Browsing articles in "medicinal herbs"
COTTAGE GROVE — Dale Smith has twin passions: mental health issues and horticulture.
On Saturday, she’ll be indulging both at the same time.
One of the featured hosts on the fifth annual Town Country Garden Tour in the Cottage Grove area, Smith will be opening her one-acre garden — on her 27-acre property — to the public as part of a fundraiser for South Lane Mental Health.
Smith, a registered nurse, works at Sacred Heart University District in Eugene as director of behavioral health for PeaceHealth.
The PeaceHealth program provides inpatient and outpatient care for people coping with serious mental illnesses. South Lane Mental Health, meanwhile, is an independent nonprofit organization that provides outpatient counseling, housing and other help for people with mental health issues.
“I’ve worked alongside South Lane Mental Health for many years,” Smith said. “We share clients, and we just really believe in their service.”
In her leisure time, Smith and her family labor on their extensive property near Cottage Grove Lake.
The garden features Japanese maples, dwarf evergreens, perennials, rhododendrons, berries, vegetables and an orchard. Plus, there are extensive rock walls and terraced beds installed by Smith’s grown children.
The family takes particular pride in the food, botanical crops and medicinal herbs they grow, plus the six beehives they keep, Smith said.
So it didn’t take Smith long to say yes when she was approached by South Lane Mental Health to be part of the tour. This year’s tour features eight properties — four in the Cottage Grove city limits, and four in rural locations in south Lane County. The tour runs 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., with visitors stopping in at as many gardens as they can. Visitors are advised to set aside an hour to tour Smith’s garden.
The Smith family works steadily on maintaining and improving their property, so they didn’t need to engage in a frenzy of labor to bring it up to showcase condition.
“I would say our garden is usually in very tip-top shape,” Smith said.
Typical chores include composting as well as working the soil, hoeing and hand-weeding. The family eschews chemical herbicides.
The tour draws hundreds of visitors each year.
“This garden tour has something for everyone,” said organizer Cathy Bellavita, who is South Lane Mental Health’s board president. “Serious gardeners, aspiring gardeners and those who simply appreciate beautiful gardens will all enjoy this tour. It’s a chance to discover the tremendous variety of gardens in the Cottage Grove area and find out what’s behind the garden gate.”
Among the featured gardens is the 14-acre gardens of The Village Green, the historic motel in Cottage Grove next to Interstate 5. The motel and gardens have been extensively renovated by the property’s owners over the past 10 years.
Jakarta (ANTARA News) – Indonesia is proposing its `jamu` (medicinal herbs) products to UNESCO to get recognition as a world heritage, founder of the Indonesian Museum of Records (MURI) Jayasuprana said.
“We have discussed it with the government through the ministry of tourism and creative economy,” Jayasuprana said here on Wednesday.
He said that his side continued to fight for Indonesia`s original jamu products to get recognition from UNESCO as a world`s heritage.
Jayasuprana said that each region or province in Indonesia had its own types of jamu so that Indonesia`s herbal products highly varied. “Jamu is a product of our civilization. Each civilized nation has its own type of medicinal herbs so that this deserved to be recognized as a world`s heritage,” The MURI founder said.
According to Jayasuprana, Indonesia`s jamu has no match in the world but the sense of belonging and pride of the Indonesian people is still relatively low.
“If compared with those of China, the types of Indonesia`s jamu more excelled in term of its diversities. But we cannot compete with China in term of national pride,” he said.
Jayasuprana said that to make Indonesia`s dream come true where its jamu products get UNESCO`s recognition, all stakeholders must be involved, including the central and regional governments as well as the whole people.
Indonesia has also been launching a program to get scientific recognition for its jamu products.
The Health Ministry has been conducting a program since 2011 to scientize Indonesian medicinal herbs or `jamu` in order to make them as scientifically credible as modern drugs and internationally acceptable.
Medicinal herbs have been used in Indonesia since time immemorial to heal different kinds of diseases, yet they have not gained recognition, at least until recently, by the medical world to put them on doctor`s prescriptions.
Aware of the effectiveness in curing diseases and the economic potential of at least 3,000 kinds of medicinal herbs in Indonesia, the government launched the program to study and scientize medicinal herbs.
In the research process, technology is important which, according to natural medicine researcher Prof Dr Subagus Wahuono of Yogyakarta-based Gajah Mada University recelty, is needed to enrich the active compounds of herbal medicine.
“There are two important things for the development of herbal medicines, namely to enrich the active compounds and their frames of the herb material,” he said.
He said that although Indonesia had abundant medicinal plants yet their active compounds that could be extracted were relatively low. “For example, from one kilogram of a medicinal plant, only about one milligram active compounds could be extracted,” the professor said.(*)
COPYRIGHT © 2013
By Ron Teeguarden, Master Herbalist
About the Columnist
Providing Great Client Service
The qualities of a superior herbalist are well described in ancient texts that all of us involved in the Asian health arts love and respect. The Yellow Emperor’s Classic, especially Chapter 8 of the Lingshu portion, details the attributes and character of the “superior doctor.” I have based my personal practice on the teachings of this section for over 30 years, and I have found it to be a profound guiding light to me and of almost unlimited benefit to my clients.
My great Daoist Master, Grandmaster Sung Jin Park, once gave me this simple instruction: “Do not focus on being the healer – be ‘the Light’.” This metaphorical instruction may seem out of place in the world of the healing arts, but it is not. We all have “healer” in our blood, and that is why we are involved in the Oriental health arts. But according to the true Daoist teachings, “healing” is not as important as being the light. It is just like the old saying, “give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and he eats forever.” “Healing” is often (almost always) something of an illusion. If you “heal” a client but they go back out into the world and do the same stupid things, and do not support and protect themselves, they will soon lose their balance and become ill again, and will simply accumulate more disharmony in their lives.
