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Open mindedness

Posted by brendan_of_bonsai 4b AK (My Page) on
Fri, Apr 3, 09 at 12:31

A really good video on the subject can be found here I don't think herbalism is mentioned once (only Homeopathy, which is not herbalism) and I think everyone should be exposed to this sort of video. I think that closed minded believers are perhaps more likely to call someone closed minded because they themselves have been called that but failed to grasp the real meaning.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Open mindedness

I really don't see what you are suggesting. The debate in this forum has recently not been about the supernatural - it has been about defining words within the natural. For example, some contend that insulin cannot be toxic. They refuse to acknowledge that an overdose of insulin can be fatal, or that it is in any ways possible for insulin levels to be elevated from lifestyle factors and have a negative effect on health. Even when evidence is presented. That is not open-mindedness.

Or the notion that a 'healthy' person free from known disease has optimal functioning of all chemical processes - "their internal organs don't need any help." This is a glittering generality - a false dichotomy, where people move instantly from health to sickness.

Consider thyroid disease - we have a test for thyroid hormones, and we have a 'reference range' which separates 'low' from 'normal' thyroid function. But many people gradually shift from normal to low as they age, and experience coldness, lethargy, weight gain, and other symptoms of hypothyroidism even before they are clinically diagnosed with a problem. According to the dichotomous view, there is no problem until the measured blood level falls below some arbitrary value.

Should a person with thyroid hormone levels that are on the low end of normal (and who is usually feeling cold and lethargic) consider taking any action?? According to some here, no, because the organs of healthy person don't need help, and because the blood report 'proves' that the person is healthy. If their thyroid levels fell just a little, then action would be in order, as they are now unhealthy, by definition.


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RE: Open mindedness

I chose the video specifically because it was not on the subject of alternative medicine, Assuming you are not a lycanthropist I would imagine that you can agree with the sentiments and ideas in the video. I'm building a foundation of agreement and understanding in uncontested territory. I'd like to write several posts over the next few weeks/months on the subjects of critical thinking, argument analysis, and logic. I think that we could all benefit from a good hard look at how we argue and what we discuss.


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RE: Open mindedness

"lycanthropist"

Good word! I had to look that up!!!


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RE: Open mindedness

Same here ....

A lycanthropist studies the science of Lycanthropy..........


Clinical lycanthropy is defined as a rare psychiatric syndrome which involves a delusion that the affected person can or has transformed into an animal, or that he or she is an animal[1]. Its name is connected to the mythical condition of lycanthropy, a supernatural affliction in which people are said to physically shapeshift into wolves. The word zoanthropy is also sometimes used for the delusion that one has turned into an animal in general and not specifically a wolf[2]

You learn something new each day (if you are lucky!)


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RE: Open mindedness

"I'd like to write several posts over the next few weeks/months on the subjects of critical thinking, argument analysis, and logic. I think that we could all benefit from a good hard look at how we argue and what we discuss."

We could benefit, especially if such occasions are not used as a means to revive touchy subjects of old and get in a few more digs at one's opponent.

One general topic I'd like to see is the problem of using fallacies in debate (while we might like to think of this forum as simply a place to exchange information, inevitably there is some aspect of debate over how to use an herb, what works etc.).

This site has excellent information on the various fallacies that often crop up in forum discussions, op-ed articles, political debates etc. and hinder civil discussion. Some of the most common ones include the "straw man" argument (knocking down arguments your opponent has not made) and ad hominems (attempting to insult a poster rather than respond to points he/she has raised).

We could also do with a discussion of burden of proof, since that has been the subject of misunderstandings here.

"...the idea that Carl Sagan made popular, which is "Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence". The full quote from Dr Sagan is (actually, this is just one example of him using this phrase, but its a famous example of it, and its one I like, and helps to put this idea into context):

What counts is not what sounds plausible, not what we would like to believe, not what one or two witnesses claim, but only what is supported by hard evidence rigorously and skeptically examined. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."

It would require extraordinary restraint among posters not to dredge up old disagreements and personalize discussion of these points, but it might be fun and profitable to try.


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RE: Open mindedness

Found another take on the video brendan linked to.


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RE: Open mindedness

Other skills to explore are active listening, brainstorming, and problem solving, all of which include the input of others as a positive force.

There are scores of leadership skills. Most of them have to do with encouraging and enhancing the contributions of others.

Boundary setting is another available skill.


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RE: Open mindedness

>> "...the idea that Carl Sagan made popular, which is "Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence".

Ok ... but I don't think that claims like 'this herb can improve blood pressure,' 'that herb has have mild tranquilizing properties,' or 'this one reduces inflammation' qualify as extraordinary claims. Lots of plants have been shown to do that. Maybe if I said that ghosts or space aliens lived in my town, that would be extraordinary and require extraordinary proof.


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RE: Open mindedness

"Reduces inflammation" or "improves blood pressure" are rather vague claims without specific clinical implications.

If the idea is that a specific herbal regimen can replace standard treatment for hypertension, congestive heart failure, cancer etc. then those are heavy-duty claims requiring definitive evidence - i.e well-designed clinical trials, as opposed to testimonials, rat experiments or three-month pilot studies involving a handful of people and published in obscure foreign journals.


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RE: Open mindedness

I'd say that first they have to be well defined claims, I suspect that yours would fall into the ordinary category, at which point you have to find ordinary evidence, i.e. a reasonably well controlled study overseen by a party that was financially disinterested in the outcome that showed both physiological and statistical significance.


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RE: Open mindedness

Being "financially disinterested in the outcome" is not an absolute requirement for a study to have significance, but it does clarify the importance of having studies successfully replicated by others (which is important in any case).

Examples of other extraordinary claims requiring extraordinary evidence include statements like "Homeopathy works!" - when one is asserting effectiveness for a therapy that has no credible physiologic basis and/or violates well-established scientific principles.

