Friday, 31 May 2013

Inspire Health Research Updates for June 2013

Research Updates for June 2013 Dear Reader, In this issue: Mora and Ciocon reported about a case where auricular acupuncture improved the symptoms and quality of life of a 90 year old woman suffering from leg swelling that was unresponsive to conventional therapy. Showalter and associates reported that breast cancer survivors should avoid sauna use in order to prevent arm swelling (lymphedema). Buttros and colleagues found that postmenopausal breast cancer survivors were at higher risk for developing metabolic syndrome than women without breast cancer. Wurtzen and colleagues reported that a mindfulness-based stress reduction program helped with depression and anxiety in breast cancer patients. Nakau et al. concluded that stress-reducing activities performed in urban green spaces are helpful for the physical, emotional and spiritual well-being of cancer patients. Zhai and colleagues found that a traditional herbal medicine regimen reduced the risk of recurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma after surgery. Braun and associates found that a naturopathic antioxidant treatment inhibited tumour response in men with prostate cancer who were undergoing radiation therapy. Campbell et al. found that increased physical activity before and after colorectal cancer diagnosis was associated with a decreased risk of mortality. In our study of the month, Cantarero-Villanueva and colleagues reported that a deep water exercise program effectively improved cancer-related fatigue and strength in a group of breast cancer survivors. Thanks, Jan. Click here to read June's Research Updates

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Conferences on herbal medicine

American Association of Naturopathic Physicians Annual Conference. July 10-13, 2013. Keystone, CO. Program topics for this conference will include vitalism, the connection between blood glucose and cancer, botanical medicine, and more. Early registration ends May 31, 2013. More information. Colorado Integrative Medicine Conference Colorado Integrative Medicine Conference. July 12-14, 2013. Estes Park, CO. This conference will focus on improving patient care with up-to-date research for mind-body medicine and lifestyle management. More information. Herb Society of America Annual Conference. June 20-22, 2013. St. Louis, MO. This conference will allow attendees to catch up with old friends and meet new ones while enjoying a diverse range of programs focused on herb use, botany, horticulture, and more. More information. Economic Botany Economic Botany 2013. June 28 - July 2, 2013. Plymouth, England. The theme of this symposium will be "What is Our Message — and Are We Getting It Across?" and its program will include field trips, symposia, and workshops centered around economic botany. Early registration ends May 31, 2013. More information. New England Women's Herbal Conference. Aug. 23-25, 2013. Newfound Lake, NH. This conference brings together leading female herbalists, healers, and plant enthusiasts from throughout the country to share their herbal wisdom and knowledge of natural healing. Early registration ends May 30, 2013. More information.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

