Browsing articles in "medicinal herbs"
Mar 18, 2014
Justine Crono

Everyone Counts in Eliminating Malaria—–Dr Oyibo

Dr Wellington Oyibo, a Consultant Medical Parasitologist with the College of Medicine of the University of Lagos (CMUL), as well as Principal Investigator of the World Health Organisation (WHO)/FIND Malaria Quality Assurance and Centre at CMUL and Coordinator, Centre of Excellence for Malaria Diagnosis, in this interview with LARA ADEJORO says fight against malaria should be multi-pronged.

What is your overview of malaria in Nigeria?

Malaria is an age-long disease, we did not know so much in terms of documentation about the burden of malaria in the country but it was estimated that malaria is responsible for 60 per cent of fever because diagnosis was mostly presumptive. However, at this time, we are having data from research and surveys that are providing evidence of changing epidemiology of malaria in the country. One of these surveys, is the malaria indicator survey conducted in 2010 by the National Population Commission and the National Malaria Control Programme, that shows that among children less than five years who were sampled in several communities in the six geo-political zones, there was a prevalence of 42 per cent in the country among those children but of course, we have other areas where the malaria rate is low and could be about 10 per cent or 15 per cent and of course in other places, it could be about 65 per cent.  A risk mapping has actually been done and this shows the progress that has been achieved in the control of malaria and gaps that are to be filled. For example, the areas in the northern states of the country with seasonal malaria transmission have necessitated the commencement of Seasonal Malaria Chemoprevention (SMC) as an intervention. Malaria consortium in collaboration with the National Malaria Elimination programme of the Federal Ministry of Health has commenced initial SMC intervention in Katsina state to start with. Further, the malaria prevalence of 35 per cent was recorded in febrile children that presented in health facilities from seven sentinel sites in the country during the 2009/2010 Drug Therapeutic Efficacy Testing Trial (DTETT). However, in a place like Lagos, we have done a mapping for the state, the malaria prevalence that we got generally from 15 Local Government Areas (LGAs) out of 20 was 4.8 per cent but in the different LGAs we were able to identify very hot spots, places like Ikorodu for instance, had the highest prevalence of about 16 per cent; followed by Ibeju-Lekki.

Is that so much of achievements so far for decades since the WHO planned to eliminate malaria?

You know I was just giving you those data, what we are seeing in the facilities now as we speak, is that the malaria rate have gone down and they are going down. Among people who complain about related symptoms of malaria, the confirmation we are seeing in places like Lagos is not more than 25 per cent and we have actually reported less in children and this one happened during the very high transmission period when you expect most people to have malaria. In some places, it’s just like 5 per cent or 10 per cent. Basically, the impact of intervention has been good and what we do in that regard is that we are now having data which we can use to measure impact with time. Before, we didn’t have all of those baselines but now, the baselines are available in a number of settings. The Federal Government and Partners is planning to do another baseline this year and from these baselines, we can tell between 2010 and 2014 what has happened. In a place like Ibeju-Lekki, we are working in an hospital where, four years ago, we saw like 45 per cent in children but now, we are struggling to get 7 per cent, so indeed the strategies for malaria control are effective and right now, the National Malaria Elimination Programme has put together a strategy plan and that’s the National Malaria Strategic Plan for malaria, 2014-2020 and it has targets to direct the country and that strategy will take us to the pre-elimination phase. Just to remind you that when you mentioned what WHO was going to do, it is important to emphasize that  the work for malaria control is for everybody – using long lasting insecticide treated nets, compliance with treatment doses of the recommended antimalarial medicines- artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs), clearing the environment of materials that could hold water for mosquito breeding etc. In addition, confirming malaria by doing a test before using the ACTs.  If you feel you have malaria, there must be a test to confirm whether you have malaria because other conditions could present with the initial malaria symptoms which may not be malaria and that’s the target the country wants to achieve in the next couple of years (confirming malaria in 80 per cent of people who complain about malaria symptom by doing a test).  One thing we have to say is that, there must be an emphasis for the people to demand for malaria test before treatment. That’s the key message that the media will have to take to the people and the testing has been made easier now because we now have rapid malaria tests and within 15 to 20 minutes or less than 30 minutes, you are able to do a test and these tests are reliable. So, rather than just going to take ACTs and all of those, you do a test, because not all fevers are malaria. You may have a bacterial or viral infection that may correlate with the symptoms of malaria. These are malaria-like symptoms which could be caused by bacteria or virus and we now know among those groups of people who now have malaria really. And then people who are working so hard, who are exhausted, tired, feel feverish would readily say they have malaria. So malaria is just the scapegoat! Therefore, we have to unpack this scapegoat by first of all, doing a test. A simple malaria Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) is adequate and there are capacity building on malaria microscopy currently going on in the country with gradual improvement in competency to detect malaria parasites in the blood.  While progress is being made in the public health sector, we see that in the private sector where large people visit, we are still having some challenges as they are yet to be fully covered. The National Malaria Elimination Programme and her Partners are currently trying to address this challenge. How do you take all of these malaria control messages to the private sector, the private hospitals, the medicine retailers etc? What role could the medicine retailer play in ensuring rational use of malaria medicines? Can they do a simple test before selling ACTs so that people could confirm malaria and not just buying the malaria medicines whereas they have other life threatening disease that could start with initial fever? I am sure you hear people say they have malaria every time but that cannot be true. One of the key messages here is that malaria is preventable and curable and that the currently recommended ACTs are effective to treat a confirmed case of malaria.  So government is promoting quality assured diagnosis especially with RDTs and microscopy  while also making quality malaria medicines.

