Browsing articles in "medicinal herbs"
Nov 17, 2013
Justine Crono

"Why We Garden" Nov. 20 at SJI Grange


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Why We Garden Wednesday, November 20, 2013 San Juan Island Grange Hall Program begins at 7 pm, preceded by a 6 pm potluck.

San Juan Island Grange #966 continues its 2013 Fall Lecture Series with a program on Why We Garden at 7 p.m. Wednesday November 20, 2013 at the San Juan Island Grange Hall.

The program begins at 7 pm, preceded by a potluck at 6 pm. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend.

Why do we garden? Local author Jim Nollman will talk about his gardening and read from his book Why We Garden, including an excerpt on medicinal herbs and The Sentient Garden.


Nov 16, 2013
Justine Crono

Medieval passion of Bois Richeux

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Nov 15, 2013
Justine Crono

One Bunch of Fresh Cannabis Leaves

The recipe, in case you don’t remember it, is very mid-century and fruitcake-esque; crushed dates, figs, almonds, and peanuts, sprinkled with nutmeg, pepper, cinnamon, coriander, and cannabis, and rolled into balls. I asked my friend, Laurent Quenioux, a shameless raider of window boxes—a man who once cooked his neighbor’s chicken when it wandered into his back yard—if he could provide a cannabis recipe more suited to the times.

I met Laurent reporting a piece on the food movement’s embrace of edible insects; he took me on a run to the border to collect ant larvae, which he later cooked and served at his pop-up restaurant. On the way, he told me that it was his dream to explore the culinary potential of marijuana—marijuana as a flavor, rather than as a means to an end. Its legal status—a gray area in California, where we both live—was beside the point.

He spent the next year sourcing ingredients: marijuana from a suburban grow house, angelica root, and wolfberries from a Chinese apothecary in the San Gabriel Valley. (He opened the inquiry to other medicinal herbs.) He planned a party: a secret dinner for super-adventurous eaters, designed to broaden people’s minds about what is edible and what is delicious. And he tested recipes. One day, hanging out in the kitchen of the restaurant that housed his pop-up—a restaurant that had started as an illegal underground supper club—I smelled something outrageous. In my book, “Anything That Moves: Renegade Chefs, Fearless Eaters, and the Making of a New American Food Culture,” I describe the smell as a Jamaican beach: pot smoke and Bain de Soleil.

This is what it was:

Underground Pop-Up Weed-Dinner Green Congee

1 pound net filet of Atlantic Monkfish
2 tablespoons of infused cannabis coconut butter
1 bunch basil
1 bunch epazote
1 bunch of fresh cannabis leaves
1 bunch of spinach
8 tablespoons of infused Cannabis oil
Salt, pepper to taste
3 cloves of fresh garlic
1 pound of ready-to-use cooked congee
2 tablespoons of butter

In a saucepan, blanch all leaves (epazote, basil, spinach, cannabis) for two minutes, then drain and cool. In a blender, add the blanched leaves, salt and pepper, garlic, 3 three tablespoons of water, and 8 tablespoon of oil, and blend until the mixture is a smooth consistency.

Warm up slowly the congee and stir frequently.

Cut the monkfish in four nice pieces, season with salt and pepper, and sauteé for 3 minutes on each side in a saucepan with the coconut butter. Mix the pesto into the congee and add the butter.

Spoon the cannabis congee into a shallow bowl and top with the sautéed monkfish; decorate with a fresh cannabis leaf.

Nov 14, 2013
Justine Crono

Beekeeping works wonder for Dadeldhura farmer


DADELDHURA (ALITAL), Nov 12: Man Bahadur Giri of Alital, Dadeldhura made several failed attempts in the past to get a decent job. Food grown from his small infertile plot was simply insufficient to feed his family of eight. Giri also didn´t have fund to invest in other alternatives for income generation.

Ten years down the line, Giri is a successful farmer employing eight local youths. This became possible only because of beekeeping.

“Beekeeping has not only increased by income level significantly, it has enabled me to provide employment to local youths in this remote village,” Giri, 40, said.
This transformation became possible because of the support provided by the Micro-Enterprise Development Program (MEDEP) — a flagship initiative of Nepal government and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).