Open-mindedness is a good thing, but you don't want to carry it to such an extreme that your brains are in danger of falling out. ;)


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RE: Open mindedness

>> "Reduces inflammation" or "improves blood pressure" are rather vague claims without specific clinical implications.

I don't think they are vague - if my blood pressure is 130/85 and I want to get it down closer to 120/80, and if an herb or exercise or dietary change can do that, then I don't really care how you construct your ideas of 'specific clinical' applications or implications. We know that aspirin/willow bark/turmeric/many other herbs have anti-inflammatory properties, and have a variety of uses ... if you aren't comfortable with the ambiguity of these uses and the lack of double-blind studies, OK - that's you.

>> as opposed to testimonials, rat experiments or three-month pilot studies involving a handful of people and published in obscure foreign journals.

Them durn furenurs! Publishing in oscbure furen jourinals!! Somebody oughta pass a law.

>> I'd say that first they have to be well defined claims, I suspect that yours would fall into the ordinary category, at which point you have to find ordinary evidence, i.e. a reasonably well controlled study overseen by a party that was financially disinterested in the outcome that showed both physiological and statistical significance.

Yeah, for the studies on hibiscus, there are 3 studies on humans (a total of ~340 subjects, in western refereed journals like J Hum Hypertens, Planta Med., and Phytomedicine.), all of which found statistical signficance and, when compared to a standard therapy, non-inferiority... and eric's response was FUD ... "oooh, that makes it a drug! people shouldn't take drugs unless their doctor tells them to! They don't use the word 'hypertension' the way I do, so they can't be legit"

The fact is that eric has an agenda of spreading fear, uncertainty and doubt about herbal medicine. All of these discussions about open mindedness and the scientific method are very nice, but it doesn't change his nit-picking and obstruction of nearly 100% of herbalist's claims - even when there is science to back them up.


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RE: Open mindedness

"Them durn furenurs! Publishing in oscbure furen jourinals!! Somebody oughta pass a law."

Hilarious, but you should know that not all published research is equal. A large-scale clinical trial published in the New England Journal of Medicine is bound to be more reliable than a small pilot study appearing in the Latvian Naturopathic Review. It's important to know whether research was peer-reviewed (i.e. by other experts in the field), and whether the journal adheres to internationally-recognized standards for research and transparency of researchers' affiliations. As mentioned in another thread, Chinese research studies have been shown to back acupuncture for various medical conditions about 100% of the time, compared to half or fewer of published articles in Western journals. Either acupuncture works great for everything, or Chinese publications are prone to exaggerating or outright fabricating its benefits.

"Yeah, for the studies on hibiscus, there are 3 studies on humans (a total of ~340 subjects, in western refereed journals like J Hum Hypertens, Planta Med., and Phytomedicine.), all of which found statistical signficance and, when compared to a standard therapy, non-inferiority... and eric's response was FUD ... "oooh, that makes it a drug! people shouldn't take drugs unless their doctor tells them to! They don't use the word 'hypertension' the way I do, so they can't be legit"

Nifty made-up quotes there - if I'd only said what you claim. Even stacked up together (which is not the way to do it), the numbers of people studied are too small for accurate conclusions and (as cited in the thread on hibiscus tea) we don't know if the effects will last over time or what the safety profile is for long-term use. And the Iranian study that was linked to in the hibiscus thread was severely flawed as you know - not double-blind as claimed, and involving a number of patients who didn't even qualify as having hypertension (not my definition, but the definition of hypertension recognized in standard medical practice).

Sorry to see you're back to pointless and inaccurate personal attacks, instead of calmly and civilly addressing issues raised in this thread.

Getting back to the issue of claims and supporting evidence, let's take the mushroom lingzhi. An example of a reasonable statement might be "Extracts of this herb have shown a protective effect against some types of liver damage in mice, and there's potential for usefulness in treating human liver disease depending on the outcome of expanded research."
An extraordinary claim might be "Lingzhi, the herb of spiritual potency and immortality in Chinese traditional medicine, has beneficial normalizing effects all over the body and is a great alternate cancer cure."

Such a claim would require extraordinary evidence to support it, and by any accepted medical/scientific standard such evidence does not exist.


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RE: Open mindedness

Academic articles produced in China are not reliable, I am not up to speed on the herbal literature, but the Cell& Molec bio material that comes from china is frequently dead wrong, zoology too.


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RE: Open mindedness

I don't know; the stainless steel cookpot I just bought that was made in China was flawless.

Indicates the capacity for accuracy to me.

...Are you making the claim that research in the US is without fault?


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RE: Open mindedness

Open-mindeness? Not seeing it in this post. Testing on rats and mice have nothing to do with the old, time-tested use of herbs. Leave your FDA and rat testing to another forum. I'm open minded, but not naive. I do my research, and rely on time tested results. I dont live in a lab, and I'm not a rat, subject to whatever convient methods and conditons opposed on me. Peace to you all, and close this post. LOL.


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RE: Open mindedness

Do you really think that making a piece of cookware and honestly producing academic papers are the same? Have you read any of the literature? I really don't think that the two subjects are related.


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RE: Open mindedness

It's not that dishonesty in research is unknown in the West - but that the problem is markedly worse in China, because adequate systems to detect and combat it do not exist, and the culture discourages whistle-blowers:

"The investigation of research misconduct is always fraught with difficulty, even if the necessary protocols and experienced expert committees are fully in place. In China, they are not. If the nation is to get to grips with the problem of misconduct as it becomes a substantial scientific power, that situation has to change.

Chinese research agencies do have structures for investigating misconduct allegations, but in the absence of open discussion and independent press scrutiny, few researchers have much faith in them...The Internet can play a particularly important role in countries such as China and South Korea that do not have adequate systems for investigating misconduct allegations. That isn't to say that countries with systems in place are totally on top of the problem, but at least they have developed some of the institutions and protocols needed to handle it.

Organizations charged with assessing allegations of scientific misconduct do exist in China, and on paper the system appears functional but there is no evidence that it really works. China lacks an independent press to report on such matters. The very size of the country and subsequent disparate implementation of policies set in Beijing make matters worse.

