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Posted by: | Posted on: December 3, 2019

An Avocado a Day Boosts Your Brain

© 27th November 2019 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter
Reproduced from original article:
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LeanMachine Note: Lutein with Zeaxanthin is available as a supplement.
Posted by: | Posted on: November 16, 2019

Coca-Cola’s Plastic Secrets


Reproduced from original article:
https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2019/11/16/coca-cola-plastic-pollution-documentary.aspx

Analysis by Dr. Joseph MercolaFact Checked
November 16, 2019

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • “The Plastic Tide: Choking on Coke,” a documentary by the German public broadcaster DW, reveals Coca-Cola’s untruths about what it is doing about plastic pollution
  • Coca-Cola sells 120 billion plastic bottles a year
  • Coca-Cola partnered with Keep America Beautiful to appear to be environmentally conscientious
  • Coca-Cola changed from returnable glass bottles to single-use plastic bottles to boost its profits
  • While feigning concern about plastic pollution, Coca-Cola lobbyists secretly fight recycling laws

What do the soft drink brands Sprite, Fanta and Dasani all have in common? They are all owned by The Coca-Cola Co., the soft drink monolith that makes 500 different brands amounting to nearly 4,000 drink choices.1

Coca-Cola’s top brands, including Coke and Diet Coke, generate more than $1 billion a year in sales. But as those of us who are environmentally conscious know, they also generate much of the world’s plastic pollution.

A riveting 2019 documentary by the German public broadcaster DW, “Plastic Tide: Choking on Coke,” exposes how Coca-Cola deceives customers and environmentalists about its plastic pollution.2

Last year, James Quincey, president and CEO of The Coca-Cola Co., announced a “World Without Waste” campaign to “collect and recycle the equivalent of every bottle or can it sells globally by 2030.”3

While the PR spin sounds believable, the DW documentary depicts Coca-Cola’s glib nonchalance about actually reaching its stated antipollution goals, the origins of its profit-oriented plastic bottle push and how its plastic pollution is a blight on poorer countries in particular.

Coca-Cola’s Cagey Switch to Plastic Bottles

Younger people may not remember but as late as the early 1980s, in some locations in the U.S., Coke was not sold in the plastic, single-use polluting bottle we see today. It was sold in glass bottles for which the customer paid a deposit and which the customer had to return.

I can personally remember seeing people washing out their used glass Coke bottles and returning them, usually in a six-bottle cardboard holder, to the store where they were bought for a new “six pack.” When you think about it, the deposit/return Coke bottles were the essence of recycling. But not for long.

By 1975, Coca-Cola was already running TV ads extolling the virtues of the single-use plastic Coke bottle which was “so light” compared with the old, soon-to-be-outdated glass bottle and presumably more pleasing to the consumer. Soon “no deposit/no return” Coke soft drinks were the norm with no thought or plan of how to deal with their mass disposal.

Plastic Bottles Made Coca-Cola More Money

Why did Coca-Cola switch to plastic? The answer should surprise no one. Returnable bottles forced Coca-Cola to “internalize their pollution costs” says Bart J. Elmore, author of Citizen Coke, who is interviewed in the documentary. Plastic bottles allowed, and continue to allow, outsourcing of the problem and the costs to consumers and taxpayers. The public pays for the plastic pollution.

Arsen Darnay, a former U.S. Environmental Protection Agency employee who was the first engineer in the world to investigate the ecological impact of Coca-Cola bottles, was also interviewed in “Plastic Tide: Choking on Coke.”

Darnay was one of two principal researchers working for Midwest Research Institute, a group hired by Coca-Cola in the spring of 19704 to look at how glass bottles affected the environment, compared to metal and plastic containers.

Recounting how he discovered that “returnable glass pollutes significantly less” than plastic, Darnay said, “We put this together for them, and they didn’t publish it … They were not interested in having the public see the total picture.” Then, he said, he “watched them slowly introduce the plastic bottles.”

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Shifting the Blame for Plastic Pollution Onto Consumers

From launching the more profitable single-use plastic bottles to its call for more consumer involvement with pollution, Coca-Cola has continually and successfully shifted the problem of its plastic pollution onto consumers, says Elmore.