The true master of the health arts serves their client by guiding them to become a healthy member of the Earth, a harmonious being who develops both health and wisdom through their thoughts and actions, on a moment-to-moment basis throughout their lifetime. Whatever “healing” we do is but a nudge in the right direction. Thus the master knows that “healing” can be important, “healing” can forestall and relieve misery, “healing” can change a person’s life for a short time, but being the Light toward radiant health is the pre-eminent goal of every superior practitioner of the Oriental health arts.
I’m sure you know about Li Shizhen, the most famous herbalist in Chinese history. Nobody has ever known more about Chinese herbs than Master Li. He studied and documented thousands of herbs, formulations and protocols, and left us the great herbal classic Bencao Gangmu, a text that has benefited the lives of millions of people. Interestingly, much less well known to most modern practitioners of Oriental medicine, is the fact that Li Shizhen personally avoided medicinal herbs. He was a practicing Daoist who revered tonic herbs and a range of supportive herbs that helped open the Eight Extraordinary Channels, the framework of the Daoist health system. For his personal life, he followed the Light of the great Daoist herbal masters. The same was true of the “Herb King,” Sun Simiao. Master Sun lived to be over 100 years old, relying on tonic herbs as his personal herbal protocol.
I would be the last person to suggest you abandon your knowledge and application of the principles of Chinese medicine, including the principles of Yin and Yang, the Five Elements and the principles of differential diagnosis and treatment. The Oriental medical system is indeed profound. I am suggesting that you use this great knowledge to promote radiant health rather than just chasing the eternal tail of disease.
On that note, I will provide you with some tips on how to become a Superior Herbalist. This is a lesson in attitude.
The Way of the Superior Herbalist
The calling to become a Superior Herbalist is a very high one. Superior Herbalism is a proactive, positive, highly effective way to help people establish radiant health, and to help people to grow, evolve and transform into their higher selves. Superior Herbalism encompasses the use of all three levels of herbalism – tonic (“superior”), preventive (“general”) and medicinal (“inferior”). The Superior Herbalist may start off using medicinal and general herbs, but very quickly proceeds to supporting the root of the client with appropriate tonics and general herbs. I believe that using medicinal herbs for an extended period of time is a path to failure. People who spend their lives “healing” eventually die at an early age from disease, while those who promote their health and become radiantly healthy can live to be very old and wise. So I encourage you to become a Superior Herbalist, for the sake of your clients.
The amount of knowledge one must learn to be a real tonic herbalist is surely significant. One must learn the principles, traditional theories, the herbs, formulations, art of personal analysis, and how to put a person on an appropriate herbal program, as well as the ethics and responsibilities of being a Superior Herbalist. The Superior Herbalist must also understand Nature and the interaction of a human being and Nature.
However, in the big scheme of things, these things are sometimes easier to learn than the art of being “the Light,” that is, being a wise and effective teacher and guide to their clients. Superior Herbalism is not a purely clinical practice. It is a way to guide clients to develop on every level, starting with their physical health, but ending with sublime transformation on all levels, including the mental and spiritual levels.
It becomes clear that to be a true Superior Herbalist, one must be patient, humble, intelligent, deep, insightful, compassionate, respectful and wise. In addition, a Superior Herbalist will be passionate about the art of tonic herbalism. Excellent communication skills are necessary because communication is the primary means by which we educate and guide those who seek our guidance. We also guide by example and by the nature of our presence.
If the client does not use the herbs, the herbs will not be of any use to them. It is imperative that the Superior Herbalist learns the art of connecting with the client – as a guide, confidant and teacher. Natural ability is a definite factor, but most of the requisite skill can be developed. Being a Superior Herbalist is an art that must be developed and honed, just as becoming a gongfu or Daoist master is cultivated over the span of years.
This is a lesson in how to interact with clients so that they develop trust in you in such a way that you can become their guide on the path to radiant health – how to become their “Light.” These are lessons in how to build a relationship with the client so that you can gain essential knowledge of their real condition, life history and nature, so that you can best serve them and aid them on their path. This ability to become “the Light,” to be able to successfully guide people on their path to radiant health, is what distinguishes the master, the Superior Herbalist, from other practitioners of herbalism.
Help The Client Attain Radiant Health
One of the great secrets of a long, satisfying and happy life, according to Eastern wisdom, is to focus on health instead of disease. This is the psychological basis of the “way of radiant health.” Develop the attitude of radiant health and radiant health can be attained surprisingly easily. Once we have trained ourselves to focus on the attainment and maintenance of radiant health, and have acquired the tools for accomplishing our goal, the functions of the mind, body and spirit can flourish. Once we have achieved a state of radiant health, the bodily functions cannot easily fall into disharmony, disease cannot readily arise in the body and, from the perspective of our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health, we are indeed beyond most dangers.
The attainment of radiant health is definitely attainable by most people who have not already severely damaged themselves. And it is also attainable by many who have severely damaged themselves through abuse and wrong living but have the will to regain true health. In life, it is sometimes necessary to hit a low point before we discover the motivation to work at attaining radiant health. Complete success takes determination, knowledge, discipline and skill.