Giri´s firm — Alital Beekeeping Farm – produces both honey and bee-hive frames.MEDEP has been providing entrepreneurship trainings, skill trainings, and supporting market linkage, giving inputs on new technology for honey processing and extracting, through cooperatives operated by farmers themselves. It has been extending necessary trainings and other technical supports for beekeeping to more than 300 entrepreneurs.

Beekeeping is thriving in Alital as the village is surrounded by dense forest rich in bio-diversity. It has helped raise income level of local entrepreneurs and created employment opportunity for local youths.

“I´ve been earning around Rs 800,000 each year from the sales of honey and bee-hive frames,” Giri said. Giri sells honey produced in his farm at Rs 40,000 per quintal. He sells bee-hive frames with a colony of bees at Rs 5,000 each.

Alital Beekeeping Farm, which currently has 60 hives, produces organic honey as Giri´s farm is surrounded by lush green hills with medicinal herbs and indigenous trees like Aesandra butyracea, locally known as Chyuri.

“Over the past decade, I have succeeded in expanding my farm by buying land plots worth Rs 1.5 million,” Giri said. Thanks to modern skills and techniques acquired from training along with technical supports from MEDEP, the seventh-grader has now become a trainer and resource person for beekeeping training in the far-western region.

“Though I have studied only till middle school, I am getting opportunity to provide training to different groups of bee farmers in the far-western region,” he added.

Giri has been failing to give sufficient time in his firm because of his growing involvement in trainings, seminars and other public participations. He regularly travels to Baitadi and Darchula from Dadeldhura to participate in such trainings. In his absence, Giri´s wife and son look after the farm.

Honey produced by Alital Beekeeping Farm is becoming popular in Dadeldhura and other major cities of the country. Buoyed by the growing demand for his product, Giri is planning to start export of honey to overseas countries.

With the support of MEDEP, honey produced by the members of the Alital Beekeepers´ Cooperatives has already received Nepal organic certification. This has made local beekeepers encouraged.

However, they need to get international organic certification to export honey in the international market.
“We need to get international organic certification to export our organic honey to overseas markets,” Giri said, adding, “For that, we need government support.”

Nov 13, 2013
Justine Crono

‘Agbo’, Indigenous Health Solution for Millions

Administering and consumption of locally brewed herbs, concoctions and powders for it medicinal, soothing and intoxicating properties predates the advent of orthodox medicines in Nigeria’s health industry. The use of traditional medicines cuts across every human strata of the Nigerian society.

Even Nigerians resident in advanced countries are quick to request, and call for medicinal herbs, concoctions, powders and other indigenous made medicines, from their Nigerian based relatives, friends; not minding the fact that, generic drugs, advanced health care personnel, services and facilities abound there.


Traditional medicine practitioners and pharmacists have continued to make bold claims that there is no ailment that there are no locally made medicines for it. They boldly claim that some of these medicines are wonder drugs “one drug cures all”.

This is more compelling as many Nigerians including the well informed and educated strongly rely on herbal medicine for the treatment, cure and management of most ailments. Some revert to these herbal medicines when they can not get remedy from orthodox medicine.

Treatment of haemorrhage piles, malaria fever, weak libido and typhoid fever tops the range of sicknesses many Nigerians rely on herbal drugs and medicines for its treatments.

The proliferation of herbal medicine brewing and vending spots in the major cities and towns in Nigeria, especially the commercial city of Lagos is a disquieting trend, in addition the “over the counter approach” of dispensing locally made drugs by mobile vendors. This approach is a departure from generic drugs administration and control adopted from western civilization.

How can Nigeria’s traditional medicine become competitive like its Indian and Chinese contemporaries through methodical documentation and elimination of unaccredited brewers and vendors and the standardization in knowing the quantity to which it will not harm consumers.

The aforementioned is more expedient, when one visit some brewing centres, at the Ikeja axis of Lagos, people from all walks of life are seen taking medicinal shots of the plant part extracted for acclaimed health purposes.

A traditional brewing centre in the aboriginal Ipodo community, central Ikeja, accessible through a foot path beside the Olowu Street branch of First Bank of Nigeria Plc, Mama Togo holds fort here.

Her Ipodo brewing laboratory serves also as the marketing spot, Mama Togo with a swollen foot, dispenses her medicinal brews to customers, in an environment littered with dirt’s, an open foul-smelling drainage runs across her stall, the medicines are stored in a reuse plastic bottles well if you recoil at this summation Mama Togo’s stall is far better than others appraised.