Back in the 1970s, when its switch to plastic bottles began, Coke partnered with Keep America Beautiful, to position itself on the side of environmentalism and subtly imply that litter, and especially plastic litter, was somehow the consumer’s fault and problem, Elmore adds. Few realize Coca-Cola was behind the Keep America Beautiful campaign.

“Plastic Tide: Choking on Coke” shows an old Keep America Beautiful TV ad that shamelessly uses a Native American man, belonging to a demographic associated with environmental purity, to plead for the public not to pollute.

Nowhere in the ad is there mention of the industrial producers like Coca-Cola that contribute to such pollution. It is all the consumers’ fault, the PR campaign and continual campaigns imply.

PR Document Exposes Coca-Cola Lobbying Hypocrisy

From a PR standpoint, Coca-Cola wants to appear conscientious and environmentally responsible. For example, this is what CEO James Quincey wrote in his 2018 op-ed titled “Why a World Without Waste Is Possible:”5

“Consumers around the world care about our planet. They want and expect companies like ours to be leaders and help make a litter-free world possible… Through our ‘World Without Waste’ vision, we are investing in our planet and in in our packaging to help make the world’s packaging problem a thing of the past.”

Yet, the reporters contributing to “Plastic Tide” unearthed some embarrassing documents that show a very different side to Coca-Cola. The documents, from Coke’s lobbyist in Brussels, recommend the company strongly fight recycling legislation as well as restrictions on advertising to children and caffeine in their drinks.

When confronted with the lobbyist recommendations in the documentary, Michael Goltzman, Coca-Cola’s vice president for social impact and global policy, disavows the stated goals and says they are no longer Coke’s “strategy.”

Though the report is only 2 years old when Goltzman dismisses it, he could not name when the strategy was changed or point to any updated documents when the interviewer asked. He admits Coca-Cola is still using the same lobbyist.

Tanzania Is a Casualty of Coca-Cola’s Plastic Pollution

The African country of Tanzania is supposed to be one of the most beautiful and pristine locations in the world. But “Plastic Tide” shows how plastic pollution has impacted and seemingly altered forever the country’s economy and natural beauty. As in the U.S., Coca-Cola replaced glass bottles with single-use plastic in Tanzania.

The documentary includes an interview with a foreman at a Coca-Cola bottling warehouse who directs the distribution of what looks like millions of single-use plastic bottles to be sold. He assures the “Plastic Tide” interviewers that the bottles are what consumers want and present no problems. “It’s all good,” he says.

Then viewers see a 50-year-old woman scavenging for plastic along plastic-strewn areas in Tanzania, adding each discarded piece to a huge bag she is carrying to contain them. We are told she does this every day to feed her family and earns about 2 Euros a day for her effort.

There is little money in collecting plastic anymore, she tells the interviewer; the market for plastic has really fallen off. The impoverished woman living on pennies from plastic waste is no doubt referring to the world wide implications of China refusing, in 2017, to accept any more of the world’s plastic waste.6 Having no place to sell plastic waste for recycling has affected poor and rich countries alike.

No Recycling System in Place, Admits Coca-Cola Official

When a documentary representative shows him photos from plastic-polluted Tanzania, Goltzman again has no clear answers. “I don’t like looking at those clips,” he admits, but adds that he is not aware of any systems for addressing Coke’s plastic pollution in Tanzania. He’s not even aware of why such a system is not in place. He sounds baffled. “We don’t see a world without plastic,” he admits at the same time he tries to assure that Coke has a plan in place, but not yet implemented.

Nor was Goltzman able to answer why a commitment in a Coca-Cola document in 2008 to have all Coke bottled beverages contain 25% recycled plastic by 2015 was not met.

Further chipping away at the credibility of the soft drink giant, Helene Bourges of Greenpeace says in “Plastic Tide: Choking on Coke” that despite the company’s claim that 12% of their product is made from recycled plastic, only 7% actually is. Clearly, Coca-Cola, which sells 120 billion plastic bottles a year, according to the documentary, is playing fast and loose with the truth.

Plastic Is a Threat to Life Everywhere

Plastic pollution is pervasive, infiltrating water and food supplies and adversely affecting the environment, on which humanity depends for food, water and natural resources, and the solution to this problem cannot be placed solely on consumers “doing the right thing” with the plastic products they buy. Clearly, companies like Coca-Cola need to face the facts as well — and at bare minimum live up to its own promises.