In addition, the cultural importance of 'saving face' in Chinese society makes the full-frontal public attacks that tend to characterize Western misconduct allegations almost unthinkable. There are no effective provisions to protect whistleblowers, so it is hard to believe that anyone who observes misconduct would summon the courage to report it to the authorities."

This article discusses, in addition to doping of Chinese medicines, the problem of biased research in China.

There also was a recent report finding that 60% of Chinese PhD candidates admitted to plagiarism and/or bribery.

The bottom line message again - not all published research is of equal value, and when doing our own reading we should take into account study size, relevance to human disease, quality of the research and the publication in which it appears.


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RE: Open mindedness

"Have you read any of the literature?"

I only read what is accessible to the average Westerner.

I find that the Chinese researchers have a different orientation than Western researchers. They may also have biases and their own slants, but they are different than the biases and slants of researchers in our own culture, so it is possible to gain new insights from them.

I find articles like the following to be very interesting.


"Journal List > J Zhejiang Univ Sci B > v.8(1); Jan 2007

PubMed articles by:
Islam, E.
Yang, X.
He, Z.
Mahmood, Q. J Zhejiang Univ Sci B. 2007 January; 8(1): 1-13.
Published online 2006 December 18. doi: 10.1631/jzus.2007.B0001. PMCID: PMC1764924

Copyright 2007, Journal of Zhejiang University Science
Assessing potential dietary toxicity of heavy metals in selected vegetables and food crops*
Ejaz ul Islam,1 Xiao-e Yang,1 Zhen-li He,1,2 and Qaisar Mahmood3
1MOE Key Lab of Environment Remediation and Ecosystem Health, School of Natural Resources and Environment Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310029, China
2Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Indian River Research and Education Center, University of Florida, FL 34945-3138, USA
3Department of Environmental Engineering, School of Natural Resources and Environment Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310029, China
Corresponding Author
E-mail:xyang@zju.edu.cn, Email: xyang581@yahoo.com
Received May 2, 2006; Accepted July 24, 2006.

INTRODUCTION
HAZARDOUS EFFECTS OF HEAVY METALS ON HUMAN HEALTH
GROWTH RESPONSES OF VEGETABLES TO HEAVY METALS
HEAVY METAL UPTAKE AND ACCUMULATION IN DIFFERENT PLANT PARTS OF VEGETABLES
SOIL THRESHOLD VALUES OF POTENTIAL DIETARY TOXICITY
BIOAVAILABILITY OF ADDED HEAVY METAL IN THE VEGETABLE GARDEN SOIL
SOIL-PLANT-MAN RELATIONS DETERMINING HEAVY METAL TOXICITY
CURRENT TECHNOLOGIES TO DECREASE DIETARY TOXICITY OF HEAVY METALS
CONCLUSION
References AbstractHeavy metals, such as cadmium, copper, lead, chromium and mercury, are important environmental pollutants, particularly in areas with high anthropogenic pressure. Their presence in the atmosphere, soil and water, even in traces can cause serious problems to all organisms, and heavy metal bioaccumulation in the food chain especially can be highly dangerous to human health. Heavy metals enter the human body mainly through two routes namely: inhalation and ingestion, ingestion being the main route of exposure to these elements in human population. Heavy metals intake by human populations through food chain has been reported in many countries. Soil threshold for heavy metal toxicity is an important factor affecting soil environmental capacity of heavy metal and determines heavy metal cumulative loading limits. For soil-plant system, heavy metal toxicity threshold is the highest permissible content in the soil (total or bioavailable concentration) that does not pose any phytotoxic effects or heavy metals in the edible parts of the crops does not exceed food hygiene standards. Factors affecting the thresholds of dietary toxicity of heavy metal in soil-crop system include: soil type which includes soil pH, organic matter content, clay mineral and other soil chemical and biochemical properties; and crop species or cultivars regulated by genetic basis for heavy metal transport and accumulation in plants. In addition, the interactions of soil-plant root-microbes play important roles in regulating heavy metal movement from soil to the edible parts of crops. Agronomic practices such as fertilizer and water managements as well as crop rotation system can affect bioavailability and crop accumulation of heavy metals, thus influencing the thresholds for assessing dietary toxicity of heavy metals in the food chain. This paper reviews the phytotoxic effects and bioaccumulation of heavy metals in vegetables and food crops and assesses soil heavy metal thresholds for potential dietary toxicity.
Keywords: Heavy metals, Dietary toxicity, Vegetables, Food crops