To patrons, locally brewed medicinal herbs, concoctions and powders medicines are the first and last resort when it comes to treating themselves of ailments.

Our reporter overheard one of the patrons dressed in corporate wear who came to take shots saying to a fellow customer: “I’ve taken lots of orthodox medicines, severally to treat my malaria, they are not working but with this Agbo, I’m getting relieved and better now.”

Sex stimulant is the most sought after of all local herbal concoctions, patrons fall over themselves to get a shot of any brew acclaim to boost sexual performance. There are alcoholic and water variants depending on how a buyer prefers it.

One striking discovery is that indigenous herbal medicines have no dispensary measurement, completely absent prescription, the quantity taken is consequent upon the desire of the customer, however new consumption kits have emerged though, some patrons now use plastic cups with straw, as against the use of polythene bags, take-away is also available which is served based on the dictates of the customer.

For any drug to be licensed in Nigeria it must undergo licensing procedures from the National Foods and Drugs Agency (NAFDAC) subjected for safety and efficacy tests and people must know exactly what the acclaimed remedy can do.

Interfacing with the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, Lagos, Professor Akin Osibogun, the erudite scholar averred that “For most of the Agbos and concoctions, I’m not too sure they are subject to requisite pharmaceutical norms and tests, you don’t know whether some of them contain things that are poisonous, some of them may contain things that are useful, usually, the way drugs are made is that whenever you are extracting drugs, you remove those things that you don’t need from them before NAFDAC registers them, you only get the active ingredients and you add substances that are inactive but you need them to carry other substances, that’s the general principles for formulating drugs but for the Agbos and concoctions, I guess they are taken raw and because of that, they are taking both active and un-useful substances combined together.

“At times, I wonder whether some of the concoctions will not be contributing to organ diseases like kidney disease and then some of them, nobody is telling you about the dose, they just give you like three in a day and some of them use alcohol as their base, the alcohol intoxicates and you might end up taking more than necessary.”

The submission of the CMD notwithstanding, traditional herbal medicines are getting significant attention in global health debates as 80 per cent of African populations use some form of traditional herbal medicine and the worldwide annual market for these products approaches US$ 60 billion.

Health experts’ hope traditional herbal medicine will play a critical role in global health, though ethical questions are still being raised, questions that bothers on social value, scientific validity and favourable risk–benefit ratios of locally made herbal medicines; some of which are not faced in more conventional drug development.

“We can work on that, what we need to do is to do a lot more research on them so that we can extract the ones that might be dangerous. We need to regulate and investigate their use. We need to find out what are their constituents and see whether those consequences are safe and efficient,” Osibogun said.

So there continues plucking, pounding, sieving, cooking, grinding, fermenting of skinned trees barks, plant roots, leaves, fruits both ripe and unripe, animal parts for it medicinal properties in the native way.

Nov 12, 2013
Justine Crono

Ixoreal Biomed "Adopts" Ashwagandha through the American Botanical Council

The adaptogenic herb has many traditional and modern uses

AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – The American Botanical Council (ABC) is pleased to announce that Ixoreal Biomed, an herbal extracts and pharmaceuticals company based in Los Angeles, CA, and Hyderabad, India, has adopted the highly revered traditional herb ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) through ABC’s Adopt-an-Herb Program.


Ixoreal Biomed’s three-year commitment helps ABC keep its HerbMedPro™ database up-to-date with the latest scientific and clinical research on ashwagandha. HerbMedPro is an interactive and comprehensive database available on ABC’s website that provides access to important scientific and clinical research data underlying the use of nearly 250 herbs and their effects on human health.

“ABC is deeply grateful for Ixoreal Biomed’s support, which is crucial to continuing our nonprofit educational mission,” said ABC Founder and Executive Director Mark Blumenthal. “Numerous health benefits of ashwagandha have been documented for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. It is well-known in Ayurveda and other systems of traditional medicine in India. The plant’s traditional reputation as a tonic has led to a growing body of modern research. ABC is looking forward to partnering with Ixoreal Biomed to take stewardship of abstracts on current and forthcoming scientific publications on this valuable herb.”