grants in medicine and psychology

Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science Posted: 28 May 2013 08:58 AM PDT Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science The Vilcek Foundation will award three prizes of $35,000 each to young foreign-born biomedical scientists who demonstrate outstanding early achievement. Eligible work may be in basic, applied, and/or translational biomedical science. Eligibility Requirements To be eligible for the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science, applicants must meet all of the criteria listed below: 1. Applicant must have been born outside the United States. 2. Applicant must not be more than 38 years old as of January 1, 2014. 3. Applicant must be a naturalized citizen or permanent resident (green card holder) of the United States. 4. Applicant must have earned a doctoral degree (MD, PhD, or equivalent). 5. Applicant must intend to pursue a professional career in the United States. 6. Applicant must hold a full-time position in an academic institution or other organization. Eligible positions include the following: Assistant or Associate Professor, Research Scientist, or equivalent. The applicant must be directly responsible for the design and execution of the work submitted for consideration. Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows working under the supervision of a mentor are not eligible. 7. Applicant must not be a past winner or finalist of the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise. Application Requirements An online application must be submitted by 11:59pm EDT, August 14, 2013. Please be advised that you will be required to: 1. Provide personal information 2. Upload a PDF of your résumé 3. Upload a PDF with documentation of your immigration status 4. Upload PDF or Word files of your publications 5. Complete three essay questions 6. Request two letters of recommendation through the online application system Call for Nominations: 2014 Harrington Prize for Innovation in Medicine Posted: 28 May 2013 08:45 AM PDT Call for Nominations: 2014 Harrington Prize for Innovation in Medicine For Notable Achievements for Innovation, Creativity and Potential for Clinical Application The Harrington Prize, presented by the American Society for Clinical Investigation and the Harrington Discovery Institute at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, honors a physician-scientist who has moved science forward with achievements notable for innovation, creativity, and potential for clinical application. Prize: $20,000 unrestricted honorarium Eligibility: Must hold an M.D. or equivalent degree Need not be an ASCI member No age or citizenship criterion. International physician-scientists are eligible Self-nomination is not permitted Must be available to deliver a lecture at the 2014 ASCI/AAP Joint Meeting on Saturday, April 26 Must submit a review article for April 2014 publication in the JCI Judging Criteria: Quality of Science Innovation Potential for Clinical Impact Nomination Guidelines: Completed nomination form, including a 250 – 500 word description of achievement notable for innovation, creativity and clinical application Investigator’s NIH/similar-format biosketch Brief bibliography of up to 10 best references Letter from the nominee confirming availability to lecture at 2014 joint meeting One letter of support from the Dean, Provost, or President of the investigator’s institution Deadline: June 28, 2013. Incomplete nominations will not be presented to the nomination committee. For more information about Harrington Prize nominations, ASCI, and the Harrington Discovery Institute, please visit or contact Natalie Haynes, Harrington Discovery Institute Program Manager, at 216-368-1038 or Frances M. Culbertson Travel Grant Posted: 28 May 2013 09:47 AM PDT Frances M. Culbertson Travel Grant This grant supports women from developing countries who are in the early stages of their careers by providing travel funds to attend international regional conferences in psychology. Deadline: February 15, 2014 Sponsor: American Psychological Foundation The grant provides reimbursement for registration and travel expenses up to U.S. $1,500. Recipients of the grant also receive a two-year affiliate membership in the American Psychological Association. Eligibility Woman from a developing country, as defined by The World Bank; Five to ten years postdoctoral degree; Preference for attendance at the following conferences: International Council of Psychologists (ICP). International Congress of Applied Psychology (sponsored by the International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP)). International Congress of Psychology (sponsored by the International Union of Psychological Science (IUPsyS)). Participation in the conference program is not required. How to Apply Submit a completed application online with the APF Web Form. Call for Nominations: Theodore Blau Early Career Award for Outstanding Contribution to Professional Clinical Psychology Posted: 28 May 2013 09:35 AM PDT Call for Nominations: Theodore Blau Early Career Award for Outstanding Contribution to Professional Clinical Psychology This award honors a clinical psychologist for accomplishments and promise in clinical psychology. Deadline: November 1, 2013 Sponsors: Society of Clinical Psychology; American Psychological Foundation Accomplishments may include: Promoting the practice of clinical psychology through professional service. Innovation in service delivery. Novel application of applied research methodologies to professional practice. Positive impact on health delivery systems. Development of creative educational programs for practice. Other novel or creative activities advancing the service of the profession. Funding is available up to $4,000 and is sponsored by the American Psychological Foundation (APF). Nominations are now being accepted. The Society and the American Psychological Foundation encourage applications from: Nominees should be no more than 7-years post doctoral degree. Individuals who represent diversity in race, ethnicity, gender, age, disability and sexual orientation. Candidates can be simultaneously considered for multiple awards, although a psychologist may receive only one Division 12 award in any given year. No voting members of the Division 12 Board of Directors will be eligible to receive awards from the Division while serving their term. Self-nomination is permitted. Nomination Requirements A CV. At least one letter of endorsement. Self-nominations are permitted and should include at least one external endorsement. Submission Process Please submit nomination materials electronically to Awards Committee Chair. Inquiries should be directed to the Division 12 Central Office at (303) 652-3126 or via email. Pearson Early Career Grant Posted: 28 May 2013 09:26 AM PDT Pearson Early Career Grant The Pearson Early Career Grant encourages early career clinicians to work in an area of critical societal need. Pearson partnered with APF to ensure psychology addresses critical needs in society. One $12,000 grant is available. Deadline: December 31, 2013 Sponsor: American Psychological Foundation; Pearson The program's goals are to support psychology's efforts to improve areas of critical need in society, including but not limited to innovative scientifically based clinical work with serious mental illness, serious emotional disturbance, incarcerated or homeless individuals, children with serious emotional disturbance (SED) and adults with serious mental illness (SMI); and to encourage early career psychologists to devote their careers to under-served populations. Applicants should be: Psychologists with an EdD, PsyD or PhD from an accredited university. No more than seven years postdoctoral. Submission Process Application materials must be submitted online. Please contact Parie Kadir, program officer, for more information.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Herbal Quality Consortium Publishes Major Article on Black Cohosh Adulteration

