NOVA chronicles a year in the life of a bee colony with stunning images that take viewers inside the innermost secrets of the hive. The documentary team spent a year developing special macro lenses and a bee studio to deliver the film’s astonishing sequences. These include the “wedding flight” of the colony’s virgin queen as it mates in mid-air with a drone; the life-and-death battle between two rival queens for the colony’s throne; and the defeat and death of a thieving wasp at the entrance to the hive. The show also explores such mysteries as the famous “waggle dance” with which scout bees signal the exact direction and distance of nectar sources to the rest of the hive. A vivid picture emerges of the bee’s highly organized social life, revolving around the disciplined sharing of construction tasks, the collection of nectar, and warding off enemies.
Propolis uses and recipes
Propolis is valuable both internally and externally. It has excellent antiseptic properties. It can be used either dry or as a tincture. Propolis should always be collected very carefully to avoid getting bits of wood and hive dirt mixed in with it. It should smell aromatic and pleasant and the small pieces collected should not be crushed together into a ball. Store it carefully in a clean dry container.
Propolis can be used for a wide range of problems. Fresh or powdered propolis can be chewed and swallowed for all types of stomach problems and sore throats. A small piece of propolis applied directly to the source of an aching tooth will relieve pain. Propolis can be chewed or gently warmed in hot water to become soft then applied to become soft then applied to an affected part and covered with a clean dressing. It can be used this way for boils, ringworm, fungal infections especially on the fingers, and all sorts of wounds and sores. It is always most effective straight from the hive with no processing other than chewing or gentle warming to soften it. As well as its well known effects on stomach problems especially colitis, all sorts of skin and tooth problems, experiments suggest that propolis may have some effect against arthritis, respiratory problems such as asthma and bronchitis, as well as mitigating influenza and maintaining general health and well being .
There are a number of ways that propolis can be processed. The most common for non industrial processes is to use alcohol to extract the key elements of propolis into a tincture. The propolis is soaked in alcohol for three weeks. This gives the maximum extraction of the most significant active elements of the propolis. If the propolis is for internal consumption the alcohol MUST be of suitable quality for internal consumption. Denatured alcohol, that is alcohol that has chemicals added to prevent it being drunk, is not suitable as these additives are toxic and may be lethal if taken internally.
Only the purest alcohol should be used. In general the higher the concentration of alcohol the more complete the extraction of the most significant active ingredients. To get the maximum extraction 70% or higher proof alcohol is needed. Four times the quantity of alcohol to propolis is required; i.e. for 250gms of propolis 1 litre of alcohol is required for the extraction. Some people find that applying a little heat helps with the extraction but in general it is best to avoid the use of heat as this may reduce the quality of the ingredients extracted.
Where cultural or religious constraints prevent the use of alcohol then water based extraction will remove the water soluble elements but it is widely recognised that their biological; effect is not as potent as alcohol extracted material. In addition, oil extraction using high quality oil such as sesame, sunflower, olive or peach oil can also be effective but the soaking must be done for a very long period of time and again will not be as effective as alcohol based extraction. This method of extraction is appropriate for cosmetics and creams using propolis as an ingredient.
To make propolis tincture
Take the desired quantity of propolis and soak in water for 3-7 days to clean and soften it. Soak the propolis in ethyl alcohol minimum 70% proof, shaking it every day. Do NOT use contaminated or denatured alcohol which will be poisonous. 50 gms of absolute alcohol with 100mls of water will give a 50% solution. To get maximum extraction of the active ingredients will take 1-3 weeks. Then filter through a fine filter such as a coffee filter. The medicinal part is the filtered liquid. This should be kept in a dark glass bottle in a cool place. Since alcohol is a good preservative the tincture will last for a very long time.
For toothache, boils, infections etc apply a few drops straight from the bottle.
For stomach and other internal ailments put 1-2 mls into a cup. Fill with hot water, add a spoon of honey and drink before bedtime.
The following recipes uses small tomato paste cans as an easy measure. A double boiler can be made form a large tin can such as a milk powder can placed in small pot of boiling water over the fire until the ingredient is warmed or melted.
