Happiness is good for the heart metaphorically, but new research shows it’s true physically as well. Researchers followed 1,700 people for 10 years, and considered their emotional states over that time. Participants rated their anxiety, joy and other emotions on a five-point scale. By the end of the study, researchers determined that each step up on the scale saw a corresponding 22-percent decrease in heart-disease risk. How does it work? Likely because reducing stress, improving sleep and moving on from tough experiences inflicts a lower toll on the physical body. The take-home message is that happiness is an important part of daily self care, just like moderate exercise and eating well. Here’s to happy, healthy hearts!
A spring planting guide while you’re planning what to plant
Gardeners have a big advantage during deep darkness of a northwest winter: We get to pore over garden books and catalogs that offer shards of sunlight and whiffs of spring. Dreaming about striped tomatoes, salivating over the prospect of a fresh melon, imagining the thrum of a snapping pea, gardeners know that their dreams and will be rewarded with a well-stocked kitchen when the sun returns.
While curled up by the fire or the space heater with your summer hopes this winter, consider adding the flowerful, textural and healing world of growing medicine along with your food. The results will improve your garden — many medicinal plants also support beneficial bugs while confusing problematic pests — and improve your health.
It is absolutely irresponsibly unfair to ask any herbalist to narrow their favorite herbs down to a measly ten, and reasonable people will disagree heatedly about how to go about trying. This particular list is intended as a general top 10 list of medicinals that are easy to grow from seed or starts. This article is not intended to substitute for medical advice, as each person has a specific history and specific needs. (more…)