Herbal Quality Consortium Publishes Major Article on Black Cohosh Adulteration (AUSTIN, Texas, May 28, 2013) Interest in the North American herb black cohosh (Actaea racemosa; synonym, Cimicifuga racemosa) has increased immensely during the past 60 years, and with it, incidences of accidental and economically motivated adulteration with lower-cost Chinese species whose scientific names may appear similar. “Exploring the Peripatetic Maze of Black Cohosh Adulteration,” a new report by noted author and photographer Steven Foster, has been published in the latest issue of HerbalGram, the peer-reviewed journal of the nonprofit American Botanical Council (ABC).1 The article is the latest in a series from the ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program. The report thoroughly examines the many facets of the real concern of black cohosh adulteration, including confusing nomenclature, market economics, history of alleged liver toxicity possibly associated with the adulterants, and analytical tests available to ensure correct identity of black cohosh. Black cohosh frequently is used to treat symptoms of menopause, in addition to other conditions related to female reproductive health that have been supported to various extents by published clinical trials. In the United States, it is unlawful for any herb other than Actaea racemosa to be sold as black cohosh. The article states, “Any designation of a botanical material or finished product in the US by the common name of ‘black cohosh’ on product labels (and presumably in the supply chain) is required to be Actaea racemosa and no other species.” To apply the name “black cohosh” to any other species violates federal law, resulting in misbranding of the finished product offered to consumers. Such a product is considered adulterated under the law. “The sheer volume of offerings, prices ranges, varied specifications, and differing species listed as ‘black cohosh extract’ from Chinese sources requires that the daunted buyer [in the herb industry] attempting to source black cohosh work closely with a qualified analytical lab to authenticate black cohosh extracts before securing any supply source,” the report says. In 2002, reports of alleged liver toxicity related to black cohosh began to appear. According to the report, adulteration of black cohosh with other plant species is likely to blame, at least in part, for those incidents, as later analyses found the association of true black cohosh with liver disease to have a weak or uncertain causal link or no causal link at all. The report states that, “Mislabeling or confusion may be due to simple language and translation variations, or, in some cases, the actual intent to sell a lower-cost material that is not an acceptable substitute for authentic North American black cohosh. However, these are possibly moot points as all of the identification and authentication scientific tools necessary to distinguish authentic black cohosh from any other plant materials of any origin are readily available.” A number of laboratory authentication methods are outlined by Foster, including various types of chemical testing and the more recently developed DNA fingerprinting. The report also cites the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia’s (AHP) 2002 black cohosh rhizome monograph, a comprehensive resource on known adulterants that includes botanical, microscopic, and chemical analyses of black cohosh.2 AHP executive director Roy Upton, editor of the AHP Black Cohosh Rhizome monograph stated, "This issue of black cohosh adulteration is not new. The black cohosh monographs of AHP and the U.S. Pharmacopeia, as well as a number of analytical papers published the past few years, provide the primary tools needed by industry to develop appropriate specifications and implement the necessary quality control processes to keep adulterated materials from entering into the consumer product market. The key is to get this information disseminated to management, quality control, analytical, and purchasing personnel in the herb and dietary supplement industry. This is the goal of the Botanical Adulterants Program." “From this point on, there is literally no excuse for any manufacturer or reseller of herbal dietary supplements to purchase raw material or extracts labeled as being ‘black cohosh’ without conducting appropriate analytical procedures to verify and authenticate the herb’s proper identity,” said Mark Blumenthal, founder and executive director of ABC, and editor-in-chief of HerbalGram. “In our view, anyone offering for sale the Chinese species of Actaea (primarily A. cimicifuga, A. dahurica, A. heracleifolia, and A. simplex) as ‘black cohosh’ is most likely knowingly selling adulterated material. This is likely fraud, and such sellers of these adulterants should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.” “The first priority in quality control of botanicals is ensuring proper identity,” Blumenthal continued. “There are many ethical and responsible manufacturers of black cohosh dietary supplements that produce authentic products. It is highly unfortunate that this traditional North American herb has been adulterated by suppliers of inauthentic raw materials.” Blumenthal added that, “The purpose and intention of the ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program is to educate the botanical dietary supplement industry and its related stakeholders regarding the presence of confirmed botanical adulterants within the global supply chain. This helps manufacturers ensure that they detect adulterated material so that their products contain properly identified, authenticated herbal raw materials and extracts. Ultimately, this Program’s vision is that consumers will have access to more reliable dietary supplements and related herbal products.” “It is past time for all members of the herb and dietary supplement industry in the United States, and the botanical products industry around the world, to institute and adhere to appropriate quality control measures related to properly identifying and authenticating black cohosh products, as well as all herbal products,” wrote Blumenthal in his Dear Reader column in the same issue of HerbalGram.3 This comprehensive black cohosh adulteration report contains several tables and 91 references, is the fifth article in the ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program series, and is the fourth that has been written by Foster. Foster’s previous articles in the series include the history of adulteration of herbs, spices, and botanical drugs during the past 2,000 years; the adulteration of skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) with germander (Teucrium spp.); and the adulteration of commercial bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) extracts. The series also includes a review article by John H. Cardellina II, PhD, of analytical studies on so-called “grapefruit seed extract,” which has been shown to be adulterated with synthetic industrial disinfectants. References 1. Foster S. Exploring the peripatetic maze of black cohosh adulteration. HerbalGram. 2013;98:32-51. Available at: 2. Upton R (ed). Black Cohosh Rhizome, Actaea racemosa L., syn. Cimicifuga racemosa (L.) Nutt.: Standards of Analysis, Quality Control, and Therapeutics. Santa Cruz, CA: American Herbal Pharmacopoeia; 2002. 3. Blumenthal M. Adulteration of black cohosh [Dear Reader column]. HerbalGram. 2013;98:6. Available at: About the ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program The ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Program is a consortium of independent nonprofit organizations whose mission relates to education, scientific research, and quality of botanical dietary ingredients and related plant-derived materials. The consortium is underwritten or endorsed by more than 100 natural product industry companies, independent analytical laboratories, contract research organizations, nonprofit and professional organizations, trade associations, accredited institutions of education in natural medicine, law firms, and media companies — which are involved in the production, supply, manufacture, distribution, marketing, analysis, research, and/or education of herbal dietary ingredients and supplements, in the United States and internationally. Companies, organizations, foundations, and/or individuals interested in supporting this program are invited to contact Ms. Denise Meikel, ABC development director, at (512) 926-4900, ext. 120, or by email.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Riva recommends for horse health