Propolis ointment (1)
Two teaspoons of powdered or one teaspoon of fresh propolis. ½ can measure of Vaseline. Dissolve the propolis in the tomato paste can in boiling water (using the double boiler technique). When dissolved add the Vaseline and heat until melted. Leave to cool and set. When cool stir well to ensure the propolis is well mixed. Pack into small pots to store or sell while it is still soft
Propolis ointment (2)
Take one measure of 10% propolis extract and 9 measures of Vaseline or similar base material.
Gently heat to reduce the amount of alcohol to one third giving a 30% concentration of propolis. Mix thoroughly with a small quantity of the Vaseline then incorporate the remainder of the Vaseline to get a homogenous mixture. Heating gently using a double boiler and adding 10% lanolin or glycerine will make it easier to mix. Pack into small pots to store or sell while it is still liquid.
Our top reading selection
Krell, R. Value Added Products from Beekeeping. FAO Bulletin 124. FAO corporate document repository. click here for link to full text
Fearnley, J. 2001. Bee Propolis: Natural healing from the Hive. Guernsey Press, Channel Islands, UK. click here for more information.
White, E.C. 1993. Super Formulas: How to make more than 360 useful products that contain honey and beeswax. Valley Hills Press. UK. click here for more information.
Buy the Healthiest Honey
Supermarket honey is heated and filtered, making it more appealing looking, but depleting it of any health benefits that the original product contained. There is a much healthier way to buy honey and increase the health benefits you reap from consuming this natural sweetener.
Raw honey (unfiltered, unstrained & unheated and containing pieces from the honeycombs & the bees) is by far the healthiest honey. Phytonutrients found both in honey and propolis have been shown to have cancer-preventing properties. Additionally honey can aid in digestion, treats allergies, and heals wounds. There are many other researched benefits honey provides. The more processed the honey is the less it contains these beneficial phytonutrients. Does this spark an idea?
To find out more about the benefits of raw honey, see Benefits-of-honey.com and ReallyRawHoney.com. To find out how to buy this healthy honey, read the tips below
Just what exactly is Propolis?
Of all the substances extracted from the beehive, propolis is perhaps the most unusual, at least in the sense that it finds itself popular as a natural healing remedy. Propolis is actually a blend of bee secretion and resins from tree bark. Bees collects these resins along with leaves and plant life including tree buds, sap, and various other plant life and combine them with their own secretions to create propolis ‘glue’. It is then used quite liberally around the beehive, generally in one of two very important ways. First, it is used as a basic cement filler. At normal temperatures it is quite sticky and pliable and it is pasted into small holes and cracks in the hive to create a more secured environment. It is not, as many suggest, used to ‘seal’ the hive, since the beehive actually requires holes and a reasonable amount of airflow in order to flourish. So it is used in a selective way alongside beeswax to effect structural repairs and fill-in the larger cracks and holes. As the temperature of propolis drops, it turns into a fairly hard and brittle substance, so it’s ideal for making these hive-wall repairs.
But the other role of propolis, the one for which it is commonly thought to have benefits which transpose to the realm of humans, is in its anti-biotic and anti-septic properties. These properties are present initially in the resins collected from the trees and are thought to be further enhanced when the resins are formed and mixed with the bees own secretions. In this state, the propolis benefits extend to being used as a form of mummifying agent to place a protective coating over any small animals and insects that find a way into the hive but do not ultimately find a way out!
When you encounter raw fresh or extract propolis for the first time, it isn’t a very attractive substance by any stretch of the imagination. It looks a little like treacle or molasses but without the purity. Various techniques are used to extract the propolis most commonly being the use if a food grade alcohol, which removes the active compounds without really adding anything significant to the final solution. To get into specifics, the most common and preferred alcohol used is a 70% ethyl alcohol which permits the resultant tincture to be used internally or externally. If the finished product is for external, topical use only, then a lower grade rubbing alcohol can be used.