INTRODUCTION
HAZARDOUS EFFECTS OF HEAVY METALS ON HUMAN HEALTH
GROWTH RESPONSES OF VEGETABLES TO HEAVY METALS
HEAVY METAL UPTAKE AND ACCUMULATION IN DIFFERENT PLANT PARTS OF VEGETABLES
SOIL THRESHOLD VALUES OF POTENTIAL DIETARY TOXICITY
BIOAVAILABILITY OF ADDED HEAVY METAL IN THE VEGETABLE GARDEN SOIL
SOIL-PLANT-MAN RELATIONS DETERMINING HEAVY METAL TOXICITY
CURRENT TECHNOLOGIES TO DECREASE DIETARY TOXICITY OF HEAVY METALS
CONCLUSION
References INTRODUCTIONRegulation, handling and bioremediation of hazardous materials require an assessment of the risk to some living species other than human being, or assessment of hazard to the entire ecosystem. Assessment endpoints are values of the ecosystem that are to be protected and are identified early in the analysis. Such endpoints may include life cycle stages of a species and reproductive or growth patterns. Ecosystem risk assessment is at its dawn with this area of environment sciences still requiring extensive work in the industrialized nations of the world for sustainability of the global ecosystem.
Heavy metals, such as cadmium, copper, lead, chromium and mercury, are important environmental pollutants, particularly in areas with high anthropogenic pressure. Their presence in the atmosphere, soil and water, even in traces, can cause serious problems to all organisms. Heavy metal accumulation in soils is of concern in agricultural production due to the adverse effects on food quality (safety and marketability), crop growth (due to phytotoxicity) (Ma et al., 1994; Msaky and Calvert, 1990; Fergusson, 1990) and environmental health (soil flora/fauna and terrestrial animals). The mobilization of heavy metals into the biosphere by human activity has become an important process in the geochemical cycling of these metals. This is acutely evident in urban areas where various stationary and mobile sources release large quantities of heavy metals into the atmosphere and soil, exceeding the natural emission rates (Nriagu, 1989; Bilos et al., 2001). Heavy metal bioaccumulation in the food chain can be especially highly dangerous to human health. These metals enter the human body mainly through two routes namely: inhalation and ingestion, and with ingestion being the main route of exposure to these elements in human population. Heavy metals intake by human populations through the food chain has been reported in many countries with this problem receiving increasing attention from the public as well as governmental agencies, particularly in developing countries.
Vegetables constitute essential diet components by contributing protein, vitamins, iron, calcium and other nutrients, which are usually in short supply (Thompson and Kelly, 1990). They also act as buffering agents for acidic substances produced during the digestion process. However, they contain both essential and toxic elements over a wide range of concentrations. Metal accumulation in vegetables may pose a direct threat to human health (Trkdogan et al., 2003; Damek-Poprawa and Sawicka-Kapusta, 2003). Chinese cabbage (Brassica chinensis L. cv. Zao-Shu 5), winter greens (B. rosularis var. Tsen et Lee cv. Shang-Hai-Qing), pakchoi (Brassica chinensis L.) and celery (Apiumg graveolens L. var. dulce DC) are some crops, which were assessed for heavy metal toxicity. Vegetables take up metals by absorbing them from contaminated soils, as well as from deposits on different parts of the vegetables exposed to the air from polluted environments (Zurera-Cosano et al., 1989). It has been reported that nearly half of the mean ingestion of lead, cadmium and mercury through food is due to plant origin (fruit, vegetables and cereals). Moreover, some population groups seem to be more exposed, especially vegetarians, since they absorb more frequently tolerable daily doses.
Food contamination by heavy metals depends both on their mobility in the soil and their bioavailability. Though some of the mobility and bioavailability factors are easy to measure, determination of the food risk contamination is tricky. The aim of the present paper is to review concisely the phytotoxic effects and bioaccumulation of heavy metals in vegetables and food crops and assessment of soil heavy metal thresholds for potential dietary toxicity.
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Abstract
INTRODUCTION
HAZARDOUS EFFECTS OF HEAVY METALS ON HUMAN HEALTH
GROWTH RESPONSES OF VEGETABLES TO HEAVY METALS
HEAVY METAL UPTAKE AND ACCUMULATION IN DIFFERENT PLANT PARTS OF VEGETABLES
SOIL THRESHOLD VALUES OF POTENTIAL DIETARY TOXICITY
BIOAVAILABILITY OF ADDED HEAVY METAL IN THE VEGETABLE GARDEN SOIL
SOIL-PLANT-MAN RELATIONS DETERMINING HEAVY METAL TOXICITY
CURRENT TECHNOLOGIES TO DECREASE DIETARY TOXICITY OF HEAVY METALS
CONCLUSION
References HAZARDOUS EFFECTS OF HEAVY METALS ON HUMAN HEALTHChronic low-level intakes of heavy metals have damaging effects on human beings and other animals, since there is no good mechanism for their elimination. Metals such as lead, mercury, cadmium and copper are cumulative poisons. These metals cause environmental hazards and are reported to be exceptionally toxic (Ellen et al., 1990). Vegetables take up metals by absorbing them from contaminated soils, as well as from deposits on parts of the vegetables exposed to the air from polluted environments (Zurera-Cosano et al., 1989).
Metal contamination of garden soils may be widespread in urban areas due to past industrial activity and the use of fossil fuels (Chronopoulos et al., 1997; Snchez-Camazano et al., 1994; Sterrett et al., 1996; van Lune, 1987; Wong, 1996). Heavy metals may enter the human body through inhalation of dust, direct ingestion of soil, and consumption of food plants grown in metal-contaminated soil (Cambra et al., 1999; Dudka and Miller, 1999; Hawley, 1985). Potentially toxic metals are also present in commercially produced foodstuffs (DEFRA, 1999). Exposure to potentially toxic metals from dust inhalation or soil ingestion is usually modelled simply as the concentration of a contaminant measured in the soil multiplied by the quantity of dust inhaled or soil ingested (Konz et al., 1989). This is a conservative approach to estimate dose, because the bioaccessibility of heavy metals adsorbed on ingested soil is not 100% (Ruby et al., 1999). However, predicting exposure to potentially toxic metals from consumption of food crops is more complicated because uptake of metals by plants depends on soil properties and plant physiologic factors. This leads to much larger uncertainties associated with estimating potential doses through food chains compared to the uncertainties associated with other exposure pathways such as soil ingestion and dust inhalation (McKone, 1994).
Lead is a toxic element that can be harmful to plants, although plants usually show ability to accumulate large amounts of lead without visible changes in their appearance or yield. In many plants, Pb accumulation can exceed several hundred times the threshold of maximum level permissible for human (Wierzbicka, 1995). The introduction of Pb into the food chain may affect human health, and thus, studies concerning Pb accumulation in vegetables have increasing importance (Coutate, 1992). Although a maximum Pb limit for human health has been established for edible parts of crops (0.2 mg/kg) (Chinese Department of Preventive Medicine, 1994), soil Pb thresholds for producing safe vegetables are not available.
Knowledge of Zn toxicity in humans is minimal. The most important information reported is its interference with Cu metabolism (Barone et al., 1998; Gyorffy and Chan, 1992). The symptoms that an acute oral Zn dose may provoke include: tachycardia, vascular shock, dyspeptic nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, pancreatictis and damage of hepatic parenchyma (Salgueiro et al., 2000). Although maximum Zn tolerance for human health has been established for edible parts of crops (20 mg/kg) (Chinese Department of Preventive Medicine, 1995), soil Zn threshold for producing safe vegetables is not available.
According to Hough et al.(2004) under Part IIA of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, the UK government favors a "suitable for use" approach to redevelopment (DETR, 2000): Land is contaminated only if the current or intended use of a site has the potential to cause an unacceptable health risk to human occupants or to the environment. Under the UK Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (DETR, 2000), this approach requires that land be assessed for redevelopment on a site-specific basis. At present, concentrations of metals in the soil are compared to metal-specific "trigger values" (termed "maximum contaminant levels" or "maximum contaminant concentrations" in North America). In the past these trigger values were based on total contaminant concentration in the soil (ICRCL, 1987). More recently, the introduction of Contaminated Land Exposure Assessment (CLEA) (DEFRA and Environment Agency, 2002a) in April 2002 has replaced these trigger values with generic soil guidance values (SGVs) (DEFRA and Environment Agency, 2002b). The SGVs are considered a significant improvement on the previous ICRCL values and for Cd at least, soil pH categories are employed where food plants are to be grown. Where a soil exceeds the SGV, it is recommended that a risk assessment or remediation measure be conducted for the site in question (DEFRA and Environment Agency, 2002b). Additionally, exceeding of an SGV indicates that some further risk management action should be undertaken. However, the use of single trigger values or SGVs for most scenarios may represent a poor indication of the risk associated with a specific site. There is therefore a requirement for site-specific risk assessment based on commonly measured geochemical and population parameters (Hough et al., 2004).
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Abstract
INTRODUCTION
HAZARDOUS EFFECTS OF HEAVY METALS ON HUMAN HEALTH
GROWTH RESPONSES OF VEGETABLES TO HEAVY METALS
HEAVY METAL UPTAKE AND ACCUMULATION IN DIFFERENT PLANT PARTS OF VEGETABLES
SOIL THRESHOLD VALUES OF POTENTIAL DIETARY TOXICITY
BIOAVAILABILITY OF ADDED HEAVY METAL IN THE VEGETABLE GARDEN SOIL
SOIL-PLANT-MAN RELATIONS DETERMINING HEAVY METAL TOXICITY
CURRENT TECHNOLOGIES TO DECREASE DIETARY TOXICITY OF HEAVY METALS
CONCLUSION
References GROWTH RESPONSES OF VEGETABLES TO HEAVY METALSCrop plants growing on heavy metal contaminated medium can accumulate high concentrations of trace elements to cause serious health risk to consumers. Long et al.(2003) studied the effects of excess zinc on plant growth of three selected vegetables i.e. Chinese cabbage, celery and pakchoi. They found that excess Zn in growth media caused toxicity to all three vegetable crops. Toxicity symptoms included chlorosis in young leaves, browning of coralloid roots, and serious inhibition on plant growth. Shoot fresh weight (FW) progressively decreased with increasing Zn concentrations. Large differences in Zn tolerance were also noted among the three vegetable crops (Table 1). Celery was more sensitive to higher Zn levels and reduced shoot growth than Chinese cabbage and pakchoi. Shoot FW decreased to approximately 63%, 73% and 36% of the control for Chinese cabbage, pakchoi and celery, respectively, when plants were grown at Zn level of 50 mg/L.
Table 1
Effects of soil Zn levels on growth and yield of different vegetable crops grown under soil culture conditions*