Lactating Mares Nutrition Tip Some mares don't produce enough milk to nourish and sustain the foal. Here is what Riva's recommends: Alfalfa pellets - 2 cups daily (provides protein and calcium) Whole oats - 1 cup daily (nutrition and encourages milk production) Riva's Five Herb Digest - 1/4 cup daily Contains caraway, catnip and comfrey leaves as well as fennel and fenugreek - both of which effectively increase milk production. Five Herb Digest will also calm a nervous mom, improve digestion and sooth the intestines. No need to rush weaning the foal - they need their Moms for good nutrition and emotional bonding. No wonder the feral mare feeds her youngster for up to 2 years! SEMINAR & WORKSHOP Riva's Ranch - Armstrong, B.C. Friday, June 21st, 2013 Healing Animals with Nutrition & Natural Medicine Riva's Remedies Herbs Join Marijke for an informative day of healing animals (horses, dogs and cats) with therapeutic nutrition and natural medicine including diet, nutrition, herbs, homeopathic remedies and flower essences. Learn more... Saturday, June 22nd, 2013 ANIMAL COMMUNICATION Kava 2011 Marijke & AmosSophie facing left An absolute must for all animal lovers and those who want to experience their healing journey with the help and love of their animal friends. This is accomplished through intuitive animal communications and journeying through the world of the spirit... Learn more... Registration Form HORSE HEALTH PRACTITIONERS TWO DAY SEMINAR & WORKSHOP September 06 and 07, 2013 - Red Deer, Alberta Day 1: An informative seminar focusing on healing horses with diet, therapeutic nutrition, herbs, homeopathy and specialized nutrients. Learn to prevent and treat allergies, immune disorders, skin problems, cribbing, ulcers, parasites, metabolic syndrome, laminitis and more... Power point presentations, case studies, interactive discussions and success cases. Day 2: A day of practical instruction learning how to apply "The Marijke Method" - a four step method of kinesiology to determine the underlying cause(s) of the health problem(s) by assessing organ health, body system function and individual nutrition and remedy requirements to correct and restore health and wellness. Find Out More... Registration Form In good health, Marijke & Sapphire Marijke & Sapphire. Marijke van de Water, B.Sc., DHMS * Equine Health & Nutrition Specialist * Homeopathic Practitioner * Medical Intuitive & Healer * Teacher & Author

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Ethnobotanic importance of plants used in pigeon-breeding in Eastern Spain

Ethnobotanic importance of plants used in pigeon-breeding in Eastern Spain Antonio Belda, Carolina Cortés and Victoriano Peiró Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine 2013, 9:33 doi:10.1186/1746-4269-9-33 Published: 20 May 2013 Abstract (provisional) Background The importance that birds of the Columbidae family have had throughout history is visible on the Mediterranean coast. Pigeon fancying is the art of breeding and training carrier pigeons and currently, several breeds exist. The sport of racing pigeons consists in covering a distance at maximum possible speed. However, pigeon breeding has another modality called "sport pigeon", where several males follow a female. This study focusses on ethnobotanical knowledge of native and exotic plant species that are used for diet, breeding, stimulation, healing illnesses and staining the plumage of pigeons bred in captivity. Methods Using semi-structured interviews, we gathered information about the different plant species traditionally used for pigeon-breeding in the region of Valencia. Background material on remedies for bird illnesses was gathered from folk botanical references, local books and journals.The plant species were collected in the study area, then identified in the laboratory using dichotomous keys and vouchered in the ABH (Herbarium of Alicante University). We used Excel (R) 2003 to perform a simple statistical analysis of the data collected. Results We collected 56 species of plants (and one variety) that included 29 botanical families. The total number of species was made up of 35 cultivated and 21 wild plants. The most common were Gramineae (14 species), Leguminosae (6 species), and Compositae (4 species). Conclusions Pigeon breeding is an immensely popular activity in Eastern Spain, and ethnobiological knowledge about breeding pigeons and caring for them is considerable. The names and traditional uses of plants depend on their geographical location, vernacular names serve as an intangible heritage. Feeding, environmental features, and genetic makeup of individuals are relevant aspects in the maintenance of avian health. The complete article is available as a provisional PDF. The fully formatted PDF and HTML versions are in production.