In the first stage of processing the propolis is collected from the beehive and freed from contaminants such as waxes and hive wall debris. It is usually quite solid and hard at this point and in small pieces. Once the concentration level is determined, often a 20-30% extract is sought, the correct amount of alcohol is added to the propolis and placed into a container. The contained is sealed and agitated then stored in a warm dark place. The contained is re-agitated several times each day over a period of around 2 weeks, then the liquid can be strained and the solids disposed of. The liquid, in this extracted state is now ready for use as a topical or ingestible agent. Obviously in a commercial operation the methods are a little more sophisticated but they are usually based upon the above simple principal.
The process can but does not have to stop there. Many commercial applications of propolis require a tincture or extract with a higher concentration of active ingredient versus the alcohol. In this case the substance is evaporated (the alcohol evaporates) leaving a concentrated end product. The longer the extraction process the more concentrated the propolis becomes. When the end product is a powder within a capsule, there is an additional drying stage to remove all moisture from the substance before the bee caps are made.
Other applications for the liquid include making a salve by the addition of petroleum jelly, perhaps with other healing ingredients. It can also be used as a mouth spray for treating ulcers. Most people prefer to buy their propolis post some form of processing, but it can also be purchased in chunks. Here, only the obvious contaminants and debris are removed from the substance.
In most cases it is the anti viral and antibiotic properties of propolis which are being sought, therefore they must be preserved throughout the extraction and manufacturing processes.
So what are the benefits of propolis?
It is used commonly in the field of dental hygiene. In the treatment of mouth sores, ulcers and cankers etc, it has been shown to provide relief and remedy. Several companies offer propolis toothpaste and others offer various forms of canker sore treatments which often take the form of a liquid propolis spray. It can often be found blended with other herbs to increase the broadness of its appeal, if not always the potency of the product. Certainly it has found itself widely popular in treating canker sores. These can be extremely painful and an application of propolis has been shown to help. So clearly there are some health benefits to using bee propolis in the realm of dental hygiene.
As a dietary supplement it is used also for its anti-biotic and anti-viral properties, with various studies revealing potential benefits for all types of gastrointestinal and urinary tract infections as well as chronic stomach and intestinal ulcers, but also it is perceived to have a positive effect on the immune system. Propolis contains a relatively high concentration of bioflavonoids and antioxidants which have been associated with enhancing the function of the immune system and the endocrine system.
Propolis does have proven antibiotic and antiseptic properties and may also have antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects. I consider it safe and useful as a home remedy. You can find it in various forms in health food stores or get the raw stuff from beekeepers. I recommend it as a good topical treatment for uncomplicated wounds and, when used as a gargle or in spray form, as a remedy for sores and irritations in the mouth. I use propolis in tincture form to treat canker sores and sore throats.
Propolis and Cancer
There are various research papers which have been made available online covering the impact of propolis of various forms of cancer. Once should take caution when reading such papers, their scope is often limited to lab animals and can often be published out of context.
One such study, and there are countless more, concluded the following -“Propolis halted neurofibromatosis tumor growth in a group of cancer patients taking part in a study by scientists at Universitaets Klinikum Eppendorf in Hamburg, Germany.” In previous studies the German team identified CAPE’s anti-cancer abilities. CAPE is a natural compound found in some foods, but is found in a highly concentrated form in propolis. Propolis had been previously been thought only to have potential as an anti-cancer agent through its apparent ability to boost the immune system. This was part of a much wider scope of clinical trials and one should seek to uncover the full details of the report before drawing conclusions.
Is Honey Allowed in Diabetic Diet?
The diabetic diet is strictly controlled in terms of sugar and mineral compounds intake. Hence it’s not surprising that “whether honey is allowed for diabetic patients” is a frequently asked question for Benefits of Honey.
Diabetes is a deficiency of the pancreas, whereby insulin is not produced sufficiently or utilised properly. It’s basically a disorder of metabolism, primarily that of carbohydrates. The ingested sugars and starches cannot be deployed, and hence are eliminated in the urine. Symptoms of diabetes include frequent urination, extreme thirst or hunger, weight loss, fatigue, numbness, and infections. There are 2 types of diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the body doesn’t produce any insulin, whereas, people with type 2 diabetes either don’t produce enough insulin or their cells resist the insulin, and they tend to be overweight, because the high insulin levels, unable to channel glucose into muscle cells, convert glucose into fat and cholesterol instead. This results not only in obesity, but also very often heart disease, poor blood circulation in the legs and eye diseases. While type 1 diabetes is treated with insulin injections, which help glucose get into the body cells and maintain blood glucose control, type 2 diabetics commonly use glucose-lowering drugs. Most diabetics are type 2 and are usually in their 40s.
