting in Harmony, Casablanca, Morocco

The conference will explore the conflicting relationship between Population, Forests and the Environment, and will examine long-term problems and their governance challenge from different angles, towards coexistence in harmony between people, forests and the environment, at local, regional and global level. The programme promises to be exciting including numerous prominent speakers covering topics including the latest developments on various themes, such as forest and local development, forest and climate change, forest environmental services, biodiversity conservation and sustainable use, man-made plantations, the forecasting of needs and resources, people and forest coexistence in harmony, education and knowledge systems for sustainability, among others.

For more information, please contact:

Amina Zerktouni Secretariat of the Conference
Telephonic queries: +212661328797
E-mail: at or sylva.monde at

June 5-7, 2010:

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

Annual symposium on herbal medicine at beautiful Blue Ridge Assembly near Asheville, North Carolina. Keynote speaker: Tieraona Low Dog, MD. Symposium topics include: The Healing Garden-Horticulture Therapy and Herbal Medicine; Women's Health Update (exploring the latest research with Tori Hudson, ND); Herbal Medicine for Insomnia; The Impact of Phytoestrogens on Breast Cancer and Reproductive Disorders and much more. Rosemary Gladstar speaks on the conservation of our medicinal plant heritage. Herb walks in the surrounding forest, medicine making and food preparation demonstrations. Pre-conference intensive June 4 with Tieraona Low Dog, MD. CE credits for health professionals.
More information is available at:
or call 1-800-252-0688 1-800-252-0688 .

June 6-10, 2010:

51st Annual Meeting of the Society for Economic Botany - Theme: Agrobiodiversity, lessons for conservation and local development. Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico.

The upcoming 51st SEB's Annual Meeting will take place in Xalapa, Veracruz, México, June 6–10, 2010. To commemorate this occasion, a series of activities have been planned where stimulating scientific meetings will be complemented with a remarkably beautiful and cultural scenery.

The surrounding ambiance of the city and the state is characterized by a great diversity of flora and a wide ethnic configuration, which is the perfect environment to discuss this year´s main theme: agrobiodiversity. The objective is to present a set of approaches that promote the conservation of agrobiodiversity and its uses in a number of themes such as ethnobotany, community conservation, food production systems, food self-sufficiency, among others.

Along with the academic program, a mixture of unique field trips will be available that will wander around the main archeological sites of the state and learning journeys to local markets and regional coffee plantations.

As host institutions, the Centro de Investigaciones Tropicales (Citro) at the Universidad Veracruzana and the Instituto de Ecología, A.C. (INECOL) are working to make of this meeting an enjoyable and memorable occasion. On behalf of all the members from the organizing committee, we look forward to meeting you in Xalapa.

More information is available at:

June 7-8, 2010

IOF Forest-People Interaction Conference, Pokhara, Nepal

Among the five technical institutes under Tribhuvan University, The Institute of Forestry (IOF) is a well-established national academic, training, and research institute in Nepal. The mission of IOF is to develop technically sound and competent, and socially compatible human resources in the area of forestry and Natural Resource Management (NRM). The main objectives of this institute are to encourage research activities that could address the practical problems at grass root level and to develop IOF as the centre of excellence in forestry education and research.

Themes covered during the conference include:

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Krishna P. Devkota Organizing Secretary
Forest-People Interaction Conference
Institute of Forestry, P. O. Box: 43
Pokhara, Nepal
Phone: 061-432169, 430694; Fax: 061-432078, 431563
Email : conference2010 at

June 28 - July 2, 2010

18th Commonwealth Forestry Conference, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

Theme: "Restoring the Commonwealth's Forests: Tackling Climate Change". Further information, including registration form, programme, call for abstracts and a sponsorship opportunities brochure, is available from the conference website. The organizers are keen to encourage the submission of papers on successful restoration case studies.

For more information, please contact the conference organizers:

18th Commonwealth Forestry Conference,
c/o In Conference Ltd, 4-6 Oak Lane,
Edinburgh EH12 6XH
United Kingdom;
fax: +44 131 339 9798;
e-mail: cfcc at

July 10-14, 2010:

The 51st Annual Meeting of the American Society of Pharmacognosy (ASP). St. Petersburg Beach, FL, USA.

Scientific Topics:

For more information, or to register, please visit these websites: or

July 24-25, 2010:

NW Herb Fest. Eugene, OR, USA

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.

More information is available at: or email class at
or call 541-736-0164 541-736-0164

August 29 - September 2, 2010:

58th International Congress & Annual Meeting of the Society for Medicinal Plant & Natural Product Research. Henry-Ford-Bau, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

The specific objectives of this conference will be to promote dialogue and the exchange of medical practices and resources of modern and traditional nations.

Topics include:

For more information, please visit the website:

September 30 - October 3, 2010:

2010 AHG National Symposium.

More information is available at:

October 4-10, 2010:

10th Latin American Botany Congress. La Serena, Chile.

For more information, please visit the website:


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