Although no visible Zn toxicity symptoms were observed in the soil experiment, shoot growth was significantly inhibited at Zn levels above 200 mg/kg for celery and Chinese cabbage, and above 300 mg/kg for pakchoi (Table 1). Shoot DW (dry weight) decreased by 10% for Chinese cabbage and celery, but increased by 13% for pakchoi when grown at the soil diethylenetriamene pentaacetic acid (DTPA) extractable Zn level of 72 mg/kg. However, at soil DTPA-Zn levels up to 172 mg/kg, similar yield reduction was observed with celery and pakchoi (Long et al., 2003). Root DW was reduced more than shoot DW for pakchoi grown at high Zn levels. Similar sensitivity of both root and shoot growth to Zn toxicity was noted for celery. The results showed that pakchoi required higher soil Zn concentrations for optimal growth and was more tolerant to Zn at soil available Zn concentrations less than 132 mg/kg than the other two vegetable species (Long et al., 2003).
Xiong and Wang (2005) showed that seed germination was significantly adversely influenced by Cu (P<0.001) in Brassica pekinensis. The 0.5 mmol/L Cu treatment remarkably reduced the germination rate, and the LC 50 (median lethal concentration), calculated as the lethal effect on seed germination, was 0.348 mmol/L. Root and shoot lengths of the young seedlings were also inhibited by Cu, but stimulatory elongation of the shoots occurred with the 0.008 mmol/L treatment.
Further investigations (Zhang and Zhou, 2005) showed that the Al-based coagulants at the tested concentrations had a poisonous effect on the germination of vegetable seeds. There were positive curvilinear or linear relationships between the inhibitory rate of seed germination and the concentration of Al in the acidic and neutral conditions except for the toxic effects of PAC (polyaluminum-chloride) on Brassica chinensis in the neutral condition (Zhang and Zhou, 2005). Moreover there were obvious differences in root elongation of Brassica chinensis exposed to AlCl3 in various pH conditions.
High copper levels in growth media caused toxicity to all the three vegetable crops, resulted in chlorosis in new leaves, brown, stunted, coralloid roots, and plant growth was inhibited (Yang et al., 2002). Shoot fresh weight (FW) progressively decreased with increasing Cu levels in the nutrient solution. Great differences in Cu tolerance were also noted among the three vegetable crops. Shoot fresh weight of pakchoi, celery and Chinese cabbage decreased to about 33%, 37% and 50% of the control, respectively, when grown with Cu supply of 10 mg/L. These results indicate that celery is more tolerant to the toxicity of Cu than Chinese cabbage or pakchoi grown in nutrient solution (Yang et al., 2002).
Other studies conducted on vegetables i.e. celery, Chinese cabbage and winter greens by Ni et al.(2002) demonstrated that no nutrient deficiency or toxicity symptoms caused by cadmium were visible on any plant. Biomass productions of root and shoot for Chinese cabbage and winter greens, as well as root, petiole and leaf blade for celery, expressed as FW were not significantly different among the treatments (Table 2).
Table 2
Biomass production of vegetable crops in pot experiment
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Abstract
INTRODUCTION
HAZARDOUS EFFECTS OF HEAVY METALS ON HUMAN HEALTH
GROWTH RESPONSES OF VEGETABLES TO HEAVY METALS
HEAVY METAL UPTAKE AND ACCUMULATION IN DIFFERENT PLANT PARTS OF VEGETABLES
SOIL THRESHOLD VALUES OF POTENTIAL DIETARY TOXICITY
BIOAVAILABILITY OF ADDED HEAVY METAL IN THE VEGETABLE GARDEN SOIL
SOIL-PLANT-MAN RELATIONS DETERMINING HEAVY METAL TOXICITY
CURRENT TECHNOLOGIES TO DECREASE DIETARY TOXICITY OF HEAVY METALS
CONCLUSION
References HEAVY METAL UPTAKE AND ACCUMULATION IN DIFFERENT PLANT PARTS OF VEGETABLESPlant species and varieties vary in their capacity for heavy metal accumulation. Long et al.(2003) showed that zinc uptake and accumulation by shoots and roots varied with Zn levels in growth media and vegetable types (Table 3). Both shoot and root Zn concentrations increased sharply with increasing Zn concentrations for Chinese cabbage, celery and pakchoi. However, shoots contained over 3-fold less Zn than roots when grown under nutrient solution culture conditions. The three vegetable crops differed greatly in their ability to take up Zn from the growth media and to transport it to the shoots. At an external Zn level of 25 mg/L, shoot Zn concentration of Chinese cabbage was almost 2-fold lower than that of pakchoi or celery (Table 3). Zinc concentration in the edible part of celery was nearly 2-fold higher than that of the other two species when grown at higher Zn levels (50 mg/L). Moreover, under soil culture conditions, the zinc accumulation coefficient (AF) in shoots increased for pakchoi, but decreased for celery and Chinese cabbage when soil available Zn was raised from 18 to 172 mg/L (Table 4). However, root Zn AF increased to varied extents, with increasing soil Zn for all the vegetables. Celery showed the highest AF in edible parts at low soil Zn i.e. CK (control), whereas pakchoi had the highest AF of Zn at higher soil available Zn levels. The AF for zinc in edible parts of the three vegetable crops decreased in the order: pakchoi, celery (stem) and Chinese cabbage. Significant positive correlations were noted between shoot Zn and soil available Zn level (Long et al., 2003). Zn threshold for human health has been established to be 20 mg/kg (Chinese Department of Preventive Medicine, 1995).
Table 3
Zn concentration in different parts of different vegetable crops grown in nutrient solution*