But we cannot do it by “ourselves.” We need help. Nature can provide that help. One of the ultimate sources of help from Nature lies in dietary resources. The tonic herbs, being one of the richest sources of protective and supportive bio-nutrients, are used to promote overall wellbeing, to enhance the body’s energy, and to regulate bodily and psychic functioning, resulting in radiant health.
“Radiant health” is the highest level of health to which a person can attain and is defined as “health beyond danger.” In other words, the person is so internally strong and adaptive that they are able to adapt to virtually all normal stresses, as well as many extreme stresses, and is thus capable of overcoming most serious dangers. My teacher, Sung Jin Park, emphasized that protection is one of the primary characteristics of health and the higher the level of protection the better. When one’s protection has reached the stage of “health beyond danger,” then that person has achieved radiant health.
Elements of Great Client Service
Enjoy Your Work
- Enjoy your work as a tonic herbalist, or select a different profession. This is a special profession. It is not suited to just anybody. It requires evolved sensibilities and deep intelligence. It requires the patience of a saint. It requires physical and mental strength. But more than anything, it requires deep, genuine, innate compassion.
- See your job as an opportunity to serve people. Don’t blow the opportunity.
It All Begins With First Impressions
- Most of us form quick first impressions. We often subliminally decide whether we like people, feel good about them, or want to do business with them in the first few seconds.
- Make them feel appreciated for coming to see you in some way.
- Do not waste any time in greeting them warmly – they may form an impression before you get to them if you don’t.
Greet Clients Warmly
- Cause people to immediately feel comfortable (smiling really helps).
- Cause people to like you (smiling really helps).
Establish A Connection
- Focus your attention on the person. Get eye contact. This is very important. Don’t wait – get it immediately, or as soon as you’re within six to eight feet or closer. Really notice them. Take a good look at them. Pay attention to their physiognomy and to their energy.
- Warm up to them quickly and get engaged right away. Practice your art of personal analysis. Feel your intuition.
- The idea is to establish a connection with the client. “Connecting” is accomplished by communicating from the heart. Effective communicators listen to people’s emotions, their pace, tone and attitudes.
- Tune the world out and them in. Break preoccupation. Pay complete attention to the client.
In summary: It all begins with the way you greet people. So much is expressed in the first few seconds: Your sincerity, your love for what you do, your genuine interest in people, and your satisfaction with who you are. These expressions produce the effects of putting people at ease and making them feel welcome. They are the underlying basis of your communication with the client.
Remember, from a “business point of view,” the client is your business. The client pays your salary, so treat them very well.
- Fundamental principle #1: You’re not in the business to sell and deliver products and services; you are in the business to help people enjoy end-result benefits of those products and services – to enjoy as much satisfaction as possible.
- Fundamental principle #2: Give the client more than they expect. To new clients, offer them a booklet, maybe even an elixir or cup of herbal tea. To loyal clients, upgrade their product, give them something small for free, a bonus, a small gift – always with a comment.
- Fundamental principle #3: If you don’t value your client, they will know it and they won’t return, even if your technique or product is good. There is plenty of competition out there. If you value your client, they will almost always return, and you will build your practice.
Determining People’s Needs
It is our responsibility to determine what our client’s needs are. People’s needs aren’t always logical.
Sometimes people’s real needs have little to do with logic. Often their real needs are emotional. It may be that people who contact you or come in to see you are unsure of what they want. That’s where you can fill a very valuable role and fulfill important human needs.
Here are some of your client’s needs:
- To feel comfortable and non-pressured
- To feel that you care about them and that you are serious about helping them
- To be valued by you
- To have your focused attention:
- For you to focus more on them than on your work activities, rules or schedules
- For you not to ignore them in favor of someone who you may think is more valuable to you, or for some other reason may attract your attention
- For you not to judge their ability to buy whatever you’re selling (although, at the appropriate moment, you should allow them to indicate to you what they would feel comfortable paying for your products and service so that you can adjust accordingly
Fundamental Goal: Develop Trust
A genuine desire to understand a person’s needs (or wants) will impact your client and place you ahead of most of your competition. By “connecting” with the client, you develop deep trust. A connection develops between you and the client based on your depth of eye contact, mind contact, emotional contact; and by sharing insightful comments, wisdom and stories that you understand, on an emotional and intellectual level, both the nature of the problems and the answers (within reason).
When you develop trust with people you’ll find they’ll accept your ideas better and will want to return to see you.
Whenever possible, if you sense that a person needs to open up, let them. Don’t unconsciously cut them off. Let the person talk as long as they want (provide facial tissue if necessary). Try to be perceptive enough to help the person discover their real needs. The need many people have is to find someone they can trust to help them. Many people are lost. Many people don’t know what they’re looking for – they just know they need help because their health is poor or they are unhappy or unsatisfied. It is okay to set boundaries, so this does not have to be interminable.
Know this: Clients are very sensitive and know whether or not you really care about them. If you really gain a person’s trust, price will prove to not be a dominant factor in what they purchase, even though the person might have previously thought so and told you it was.
How To Help Clients
Your client’s needs aren’t for the product or service! Rather their needs are for what the product or service will do for them – the end-result benefits it’ll give them. How it will help them be happier, healthier, wiser, more lovely or handsome, more creative and more successful. Remember, it’s important to understand that people don’t buy products or services. They buy products or services in order to fulfill NEEDS they have, to satisfy wants or gratify desires they have.
What the product is, how it’s made or how you perform your service is only of secondary importance. Clients really appreciate information because it will help them make good decisions in their quest for satisfying end-result benefits for themselves or people they love.
Information serves three purposes:
- It stimulates confidence in the depth of knowledge, wisdom and caring of the practitioner (you).