Plastic can take up to 1,000 years to break down. Researchers estimate a single plastic coffee pod may take up to 500 years, the duration of the Roman Empire.7 While the impact of plastic tends to be focused on manufacturing and/or disposal, a report by the Center for International Environmental Law, in partnership with six other environmental organizations, finds:8

“… that each of those stages interacts with others, and all of them interact with the human environment and the human body in multiple, often intersecting, ways.”

The report associates plastics with numerous forms of cancer, neurological, reproductive and developmental toxicities, as well as diabetes, organ malfunctions and a significant impact on eyes and skin. Although it appears plastic is cheap and convenient, Graham Forbes, global plastics project leader for Greenpeace, points out that the true cost is reflected in how:9

“Plastics are harming or killing animals around the globe, contributing to climate change and keeping us dependent on fossil fuels, entering our air, water, and food supplies, and seriously jeopardizing human health throughout their lifecycle.”

Recycling Is Vastly Underutilized

Only 8% of plastic is ever recycled,10 and even then, some of the items tossed in the recycling bin may never make it to the recycling center. Some end up contaminating entire loads of recyclables that would otherwise have gone on to other uses.

While it’s best to verify guidelines for your local facility, anything smaller than a Post-it note cannot be sorted properly, so unless you screw on bottle tops it’s better to throw them away. Bubble padded envelopes, wax paper and diapers are not recyclable.

Paper cups with shiny coatings or paper food bowls with plastic lining will not be accepted. For ways to become a recycling expert, see my previous article, “Top 11 Tips to Become an Expert at Recycling.”

What Can You Do to Reduce Your Use

Still, while improved recycling is part of the answer, it’s unlikely to be enough. The use of plastic needs to be reduced at the front end as well. Companies like Coca-Cola would do well to return to glass bottles, for example, rather than insisting on plastic bottles.

Even if all glass is not recycled, it’s an inert substance that is not going to poison the earth for centuries to come. Aside from urging Coke and other beverage makers to use glass bottles, and avoiding beverages sold in plastic, you can also have a positive impact on plastic pollution by:

Using reusable shopping bags for groceries and reusable produce bags for fresh produce
Taking your own leftovers container to restaurants
Bringing your own mug for coffee, and bringing drinking water from home in glass water bottles instead of buying bottled water
Requesting no plastic wrap on your newspaper and dry cleaning
Avoiding disposable utensils and straws
Opting for nondisposable razors, washable feminine hygiene products for women, cloth diapers, handkerchiefs instead of paper tissues, rags in lieu of paper towels and infant toys made of wood rather than plastic
Avoiding processed foods (which are stored in plastic bags with chemicals). Buy fresh produce instead, and forgo the plastic bags
Sources and References
Posted by: | Posted on: November 12, 2019

7 Foods and Nutrients Proven to Cut Macular Degeneration Risk

© 20th September 2019 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter
Reproduced from original article:
www.greenmedinfo.health/blog/7-foods-and-nutrients-proven-cut-macular-degeneration-risk

Posted on:  Wednesday, October 30th 2019 at 4:15 pm

As the baby-boomers age, blindness from age-related macular degeneration is on the rise. More than 3 million more people will become victims in the next five years. Eating right can lower your risk

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss among people 50 and older. It affects more than 1.75 million people in the U.S. and is expected to strike as many as 3 million in the next five years.

The macula is the small spot near the center of the retina. The eye needs it for central vision to see objects straight ahead. When the macula becomes damaged, it severely limits your ability to see things in your central line of vision.

As AMD progresses, a blurred area develops near the center of your vision. Objects may not appear as sharp or bright as they used to. Colors seem faded. That loss of central vision can interfere with daily activities like recognizing faces, reading, driving, working, cooking, or watching TV.

Besides age, the biggest risk factor for AMD is smoking. Other risk factors include sun exposure, high blood pressure and obesity.

Studies have found certain nutrients protect against the progression of AMD. Researchers at the National Eye Institute conducted two Age-Related Eye Disease Studies (AREDS and AREDS2).[i]

The first AREDS study showed that a combination of vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, zinc, and copper reduce the risk of late-stage AMD by 25%.

The AREDS2 study found that a combination of the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin in place of beta-carotene was just as effective. [ii] Carotenoids were also believed to be safer than beta-carotene for smokers at higher risk of lung cancer.