Table 4
Zn accumulation coefficients (AFs) of different vegetable crops grown at various soil Zn levels*

Ni et al.(2002) studied the effect of Cd on the growth of three vegetable crops i.e. Chinese cabbage (Brassica chinensis L. cv. Zao-Shu 5), winter greens (B. rosularis var. Tsen et Lee cv. Shang-Hai-Qing), and celery (Apiumg graveolens L. var. dulce DC). Their results indicated that the cadmium concentrations in shoots and roots varied both with different Cd levels and type of vegetable. Generally Cd accumulation in various plant parts in vegetable crops increased with the increasing cadmium concentrations in the growth medium. Root Cd increased more sharply than shoot Cd. Celery contained higher Cd in the edible parts than other vegetable species (Table 5).
Table 5
Cd concentration in different parts of vegetables in pot experiment

Yang et al.(2002) studied the response of three vegetables to Cu toxicity and found that Cu levels in both root and shoot increased, but root Cu concentration increased more sharply than shoot with increasing Cu levels in growth media. Cu mainly accumulated in roots while a small fraction (10%~20%) of absorbed Cu was transported to shoot (Table 6). Celery accumulated higher Cu content both in roots (1557 mg/L) and shoot (166.7 mg/L in leaves).
Table 6
Cu concentration in different parts of different vegetables grown in nutrient solution

Copper AFs in the shoots of vegetable species were relatively small when grown at soil addition Cu levels of 200~400 mg/kg and dramatically increased at soil addition Cu levels above 600 mg/kg (Table 7).
Table 7
Cu accumulation coefficients (AFs) of different vegetable crops grown at various soil Cu levels