- It stimulates confidence in the quality of your products and services, and this in turn will give them confidence that they will achieve the end-results that they are looking for. As a result, they will give your services and products a good try.
- When the client recognizes the value of your products and services in comparison to what they would get elsewhere, they are less likely to shop elsewhere for cheaper products that are in fact of less value.
In other words:
- People consume what you are providing because they want to enjoy an end-result benefit for themselves.
- It is your job to find out the payoff the client wants from what you offer
Action Guides For Finding Out How You Can Help People
Your main objective is to focus on understanding what the client wants. Clichés such as, “May I help you?” aren’t as complete as, “How may I help you?” The first question calls for a quick turn-off response (“I’m just checking this out”); the other calls for an explanation. What are they looking for from you (and from herbs)? Take them on a little journey. Help them figure out what they really want. Take them beyond their surface desires into the realm of deeper desire and need. Introduce a bigger dream.
Remember – People don’t buy products or services just to have the products or services. They buy them in order to satisfy needs, fulfill wants, solve problems, or gratify desires. They want a definable end result. With education, the end result they desire may change or expand, but right from the beginning they have a target. It is your job to discover this first target or goal.
Asking open-ended questions and listening to people’s responses can help you enjoy trust and rapport with them. Asking open-ended questions will not only help you understand people, but it can help you demonstrate your concern and care for their needs. Asking open-ended questions helps YOU to further understand their needs. Part of your role in satisfying clients is to first understand their needs. You do this by asking “open-ended” questions. Open-ended questions get you lots of information and encourage conversation. Open-ended questions are ones that call for explanations.
“Close-ended” questions are ones that call for “yes” or “no” responses. They don’t get much information for you and they tend to stall conversation.
Not only will these questions help you get information to understand a person’s needs, you’ll also strengthen your rapport by showing your concern and by actively listening to the client or prospective client provide an answer. These questions provide an avenue of huge insight.
Deb Babcock’s gardening column appears Mondays in Steamboat Today.
Find more gardening columns here.
Many current drugs that we know as conventional medicine originally were derived from plants. Salicylic acid, a precursor of aspirin, originally was derived from white willow bark and the meadowsweet plant. Cinchona bark is the source of malaria-fighting quinine.
Vincristine, used to treat certain types of cancer, comes from periwinkle. The opium poppy yields morphine, codeine and paregoric, a treatment for diarrhea. Even today, morphine — the most important alkaloid of the opium poppy — remains the standard against which new synthetic pain relievers are measured.
Prior to the discovery of antibiotics, the herb echinacea (purple coneflower) was one of the most widely prescribed medicines in the United States. For centuries, herbalists prescribed echinacea to fight infection, and research confirms that it works.
Herbs are used medicinally topically as well as ingested. Salves, ointments, rubs and compresses of leaves, stems, roots and flowers are used to soothe sore muscles, heal burns and cuts, or even set broken bones.
Herbal teas, tinctures and extracts as well as capsules and tablets containing a ground form of the raw herb are ingested to take advantage of the medicinal properties of herbs.
Some American Indians pulverized the dried roots and smoked certain herbs for respiratory complaints including asthma. Heating the leaves and flowers of some herbs and breathing in the steam is another common use of herbs in medicine. And some herbs added to food, such as seed bladder nuts mixed with fruit relieve constipation.
Herbal medicines are not like manufactured drugs. They work gently and take time to act. Before you attempt to concoct your own herbal remedies, be sure to check with an herbalist or your doctor to ensure the safety of the plant and understand the amounts, proper ways to use the plant and side effects.
Here are some of the more popular medicinal herbs found locally:
- Aspen: a pain reliever like aspirin — use inner bark or young green stems; also the dust on aspens is a SPF (sun protection factor) for balms made with sesame oil
- Basil: for headaches, rheumatism, colds; aids digestion and has calming properties
- Calendula (pot marigold): minor cuts and burns, sprains and bruises — make a warm compress with an infusion of this plant; internally: flowers; mouthwash for mouth ulcers and gum disease; eases menstrual cramps and soothes digestive ulcers.
- Chamomile: gentle sedative, good for ailments of the digestive tract as a tea and can be used as a mouthwash for inflammations such as gingivitis; also make a steam and breathe in when you have a cold or bronchitis — use flowers.
- Dandelions: diuretic (roots); flowers soothe muscles; leaf and flowers for premenstrual bloating.
- Echinecea (Coneflower): an antibiotic that boosts the immune system and is useful in treating infections and insect bites — use leaf and flower at peak of bloom.
- Geranium (native of the Rose Family): An astringent for sunburn and skin rashes — use leaf; also stop flow of bleeding — use root; also can be used as an eye wash and to gargle with.
Deb Babcock is a Master Gardener through the CSU Extension Routt County. The Master Gardener program does not endorse the use of these herbs as medicine but simply provides the information for educational value. Call 970-879-0825 or email email@example.com with questions.
By Sara Vandergrift, Special to the Independent
Alegria’s weekly delivery.
Alegría Fresh, an unusual farm that grows its produce in vertical structures, turned to an old fashioned method to reach retail customers. In partnership with Orange County Produce, LLC, Alegria last week began offering weekly home delivery of its fresh organic bounty.
The farm itself is a wonderful oddity, consisting of 150 hydroponic vertical towers growing over 8,000 plants in less than 1/20th of an acre. The plants range from medicinal herbs to berries to veggies, all organic and housed in coconut fibers, allowing the team at Alegría to eliminate the presence of soil and grow produce, which they claim is “seven times more nutrient rich as anything found in the local supermarkets.”