Do you think that there is sufficient knowledge on malaria prevention and treatment by the pregnant women and children who are the most vulnerable to malaria?

Right now, even though they are vulnerable, the current approach is universal so that everybody is targeted. This is important because if you separated pregnant women and children, you see older adult in the homes that when they have malaria, they will still transmit to the other ones. So it meant that the knowledge for malaria has to be for everyone because if everybody prevents mosquito bites, there won’t be anything for malaria mosquito to transmit. If those with malaria take the complete dose of the ACTs, then it means that every parasite that caused that malaria should have been destroyed. So, you can see the effect now. Even if that child or that adult is not a pregnant woman, if they don’t comply or sleep under the bed net, they will still pose a risk to someone else. Malaria control is for everyone, everyone counts. In fact, what we are seeing now is a shift from a lower age group of malaria that use to have more burden to those who are 5 years and above because they’ve concentrated on those on those that are less that 5 years for a long time. While concentration was on under 5 children, the shift moved up and that is why everybody should sleep under the net and the long lasting insecticide treated net is for everybody, so let’s learn to use it and if there’s any complain about heat, they should take a cold shower before they go to sleep because prevention is better than cure. People should take and complete the right dosage and of course, buy the right medicine as much as possible and then they must test themselves to confirm if they have malaria. If you don’t have malaria, then they can do other test because it could be a potentially dangerous disease that is coming with that fever but people would suppress it, only to know that in 6 months time, it will be a different thing that they had and you know early intervention is still the right way to see that you have a better output. Through the media, you can create awareness. I find it strange most times when people ask what the government is doing because everybody now pass it up to government but you know you have different components that we can apply to prevent malaria. For instance, you don’t just assume that you have malaria without doing a test, ask questions and then we want you to demand because government policy now is that, before you use any ante-malaria medicine, you have to do a test and the only recommended medicine you have to use is the ACT.  Chloroquine or any other monotherapies are not recommended. The reason why the pregnant women must be aware is that when a woman is pregnant in a malaria endemic setting, she’s vulnerable to have malaria that can affect the growing child and in that case, she may not have fever or any symptom of malaria.

Is it advisable for a pregnant woman to take malaria drugs?

Yes. There is the guideline for preventing and managing malaria in pregnancy. It is advisable that pregnant women should attend Ante-Natal Care (ANC) early enough and they will be advised on preventive measures for themselves and their babies. There are recommended malaria preventive medicines to be given by the health worker during the ANC visits.

How effective is the use of traditional medicine or herbal drugs in the treatment of malaria?

There are potential traditional herbs with antimalarial properties and these have been used for a long time by our forefathers in treating malaria. However, the time has come for us to put science to good use in ensuring that these products are effective and safe. Medicinal herbs have huge potentials to be developed singly or in combination for the treatment and prevention of malaria.

Generally, what is the approach or strategy to take for the total elimination of malaria and how can we synthesize that the approach(es) to achieve the target in Nigeria?

It has to be multi-pronged approach but everybody must be on board, government will play their role, the private sector will play their role, the control of malaria has different level. We have the individual, what the individual can do, you put net in your house, you screen your house. Then you go to the other one that has to do with the family, spray the rooms with insecticides and it must be sustained. 80 per cent of everybody must be doing something or else we will be where we are because if it’s less, what other people are not doing will still put us in that place. So that is what we call scale up. For example, if all of us agree once on mass drug administration that everyone will take one dose at the same time for three days ante-malaria medicine but that’s not enough. Government is doing quite a lot, in the north there’s what we call seasonal malaria cable prevention, in that, we have children who are susceptible because in the north we have transmission that is short and after that short transmission, for another seven months, there will not be any transmission but within that time where they have a short break, malaria could kill, so seasonally they are doing that for children. Now, the country has those strategies in place and it’s good for the different places and you can bring down these things quickly if mosquitoes are destroyed one way or the other but these things are not easy because the drug may develop resistance if we are not doing the right thing, it’s a general thing for everyone. The medicine sellers are everywhere, so how they can galvanize people in different institutions is what is all embracing and everybody is moving towards that. The knowledge about malaria and prevention is something that must be established. In some villages, some people still quote what their fore-fathers told them about malaria. Everybody must work together and agree on the policy to address the problem and the way we build our houses matter. Some people just barely put window in their houses, it’s barely going to help but it’s the choice we will have to make.
“However, in a place like Lagos, we have done a mapping for the state, the malaria prevalence that we got generally from 15 Local Government Areas (LGAs) out of 20 was 4.8 per cent but in the different LGAs we were able to identify very hot spots, places like Ikorodu for instance, had the highest prevalence of about 16 per cent; followed by Ibeju-Lekki.”