With appropriate control, many diabetics and pre-diabetes (people with blood glucose levels higher than normal person but not high enough to be considered diabetic) are still able to safely enjoy natural honey. Before incorporating honey into their meal planning, find out how much of the sweet liquid can be consumed on a daily basis. Each diabetic is different and should learn how his or her body reacts to different foods containing carbohydrates. Bear in mind that the total amount of starches or carbohydrates in a food is the key consideration, not the amount of sugar. Honey is a carb food as well, just like rice, potatoes, thus just keep in mind that 1 tablespoon of honey has approximately 17 grams of carbohydrate, and taking that into account when counting your total daily intake of carbohydrates, diabetics can work it out just like any other sweetener or carbohydrates. To monitor response to honey, blood sugar levels could be noted before consumption and again two hours later. Also, when purchasing commercial honey for diabetic patients, be sure that it is pure and not adulterated by glucose, starch, cane sugar, and even malt, which is to better to be avoided in a diabetic diet.
You get (99 per cent of the time) a “no-no” answer when you ask doctors if honey is allowed for diabetics. This is not surprising as the idea of eating honey to regulate blood glucose seems rather counter intuitive. But did they ever tell you that clinical studies have shown that pure honey is a healthier choice in diabetic diet than table sugar and any other non-nutritive sweeteners such as Splenda, saccharin, aspartame? Honey requires lower levels of insulin compared to regular white sugar and does not raise blood sugar levels as rapidly as table sugar, that is, it has a lowerGlycemic Index than sugar. Though honey contains a significant amount of sugar, it consists largely of two simple individual units of sugar – glucose and fructose, which are absorbed at different rates into the body. In fact, Dr Ron Fessenden reveals in his book, The Honey Revolution that “the more glucose intolerant one is, the lower the blood sugar response after honey ingestion versus the higher the blood sugar response after consuming sucrose or glucose”. The book further explains why honey is able to perform this remarkable regulatory role. The perfect one-to-one ratio of fructose and glucose found in honey facilitates glucose intake to the liver, hence preventing an overload of glucose entering the blood circulation. And nature’s honey is the only sugar that possesses this special ability.
Next, the use of monosaccharide fructose is often recommended to sweeten the diet of diabetics due to its significantly lower GI. The trouble is, fructose is absorbed differently than other sugars. It is not utilized for energy like glucose, but stored in the liver as triglycerides. This presents a great metabolism burden on the liver and can eventually lead to major health issues related to obesity and further health damages for diabetics. Sadly, in their quest to avoid sugar in foods, many diabetics miss the point when they start to plan their diet around “fructose fruit sugar”, “diabetic birthday cake”, “NutraSweet ice-cream”, “sugar-free candies”, etc, which all contain corn syrup or artificial sweeteners that can be potentially even more harmful than regular sugar when consumed in the long term.
Is honey dangerous for diabetes patients? by hendra-ceka
There are many discussions about the use of honey in diabetes mellitus patient. As we know, honey contains fructose, nutritive sugar, (and seems to be able to raise blood glucose level of diabetes patients) that is different with i.e., saccharine, as non nutritive sugar, which often advised for diabetes mellitus patients. Thus, for some years ago, the use of honey is contraindicated for diabetes patients.
But today, many researches show the beneficial effect of honey in diabetes patients.
In some articles, fructose is defined as a substance that doesn’t need insulin to be changed into glycogen. So it can be safely consumed by diabetes patients.
(1) honey raises only low glycemic level compared with other sugar.
(2) Other sugar and natural processed honey can raise triglyserid level, but natural unprocessed honey lower triglyserid and raise HDL (good cholesterol).