Public Health Services and Systems Research: Mentored Research Scientist Development Awards 2013 Call for Proposals

Public Health Services and Systems Research: Mentored Research Scientist Development Awards 2013 Call for Proposals Posted: 22 May 2013 02:46 AM PDT Public Health Services and Systems Research: Mentored Research Scientist Development Awards 2013 Call for Proposals Deadline: August 21, 2013, 3:00 p.m. ET Public Health Services and Systems Research (PHSSR) is a multidisciplinary field of study that examines the organization, financing, delivery and quality of public health services within communities and the resulting impact on population health. The National Coordinating Center (NCC) for PHSSR and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) seek to expand the evidence base for effective decision-making in public health practice and policy through research that responds to the questions defined in the National Agenda for PHSSR: ; This solicitation is intended to strengthen the pool of researchers available to conduct PHSSR and to build on successful principles and models previously demonstrated in public health and health services research. The awards support mentored, intensive career development through funding, educational experiences and protected time to conduct independent research. Total Awards Approximately $800,000 is available through this solicitation. Up to eight grants will be awarded through this solicitation. Each grantee will receive up to $100,000 for a maximum of 24 months. Key Dates June 4, 2013 (3 p.m. to 4 p.m. ET)—Optional applicant Web conference call. To attend, please go to and select Enter as a Guest. August 21, 2013 (3 p.m. ET)—Deadline for receipt of full proposals. Late October 2013—Finalists notified. January 2014—Start of grants.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Huffpo - Andrew Weil on ginkgo debate

Many people have expressed concern to me following recent news stories about a government report on the safety of ginkgo biloba extract. I view the stories about this study as misleading. The worrisome conclusion that the public seems to be drawing from them is that a government agency has shown that ginkgo extract supplements raise the risk of cancer in human beings. That conclusion is absolutely incorrect. I'd like to discuss it not only to illuminate this particular case, but to provide the reader with some perspective to help analyze stories like these as they arise. They are all too common, I'm afraid. The report in question is from the National Toxicology Program (NTP), a federal interagency group charged with providing information about potentially toxic substances to government, private entities and the public. It bears the daunting title "NTP Technical Report on the Toxicology and Carcinogenesis Studies of Ginkgo Biloba Extract (CAS No. 90045 - 36 - 6) in F344/N Rats and B6C3F1/N Mice (Gavage Studies)." At 184 pages, it's a dense read -- far too much for the average reporter under deadline to fully comprehend and condense. That's unfortunate, because while the rats and mice did develop cancers at high rates over the two-year course of study, there are at least two important ways in which the rodents' experience differed dramatically from that of human beings taking ginkgo supplements. These were raised by the American Botanical Council (ABC) in public comments it sent to the NTP: The extract used was manufactured by a specific Chinese company and is "not consistent with" the standards for quality set forth in official profiles used by prominent botanical medicine testing agencies, particularly those in Europe. This means that the results "are not applicable to the standard-setting ginkgo extracts," the ABC said. Adjusted for bodyweight, dosage levels given to the animals were up to 55 to 108 times higher than levels of ginkgo normally ingested by human beings taking ginkgo supplements. "Almost anything will create cancer in rats and mice when it's fed to them at high doses for two years," commented Bill J. Gurley, Ph.D., professor of pharmaceutical sciences in the College of Pharmacy at the University of Arkansas School for Medical Sciences, Little Rock. "At best, what NTP can say is that significantly high doses of this particular Shanghai Chinese ginkgo extract -- when added to a corn-oil base -- produced cancer in the lab animals," added Mark Blumenthal, ABC's executive director. To this, I would add my own observation based on over 40 years of research into both synthetic pharmaceuticals and botanical medicines. Synthetic pharmaceuticals, generally speaking, should be regarded as guilty until proven innocent. This is because they often represent novel molecules and compounds with which human beings have no evolutionary experience. Synthesizing chemicals and expecting them to integrate harmlessly -- even helpfully -- into the complex biochemistry of human metabolism is often an act of unwarranted hubris. From Thalidomide to Vioxx to Meridia, over and over again we've discovered that there are unintended consequences to presenting the human body with chemical creations it has never encountered before. This is not to say all pharmaceuticals are dangerous, only that they should be given high evidentiary hurdles to clear before they are declared safe. Conversely, a botanical medicine with which human beings have long, positive associations should be seen as innocent until proven guilty. The fact that cultures around the world have used, embraced and developed guidelines around the use of a given herbal medicine is important. It suggests that over hundreds or thousands of years, large groups of human beings (as opposed to rodents) using the medicine in moderate dosages (as opposed to megadoses) have found it safe and useful. Modern research can refine that knowledge. But I am hard pressed to understand how massively overdosing rodents with an odd, non-representative version of a botanical medicine assists in that effort. Based on this study, if you take high-quality ginkgo extract in typical dosages -- I recommend 120 mg daily in divided dosages, taken with food -- and have enjoyed good results, I see no reason to discontinue that use. Beyond that, I look forward to rigorous studies based on human consumption at appropriate levels of high-quality botanical medicines. These can help us make even better use of the healing potential of these natural substances, as well as to make us aware of any potential risks. Andrew Weil, M.D., is the founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine and the editorial director of Become a fan on Facebook, follow Dr. Weil on Twitter, and check out his Daily Health Tips Blog.