While investigating copper toxicity and bioaccumulation in Chinese cabbage (Brassica pekinensis Rupr.), Xiong and Wang (2005) found that Cu concentration in the shoots was significantly influenced by Cu treatment (P<0.001). Cu concentration increased markedly with an increase in the soil Cu concentration. With a background level of Cu (the control, 13.6 mg/kg dry soil), Cu concentration in the shoots was 9.9 mg/kg. With the 0.2 mmol/kg treatment, shoot Cu concentration rose to 42.5 mg/kg. With the 1.0 mmol/kg treatment, shoot Cu concentration was 119.0 mg/kg (1.9 mmol/kg). According to the LSD test, shoot Cu concentration in both treatments was significantly higher than that in the control. These facts showed that when Chinese cabbage (cultivar Xiayangbai) plants were exposed to certain levels of Cu pollution, the shoots could accumulate a relatively high amount of Cu.
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Abstract
INTRODUCTION
HAZARDOUS EFFECTS OF HEAVY METALS ON HUMAN HEALTH
GROWTH RESPONSES OF VEGETABLES TO HEAVY METALS
HEAVY METAL UPTAKE AND ACCUMULATION IN DIFFERENT PLANT PARTS OF VEGETABLES
SOIL THRESHOLD VALUES OF POTENTIAL DIETARY TOXICITY
BIOAVAILABILITY OF ADDED HEAVY METAL IN THE VEGETABLE GARDEN SOIL
SOIL-PLANT-MAN RELATIONS DETERMINING HEAVY METAL TOXICITY
CURRENT TECHNOLOGIES TO DECREASE DIETARY TOXICITY OF HEAVY METALS
CONCLUSION
References SOIL THRESHOLD VALUES OF POTENTIAL DIETARY TOXICITYSoil threshold for heavy metal toxicity is an important factor affecting soil environment capacity of heavy metal and determining heavy metal cumulative loading limit. For the soil-plant system, the heavy metal toxicity threshold is the highest permissible content in the soil (total or bioavailable concentration) that does not produce any phytotoxicity (i.e., inhibition of plant growth and decrease of yield), or the heavy metal in the edible parts of crops does not exceed the critical dietary heavy metal threshold for human health. During the recent years much effort was exerted to calculate the soil thresholds of potential dietary toxicity by different ways.
The critical food Cu threshold for human health has been established to be 10 mg/kg (Chinese Department of Preventive Medicine, 1995). Yang et al. (2002) reported that from the regression lines between shoot DM yields and Cu concentration in plant tissue or soil, soil Cu thresholds for phytotoxicity (10% yield reduction) and potential dietary toxicity in edible parts of the vegetables could be calculated. Soil total and available Cu thresholds for potential dietary toxicity in the edible parts of vegetable crops were 5-fold higher than those for phytotoxicity (at 10% yield reduction) (Table 8). Among the three vegetable crops, pakchoi had much lower soil total and available Cu thresholds, as compared with the other two vegetable species.
Table 8
Soil Cu thresholds for yield reduction and potential dietary toxicity in edible parts of the vegetables

The critical dietary Zn threshold for human health has been established to be 20 mg/kg (Chinese Department of Preventive Medicine, 1995). Long et al.(2003) showed that from the regression equations between shoot yield or Zn concentration and soil total or available Zn, soil Zn thresholds for yield reduction (decreased 10%) and potential dietary toxicity in edible parts of the vegetables could be calculated (Table 9). The total soil Zn thresholds for shoot dry matter yield reduction were higher for pakchoi and only slightly lower for celery (stem), than that for potential dietary toxicity. Soil available Zn thresholds for Zn potential dietary toxicity were 175.6, 74.9 and 101.0 mg/kg for Chinese cabbage, pakchoi, and celery (stem), respectively. For pakchoi, a higher soil available Zn threshold for yield reduction (10%) (103 mg/kg) was again noted relating to that for potential dietary toxicity (74.9 mg/kg). The lower soil available Zn threshold for Zn potential dietary toxicity for pakchoi than for the other vegetable species is mainly associated with its greater ability to absorb Zn from the soil and to translocate and accumulate Zn in the shoots. These results indicate that some vegetable species, like pakchoi, may accumulate Zn in the edible part over dietary toxic threshold before yield reduction occurs.
Table 9
Soil Zn thresholds for yield reduction and potential dietary toxicity in edible parts of the vegetables