(3) 25 days natural unprocessed honey consumption can lower total cholesterol and LDL (bad cholesterol), and raise HDL level. (good cholesterol)
On diabetic patients, natural honey can lower total cholesterol, LDL, and CRP. Honey can increase insulin level better than sucrose. (Ali Waili, 2004)
Honey can lower prostaglandin levels in plasma of normal person. After consuming 250 ml of water containing 1.2 g/kg body weight of natural unprocessed honey, once a day, for 15 days, plasma concentrations of thromboxane B2, PGE2, and PGF2a were decreased by 48%, 63%, and 50%, respectively. (Ali Waili, 2003). In general, prostaglandins are thought of as mediators of inflammation in the body. Both prostaglandins and thromboxanes have been implicated in immune suppression and atherosclerosis
Pure honey, especially from the wild has multifactor anti-bacterial, haemostatic and nutritious properties, explained Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS) Prosthodentics Department Head and Dental Care for Physicians Programme Director Prof. Dr Muhammad Amin.
Pure honey is used to maintain oral hygiene and various inflammatory problems of the teeth and gums such as gingivitis periodontitis, plaque and caries,
Open ulcers are better healed with honey when applied locally instead of medicated gel, ointments or creams. In one case of Hepatic Cirrhosis, the ulcer of the mouth and tongue were completely healed with honey, while selective therapy did nothing good for the case.
.The antibacterial properties of honey, both the peroxide and non-peroxide, are effective against several strains of bacteria which are notoriously resistant to antibiotics (Heggers 1987). Other topical uses of honey include treatment and healing of eczema and masking of acne (Green 1988). Health benefits of honey use include anti-allergic roperties.The anti-oxidant effects of honey (Gheldof et al 2002) would thus make it a useful adjunct in the management of diabetes mellitus.
In conclusion, there are many researches show the beneficial effect of honey in diabetes mellitus patients. Some of the mechanisms are, however, not well understood. It can be concluded that the use of moderate amount of honey isn’t contraindicated in diabetes mellitus persons, and even has some beneficial effects.
Bee propolis has significant and varied anti-cancer benefits, some of which will surprise many orthodox experts. Overall, research has indicated benefits in each of the following areas of the cancer process:
Anti-viral; anti-yeast (candida albicans)
Free radical scavenging
Cancer cell death
Furthermore, it has been shown to enhance the benefits of chemotherapy and radiotherapy, having a protective effect on healthy cells and an enhancing effect on chemotherapy action.
I thought maybe some of you interested in alternative treatments will find this info helpful. I’m drinking propolis extract for over a week now (I’ve done it in the past too)and it helps me a lot. It is easy to prepare at home and not expensive.
more testimony: http://csn.cancer.org/node/235124
TOP 14 ANTI-CANCER SUPERFRUITS
In these days when cancer seems so common, it is hard to trust the food we take. The most delicious is not necessarily the most nutritious, and the sweetest could be the deadliest. Hence, it is necessary to understand these foods, especially their immediate and long-term on our bodies.
Many types of cancer are induced by the food we eat. On the other hand, the incidence and worsening of cancer can also be prevented and alleviated by some other kinds of food. An excellent example is the superfruits. The term superfruits refer to fruits “which combines exceptional nutrient richness and antioxidant quality with appealing taste that can stimulate and retain loyalty for consumer products”. There are many fruits classified as superfruits. Some are very commonly served on our tables, while others are region-specific. Regardless of their origins, these fruits have one common denominator – their unquestionable health benefits.
Antioxidants, vitamins, fibers, and minerals are just some countless nutritional values of superfruits. One of the best characteristics of select superfruits is being anti-cancer. Well, here are 14 best anti-cancer superfruits.
Researchers have shown blueberries contain pterostilbene, anthocyanins, proanthocyanidins, resveratrol, flavonols, and tannins, which inhibit mechanisms of cancer cell development. Besides this, blueberry can also alleviate the effects of Alzheimer’s disease, prevent urinary tract infections, and reduce blood sugar.
A grape is a perennial and deciduous woody vine. Its berries can be eaten raw or be made into juice, jam, jelly, wine, raisins, and others. Grapes are found in almost all parts of the world. Grapes contain phytochemicals such as resveratrol which has been positively implicated to inhibit any type of cancer.