Erik Cutter, Alegria’s managing director, hopes to nurture interest in urban farming with the hydroponic system, which uses 90 percent less water, 70 percent less land and 50 percent less fertilizer, according to their website. In an attempt to spread healthy eating habits and urban agriculture awareness, Cutter offers training in the hydroponic method.
Though similar to a CSA, or community-supported agriculture, Alegría is a bit different. Alegría relies on a range of individuals, from interns to regular employees to volunteers, who sell their produce only to those who subscribe to their box delivery program or request a one-time order.
Algeria’s partners, A.G. and Matthew Kawamura, manage Orange County Produce, which oversees the farming of over 800 acres. A.G. Kawamura, the state’s former agriculture secretary, currently co-chairs Solutions From the Land, a Lutherville, Md., initiative to develop sustainable agricultural practices, while Matt Kawamura is a third-generation strawberry grower and long-time member of the Southern California agricultural community.
Under both, the Orange County Produce team fights local malnutrition and hunger while informing locals about the benefits of alternative farming methods.
“We are committed to continuing a tradition of farming in Orange County and providing the residents of Orange County with an incredibly fresh and high-quality product,” said A.G. Kawamura. “We believe that local production of fruits and vegetables is a viable and important part of this county’s future.”
The partners are currently working on an exhibit focusing on urban farming and its future in Irvine’s Great Park.
But the real stars of the show are the boxes: delivered within 24 hours of harvesting and featuring a range of seasonal – and sometimes rare – edibles. Current offerings include green beans; cranberry beans; yellow squash; green zucchini; cucumbers; fenugreek; pea shoots; red or golden beets; purple carrots; radishes; sunflower sprouts; strawberries; blue, red or curly kale and green bell peppers.
“It doesn’t get any fresher arriving from farm-to-table in a day,” said Cutter. “Our new partnership allows us to create greater access to clean, fresh, certified organic produce containing the highest possible nutrition per calorie. Our discriminating clients can taste the difference and understand why super fresh is important to their health.”
At 12-pounds or more, boxes are $35 each, including delivery, though it is limited to Laguna Beach’s city boundaries. For those outside the boundary, a pick-up can be scheduled. Luckily for those living in surrounding cities, Alegría has given in to the numerous requests it has received and will test out delivering to a broader area after Monday, July 8.
“A.G. and his brother have made tremendous strides toward improving nutritional content in the organic produce they offer in our local community,” said Cutter. “They care about health and are meticulous farmers with great integrity and we are proud to partner with them to educate the public about the benefits of consuming fresh, locally grown produce.”
“This is my little oasis,” he said, surveying a leafy expanse of 40 or so acres he has owned in Columbia County since 1968. “This is my healing place.”
Mr. Serpico became one of the most famous police officers in the history of New York after he helped uncover one of the Police Department’s most infamous corruption scandals. But speaking out carried a price — he became a pariah inside the force, and his career ended soon after he was shot in the face in 1971 during a drug raid gone bad and fellow officers delayed calling an ambulance.
His convalescence here, a two-hour drive north of New York City, has been Mr. Serpico’s second act. He wandered Europe and North America for a decade and then, in the early 1980s, built a rustic one-room cabin with no furnace overlooking the Hudson and began living a monastic life in nature.
But now Mr. Serpico’s serenity has been broken and he finds himself battling a new nemesis. This time, it is not an entire agency, but a local developer and town officials who Mr. Serpico says have ignored his complaints; this time, it is not over issues like taking cash payments from drug dealers, but over the fate of some trees and the desecration of pristine woodland.
“It’s like fighting the system again,” Mr. Serpico said. “Here I’m trying to enjoy my tranquillity and I’m being dragged back into a world of corruption.”
So discouraged has Mr. Serpico, 77, become that he has renewed his American and Italian passports with an eye, he said in all seriousness, toward moving back to Europe.
The developer, Frank Palladino, scoffed at what he called baseless claims made by a bitter old man who is using his celebrated name to satisfy a hunger for attention.
“He wants to be back in the limelight. He needs an ax to grind,” said Mr. Palladino. “He’s a lonely and unhappy man — he’s like a petulant child.”
Mr. Serpico’s plan had been a simple one — to keep his property wild and leave it to a preservation group upon his death, possibly for use as a retreat for other whistle-blowing police officers. But his plans were upended after Mr. Palladino bought a wooded parcel next to his and bulldozed much of it to put up a luxury home.
The 4.8-acre parcel abuts a favorite section of Mr. Serpico’s land where he often watched hundreds of swallows on a sandy bank, and where he walked a stream that runs partly through his property, looking for medicinal herbs.
Mr. Serpico said he had passed on an opportunity to buy the property for a low price years ago, because he thought it was environmentally protected from development.
But after Mr. Palladino, 58, bought the land in 2010, he started clear-cutting trees to build a luxury home to sell.
The chain saws and bulldozers disrupted his idyll, but Mr. Serpico said he was even more aggrieved by what he said was an intrusion by Mr. Palladino onto his property and upon nature. He has accused the builder of knocking down trees Mr. Serpico owns, destroying part of the swallows’ nesting area and being insensitive to the wild feel of the area.
In escalating hostilities, the two have traded insults and called each other trespassers. Mr. Serpico said he had been unable to get help so far from various government agencies and preservation groups.
Mr. Serpico said his predicament brought him back to when he was an idealistic young officer turned bitter and disillusioned after Police Department and City Hall officials ignored for a time his reports of rampant corruption. Eventually, his revelations led to the formation of the Knapp Commission and one of the department’s biggest shake-ups.