Mar 17, 2014
Justine Crono

Chinese medicine gains new tourism factory in Tainan

Herbal medicine is for everyday life, not just for sickness, staff at a Chinese medicinal herb tourist factory said as it opened in Greater Tainan’s Guantian District Industrial Area on Sunday.

Tainan Mayor William Lai (賴清德) said Taiwanese are health-conscious and understand that taking medicinal herbs, even when healthy, is good for the body as a whole.

The Tian Yi factory combines relaxation, food and Chinese medicinal knowledge, specializing in knowledge of how Chinese medicine can be incorporated into everyday life.

General manager Chen Hui-chua (陳慧娟) said the new Chinese medicinal tourist factory is the third among 14 tourist factories in the municipality.

The factory has its roots in a renowned and venerated Chinese medicinal brand that was better at making medicine than carrying out marketing, Chen said, adding that it was the city’s hope that the factory could help bridge tradition-steeped Chinese medicine with a health-conscious modern world.

“Even if the tastes of Chinese medicine do not agree with everyone, we hope that healthy drinks and teas will eventually be embraced by the younger generation,” Chen said.

The factory is divided into four sections, including a gallery illustrating the development of Chinese medicine over the past 5,000 years, as well as the personal stories of traditional Chinese medicine doctors of old, Chen added.

“There is also an display that explains the process of making Chinese medicine and common concepts of when to use them” Chen said.

“There is a section where tourists can experience what it felt like to be a traditional medicine doctor in the old days,” she said.

“There is also a dining area, where people can try meals that incorporate Chinese medicines,” Chen added.

The meals are a joint effort by the factory and the National Kaohsiung University of Hospitality and Tourism, she said.

Mar 16, 2014
Justine Crono

Business digest

The Montana Department of Agriculture has funding available, and applications will be accepted to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. At least $305,000 will be disbursed through a competitive grant process.

Specialty crops are fruits and vegetables, culinary and medicinal herbs, dried fruits, horticultural and nursery crops, including floriculture. Eligible plants must be intensively cultivated and used by people for food, medicinal purposes or aesthetic gratification. A list of specialty crops is available, along with a companion list of ineligible commodities, on the USDA website.

Proposed projects must enhance the competitiveness of U.S.-grown specialty crops in either domestic or foreign markets. Projects must benefit more than one commercial product, organization or individual. Examples include research, promotion, marketing, nutrition, trade enhancement, food safety, plant health, education, “buy local” programs, conservation or product development.

See a complete description of eligible and previously funded projects at

Funding is available to interested state or local organizations; academia; producer associations; community-based organizations; specialty crop stakeholders; and local, state and federal government entities.

Grant proposals are due by close of business on May 21. For more information, eligibility guidelines and resources, visit or call Angelyn DeYoung, specialty crop block grant program manager, at 406-444-2402.

Successful applicants will be notified in October.

Serve Wyoming’s beef industry by serving on the Wyoming Beef Council. The three-year term for current member Judy West, producer of range cattle, expires June 30, and this position is open to any Wyoming range cattle producer.

The five-member board of beef producers is appointed by the governor to administer the beef checkoff assessment collected in Wyoming according to the Beef Promotion Research Act and Order. The goal of beef checkoff-funded programs is to increase beef demand. WBC members implement the provisions of the federal order establishing the beef checkoff, determine a yearly marketing plan and evaluate the effectiveness of statewide checkoff programs.

The WBC consists of three producers of range cattle, one cattle feeder and one dairy representative. Members must own cattle and reside in Wyoming.

Interested producers can get more information by visiting Applications can also be obtained by calling or e-mailing Ann Wittmann, WBC Executive Director at 307-777-7396 or

Applications are due by April 30. All applications and a cover letter authored by the Beef Council chairman will be sent to the governor’s office in early May for a July 1 appointment.

Farmers Union Oil Co. has changed its business name to Valley Farmers Supply. The new name was introduced during the cooperative’s recent 75th annual meeting. The company will continue to operate under its current structure as an independent cooperative. There has been no change in ownership, no change in staff and no change in locations.

With a legacy dating back to 1938, Valley Farmers Supply is a Montana-based, full-service farm and ranch supply cooperative with operations in agronomy, bulk and retail fuel, propane, retail farm supply and convenience stores. Business interests are located in Worden, Hysham, Custer and Miles City.

The Billings Chapter 100 of the Accounting Financial Women’s Alliance will hold its monthly lunch meeting at noon on Wednesday, March 19, at the Fortin Culinary Center at the Billing Food Bank. The presentation will be “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow — Our Current View on Economy and Financial Matters” by Dennis Lusin CWS. The lunch is $13. RSVP to Sue McBurney by Monday morning, March 17, at or call 247-6703 for more information.

Tim O’Donnell of O’Donnell Plumbing and Water Heater Service Inc., has retired, and the business has been sold to Precision Plumbing. Precision Plumbing may be reached at 655-9240.