Ixoreal Biomed joins 21 additional herb- and plant-based ingredient companies that support ongoing efforts through ABC’s Adopt-an-Herb Program to collect, organize, and disseminate reliable, traditional, science-based, and clinical information on herbs, medicinal plants, and other botanical- and fungal-based ingredients. Adopt-an-Herb encourages companies and individuals to “adopt” one or more specific herbs for inclusion and ongoing maintenance in the HerbMedPro database. To date, 24 herbs have been adopted. Each adopted herb is continuously researched for new articles and studies, ensuring that its HerbMedPro record stays current and robust. The result is an unparalleled resource — not only for researchers, health professionals, industry, and consumers, but for all members of the herbal and dietary supplements community, and others — available via ABC’s information-rich website. In keeping with ABC’s position as an independent nonprofit organization, herb adopters do not influence the scientific information that is compiled for their respective adopted herbs.

HerbMedPro provides online access to abstracts of scientific and clinical publications on nearly 250 commonly used medicinal herbs. Herb records in the database vary in size from those with a large amount of published data — such as Ginkgo biloba, with more than 1,000 summarized entries and links — to Acacia catechu (cutch tree or black catechu in the pea family), with fewer than 50. Each abstract also is summarized in only one sentence, thereby saving users a significant amount of time.

HerbMedPro is available to ABC members at the Academic level and higher; its “sister” site HerbMed®, however, is free and available to the general public. HerbMed features 20-to-30 herbs from HerbMedPro that are rotated on a regular basis. Making this unique resource free to the public increases the number of people who benefit from updated information on herbs, in accordance with ABC’s nonprofit educational mission.

About Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha, a much-revered plant in traditional Ayurvedic medicine, is cultivated throughout India and much of Asia and grows to three-to-five feet tall. The root is used as an adaptogen, meaning it helps the body to cope with stress. Ashwagandha has a wide variety of traditional uses, including as a hypnotic, laxative, and tonic. In fact, the name “ashwagandha” comes from the Sanskrit word for “smells like a horse” or “horse essence,” a reference to the traditional belief that the root provides the strength, character, essence, or stamina of a horse. Modern medicinal uses of ashwagandha preparations include treatment of inflammation, wasting diseases, and arthritis. Within the last few years, several clinical trials have been conducted to test the herb’s efficacy in treating infertility, tuberculosis, and anxiety, among other conditions; some trials have produced positive outcomes. In 2008, India’s Department of Ayurveda, Yoga Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homeopathy (AYUSH) chose to promote ashwagandha preparations as part of a global strategy for brand-building of Ayurvedic medicine in Western countries. Ashwagandha preparations can be found in dozens of dietary supplements and related products throughout Australia, Canada, the United States, and other countries. More information on ashwagandha can be found in this profile from HerbalGram issue 99.

About Ixoreal Biomed

Ixoreal Biomed is an herbal extracts and pharmaceuticals company based in Los Angeles, CA, and Hyderabad, India. Ixoreal is focused solely on producing a high-quality extract of ashwagandha called KSM-66®. Ixoreal has developed a proprietary process that integrates modern scientific technologies with traditional Ayurvedic concepts to produce a highly concentrated full-spectrum ashwagandha root extract. Ixoreal has invested heavily in basic research and development and in building a modern scientific repository of efficacy data on ashwagandha. To this end, Ixoreal has conducted seven human clinical trials and two animal studies on the effectiveness of ashwagandha in several important functional areas. Ixoreal describes itself as the only ashwagandha manufacturer in the world that is entirely vertically integrated with its own farms, production facilities, testing laboratories, research center, and distribution division. More information is available at

About the American Botanical Council

Founded in 1988, the American Botanical Council is a leading international nonprofit organization that addresses research and educational issues regarding herbs, teas, medicinal plants, essential oils, and other beneficial plant-derived materials. ABC’s members include academic researchers and educators; libraries; health professionals and medical institutions; government agencies; members of the herb, dietary supplement, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries; journalists; consumers; and others in more than 80 countries. The organization occupies a historic 2.5-acre site in Austin, Texas, where it publishes the peer-reviewed quarterly journal HerbalGram, the monthly e-publication HerbalEGram, the weekly e-newsletter Herbal News Events, HerbClips (summaries of scientific and clinical publications), reference books, and other educational materials. ABC also hosts HerbMedPro, a powerful herbal database, covering scientific and clinical publications on more than 250 herbs. ABC also co-produces the “Herbal Insights” segment for Healing Quest, a television series on PBS.