The land dispute validated his longstanding belief, he said, that wrongdoing still flourishes in government and that whistle-blowers wind up being punished.
“You have favoritism — those who are in it, and those who are on the outside,” said Mr. Serpico, whose account of taking on the Police Department was chronicled in a best-selling book and in the 1973 film “Serpico.”
Mr. Palladino said Mr. Serpico was simply using his fame to harass him. “He went and filed charges with everyone under the sun,” Mr. Palladino said, “and when all was said and done, they said, ‘No foul.’ ”
When Mr. Serpico called a state trooper to Mr. Palladino’s property recently to lodge a complaint against Mr. Palladino, the trooper wound up giving Mr. Serpico a warning for trespassing. Mr. Serpico videotaped the episode, as he has other encounters with Mr. Palladino and local officials in an attempt to document his claim that Mr. Palladino was receiving preferential treatment because of connections with town officials. That includes the Stuyvesant town supervisor, Ron Knott, who once rented Mr. Palladino an apartment.
Mr. Serpico called the town government a clubby “old-boys network” run by entrenched Republican elected officials who embrace cronyism and political patronage and favor native-born locals over the increasing population of New York City residents who have moved to the area.
Despite his 30 years in Stuyvesant, Mr. Serpico said he still felt like a second-class newcomer from the city. He only recently realized, for example, he had been overpaying on his property taxes because town officials failed to notify him of a senior discount.
And when he complained to Stuyvesant’s zoning board last year that Mr. Palladino was encroaching on his property, he said it took no action.
Mr. Serpico also has a video of himself walking on Mr. Palladino’s property with Stuyvesant’s zoning enforcement officer, Gerald Ennis, and Mr. Palladino, who admitted during the walk to having cut several of Mr. Serpico’s trees. He offered to replace them.
Mr. Ennis visited the property four times before concluding that the town had no reason to cite Mr. Palladino. Mr. Ennis said the issue was simply a dispute among neighbors that amounted to “two guys butting heads.”
Mr. Knott is dismissive of the idea that any of this amounts to a “Serpico” sequel. He said he knew “both Franks” and favored neither one. “There’s no corruption here,” he said. “It’s not like Albany.”
Mr. Palladino, a hard-driving man who can alternate between flashes of anger and incisive wit, had thought that having Mr. Serpico as a neighbor would make the property more marketable. In fact, Mr. Palladino had entered into a contract to sell Mr. Serpico the land for $50,000. But then the men had a dispute over an environmental review Mr. Serpico’s lawyer had sought and Mr. Palladino withdrew his offer.
Now he has become so aggravated that he is willing to stop his development and sell once and for all — just not to Mr. Serpico. “I don’t need the battle,” Mr. Palladino said. “It’s for sale — five acres overlooking the Hudson.”
VietNamNet Bridge – Although Vietnam has up to 4,000 species of plants that can be used as medicine, nearly 90 percent of medicinal herbs in Vietnam are imported, mainly from China. Paradoxically, Chinese traders have flocked to Vietnam to purchase medicinal plants.
A place collecting medical herbs for Chinese traders in Thanh Hoa.
According to the Administration of Traditional Medicine, the country has over 500 businesses producing and trading traditional medicines and medicinal plants. However, the quality of these products is not well controlled.
The Central Institute of Drug Testing recently tested 400 samples of medicinal plants and found 60 percent are substandard. Around 20 percent were mixed with garbage, sand, cement and even toxic chemicals.
Dr. Le Hung, Vice Chairman of the HCM City Traditional Medicine Association, said fake medicines and medicinal materials is a pressing issue.
“We have many good prescriptions but we do not dare to prescribe for the patients because we are afraid that they will purchase fake medicines,” Hung said.
Dr. Tran Huu Vinh, from the HCM City Health Department, said that good physicians without good medicines in the hands cannot do anything. He said Vietnam should have its own sources of medicinal materials in the long run.
Difficult to control quality
According to the Ministry of Health, Vietnam has about 4,000 species of plants used as medicinal materials. Every year, the country used 50,000 to 70,000 tons of medicinal materials, of which nearly 90 percent are imported, mainly from China through unofficial channels. As a result, the quality is not well controlled.
Unlike pharmaceuticals, it is difficult to control quality of medicinal plants. For example, ginseng, a common medicinal material, the shape and the size of ginseng of 2 or 5 years old are not much different, making it difficult to know the quality.
Experts suggest that the authorities should issue policies to develop domestic medicinal plants, strengthen control of imports and quality test.
According to the HCM City Department of Health, the city has two major hospitals specializing in traditional medicine. Some 20 other hospitals also have traditional medicine wards.
In addition, HCM City has over 1,000 traditional medicine clinics. Nearly 90 percent of medicinal materials used in HCM City are imported, mainly China. Dr. Le Hoang Son, Director of HCM City Traditional Hospital, said each year this hospital uses about 100 tons of traditional medicine, in which 80 percent are imported from China.
Chinese traders sweep off medicinal herbs in Vietnam
There is a paradox that although nearly 90 percent of medicinal herbs used in Vietnam are imported from China, Chinese traders are flocking to Vietnam’s mountainous regions to purchase herbs to bring home.
For over one year, many Chinese have come to Xuan Quy commune, Nhu Xuan district, Thanh Hoa province, to buy medicinal herbs to take to China.
These traders are based in the home of a local woman named LTH. Not only people in Nhu Xuan, but those in other districts of Thanh Hoa enter the forest to find medicinal plants to sell to Chinese traders. Chinese traders buy everything, from leaves to roots of medicinal herbs.