Snelling Staffing of Billings, as part of the Snelling brand, has been named one of the top staffing firms in the United States for the second year in a row, according to the annual Inavero “Best of Staffing” rankings for client and talent satisfaction. Presented in partnership with Career Builder, the Best of Staffing list provides statically valid objective service quality benchmarks in the industry and reveals which staffing agencies are delivering exceptional service to their clients and talent.

The Montana Justice Coalition, a subsidiary of the Montana Chamber of Commerce, is holding its biennial Business and the Law Conference from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 18, at the Billings Hilton Garden Inn.

Conference topics include business on the docket, the new lawsuit ecosystem, legal reforms in the 2013 Legislature, potential legal reforms for the tax appeal process, subrogation and Montana’s “Made Whole” doctrine, sue and settle (using the courts to stop development) and trespass and landowner liability. Montana Attorney General Tim Fox will keynote the luncheon, and additional speakers include Harold Kim, U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform and Lauren Sheets Jarrell, Americans for Tort Reform.

Registration fees include lunch and an evening reception The cost is $100 for attorneys (approved for 6.5 CLE credits, $50 for non-attorneys and $40 for the luncheon only. To register, go online to

Mar 15, 2014
Justine Crono

A Medicine of Oneness, Body, Soul and Stars

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Mar 14, 2014
Justine Crono

Orlando attorney pushes medical marijuana to local leaders – Daytona Beach News

Speaking at a Daytona Beach country club, Morgan, 57, acknowledged the audience probably contained a good share of Republicans, but he said the suffering that marijuana can relieve knows no party lines. The personal injury lawyer known for his “For the People” television ads and Democratic Party fundraising poured $4 million of his own money into getting medical marijuana on the ballot in November. He told the crowd of judges, politicians and other community leaders that watching how the drug helped his dying father and his paralyzed brother inspired him to take action.

“This is not a political issue,” Morgan said, who owns a home in Ponce Inlet. “This is a medical issue. It’s an issue of compassion.”

That hasn’t stopped critics from accusing Morgan of using the issue to drum up support for former Gov. Charlie Crist’s campaign against incumbent Rick Scott — especially since Crist started working for Morgan’s firm after losing his U.S. Senate bid two years ago. Morgan denied that’s the case saying he believed even some supporters of Scott’s would vote for the measure.

The proposed constitutional amendment would require the support of at least 60 percent of voters to be adopted. A Quinnipiac University Polling Institute survey late last year showed 82 percent public support for the amendment if it were put on the ballot.

Some in the audience weren’t convinced that allowing medical marijuana was a good idea. Frank Peburn, an Ormond Beach business owner, said he worries such a move would send the wrong message to the youth, making the drug seem socially acceptable. Meanwhile, Ida Wright, a Volusia County School Board member, said she’s concerned about the implications on hiring for the school system. For instance, a school bus driver might be able to legally smoke marijuana for medicinal purposes and drive a bus full of children. “It’s going to be a nightmare for the HR people,” Wright said.

Morgan told the crowd that Florida’s experience with medical marijuana would not resemble California’s, where loosely regulated medical pot is easy to obtain and can be grown at home. Florida’s ballot initiative will not allow homegrown marijuana, and only a licensed doctors could prescribe it for “debilitating medical conditions,” such as cancer, glaucoma and multiple sclerosis.

Morgan said he is confident that Florida will enact significant safeguards to prevent the misuse of marijuana, and as a result, the terminally ill will have an option other than powerful narcotics.

“A lot of people are breaking the law to get this drug for the people they love the most,” Morgan said. “At the end of the day, when nothing else is working, I don’t know one of us who wouldn’t.”

He cited Arizona as a good model for Florida, which Morgan called a conservative state like Florida where medical marijuana is more tightly controlled. Arizona legalized medical marijuana in 2010. Nineteen other states and the District of Columbia have also legalized the drug for medicinal purposes. Florida would become the first state in the Southeast to allow medical pot.

With his pronounced Southern drawl, Morgan — a Kentucky native — kept his lunch-time talk relaxed, dropping in the occasional expletive and joking that he had the cupcakes served as dessert flown in from Colorado, one of two states to approve the use of marijuana for recreational purposes.

Morgan recalled how his father was bedridden and dying of esophageal cancer two decades ago. Morgan’s father was reluctant to smoke pot, but when he did, Morgan recalled seeing his father sitting at the table, eating and “drinking a Miller Lite,” feeling much better. Morgan said his younger brother, who was paralyzed from the neck down when he was in high school, has also found relief through marijuana.

In addition to bringing relief to the sick, Morgan said medical marijuana would be a financial boon to the state in the form of new tax revenue. Some entrepreneurs are getting an early start on the potential introduction of medical marijuana in the Sunshine State. Fliers left on cars parked outside the Pelican Bay country club where the event was held advertised the “Cannabis University of Florida,” where for $399 students could learn “to grow medicinal herbs.”