Dragonfruit is rich in phytoalbumin antioxidants which help carcinogenic free-radical formation in the body. It is also rich in fiber, calcium, phosphorus, and vitamins C and B2, as well as its helps excrete metal toxins from the body.
Citrus fruits include orange, lemon, grapefruit, etc. This kind of fruits contains a large number of bioflavonoids, which can enhance the activity of certain enzymes in human skin, lung, stomach and liver, and change the fat-soluble carcinogenic substance into water-soluble, so as to make them not easy to be absorbed and can be expelled out of the body. At the same time, they can enhance the absorptive capacity of vitamin C by the human body. Vitamin C is an important cancer substance, which can enhance human immunity, prevent the formation of nitrosamines–a strong carcinogen. What’s more, it also has certain effect in the prevention and treatment of gastrointestinal cancer.
A study published a few years ago in the journal Nutrition and Cancer, for instance, found that people who consume the highest amounts of flavonoids and proanthocyanidins, a subgroup of flavonoids, were 44 percent less likely to develop oral cancer, 40 percent less likely to develop laryngeal cancer, and 30 percent less likely to develop colon cancer compared to others.
Avocados contain lutein, an anti-cancer carotenoid. Lutein lowers the risk of prostate cancer in men and protects eyes against fatal diseases like macular degeneration and cataracts. Another cancer-fighting component of avocado is glutathione that can significantly cuts the incidence of oral and pharyngeal cancer. Avocados are also rich in potassium, vitamins, and heart-healthy fats.
Anti cancer action is actually related to the polyphenols contained in the berries, rather than in their antioxidant potential, as is commonly assumed. A diet containing a high proportion of strawberries or raspberries (5% or more of total diet) in animals, has been found to significantly decrease the number of esophageal tumors triggered by NMBA, a known powerful carcinogen. Ellagic acid appears to prevent the activation of carcinogenic substances into cellular toxins, causing them to lose their ability to react with DNA and induce mutations capable of triggering the onset of cancer. In addition, strawberry also contains a kind of amine substance, which has good effect in the prevention of leukemia and other diseases related with blood.
Laboratory studies have shown that acai berries can kill off cancer cells. Extracts from the berries can induced the death of leukemia cells. Other beneficial contents of acai are its antioxidants (found to be twice than in blueberries), omega fatty acids, protein, vitamins A and C, iron, and fiber.
According to recent studies, noni has properties that may be beneficial in preventing cancer. The extract from the tropical plant indicates some anti-cancer properties useful for the immune system. Moreover, noni contains carbohydrates, dietary fibers, niacin, calcium, iron and potassium.
It has been found out that goji berries contain selenium, a trace mineral that acts an antioxidant which can neutralize free radicals that damage cells and cause cancer. Goji berries are also rich in other nutrients and phytochemicals like amino acids, carotenoids like beta-carotene and zeaxanthin, polysaccharides, antioxidants, calcium, potassium, iron, zinx, and riboflavin.
Mangosteen is anti-cancer and helps cancer prevention.
Various studies have shown that phytoceuticals in Mangosteen (in some cases known to be its xanthones) have properties such as: anti-tumor (shrinks tumors), anti-leukemia, antifungal (critical for all cancer patients), antibacterial (to protect DNA), antioxidants (at least two dozen different kinds of xanthones are in the mangosteen fruit), antiproliferation, kills cancer cells and causes apoptosis (programmed cell death) for some types of cancer. This is a pretty impressive list of cancer credentials!
This fruit has countless health benefits like ant-ulcer, anti-aging, antiviral, antibiotic, antifungal, anti-depressant, anti-obesity, anti-allergenic, anti-cataract, and many more.
Mangosteen also contains: catechins, polyphenols, minerals and vitamins.
Soursop has anti-cancer characteristics and is best for all types of cancer. The fruit is also anti-stress, anti-bacterial, antifungal, anti-depressant, and anti-worms.
Studies have reported that the fruits contain phytochemicals that can suppress aromatase, an enzyme which converts androgen into estrogen and which is associated with breast cancer. Furthermore, clinical trials have shown the pomegranate extracts can prevent prostate cancer in men.