ABC is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code. Information: Contact ABC at P.O. Box 144345, Austin, TX 78714-4345, Phone: 512-926-4900. Website: Contact: Public Relations.

Contact: Sara O’Connor, 512-926-4900

SOURCE American Botanical Council

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Nov 11, 2013
Justine Crono

In pursuit of a green passion

Years ago people mocked his fancy for the greens saying no sane person would give up a cushy bank job for farming. What began as an attempt to protect the flora from destruction, later turned into a passion for collecting different varieties and is now, an academic wonder for all serious students of Ayurveda, Ecology and Botany.

A collection of over 1800 varieties of medicinal plants and 150 fruit varieties is what makes A V Purushothama Kamath different from the lot. Spread over an acre-and-a-half plot, ‘Gurukulam’ in Thammanam houses a wide range of plants, some of which are endangered, some highly medicinal and some precious academic reserves. From exotic varieties like ‘Baraba fruit tree’, ‘Jamaican Star fruit’, ‘Miracle fruit’, ‘Jabuticaba’, ‘Sri Lankan Shimshipa’, ‘Dove orchids’ and Torch gingers to favourites like Olives, seedless jackfruits, mangoes, chaampas and lemons, the farm has greenery in abundance. Mornings at Kamath’s farm here are very different from the neighbourhood, with countless birds, butterflies and squirrels all around.

“We do not remove the coconut trees that are infected with leaf rot. The worms that occupy them are food for these birds and we have 12 coconut trees for this purpose,” says Ashalatha, his wife. His three children, Vinaya, Chitra and Anand too are diligent participants of this pursuit to protect flora and fauna.

The 65-year old horticulturist is particular about undertaking the cleaning, watering and other works on his green patch himself and feels that hired workers will not feel the same love for the plants that he does. The plants at ‘Gurukal’ are untouched by chemical fertilisers of any kind. “We use only vermi-compost and biogas,” he says.

His efforts have been widely appreciated and won him several laurels. Among them are the Krishi Bhavan Karshakottama Award (1995, 1998, 2006) and the Coconut Development Board award for the best farmer are a few of them. He was also chosen as one of the 15 best farmers by the Biodiversity Board last year. “My dream is to convert the farm into a herbal village,” he says. Kamath is also collecting the plants seen in ‘Hortus Malabaricus’, the most comprehensive treatise of medicinal herbs.

He is currently busy writing a book through which he hopes to share his findings and knowledge about the plant world. His articles about five endangered species have already been published in Krishi Bhavan’s journal. He also takes classes for enthusiasts under ATMA, co-ordinated by the Krishi Bhavan.

‘Alungal Farm’, the nursery that has been actively supplying plants to Kamath’s farm is now in demand for the wide varieties of ‘Tulsi’, ‘Nakshatra Trees’ (corresponding to each Malayalam birth star), ‘Lakshmi Taru’ (known for treatment of cancer and arthritis) and aloe vera among others.

Nov 10, 2013
Justine Crono

‘Let’s promote traditional medicine industry’

Health News of Saturday, 9 November 2013


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The Member of Parliament (MP) for Ahanta West, Mr George Aboagye, has advocated the development and promotion of the traditional medicine industry since it has the potential to match, if not supersede, the export of cocoa and timber.

Mr Aboagye made the suggestion in a statement presented on the floor of the House on the potential of Ghana’s medicinal herbs/plants in the global traditional medicine market.

The use of alternative medicine, due to the growing demand for nature-based products (that is herbal medicinal plants), was on the increase, the MP stated, explaining that a considerable number of individuals were becoming more and more dependent on medicinal treatment.

He said the Global Industry Analyst Incorporated (GIA) of the USA estimated that complementary and alternative medicine currently provided healthcare for about 75 per cent of the population in developing countries and over 50 per cent of the population in the developed world for lifestyle related diseases.

The global traditional medicine market is huge and is estimated to reach $114 billion by 2015, he said.

Mr Aboagye added that a number of developing countries had already set up the modalities for taking advantage of the huge global market for traditional medicine.

He cited Malaysia as a case in point, explaining that, that country had identified its innumerable variety of plants, herbs and living creatures as unique resources for the biotechnology industry to serve as an important future engine of economic growth.