Mar 13, 2014
Justine Crono

East Harlem building explosion survivor: Pianos ‘flew around me’

Originally published: March 12, 2014 1:22 PM
Updated: March 12, 2014 10:37 PM

By MARIA ALVAREZ. Special to Newsday

Police and fire units converged Wednesday morning in East Harlem after a report of an explosion and possible building collapse in the area of 116th Street and Park Avenue. (Credit: News 12 Long Island)


An explosion on Mar. 12 leveled two New
De Blasio: Explosion ‘tragedy of the worst kind’

People roamed the scene of a fatal building
Family of NY victims search for loved ones

Witnesses describe NY building collapse


Firefighters continue to hose down areas where smoke
Harlem explosion photos show rubble, smoke, fire

Pianos were launched into the air when a “huge boom” rocked the East Harlem piano store where Colin Patterson works.

“The pianos flew off the ground and flew around me,” said Patterson, a piano technician at Absolute Piano on the ground floor at 1646 Park Ave., one of two buildings leveled Wednesday morning by a massive explosion caused by a suspected gas leak.

Patterson, finding himself “in a miraculous cocoon” of debris after the blast, managed to dig himself out and crawl through a window, escaping with only a scratch on his left wrist.

LIVE: Updates from officials and social media
PHOTOS: Scene, aerials
VIDEO: The scene from above

“It was a huge boom, like a sonic jet engine. The building fell on top of me,” said Patterson, who has lived on the building’s ground floor for 10 years.

The 9:30 a.m. explosion, powerful enough for witnesses to mistake for an earthquake, could be heard across a large swath of upper Manhattan.

As the buildings crumbled, shards of glass and tons of bricks rained down on the busy street below. Parked cars were crushed, and railroad tracks nearby were covered with debris, shutting down rail service.

Frantic residents and workers rushed outside. Many saw the buildings fall, sparking a raging fire. A cloud of thick, white smoke and dust filled the air as scores of firefighters battled the blaze.

David Casareo, 35, a Bronx carpenter who was working a job across the street, said he and a colleague ran to the scene and began searching for victims.

“I was digging through the bricks and I saw a blanket,” Casareo recalled. “I moved the blanket, and there was this kid. . . . He was bleeding a lot.”

The victim, a boy between 7 and 10 years old, told the rescuers, “I have a lot of pain,” Casareo said.

“We grabbed him and brought him to the cops. He kept asking for help. I told him, ‘Don’t worry. You’ll be OK.’ “

Casareo and co-worker Alex Camillo, 35, of Manhattan, also rescued two people from a minivan that had been partly crushed by falling debris.

“We pulled the people out of the window,” Camillo said.

Gregory Garcia, 50, who has lived in the neighborhood his whole life, said the explosion “sounded like a bomb. My building shook. I felt a vibration through my body.”

Carlos Perez, 60, was on the block working at a shop that sells medicinal herbs.

“When I heard the explosion, it broke all the windows and shattered glass onto my chest. I thought it was a train that might have derailed,” he said. “I ran out to the corner and there was smoke everywhere.”

He said cars stopped at a red light at 116th and Park were overturned — flipped by the force of the blast.

Ruben Borrero, 32, who has lived at 1646 Park Ave. with his family for many years, heard about the explosion from a friend and rushed home to find his home in rubble.

“All I saw was an empty lot,” he said at an American Red Cross shelter at PS 57 on Third Avenue and East 115 Street. “My life was in that building; my father’s ashes and my family dog.”

Borrero had left in the morning to drop his son off at the baby-sitter. He said his family, who lived in the second floor, will now stay with other relatives.

“All we have is what we have on our backs,” he said.

With Joan Gralla

and Nicole Fuller

Mar 12, 2014
Justine Crono

Why I Garden: 5 Questions With A Local Grower


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One part education, one part magic: The Functional Herb Garden is an educational garden that allows the public to learn about the medicinal and emotional value of herbs. Photo courtesy of Jackie Dodrinksa.

In our new feature, area growers introduce their gardens. This week Jackie Dobrinska tells us about the functional herb garden she founded as part of The Lord’s Acre community garden in Fairview.

Mountain Xpress: Tell us about your garden.
Dobrinksa: Our goal is to empower and nourish members of the community through herbs and herbal education. We do this by growing and distributing free and low-cost functional plants; offering educational opportunities related to their use;  and providing a place where people can connect to the earth and to each other.

The garden started in late winter of 2012 after Susan Sides [executive director of the Lord’s Acre] and I started a conversation about beginning an herb garden. I applied for some grants, and when two were awarded, I realized the garden wanted to come into being.

With the help of many generous hands the garden blossomed. In the coming years we are looking to bridge more partnerships within the community and supply more access to herbs to those in need. Part of the goal is to work with schools, women’s shelters and other community groups.

What do you grow?
We focus on local, abundant medicinal herbs that are safe and effective at promoting health, and are self-sustaining.  

Imagine all plants falling along a spectrum: On one side of the spectrum is food and on the other are toxins. In the middle are medicinals. We focus on the side of the spectrum between food and medicinals — spices, tonics and medicines that most people can use.  