Canada only - A. Vogel twitter party

Join Naturally Savvy and A.Vogel as we share tips, idea and stories about natural beauty. When: May 28, 2013 8pm EST / 5pm PST Hashtag: #BeautyEssentials Naturally Savvy will be your host, and naturopath and biochemist Josée Fortin will be with us on the A.Vogel twitter account. Bring your questions, your lifestyle tips and your beautiful self... and check out the GREAT PRIZES! Prizes: 3 winners will get a TWO MONTH supply of A.Vogel's Beauty Essentials nutritional supplement for healthy skin, hair and nails... PLUS a purse organizer filled with great A.Vogel samples! (Prize value $80. Canada only.)

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Good (and bad) news from the Open Access front by Ingrid Robeyns on May 17, 2013

The best news from the open access front that reached my desk is that Open Book Publishers, the Cambridge(UK)-based open access publisher (where – full disclosure- I also have a book under contract), has published its first philosophy book. And not just any philosophy book, but a book by the very eminent philosopher David Velleman, called Foundations for Moral Relativism. As with the other books published by Open Book Publishers, it can be read online for free, or bought as a PDF for a few pounds or bought at a low price as a bounded copy via print-on-demand. I love this model, and perhaps should go off the internet completely until I’ve finished my own book that will also be open access. In fact, if I can raise 3500 UK Pounds, I can make the PDF available for free too. I think that’s a much better way to spend (public) funds than $ 2950 for a 3 or 4 page piece. But equally good news comes from Axel Gosseries and Yannick Vanderborght, who published a year ago a Festschrift for Philippe Van Parijs, called Arguing about Justice. The book was published in paperback by the Presses Universitaires de Louvain, and now, one year later, is available online, here or here. At a conference a few weeks ago, Axel said that this is what he negotiated with the publisher when they published the book with them a while ago. So that’s an Open Access model too—individual negotiation – that some of us can consider to pursue. In any case, the Van Parijs Festschrift has lots of interesting and provocative pieces, well worth browsing and subsequent reading. Enjoy!

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Victoria Day Sale 10% off Ecohippychic items

Friday May 17 to Wed May 22 if "Etsy on Sale" works.

Monday, 13 May 2013

FemaleScienceProfessor: Not The End of Men Quite Yet

FemaleScienceProfessor: Not The End of Men Quite Yet: Not long ago, a colleague discussed with me the recently-concluded faculty search in his department. His department decided to hire a male ...

Friday, 10 May 2013

Cat Imagery in the Suffrage Movement Cats were a common symbol in suffragette imagery. Cats represented the domestic sphere, and anti-suffrage postcards often used them to reference female activists. The intent was to portray suffragettes as silly, infantile, incompetent, and ill-suited to political engagement.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Niall Ferguson, Ted Cruz, and the Politics of Masculinity

What happens when our most vexing policy debates turn on the question of quien es mas macho

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

TEN-ESSENTIAL-HERBS-notes - Kerry Hackett

TEN-ESSENTIAL-HERBS-notes - Kerry Hackett
TEN ESSENTIAL HERBS. Guelph Organic Conference 2012. Presented by Kerry Hackett, MNIMH, AHG, OHA. The following is ... 1 part dried herb to 5 parts oil ...

Essential oil use in ethnoveterinary medicine in British Columbia ...
Mar 31, 2013 – Essential oil use in ethnoveterinary medicine in British Columbia, Canada Cheryl Lans and Kerry Hackett Vancouver, BC; Peterborough ...

Why the politics of envy are keenest among the very rich

Why the politics of envy are keenest among the very rich

Essential public services are cut in order that the wealthy may pay less tax. But even their baubles don't make them happy

Short link for this page:

Monday, 6 May 2013

Penny Pritzker, Barack Obama’s ‘Fairy Godmother’ - Truthdig

Penny Pritzker, Barack Obama’s ‘Fairy Godmother’ - Truthdig

Avaaz petition for Bangladesh factory workers

Dear friends,

Hundreds of Bangladeshi women have been burned or crushed to death while making *our* clothes! In days, major fashion companies could sign an agreement that will either be a strong safety code or a weak PR ploy. If 1 million of us get the CEOs of H&M and GAP to back a life-saving code, the rest will follow:  
We've all seen the horrific images of hundreds of innocent women burned or crushed to death in factories while making our clothes. In the next few days we can get companies to stop it happening again.

Big fashion brands source from hundreds of factories in Bangladesh. Two brands, including Calvin Klein, have signed a very strong building and fire safety pact. Others, led by Wal-Mart, have been trying to wriggle out of signing by creating a weak alternative that was pure PR. But the latest disaster has triggered crisis meetings and massive pressure to sign the strong version that can save lives.