Kiwi contains plenty of vitamins, especially vitamin C, the content of which is 4 to 12 times as that of orange. Through the researches in recent years, it is confirmed that kiwi contains a kind of active ingredient, which can block the formation of carcinogenic “nitrosamines” in the human body. As a result, it has a good effect in preventing cancer.
Apple peels contain as many as a dozen cancer-fighting chemical compounds, according to a study conducted by researchers at Cornell University and published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.
“We found that several compounds have potent anti-proliferative activities against human liver, colon and breast cancer cells, and may be partially responsible for the anti-cancer activities of whole apples,” said Rui Hai Liu, an associate professor of food science.
The researchers extracted each individual chemical compound found in the peels of 230 pounds of Red Delicious apples. They then tested these compounds individually against cultures of cancer cells in the laboratory. They identified 12 compounds, called triterpenoids, which inhibited the growth of cancer cells or even killed them.
Houseplants are our often-overlooked helpers in ridding the air of pollutants and toxins, counteracting outgassing and contributing to balanced internal humidity.
It is suggested that one plant should be allowed for approximately 10 square yards of floor space, assuming average ceiling heights of 8 to 9 feet. This means that you need two or three plants to contribute to good air quality in the average domestic living room of about 20 to 25 square yards.
Research has shown that these 10 plants are the most effective all-around in counteracting offgassed chemicals and contributing to balanced internal humidity.
- Areca palm
- Reed palm
- Dwarf date palm
- Boston fern
- Janet Craig dracaena
- English ivy
- Australian sword fern
- Peace Lily
- Rubber plant
- Weeping fig
Although many plants like light, they do not all have to be placed near windows. Many indoor plants originated in the dense shade of tropical forests and have a high rate of photosynthesis. These are ideal for the home and can be placed in darker corners. When positioning plants, try to strike a balance between light and ventilation because the effect of plants on indoor air pollution appears to be reduced if they are set in a draft.
Adapted from Your Naturally Healthy Home, by Alan Berman.Copyright (c) 2001 by Francis Lincoln Limited. Reprinted by permission of Rodale Press.
Adapted from Your Naturally Healthy Home, by Alan Berman.
HEALTH RISKS OF SUGAR SUBSTITUTES
Sep 23, 2009 | By Richard Nilsen
Sugar substitutes have been under controversy for some time in their relationship to their carcinogenic properties and how they may cause health problems. There have been links to different types of cancers associated with various labeled sweeteners, but according to the National Cancer Institute, “studies of other FDA-approved sweeteners have not demonstrated clear evidence of an association with cancer in humans.” Sugar substitutes are used every day, and, when used in moderation, they are not a health threat.
HIGH-FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP
High-fructose syrup is corn syrup in which fructose has been added to make it sweeter. It is a manmade product. Fructose it is a free molecule that the body doesn’t know what to do with and may be a cause of heart disease and degenerative illnesses. Many soft drinks contain high-fructose corn syrup.
Saccharin, marketed as Sweet ‘n’ Low, is a synthetic sweetener that has been associated with bladder cancer in animals when combined with cyclamate, according to the National Cancer Institute. It is labeled as being hazardous to your health. However, the NCI states on its website that later studies did not provide evidence of the same problem.
Sorbitol/mannitol are alcohol-derived sugars that may cause serious gastric distress, gas cramps and flatulence. They are used in sugar-free chewing gum.
Aspartame, marketed as NutraSweet and Equal, is a synthetic sweetener found in diet sodas can actually turn into formaldehyde at normal body temperatures, according to Holisticmed.com. This is because it turns into methanol and then can turn into formaldehyde. Apartame has been associated with weight gain, brain tumors and breast cancer.
Sucralose, marketed as Splenda, is another synthetic sugar substitute that has been associated with weight gain, brain tumors and breast cancer.
- Artificial Sweeteners and Cancer
- Formaldehyde Poisoning from Aspartame
- Sugar Substitutes and the Potential Danger of Splenda
Article reviewed by Brad Walters Last updated on: Sep 23, 2009