Some plant allies that live in the garden include echinacea, chamomile, holy basil, calendula and ashwaganda to name a few.  

Plant allies: The functional herb garden teaches the public how to use herbs for common aliments and approach healing holistically, says Dobrinska. “It feels so empowering to be able to heal without the use of synthetic substances. These plants are our allies, helping us to come back into balance.”

Why is this your passion?
Herbs are “the people’s medicine” and are so empowering. When I get a cold, sting, cut, infection, bellyache or other ailment, instead of going to a drugstore I first go to my herbal medicine chest.

The garden is a place people can go to get their hands into the dirt and be transformed, even while they are helping others to transform. Our garden is one part magic, one part service, one part transformation and one part empowerment.

How can I get involved with the herbal garden?
The Lord’s Acre (and the herbal garden) has a garden workday every week from spring until fall — 6 p.m.  to 10 p.m. on Wednesdays. You can learn more at

This year, we will have two plant adoption days to continue to fill out the herb garden. If you have herbal splits or starts you would like to donate, contact me a 

What are some techniques you recommend for people wanting to start an herb garden at home?
Go into your yard and look around. There are a lot of plants there that you might consider weeds that actually have tremendous medicinal value. Learn about them, make them your ally. It starts by making plants your friend, building a relationship with them, and bringing them into your life. 

Jackie Dobrinska is a yoga therapist, author, health educator and outreach coordinator for Red Moon Herbs. For more information on the functional herb garden, contact Jackie via or


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Mar 11, 2014
Justine Crono

Her Source Exclusive: Kimberly DeAzevedo Talks With Us About Opening New …

Her Source got a chance to sit down with herbalist, Kimberly DeAzevedo and she talked with us exclusively about becoming the first woman to open New York City’s First Holistic Vapor Lounge and the trend of brand vaporizers.

Kimberly DeAzevedo-The SourceCheck out the interview below.

What made you become an herbalist?

Kimberly DeAzevedo: A number of things, growing up I was always fascinated with nature and loved animals. I became more involved with herbs when I moved to California, I spent a summer growing medicinal herbs, making edibles, herbal extracts and being a caregiver. Yoga is also a big part of my life which goes hand in hand with living a wholistic lifestyle and using herbs to help me maintain my health.

What was the inspiration behind the lounge?

KD: The inspiration behind the lounge was to create a social healing environment and give people a place to use and learn about the benefits healing herbs have to offer, and bring back these remedies that have been used for thousands of years, now through vaporization. Seeing that vaporizers are now a huge trend, I thought it would be great to have a place where people can learn about the proper uses of vaporizers with medicinal herbs. The lounge also includes a herbal tea bar for those who prefer herbal infusions with their vapor.

What kind of brand vaporizer do you use?

KD: The kind of brand vaporizer that I use and are offered for use at my lounge is the Volcano vaporizer from Storz Bickel and portable handheld vaporizers from Atmos. It has become a big trend today with many different brands but I stick with the same vaporizer I started with when I discovered the Volcano 10 years ago.

How do you feel about celebrities using vaporizers?

KD: Now that it has become a trend I have seen a lot of celebrities using hand held vaporizers, but I have yet to see or hear of any celebrities using vaporizers for the purpose of healing with medicinal herbs, but if they are using them for that purpose, I think it’s great because it brings more awareness to using vaporizers for the right purpose. That’s why I created my line of herbal “E-lixirs,” herbal extracts to be used in portable vaporizers for healing purposes.

What is your advice for those that want to become an herbalist?

KD: The advice that I would give to those that want to become an herbalist, I would tell them to educate themselves as much as they can on medicinal herbs because there is so much to be learned about these herbs, take it seriously, and lead a holistic lifestyle.

Vape Lounge NYC – located at 246 E 5th st. (Btwn 2nd ave and Cooper), NY, NY 10003 – is open Mon-Sat from 2pm-8pm.

More info at COMEVAPE.COM
Purchase your E-lixir juice for your vaporizer -healing on the go at 

You could follow the lounge on Instagram at @VapeLoungenyc

-Matia (@ms_hip_hop)



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Category: Her Source

Mar 10, 2014
Justine Crono

Juárez on the rebound

With violence dropping, Ciudad Jurez is beginning to see a return of visitors to the city and its attractions, including this statue of the famous Mexican comedian Tin-Tan, who began his career in the city. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

With violence dropping, Ciudad Juárez is beginning to see a return of visitors to the city and its attractions, including this statue of the famous Mexican comedian Tin-Tan, who began his career in the city. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

Copyright © 2014 Albuquerque Journal

CIUDAD JUÁREZ – This border city, forced to its knees for so long by drug violence, is slowly getting back on its feet.

Once famed for its nightlife and frequented by Hollywood stars – and more recently demonized as the world’s deadliest city – Ciudad Juárez is struggling to remake its image to its residents and the world.