Negotiations end in days. H&M and GAP are most likely to flip first to support a strong agreement, and the best way to press them is to go after their CEOs. If one million of us appeal directly to them in a petition, Facebook pages, tweets, and ads, their friends and families will all hear about it. They'll know that their own and their companies' reputations are on the line. People are being forced to make *our* clothing in outrageously dangerous buildings -- sign on to make them safe, and forward this email widely:

The recent tragic collapse fits a pattern. In the last few years, fires and other disasters have claimed a thousand lives and left many others too injured to work. Bangladesh's government turns a blind eye to dismal conditions, allowing suppliers to cut costs to make clothes at a pace and price that global fashion giants expect. The big brands say they check up, but workers say the companies' own audits can't be trusted.

The worker-backed safety agreement calls for independent inspections, public reports about supplier factory conditions, and mandatory repairs. It’s even enforceable in courts of the companies’ home countries! Full details of which companies were buying from the factory that collapsed weeks ago aren't yet known, and there's no evidence H&M or Gap did so. But workers have died in other H&M and GAP supplier factories in Bangladesh and getting them onboard now would put tremendous pressure on other companies to follow.

The companies are making up their minds right now. Let’s call on the CEOs of H&M and GAP to lead the industry by signing the safety plan. Sign your name then share this email widely -- once we reach 1 million we’ll take out ads that they can’t miss:

Time and time again, Avaaz members have come together to fight corporate greed and support human rights. Last year, we helped 100 Indian workers safely return home when a Bahraini corporation refused to let them leave. Let's now take a stand to stop the deadly race to the bottom in factory safety.

With hope and determination,

Jamie, Jeremy, Alex, Ari, Diego, Marie, Maria-Paz, Ricken and the Avaaz team

PS - Many Avaaz campaigns are started by members of our community! Start yours now and win on any issue - local, national or global:


Collapse renews calls for safety agreement (Wall Street Journal)

15 May deadline set for Bangladesh safety plan (Industriall)

Western companies feel pressure as toll rises in Bangladesh (NBC News)

Avoiding the fire next time (The Economist)

Bangladeshi garment factory death toll rises as owner arrested on border (The Guardian)

Bangladesh factory safety under scrutiny after collapse (CBC)

Hazardous workplaces: Making the Bangladesh Garment Industry Safe (Report, Clean Clothes campaign)

Friday, 3 May 2013

Athena SWAN awards announced (November 2012 submissions)

Athena SWAN awards announced (November 2012 submissions)

Thu, 25/04/2013
A huge increase in submissions to the Athena SWAN Charter this year has resulted in a record 68 successful Athena SWAN awards being presented to individual departments and higher education institutions this week. The previous round saw 25 successful awards in August 2012.
The Athena SWAN Awards recognise success in developing employment practices to further and support the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) departments in higher education. Awards were achieved by 35 different institutions across the sector, with four of the institutions achieving four awards each and one achieving five.
The Biological Sciences department at Queens University Belfast has been awarded the third ever Gold Award, and the first to go to a department other than chemistry. Gold awards recognise a significant and sustained progression and achievement in promoting gender equality and addressing the challenges particular to the specific STEMM discipline of the department.
Sarah Dickinson oversees the Athena SWAN Charter, run by Equality Challenge Unit. Commenting on the awards, she said:
Ninety-six applications were submitted to the Athena SWAN charter this year, which is a huge increase. In part this is due to Department of Health funding stipulations linking NIHR funding for medical schools to holding a Silver Athena SWAN award. Twenty-four percent of submissions were from medical and dental schools and departments, and 29% of awards were to these disciplines. Last year this figure was just 9%.
However, with the increase in applications across the board we’ve also seen a rise in unsuccessful submissions. The Charter exists to instigate real and continuing change for women, and also their male colleagues, working in STEMM – departments have to demonstrate not just a commitment to improving working practices but also measure the impact these changes are having, and tackle areas where progress hasn’t been as fast. For those seeking to renew their awards, it isn’t enough to simply show they are working at the same level as their original submission three years ago. It’s about striving for better and continuing to improve the reality of the working environment.’
The Athena SWAN Charter awards have been running since 2005, recognising the commitment of the higher education sector to address gender inequalities, tackle the unequal representation of women in science and to improve career progression for female academics. In total, 176 awards have now been achieved at bronze, silver and gold levels.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Is Michael Pollan a sexist pig?

Is Michael Pollan a sexist pig?