Mr. Le Dinh Tuan, Secretary of the Party Committee of Xuan Quy commune said the leader of the group of Chinese traders is a man named A Lam. “Sometimes they hired up to 30-40 locals to process and dry medicinal herbs at an average pay of VND4-5 million per month.”
The local officials said they only knew the presence of Chinese people at the home of Mrs. H, and did not know exactly what they buy. After every three month when their tourist visas expire, they come back to China and then return to Vietnam.
Your body can use some extra help from the herbs in addition to diabetes management program to fight the potential diabetes complications or prevent spikes in blood sugar levels.
Medicinal herbs and plants may not replace diabetes medicines but can be looked up to control diabetes. Over the years, many traditional herbal treatments for diabetes have been reported along with their efficacy.
[Read: How to Deal with Diabetes]
Aloe vera extract, which is used in a multitude of beauty products, has been used in herbal medicine since the days of yore for its healing, rejuvenating and soothing properties. Preliminary research reveals that aloe vera juice can help improve blood glucose levels and therefore, is useful in treating people with diabetes.
Moreover, aloe vera has also been linked with decreased blood lipids (fats) in patients with abnormally high levels of these molecules in the blood and decreased swelling or faster healing of wound injuries, both of which are common complications of diabetes.
A Pakistani study of 60 adults with Type 2 in Diabetes Care suggested an average glucose level drop of 18 to 29 per cent in those who were monitored for cinnamon doses. Moreover, they had better cholesterol levels compared to placebo (inactive treatment). It is thought cinnamon act as an insulin sensitizer. Over the years, many studies have been conducted to find how cinnamon how help diabetes patients control their condition, and many have found it valuable in lowering their blood glucose.
Fenugreek, a key ingredient of curries and other Indian recipes, can also be used for its medicinal properties. Fenugreek seeds (trigonella foenum graecum) are high in soluble fibre, which help diabetics lower blood sugar by slowing down digestion and absorption of carbohydrates. There have been several studies to investigate the potential anti-diabetic benefits of fenugreek. The clinical trials have suggested that fenugreek seeds can improve most metabolic symptoms associated with diabetes by lowering blood glucose levels and improving glucose tolerance.
An Indian research found that adding 100 grams of defatted fenugreek seed powder to the daily diet of diabetics with insulin-dependent diabetes (type 1 diabetes) can significantly reduce their fasting blood glucose levels, improved glucose tolerance and also lowered total cholesterol, LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol and triglycerides.
[Read: Be Active to Control Diabetes]
A study published in the natural product journal Planta Medica suggested that ginger may improve long-term blood sugar control for people with type 2 diabetes. The researchers at the University of Sydney examined the action of Buderim Ginger (Australian grown ginger) on diabetics. They found that increased uptake of glucose into muscle cells without using insulin, and may therefore assist in the management of high blood sugar levels.
A study published in the European Journal of Pharmacology reported that two different ginger extracts, spissum and an oily extract, may reverse the effect on insulin secretion. The researchers found 35 per cent drop in blood glucose levels and a 10 per cent increase in plasma insulin levels. One of the sight-related complications of long-term diabetes, cataract protection, can be daily dose of ginger, reported a study published in the edition of Molecular Vision.
Moreover, ginger has a very low glycemic index (GI), which means that low GI foods break down slowly to form glucose and therefore do not trigger a spike in blood sugar levels.
Read more articles on Diabetes.
OK, folks, it looks like it’s officially time to stop flushing your hard-earned cash down the drain on herbal supplements and traditional remedies. Not only are Chinese medicinal herbs not medicine, they may actually contain unlisted ingredients — like, oh, kind of a lot of pesticides — that can be hazardous to your health. A recent report by Greenpeace found that of 36 samples of herbs like chrysanthemum, rosebud and honeysuckle taken in Europe and North America contained residues from three or more kinds of pesticides that exceeded accepted safe levels set by the European Union.
Greenpeace conducted tests on herbal remedies in seven countries, including the United States, finding that many of the sampled herbs contained a cocktail of pesticides that boggles the mind. A sample of honeysuckle from Germany, for example, was contaminated with residues from no less than 26 pesticides. Almost half of the samples, which are just a tiny representation of an herbal export business worth $2.3 billion to China in 2011, were contaminated with pesticides rated highly or extremely dangerous by the World Health Organization.
You can read the full report from Greenpeace here. Since these doses are still fairly small, it’s hard to tell what health effects they could have. It is, however, safe to assume that folks who are likely to take honeysuckle for a cold would also be fairly twitchy about ingesting a dose of thiophanate-methyl along with it. And rightly so, we think.
Look, what you do with your own money and how you choose to look after your own health is, of course, your business. But this is one more reason to be pretty careful about claims made by medicine-like things — like supplements, vitamins, and herbal remedies — that are under no onus to back up the claims they make to health benefits. For vitamins, we know there can be too much of a good thing, while this report shows that herbal remedies aren’t always the ‘return to nature’ solution they may claim to be.
(via Greenpeace, The Guardian, image via flickr)
- A majority of samples bought in UK stores contained pesticides
- One honeysuckle cure contained traces of 17 pesticides
- Long-term exposure to pesticides could have severe health effects
18:01 EST, 30 June 2013
18:01 EST, 30 June 2013
Dangerous medicine: An analysis of Chinese herbal remedies bought in UK stores found that a majority contained pesticides
Herbal medicines sold in Britain have been found to contain ‘unsafe’ levels of pesticides.