Pedestrians on a new plaza in front of the Museum of the Revolution in Ciudad Jurez. Vehicle traffic once clogged this area but was redirected in an effort to make it more appealing to pedestrians. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

Pedestrians on a new plaza in front of the Museum of the Revolution in Ciudad Juárez. Vehicle traffic once clogged this area but was redirected in an effort to make it more appealing to pedestrians. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

The city’s modest revival can be seen in the remodeling of storefronts downtown, along a newly created pedestrian avenue in the historic center, at the packed outdoor markets where locals shop for trendy clothes, in the crowds lounging around the city’s historic plaza on a sunny weekday morning.

Mayor Enrique Serrano says the city government has secured more than $225 million from the Mexican federal government for redevelopment projects to remake key areas of the city, most notably a planned rehabilitation of the shabby historic downtown, but also a new convention center and a hospital, road repairs, new street lamps, public pools and neighborhood parks, and a new rapid transit bus line.

Ciudad Jurez Mayor Enrique Serrano greets resident Julio Salazar during a news conference at which officials gave away 5-gallon buckets of paint for residents to use for neighborhood improvements. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

Ciudad Juárez Mayor Enrique Serrano greets resident Julio Salazar during a news conference at which officials gave away 5-gallon buckets of paint for residents to use for neighborhood improvements. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

Serrano finishes a sentence: The plans sound so ambitious “as if it was a lie.” Or as if the city now hopes to do all it could not do during the worst years of shootouts and massacres.

Changing how people see the city “is a question of time and work,” Serrano said.

He writes off public relations campaigns as creating “false expectations” but says he wants people to know the city is enjoying “relative calm, so that people come back, the Americans from Albuquerque who came to our restaurants, to our nightlife, to our markets.”

War and peace

The traditional flow of visitors to Ciudad Juárez from New Mexico – of families traveling to reunite with relatives, of party-going college students looking for a good time, of tourists curious for a taste of Mexico so close to the U.S. – all but stopped as Mexico’s drug war heated up in 2006 and the city became a violent focal point.

In a three-year period through 2010, during which criminal organizations battled for control of this key entry point to the lucrative U.S. drug market, more than 10,000 people were killed in Juárez, according to Chihuahua state statistics. Widespread extortion and kidnapping financed a bloody turf war and drove tens of thousands of residents out of the city, many to towns in New Mexico and Texas.

Then, the mayhem began to subside.

Emiliano Varela releases a pigeon tangled in a piece of rope. Varela works as a portrait photographer in a plaza near the Jurez Cathedral. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

Emiliano Varela releases a pigeon tangled in a piece of rope. Varela works as a portrait photographer in a plaza near the Juárez Cathedral. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

Homicides dropped to under 500 last year from more than 3,000 in 2010 – a rate now comparable to some U.S. cities. Other crime indicators like kidnapping and extortion have plummeted.

Gateway to Mexico

Things have gotten good enough that the new city government plans an ambitious makeover of the historic downtown and a popular entertainment district known as the Pronaf, while the tourism department plans to hawk the news of Juárez’s recovery from El Paso to Santa Fe and Albuquerque, despite the mayor’s stated disinterest in marketing campaigns. A tourism outpost is planned for the El Paso Saddleblanket store on I-10.

“The objective is to transform the gateways to Ciudad Juárez, which are also the gateways to Mexico,” said Adrian Gonzalez Jaimes, secretary of tourism for the city. “The project downtown is about that, to help its resurgence and revival. It takes time.”

Not long ago, this area was very congested with traffic running from north to south making it very difficult for pedestrians to get around this historic neighborhood. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

Not long ago, this area was very congested with traffic running from north to south making it very difficult for pedestrians to get around this historic neighborhood. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

The city may still have a long way to go, but its residents – and an adventurous few tourists – have returned to its markets and bars, malls and museums. That’s in part thanks to the success of the city’s first effort: convincing residents to shed their fears and return to their normal lives.

The city circulated a video last fall meant to rekindle residents’ pride in themselves and their troubled border city. The video – which opens with hard-working Juárenses rising at dawn and shows all the best aspects of the city’s industry and culture – made the rounds of social media.

“What happened in Juárez – no one was ready for that,” said Gonzalez Jaimes. “But I can tell you that today there are many more good things than the bad we had during that time. We have been working to raise consciousness with our people and the result is this: We have commercial corridors that are totally full on weekends. The nightlife that had basically stopped is back.”

Signs of life

Rich Wright, an El Paso-based writer, began advertising walking tours to Juárez a few months ago.

About his ad, he said, “I thought, ‘This will be a performance art piece.’ I was amazed when someone called.”

He has guided a handful of people on tours of Juárez’s history and its bars and says he is skeptical of the city’s urban renewal plans – of its ability to follow through and its commitment to preserving the city’s historical areas.

With the violence going down, some visitors are coming back to the city and that means a chance to shop in the Cuahtemoc Market for items such as medicinal herbs. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

With the violence going down, some visitors are coming back to the city and that means a chance to shop in the Cuahtemoc Market for items such as medicinal herbs. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

A seedy downtown district known as the Mariscal, famed for its bars and brothels, has been torn down. On a recent walk, Wright pointed to a small, newly paved square ringed by abandoned, half-demolished buildings – where there is no sign yet of new construction.

