As some of you may know, I am slowly — glacially, even — working on a book about gardening with medicinal plants. Looking out at the frost-covered garden this morning for inspiration for any hint of green, I decided to start working on my olive (Olea europa) monograph.
Arbequina olive (Olea europea) in flower.
Before my breakfast (which includes copious quantities of olive oil — yum!), I went looking through my physical library for something beyond olive oil. Because, really, I’m unlikely to actually press the olives from my tree. And besides, like so many other garden medicines, there’s healing value in other parts.
In olive’s case, the leaves are powerhouses of phytochemicals (more…)
Getting your nightly eight hours may be doing more for you than you think — it may help prevent Type II Diabetes. That diseases occurs when cells become resistant to insulin, the hormone that helps sugar move from the bloodstream and into cells, which use the sugar as food. In a small study, researchers compared insulin responses of healthy people after a good night’s sleep and after a night where they slept only four hours. They found that just one bad night reduced cellular receptivity to insulin. Diet, lack of exercise and family history are all important components in the disease; add these to life in a chronically sleep-deprived society, and it’s no wonder this form of diabetes is on the rise. Can more sleep help people who already have the disease? The researchers haven’t tested that yet, but it’s certainly an idea to sleep on. (Via ScienceDaily).
You know that sugary sodas aren’t healthy, but are they really that bad? A new study reported in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, put out by the American Association for Cancer Research, found a huge health impact in a small number of study participants. Researchers found that people consuming two or more regular sodas each week had a whopping 87-percent increase in deadly pancreatic cancer over peers drinking juice instead. The findings are based on information from 14 years of following 60,524 men and women from Singapore. How does it work? Sugar stimulates the pancreas to create insulin, and the extra insulin may be responsible for turning pancreas cells cancerous. Soda makers find the study flawed, pointing out that only 140 study participants developed pancreatic cancer and only 30 of those drank soda at all. (Via WebMD.)