The AREDS2 nutrient combination is widely available in supplement form. But in addition to those nutrients studies show other foods and compounds are effective to reduce the risk and progression of AMD and improve vision.

Multiple studies show that supplementing with carotenoids and antioxidants improves AMD. In one randomized, double-blind placebo controlled study from a Veterans Administration Hospital 90 patients were assigned to receive 10 mg of lutein alone, or 10 mg of lutein plus a combination of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, or a placebo. After 12 months they found that either alone or in combination with other nutrients, lutein improved visual function.

But it’s not just supplements. Eating more foods high in lutein and zeaxanthin reduces AMD risk. In a prospective cohort study published in JAMA, Harvard researchers followed more than 100,000 people from the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study in the United States. Based on diet reports the researchers found that those eating the most foods containing lutein and zeaxanthin had a 40 percent reduction in AMD risk compared to those eating the least. Other carotenoids including beta-cryptoxanthin, alpha-carotene, and beta-carotene, were linked with a 25 to 35 percent lower risk.

Here are seven foods and nutrients proven to support eye health and reduce your risk of AMD.

1. Olive Oil

In an Australian study of 6,734 people aged 58 to 69 years, researchers collected dietary information over five years. Ten years later they measured the participants’ macula for signs of early or late AMD. They found that eating 100 ml of olive oil every week cut AMD rates by 52 percent compared to lower olive oil intakes. That’s just about seven tablespoons, or less than a half cup of olive oil a week.

2. Goji Berries

Swiss researchers found that goji berries may reduce the risk of AMD. They conducted a double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled study of 150 people aged 65 to 70 years. Half the subjects received 13.7 grams per day of a milk-based formulation containing goji berry – also called wolfberry – or a placebo for 90 days. Goji berries are high in antioxidants and zeaxanthin.

The subjects were tested for blood levels of zeaxanthin and antioxidants. They were also examined for the appearance of drusen in the macula. Drusen are yellow deposits under the retina. They are made up of lipids, a fatty protein, and their presence indicates an increased risk of AMD. In the study, drusen increased in the placebo group but remained stable in the goji berry group.

In addition, zeaxanthin blood levels increased by 26 percent in the goji group and antioxidant capacity increased 57 percent. Those measures did not change in the placebo group.

3. Rosemary

A study from Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute found rosemary may protect against macular degeneration. Researchers discovered that carnosic acid, a component of rosemary, protects your retina from degeneration and toxicity. They treated retinal cells with carnosic acid found in rosemary and found it triggered the production of antioxidant enzymes in the cells. That in turn lowered cell-damaging free radicals. They also tested carnosic acid in animals, finding that mice treated with it suffered less vision damage when exposed to light.

4. Saffron

Australian and Italian researchers proved the Mediterranean spice saffron helps slow progression of AMD and improve vision. They conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of people with early stage AMD. One group in the study supplemented with 20 mg per day of saffron. After just 90 days the researchers saw significant improvement in the saffron group.[iii]

Then the researchers tested a group of 29 patients aged 55 to 85 with early-stage AMD. The patients received 20 mg per day of saffron as a supplement for about 14 months. All of the patients reported an improvement in their quality of vision. They experienced improvements in contrast and color perception, reading ability, and vision in low lighting. All of that added up to a substantial improvement in the patients’ quality of life.[iv]

The researchers noted that saffron from the crocus flower contains chemical compounds called crocin and crocetin. These are antioxidant derivatives of carotenoids. Crocin protects photoreceptors from light-induced death. Crocetin increases the availability of oxygen to the cells.

5. Ginkgo Biloba

French researchers tested ginkgo biloba against a placebo on 10 out-patients with senile macular degeneration. In spite of the small group, the researchers concluded that ginkgo biloba extract led to a statistically significant improvement in long distance visual acuity.

6. B Vitamins

A Harvard study found that daily supplementation with B vitamins may reduce the risk of AMD. Researchers conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 5,442 female health care professionals 40 years or older. Participants were randomly assigned to receive a daily combination of 2.5 mg of folic acid (vitamin B9), 50 mg of pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), and 1 mg of cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12), or placebo. After an average of 7.3 years of treatment and follow-up, the vitamin B group had a 34 percent lower risk of AMD. For visually significant AMD the risk dropped 41 percent. The researchers indicated that B vitamins may reduce high homocysteine levels which have been linked to AMD.