A few streets over, a different remodeling project offers a bright spot.

“You can no longer compare (Juárez today) with the turbulence, the chaos,” Carlos Rocha, an attendant at the Museum of the Revolution at the Border, says of the recovery.

Housed in the stately former Mexican customs building and remodeled in 2011, the white-walled galleries feature memorabilia of the life and times of Mexico’s revolutionaries, especially Pancho Villa. On Sundays, the museum hosts puppet shows for children.

On the newly paved pedestrian walkway of Avenida 16 de Septiembre, Joel Alberto Rivera manned a cart loaded with jugs of agua fresca – drinks of pineapple, cantaloupe and milky horchata. The city is building tunnels to push vehicles below ground in the congested downtown. People now stroll the wide avenue in peace.

“It’s just a few,” Rivera said, “but now you are starting to see tourists.”

Mar 9, 2014
Justine Crono

New anti-cancer discovery from Guinea Hen Weed

New anti-cancer discovery from Guinea Hen Weed

Sunday, March 09, 2014    

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Jamaican scientist Dr Henry Lowe on Friday confirmed that he and his research team have uncovered two major developments related to Guinea Hen Weed’s ability to fight cancer and that the findings will be published in a respected peer review journal next month.

Lowe told the Sunday Observer that his research team at the University of Maryland School of Medicine discovered that one of the ways by which Dibenzyl Trisulfide (DTS) — the major bioactive molecule in Guinea Hen Weed — attacks and destroys cancer cells is by inhibiting a particular type of protein (called a Kinase) which exists in cancer cells and which promotes cancer development.

“If these Kinases are not inhibited or destroyed, they help the cancer cells to survive as well as to spread throughout the body,” Lowe, said.

He also revealed that a study of the anti-cancer potency of the Guinea Hen Weed products on the international market, compared to those available here, found that the local products are “significantly more potent” than their overseas commercial competitors, “by an average of 25 per cent”.

That study, he said, was conducted by his Biotech RD Institute, and the findings have been accepted for publication in the April 2014 issue of the International Journal of Cancer Research and Treatment.

He said that this is the first time that this particular scientific discovery has been made and reported, thus significantly advancing the potential of DTS as a major anti-cancer agent.

Lowe, who is known for his anti-cancer research using the Jamaican Ball Moss, appeared excited by the findings, given that he has developed nutraceuticals using local plants, including Guinea Hen Weed, and markets them under the Eden Gardens brand.

He said that Guinea Hen Weed, which is also called garlic weed (Petivera alliacea), is recognised locally and internationally as one of the most interesting and important medicinal plants in the world.

“Although its medicinal benefits have long been demonstrated to include anti-cancer activities, headache and general pain management, nausea and anti-diabetic properties, most studies have been focused on its potent anti-cancer properties,” Lowe said.

He pointed out that a significant number of studies on the plant’s anti-cancer properties have been done by scores of scientists in more than 25 countries, including Jamaica.

“One of the earliest studies done on the plant was by Dr PC Feng at the Pharmacology Department at UWI (University of the West Indies) in 1962,” Lowe said. “In recent times, Dr LA Williams has done additional work on its mechanism of action and certain anti-cancer properties.

“In the last 15 years, several scientific papers and patents have been published on the bioactivity of compounds isolated from Guinea Hen Weed. Among these, a scientific group from California has filed several patents, particularly on the anti-cancer activities of DTS isolated from the Guinea Hen Weed, thus restricting commercial development of some isolates from the plant.”

Lowe said that although research suggests that most of the anti-cancer effects of the plant are related to DTS, new studies indicate that the biological activities of Guinea Gen Weed, including its anti-cancer effect, may be due to synergism, or biological activities due to two or more chemicals acting together to cause the observed effects.

He said that although the result of the anti-cancer activities of DTS looks very promising, the next challenge is to develop a pharmaceutical drug with the required bioactivity.

“At this time, the Biotech RD Institute has developed nutraceutical capsules and medicinal teas as the first major steps towards the production of a pharmaceutical product from Guinea Hen Weed, for the management of cancer,” he said, adding that his lab has also developed an “even more potent anti-cancer medicinal tea” using Guinea Hen Weed and Ball Moss.

Within the next three to six months, he said, he intends to introduce to the market a new anti-cancer nutraceutical made up of extracts of Guinea Hen Weed and Ball Moss.

He warned, though, that while it may seem okay to use medicinal herbs from the wild for therapeutic purposes, people need to understand that the plants must be harvested using Good Agricultural Practices and that the products need to be standardised and manufactured under Good Manufacturing Practices.

“Plants collected from the wild are most often exposed to rodents, reptiles and various insects, which can contaminate them by their faeces and urine etc, which could lead to a variety of diseases.,” Lowe said.

“Consequently, it is important that as much as possible, people should use scientifically standardised herbal products,” he said, adding that in cases where standardised products are not available, herbal medicines should, as far as possible, be processed and used with caution.


New anti-cancer discovery from Guinea Hen Weed





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