Peter F. Drucker Award for Nonprofit Innovation

Posted: 01 May 2013 07:46 AM PDT
Peter F. Drucker Award for Nonprofit Innovation
The Peter F. Drucker Award for Nonprofit Innovation is given each fall to a nonprofit organization that best demonstrates Druckerʼs definition of innovation: “change that creates a new dimension of performance.” The award has been given annually since 1991 and is accompanied by a first-place prize of $100,000. The program is generously supported by The Coca-Cola Foundation.
The purpose of the annual Peter F. Drucker Award for Nonprofit Innovation is to find the innovators, whether small or large; to recognize and celebrate their example; and to inspire others.
The completed application must be submitted by 3pm PT on July 1, 2013.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

New York Times Runs Article about NTP Tox Study on Ginkgo

American Botanical Council

New York Times Runs Article about NTP Tox Study on Ginkgo

(AUSTIN, Texas, April 30, 2013) The New York Times (NYT) today ran an article [1] in its weekly “Science Times” section on the subject of the National Toxicology Program’s (NTP) recent toxicology report on a Chinese ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) leaf extract. [2]

The NYT article was written by Roni Caryn Rabin, a freelance writer who frequently contributes to the Times. The article is under “The Consumer” header, and was titled, “New Doubts About Ginkgo Biloba.”

The initial four paragraphs of the article read as follows:

“Millions of Americans take ginkgo biloba supplements to boost memory and prevent dementia. Studies have never found any solid evidence that ginkgo does any such thing, but it did not seem to be doing much harm.

“But last month, scientists released the first government toxicology study of ginkgo biloba, which found that the extract — one of the top-selling
herbal supplements in the country — caused cancer in lab animals, including an excessive number of liver and thyroid cancers, as well as nasal tumors.

“The findings were somewhat surprising because ginkgo biloba has had a long and apparently benign history of human use. Although it has been associated with bleeding and cerebral hemorrhages in the elderly, there have generally been few reports of serious side effects.

“The results of the study do not confirm that ginkgo biloba is dangerous to humans, but it is disturbing that the laboratory animals all tended to suffer the same sorts of injuries, said Cynthia Rider of the
National Toxicology Program and the lead scientist of the ginkgo biloba study.”
Among several experts Ms. Rabin interviewed for this article was Mark Blumenthal, founder and executive director of the American Botanical Council (ABC), and Steven Dentali, PhD, chief science officer of the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA). Both organizations are named in the article as having “sharply criticized the study, saying that the ginkgo extract used had a different chemical composition than the extract typically sold in the United States.” Dr. Dentali was also quoted as having stated that, “This says nothing about toxicity in people, or what would be a safe dose in people. It’s just a crude tool toxicologists have to determine if something is harmful. If it hurts the animals, maybe it hurts people.”

On April 18, both ABC and AHPA issued statements referring to various limitations, concerns, and criticisms of the NTP report. [3,4] Both organizations had filed public comments in early 2012 with the NTP elaborating concerns in the draft NTP report that had been issued for public comment. (Access to the 2012 ABC and AHPA comments are provided.)

Of particular interest is the fact that even by the NTP’s own language in the report, the results of the report are not to be interpreted as being related to human health. According to the authors, “The actual determination of risk to humans from chemicals found to be carcinogenic in laboratory animals requires a wider analysis that extends beyond the purview of these studies.” [2]

ABC emphasized that the Shanghai Chinese ginkgo extract used in the two-year NTP study was not consistent with clinically tested ginkgo extracts or those standards for ginkgo extract that have been published in official compendial standards, such as national pharmacopeias. AHPA also noted that the Chinese extract was not consistent with those sold in the US market.

According to ABC’s Blumenthal, “Coverage of this subject in the New York Times will presumably result in more media outlets’ picking up this story and spreading to consumers and health professionals, creating what are probably unwarranted concerns about the long-term safety of appropriately manufactured ginkgo extracts.”

In addition, added Blumenthal, the Times’ statement that “Studies have never found any solid evidence that ginkgo [provides any benefit to ‘boost memory’ and ‘prevent dementia’]” is misleading. Blumenthal noted, as he had discussed with the reporter, that there is an impressive body of clinical evidence that the use of the leading German ginkgo extract does provide cognitive benefits to persons with mild dementia, among other noted benefits for patients with age-related cognitive impairment, including increases in quality of life.


1. Rabin RC. New doubts about ginkgo biloba. New York Times. April 29, 2013. Available at: Accessed April 30, 2013.

2. National Toxicology Program. NTP technical report on the toxicology and carcinogenesis studies of gingko biloba extract. Research Triangle Park, NC: National Toxicology Program. March 2013. Accessed April 30, 2013.

3. Many ginkgo extracts safe, says herbal science group [press release]. Austin, TX: American Botanical Council; April 18, 2013. Accessed April 30, 2013.

4. AHPA disputes the relevance of NTP report finding ginkgo causes cancer in mice [press release]. Silver Spring, MD: American Herbal Products Association; April 18, 2013. Accessed April 30, 2013.
5. Wang B-S, Wang H, Song Y-Y, et al. Effectiveness of standardized Ginkgo biloba extract on cognitive symptoms of dementia with a six-month treatment: a bivariate random effect meta-analysis. Pharmacopsychiatry. May 2010;43(3):86-91.