According to Mr Aboagye, the Malaysia government had allocated substantial funds for the expansion of the industry which it regarded as a key contributor to make towards the orientation of the national economy, predicting that the sector would generate around $50 billion in revenue for the country by 2020.

Mr Aboagye said Ghana was no exception to the increasing use of traditional medicine, particularly on account of rising healthcare costs associated with contemporary therapy.

He estimated that 950 tonnes of crude herbal medicine was sold on the local market in 2010, with a total value of GH¢7.8 million and added that in 2008 medicinal export earning topped $15 million, which accrued to over 30,000 wild collectors, 500 agents and 45 exporters.

The MP stated that there were, however, risks associated with the application of alternative medicine therapies such as toxicity, unfavourable side effects, injury possibilities and the deficiency of qualified practitioners.

“It is important that major research institutions in the industry be strengthened to provide the necessary support for the production of alternative medicine.

Mr Aboagye said the Centre for Scientific Research into Plant Medicine, whose vision was to make herbal medicine a natural choice for all, had the mission of gaining the highest recognition to research and develop herbal products that would meet the exact needs of both patients and industry through innovative scientific research and productive partnership.

He, therefore, called for an increase in the centre’s capacity to undertake various research work for the medicinal plant industry and to enhance the industry’s ability to take advantage of the huge potential that abounded in the global traditional market.

It is worth noting that currently in Ghana, there is a proliferation of companies and agents in the provision and sale of traditional medicine, some of which have been certified by the Ghana Standards Authority and the Food and Drugs Authority.

Mr Aboagye said unfortunately, there were a substantial number of traditional medicines that fell outside the recognition of these institutions, and for that reason collaboration between the producers and research/certifying institutions should be mandatory, with the view to minimising the risks associated with the alternative.

Nov 9, 2013
Justine Crono

Atlanta weekend food events: Nov. 8-10: Decatur Wine Fest, This Ain’t No …

Decatur Wine Festival Sat., Nov. 9

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  • Decatur Wine Festival Sat., Nov. 9

Wine dinner? Beer tasting? Cooking Class? Let us know. Send your Food and Drink happs to


Alliance Francaise d’Atlanta Fri., Nov. 8, 7 p.m. 15th Annual European Wine Festival Come and sample a variety of fine wines from all over Europe. Food pairings will be provided, and reservations are requested. Details

Cosmopolitan Restaurant Fri., Nov. 8, 7 p.m. Whiskey Tasting with Iain McCallum Whisky Magazine’s 2013 Ambassador of the Year, Iain McCallum, will display six different malt whiskeys from various distilleries. Cosmopolitan’s chef Niko will provide paired hor d’oeuvres. Details


SweetWater Brewery Sat., Nov. 9, 6-10 p.m. Brew Your Cask Off The annual SweetWater brew fest challenges 90 special guests to create a unique cask for this event. The frothy results are chosen for Judge’s Panel, People’s Choice, and the Biggest Loser distinctions. Ticket buyers may enjoy unlimited tastings of the brews as well as SweetWater’s usual offerings and brewery tours. Details

Le Fais do-do Sat., Nov. 9, 10 a.m. Atlanta Veg Fest 2013 Relish in greens at this free vegetable festival. Attractions include food samples, cooking demos, speakers, activities for children, and more. Details

East Lake Community Learning Garden Sat., Nov. 9, 10 a.m. Growing Herbs for the Home Medicine Chest Hosted by Homestead ATL, fledgling herbalists will learn about different types of medicinal herbs and how to use them at home. The materials needed to grow these herbs independently will be supplied at the end of the class. Details

Holeman and Finch Public House Sat., Nov. 9, 11 a.m. Academy of Bartending: Suppressors Greg Best of Holeman and Finch will lead a class on the suppressor class of beverages. Students will learn more about and how to create these mellow, low alcohol drinks. Details

Miller Union Sat., Nov. 9, 11:30 a.m-2:30 p.m. Four Year Anniversary Lunch Miller Union is celebrating its anniversary with a prix fixe menu. Enjoy a complimentary sparkling aperitif cocktail, and follow it up with seasonal options for the meal and Miller Union’s handmade birthday cake at the end. Details