7. Egg Yolks

Studies show that egg yolks have the highest percentage levels of lutein and zeaxanthin.[v] Other sources containing both of these carotenoids are corn and honeydew melon, as well as dark leafy greens such as kale, turnip greens, collard greens, and romaine lettuce.

Foods highest in just lutein include kiwi, red seedless grapes, zucchini, yellow squash, pumpkin, cucumber, spinach, peas, green peppers, butternut squash, celery, Brussels sprouts, scallions, and broccoli.

Other foods high in zeaxanthin include orange peppers, oranges, and mango.

For more information visit GreenMed Info’s page on macular degeneration.

Originally published: 2016-04-14

Article Updated: 2019-10-30


References

[i] Age-Related Eye Disease Study Research Group, “A randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial of high-dose supplementation with vitamins C and E, beta carotene, and zinc for age-related macular degeneration and vision loss: AREDS report no. 8,” Archives of Ophthalmology, vol. 119, pp. 1417-1436, 2001.

[ii] The Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2) Research Group. Lutein + Zeaxanthin and Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Age-Related Macular Degeneration: The Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2) Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2013;309(19):2005-2015. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.4997.

[iii] Benedetto Falsini et al, “Influence of saffron supplementation on retinal flicker sensitivity in early age-related macular degeneration.” Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2010;51(12):6118-24. Epub 2010 Aug 4. PMID: 20688744

[iv] M. Piccardi et al, “A Longitudinal Follow-Up Study of Saffron Supplementation in Early Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Sustained Benefits to Central Retinal Function.” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 429124, 9 pages https://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/429124

[v] O. Sommerburg, J. Keunen, A. Bird, and F. J G M van Kuijk. “Fruits and vegetables that are sources for lutein and zeaxanthin: the macular pigment in human eyes.” 1998 Aug; 82(8): 907-910.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.
Posted by: | Posted on: September 24, 2019

From Tomb To Table: Cumin’s Health Benefits Rediscovered

© 20th September 2019 GreenMedInfo LLC. This work is reproduced and distributed with the permission of GreenMedInfo LLC. Want to learn more from GreenMedInfo? Sign up for the newsletter here www.greenmedinfo.com/greenmed/newsletter
Reproduced from original article:
www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/tomb-table-cumins-health-benefits-rediscovered

Posted on: Sunday, September 22nd 2019 at 8:30 am
Written By:  Sayer Ji, Founder

Traded along spice routes separating ancient cultures by vast distances, spices like cumin were once worth their weight in gold. Has modern science now revealed why, beyond their remarkable aesthetic value, they were so highly prized?

Many spices are perfectly happy living a charmed life as seasonings, peppering things generously with flavor, and without ever arousing the suspicion that they may be capable of profound acts of healing as well.

Meet cumin, a member of the parsley family, which is to say from a well-known family of healers native to the central Mediterranean region (southern Italy, Algeria and Tunisia).

Cumin’s traditional use stretches back into prehistory, as evidenced by its presence in Egyptian tombs.  The Greeks actually used it much like we use pepper today, keeping cumin at the dining table in its own container, which is still practiced by Moroccans to this day.  It is also been used for millennia in India as a traditional ingredient of curry.

An accumulating body of research now indicates that these ancient “culinary” uses, once considered primarily aesthetic in nature, may have served more fundamental medicinal roles in these cultures.  Modern scientific investigation has revealed that cumin has a broad range of potential healing properties that, when properly applied, could profoundly alleviate human suffering by providing natural alternatives to often highly toxic pharmaceutical interventions.

For instance, research published in the journal Food Chemistry and Toxicology demonstrated that cumin has blood sugar lowering properties comparable to the drug glibenclamide (known in the US as glyburide), with the additional benefit (not conferred by pharmaceutical intervention) that it also lowered oxidative stress and inhibited the advanced glycated end products (AGE), which are implicated in the pathogenesis of diabetic microvascular complications.[i]

Remarkably, this is only the tip of cumin’s medicinal potential. There are at least 10 other potential medicinal properties of cumin now confirmed in the experimental literature:

  • Bacterial Infections:  Cumin oil has been shown effective at killing Klebsiella penumoniae bacteria, including decreasing biofilm formation (a defense mechanism of bacteria against antibiotics), as well as enhancing the antimicrobial activity of conventional antibiotic drugs like ciprofloxacin.[ii]  Even more impressive, perhaps, cumin oil has been shown to have anti-MRSA properties.[iii]
  • Candida (Yeast) Infection: Unlike conventional antibiotics which contribute to opportunistic fungal overgrowth, cumin has been shown to have considerable inhibitory activity against 3 different Candida albicans strains of yeast.[iv] It has also been studied to be effective against a wide range of other fungi and yeasts, including Aspergilli and dermatophytes (fungi that cause skin diseases).[v]
  • Cataracts: Cumin has been shown to delay the formation of diabetes-associated cataracts primarily through its anti-glycating properties, i.e. it prevents elevated blood sugar from getting “sticky” (i.e. caramelization) and subsequently damaging tissues in the body.[vi]
  • Cancers: Cumin has been shown in preclinical research to have inhibitory activity against cervical cancer[vii] and colon cancer. [viii]
  • Dental Plaque: Cumin oil has been shown effective as an anti-gingival agent alternative to the chemical chlorhexidine commonly used in mouthwashes.[ix]
  • Diabetes: As mentioned in our opening, cumin has significant anti-diabetic properties. Another 2002 study found that the treatment of diabetic rats with cumin was more effective than the drug glibenclamide, resulting in reductions in inflammation, fatty changes, tissue cholesterol, triglycerides, free fatty acids, blood glucose and glycated hemoglobin – all positive indicators. [x]
  • Food-borne Pathogens – Cumin oil has been found to work synergistically with other food preservation agents to inhibit the growth of food-borne pathogens.[xi]
  • Immune Function: Cumin has been found to effectively stimulate immune function in a way that may benefit immune-compromised individuals.[xii]
  • Fertility (Reversible Contraceptive): Cumin has been found to have potent contraceptive activities in male rats without apparent toxicity.[xiii]
  • Memory Disorders: Cumin has been found to reduce stress-induced oxidative changes in the brain, as well as improving cognition, as determined by acquisition, retention and recovery in rats, in a dose-dependent manner.[xiv]
  • Morphine Dependence/Tolerance: Cumin reduces morphine tolerance and dependence. [xv] [xvi]
  • Osteoporosis: Cumin extract has been shown effective at reversing bone loss associated with the loss of ovarian function at least as well as estradiol.[xvii]
  • Thrombosis (Clot): Cumin seed has been demonstrated to inhibit platelet aggregation, indicating it may prevent pathological blood clotting.[xviii]  [Note: of course this means that it could interact adversely with blood thinners].

The so-called “evidence-based” approach of modern medical science to understanding cumin’s medicinal value is relatively new. Only in the past two decades, but especially in the past ten years, scientific research on spices and culinary herbs has virtually exploded. While enlightening, we must remember that the approach is limited in a number of ways. For one, it relies on animal research, which is both inherently cruel (vivisection) and conveys only approximate data, as these substances often have very different effects in animals than humans.

Also, spices like cumin should not be considered in isolation, as traditional recipes passed down from generation to generation contained a vast storehouse of medically relevant information pertaining to the synergies inherent in combinations of ingredients, modes of preparation, seasonal harvesting, etc. In other words, cumin does not lend itself well to the pharmacological, drug-based model of medicine, which presumes there are monochemical “magic bullets” within complex herbs or spices that must be identified and isolated into megadoses, and which are primarily responsible for their beneficial effects.

Nonetheless, it is welcoming that increasingly science confirms traditional herbalism and culinary practice. Perhaps, as the scientific evidence continues to pour in, we will be more willing to give ourselves permission to appreciate once again the wondrous superfluity of nature, its ceaseless benevolence, and the the fact that issuing directly from her fecund soil, are powerful healing gifts, that we can enjoy sensually, viscerally and now intellectually with greater abandon.


References

  • [iv] Juergen Wanner, Stefanie Bail, Leopold Jirovetz, Gerhard Buchbauer, Erich Schmidt, Velizar Gochev, Tanya Girova, Teodora Atanasova, Albena Stoyanova. Chemical composition and antimicrobial activity of cumin oil (Cuminum cyminum, Apiaceae). Nat Prod Commun. 2010 Sep ;5(9):1355-8. PMID: 20922990

Originally published: 2012-12-04

Article published: 2019-09-22

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of GreenMedInfo or its staff.