An investigation into traditional Chinese remedies readily available in the UK found many contain a potentially toxic cocktail of chemical residues.
Although small doses of a pesticide are considered relatively harmless, long-term exposure has been linked with hormone disruption, male reproductive problems and damage to the development of unborn babies.
At least three million Britons are thought to consult a herbal specialist every year.
In a six month period between November 2012 and April 2013, Greenpeace investigators bought seven kinds of herbal products imported from China for testing – chrysanthemum, wolfberry, honeysuckle, dried lily bulb, san qi root, Chinese date and rosebud – from retailers in seven countries, including the UK.
All the products are among the most commonly dispensed by herbalists for medicinal use, and considered popular amongst health-conscious consumers and Asian communities.
Of the 29 samples from British and European herbal stores, independent analysis showed that 26 contained pesticide residue exceeding the maximum safe limits.
One honeysuckle sample alone – bought from a UK retailer – contained traces of 17 pesticides, of which eight exceeded European safety levels.
The annual international export value of the industry is £4 billion a year.
Commenting on the findings Dr Doug Parr, chief scientist at Greenpeace UK said: ‘The toxic pesticides found in these products pose a real health risk to consumers.
‘People who use these products do so hoping to ease medical conditions and improve their health – they will be shocked to learn that along with natural herbs they have been taking they are exposing themselves to a synthetic cocktail of potentially dangerous pesticides.
‘The UK government and the EU must improve their testing regime for products imported from China as a matter of urgency so that users of these remedies know that they are safe.’
In total, 36 products were bought, 32 of which contained three or more kinds of pesticides. Of these, 17 had residues of pesticides classified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as highly or extremely hazardous.
Toxic aid: Of 29 samples of Chinese traditional remedies from British and European herbal stores, 26 contained pesticide residue exceeding the maximum safe limits
Elizabeth Salter Green, Director of CHEM Trust said: ‘In the UK, Chinese herbal medicines are perceived to be natural, pure and healthy. Therefore it is shocking to see the cocktail of pesticides that contaminate so many of these products.
‘Research has shown that some of the pesticides found to be contaminating herbal medicines in the UK are associated hormone disruption (gender benders), male reproductive health problems and in-utero development problems.
‘The UK needs to call for a more precautionary approach to the regulation of pesticides in the EU to make sure that we are adequately protected from the cocktail to which we are all exposed, day in, day out.’
Bad plant: One honeysuckle sample bought in the UK contained traces of 17 pesticides
A spokesman for the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency said: ‘There are some Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) products available in the UK that may be manufactured to low quality standards and may be deliberately adulterated or accidentally contaminated with toxic or illegal ingredients.
‘These products do pose a direct risk to public health and it is not currently possible to distinguish between these products and those that are made to acceptable safety and quality standards.
‘The shortfall in quality standards does not of course mean that every poor quality TCM is necessarily dangerous, but it does mean that there is an element of risk.’
Dr Kaicun Zhao, president of the Association of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture UK, said: ‘We should read it in its context. Although we think this may not represent the whole Chinese herbal medicine market in the UK and EU, we definitely feel it is really important to enhance the quality control of herbal medicines including Chinese herbal medicines.
‘We hope that the UK and EU medicine authorities will soon introduce appropriate standards for quality control of medicinal herbs including Chinese medicinal herbs.
‘Reputable Chinese medicinal herb farmers are growing the herbs with implementation of good agricultural practices. It is possible some herbs with poor quality from unreliable sources may enter into the market.
‘We strongly feel that food standards are not appropriate for the quality control of herbal medicines.
‘This is because there is normally no dosage limitation for food – people can eat a kind of food on a daily basis as much as 500 grams, while with Chinese herbal medicines the daily dose is usually 10 grams.
‘With such big difference of 50 times in daily intake dosage between foods and Chinese herbal medicine, using the same standards on contaminations such as insecticides and heavy metals is simply not appropriate.’
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The comments below have not been moderated.
Just because something is “natural” does NOT make it beneficial to human health. Anybody heard of uranium?
Hove, United Kingdom,
@depwavid: Heroin is a named patent medicine, purveyed at the beginning of the 1900′s. I guess the idea of the article in general is to form opinion against ‘traditional medicine’ in general. But most pharmaceuticals started from natural cures including aspirin from the aspen tree. Much safer to take the chemicals like thalidomide, statins, and all the other eventually disproven miracle cures. . . . . .
Well they take the bile out of the bears and make them suffer so much and they kill the rhinos for their horns etc. So many animals are used for this sort of thing. I hate it. They need to educate the people who makes these “cures”.
What about the fact they have been using these “cures” for over 6000years??? I personally do not believe in them but obviously they have done some good for them to have such a vast population….
Torquay, United Kingdom,
And fruit and veg!
Just like 80% of packaged food sold in supermarkets !
Well there’s a surprise! Not…
St Helier, Jersey,
Are the “but it’s all natural so it must be good for you” and the “science doesn’t understand ancient wisdom” brigade not awake yet? Come on, red arrow away, it’s all you’ve got in the absence of common sense and clinical efficacy.
- Devonian , Plymouth, 01/7/2013 07:10
Surely the natural part is good for you. It is the toxic chemicals that are sprayed everywhere that cause the problems.
On the Beach
Somerset, United Kingdom,
And what about all the Roundup found in home grown stuff? I believe it’s far more poisonous.
What about Britain’s Mad Cow disease how many did that kill ??? its just China bashing again , You Brits are getting as bad as the yanks for winging,
one hung lo
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