Old Courthouse on the Square Sat., Nov. 9, 1-4 p.m. Decatur Wine Festival Guests to the outdoor wine festival will enjoy over 500 wines, as well as food samples and live music. Proceeds benefit the Decatur Arts Alliance, creators of the Decatur Arts Festival and other free art events. Details

Octane Coffee + Little Tart Bakeshop Sat., Nov. 9, 6 p.m. Get Fungi Mushroom Dinner David Sweeney will create a three-course meal of fungi and veggies with special guests. Octane’s bar and coffee options with be available, and Liminal Space will play live music. Details


Masquerade Sun., Nov. 10, noon. King of Pops 3rd Annual Field Day Come out and enjoy live music, free King of Pops, food trucks, and more. All proceeds for this event will end up being donated to a local community project. Details

Wrecking Bar Brewpub Sun., Nov. 10, 1 p.m. Herbal Holiday Spirits Homestead ATL is providing a hands-on course on how to make a variety of drinks with local herbs. Outside of making the drinks, students will learn more about each of the herbs used. Details

Gaia Gardens Sun., Nov. 10, 4 p.m. This Ain’t No Picnic A variety of chefs have come together to create a four-course dinner that reflects the farm. The dinner will be paired with hors d’oeuvres and cocktails from mixologist Paul Calvert. Details

H. Harper Station Sun., Nov. 10, 5-10 p.m. H. Harper Anniversary Dinner This three-year anniversary celebration features three dollar drink and food deals. Vote in the punch contest for a chance to win a bottle of whiskey. Details

Chai Pani Decatur Sun., Nov. 10, 6:30 p.m. Diwali Mela Guests will enjoy Indian street food, cocktails, shopping, henna, and music from DJ Jaz. This event benefits the nonprofit Go Eat Give, which utilizes food to travel and help others. Details

Nov 8, 2013
Justine Crono

Herbal Antibiotics: An Effective Defense Against Drug-Resistant ‘Superbugs’

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, known as “superbugs,” are becoming more numerous and more virulent thanks to continuing overuse of antibiotics. Herbal medicine offers an alternative to these increasingly ineffective drugs.

What follows is an excerpt from the book Herbal Antibiotics: Natural Alternatives for Treating Drug-Resistant Bacteria (reprinted with permission from Storey Publishing), in which herbal expert Stephen Harrod Buhner offers compelling evidence that medicinal herbs should be our first line of defense against disease. He explains the roots of drug resistance and why medicinal herbs can work better than pharmaceutical drugs.

Drawing on massive amounts of scientific research, Buhner’s book provides in-depth profiles of and recipes for using the most reliably effective herbs to treat common ailments, such as wounds, urinary tract infections and strep throat, as well as life-threatening methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and other infections.


In 1942, the world’s entire supply of penicillin was a mere 64 pounds. By 2009, some 60 million pounds of antibiotics were being used per year in the United States alone, with nearly 30 million pounds deployed on livestock to promote growth and prevent disease on factory farms.

These figures are per year. Year in, year out.

What most people don’t realize is that these antibiotics never go away. Antibiotics, in their pure or metabolized states, form a significant part of our hospital waste streams. They are excreted in millions of pounds by millions of patients. They travel to treatment plants and pass relatively unchanged into water supplies.

We’ve allowed the North American continent and much of the world to become awash in antibiotics. In the short run, this means the emergence of pathogenic, antibiotic-resistant bacteria in agricultural crops and animal and human populations. In the long run, it means the emergence of infectious disease epidemics more deadly than any in human history.

Miracle Drugs Fade

Though penicillin was discovered in 1929, it was only commercially developed during World War II, and it wasn’t until after the war that its use became routine. Those were heady days. It seemed science could do anything. New antibiotics were being discovered daily; the arsenal of medicine seemed overwhelming.

By 1999 — 54 years after commercial production of antibiotics began — the first staphylococcus bacteria resistant to all clinical antibiotics had infected its first three people. Originally limited to patients in hospitals, resistant strains, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), are now common throughout the world’s population.

This rate of development of antibiotic resistance was supposed to be impossible. Evolutionary biologists had insisted that evolution in bacteria (as in all species) could come only from the spontaneous, useful mutations that occur with an extremely low frequency in each generation. That bacteria could generate significant resistance to antibiotics in just 35 years was considered impossible. That the human species could be facing the end of antibiotics only 60 years after their introduction was ludicrous.

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