Based on the regression equation established in our study and the limit of cadmium concentration in vegetable products (0.05 mg/kg fresh weight, GBN 238-84 in China), the threshold of Cd concentration in growth media was evaluated as 0.5 mg/kg of soil extractable Cd for soil. The results indicated that the criteria for extractable Cd content in soil were 0.869, 0.730 and 0.489 mg/kg soil for Chinese cabbage, winter greens and celery, respectively (Table 10) (Ni et al., 2002).
Table 10
Correlative relationship between Cd concentration in edible parts of vegetable crops (C p) and extractable Cd content in soil (C s) and the evaluated criteria of Cd pollution in growth media
Top
Abstract
INTRODUCTION
HAZARDOUS EFFECTS OF HEAVY METALS ON HUMAN HEALTH
GROWTH RESPONSES OF VEGETABLES TO HEAVY METALS
HEAVY METAL UPTAKE AND ACCUMULATION IN DIFFERENT PLANT PARTS OF VEGETABLES
SOIL THRESHOLD VALUES OF POTENTIAL DIETARY TOXICITY
BIOAVAILABILITY OF ADDED HEAVY METAL IN THE VEGETABLE GARDEN SOIL
SOIL-PLANT-MAN RELATIONS DETERMINING HEAVY METAL TOXICITY
CURRENT TECHNOLOGIES TO DECREASE DIETARY TOXICITY OF HEAVY METALS
CONCLUSION
References BIOAVAILABILITY OF ADDED HEAVY METAL IN THE VEGETABLE GARDEN SOILTotal soil metals can be used to estimate the degree of soil exposure to heavy metal pollution, although this is not generally well correlated with metal mobility and bioavailability (Kuo et al., 1983). Metals such as Zn exist in soils in various fractions, chemical species or forms including: exchangeable, carbonate-bound, oxide-bound, organic matter-bound and crystal lattice metals (Shuman, 1991). Availability of soil Zn to plants differs and may be governed by dynamic equilibrium among these fractions (Kiekens, 1990). The biologically active fractions of Zn in soils mainly consist of its soluble, exchangeable and complexed forms. Many studies showed that DTPA-etractable Zn is correlated well with plant uptake Zn (Arnesen and Singh, 1998; Miner et al., 1997). DTPA extractable Zn decreased progressively with incubation time, and leveled off in 8~12 weeks of incubation. However, after 12-week incubation, 60%~70% of added Zn was still extractable by the DTPA method (Long et al., 2003). The results showed that a major portion of the Zn added to the garden soil is phytoavailable, which is in agreement with other studies (Cajuste et al., 2000; Darmawa and Wada, 1999).
Total copper in soil includes six pools classified according to their physicochemical behavior. The pools are soluble ions and inorganic and organic complexes in soil solution; exchangeable Cu; stable organic complexes in humus; Cu adsorbed by hydrous oxides of Mn, Fe and Al; Cu adsorbed on the clay-humus colloidal complex; and crystal lattice-bound Cu (Baker, 1990). When added to soil, Cu may react with soil constituents, changes its chemical form, then its availability to plants is also altered. The amount of soil Cu removed by a chemical chelating agent like DTPA or EDTA is considered as the plant available portion (Baker, 1990). The DTPA extractable Cu decreased with incubation time, especially in the first 8 weeks. After 12-week incubation, 60% of added Cu was not extractable by DTPA. These may have resulted from transformation of the added soluble Cu fraction to slowly available fractions of Cu in the soil (Yang et al., 2002).
Although the amount of soil heavy metal removed by a chelating agent like DTPA or EDTA is considered to be the plant-available portion, many results have shown that the concentration of Pb is not well correlated to the amount of plant uptake (Yang and Zhang, 1993). Some results showed that significant and positive correlations existed between shoot Pb and soil NH4NO3-extractable Pb levels (Song, 2002).
Top
Abstract
INTRODUCTION
HAZARDOUS EFFECTS OF HEAVY METALS ON HUMAN HEALTH
GROWTH RESPONSES OF VEGETABLES TO HEAVY METALS
HEAVY METAL UPTAKE AND ACCUMULATION IN DIFFERENT PLANT PARTS OF VEGETABLES
SOIL THRESHOLD VALUES OF POTENTIAL DIETARY TOXICITY
BIOAVAILABILITY OF ADDED HEAVY METAL IN THE VEGETABLE GARDEN SOIL
SOIL-PLANT-MAN RELATIONS DETERMINING HEAVY METAL TOXICITY
CURRENT TECHNOLOGIES TO DECREASE DIETARY TOXICITY OF HEAVY METALS
CONCLUSION
References SOIL-PLANT-MAN RELATIONS DETERMINING HEAVY METAL TOXICITYSoil-to-plant transfer is one of the key components of human exposure to metals through the food chain. Lacatusu et al.(1996) studied soil-plant-man relationships in heavy metal polluted areas in Romania and detected significant overclark levels of Cd and Pb from the geogenic abundance viewpoint. Although the polluted soils were neutral to slightly alkaline and well supplied with organic matter, the soluble forms of heavy metals in EDTA-CH3COONH4, pH=7.0 represented on average 37% Cd, 17% Cu, 28% Pb and 14% Zn, respectively of their global concentration, exceeding the maximum allowable limits (MAL), for soluble forms, by on average up to 14.8 (Pb), 4.2 (Cd) and 2.1 (Zn) times. The relationship between their contents in plants and in soil (soluble forms) showed significant correlations for Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn. As a result, the contents of these elements in vegetables often exceed those allowable for normal human and animal consumption. In this case, if an adult consumed 2 kg potatoes, 2 kg tomatoes and 1 kg carrots in a week, his/her food would exceed by 12% the MAL for Cd (0.525 mg). The daily maximum allowable rate of ingested Pb (0.430 mg) could be reached by consuming 880 g of vegetables (equal parts of potatoes, tomatoes, carrots and cucumbers). The higher acidity of soils enhances the transfer of large amounts of heavy metals in soluble forms, exceeding MAL on average up to 23.4 (Pb), 2.1 (Cd), 2.8 (Cu) and 2.7 (Zn) times. As a result the average Pb content in carrots was 10 times higher than the MAL and the Pb accumulation in the lettuce, parsley and garden orach, significantly above the critical contents. At the same time, the Cd content in the analyzed vegetables exceeded by 5 times the MAL, while the Cu and Zn contents were close to critical levels (Lacatusu et al., 1996). Ingestion of vegetables containing high concentrations of heavy metals is one of the main ways in which these elements enter the human body. Typical diseases recorded were Pb and Cd intoxication, saturnine encephalopathy, radial nerve paralysis and saturnine colic. The most affected group of inhabitants was children (Lacatusu et al., 1996). Estimates from various countries showed that the dietary intake for lead in adults is between 54 mg per day (Dabeca et al., 1987) and 412 mg per day (Dick et al., 1978), and that of cadmium is between 10 and 30 mg per day (Reilly, 1991). For zinc and copper, the estimated daily intake is from 1 to 3 mg, and 10 to 20 mg, respectively (Fox, 1982). Lacatusu et al.(1996) found that their estimations for lead and zinc were above those reported from other countries whereas the estimation for cadmium was within the range. The levels of copper were observed to be below the estimation. Bahemuka and Mubofu (1999) suggested that a large daily intake of these vegetables is likely to cause a detrimental health hazard to the consumer.
Since the dietary intake of food may constitute a major source of long-term low-level body accumulation of heavy metals, the detrimental impact becomes apparent only after several years of exposure. Regular monitoring of these metals from effluents, sewage, in vegetables and in other food materials is essential for preventing excessive buildup of the metals in the food chain (Bahemuka and Mubofu, 1999).
Top
Abstract
INTRODUCTION
HAZARDOUS EFFECTS OF HEAVY METALS ON HUMAN HEALTH
GROWTH RESPONSES OF VEGETABLES TO HEAVY METALS
HEAVY METAL UPTAKE AND ACCUMULATION IN DIFFERENT PLANT PARTS OF VEGETABLES
SOIL THRESHOLD VALUES OF POTENTIAL DIETARY TOXICITY
BIOAVAILABILITY OF ADDED HEAVY METAL IN THE VEGETABLE GARDEN SOIL
SOIL-PLANT-MAN RELATIONS DETERMINING HEAVY METAL TOXICITY
CURRENT TECHNOLOGIES TO DECREASE DIETARY TOXICITY OF HEAVY METALS
CONCLUSION
References CURRENT TECHNOLOGIES TO DECREASE DIETARY TOXICITY OF HEAVY METALSDifferent technologies have been employed for soil decontamination. Two strategies depending on the amount of heavy metal contents in soil can be adopted. First is the application of different agronomical practices in order to minimize the availability of heavy metals in soils. These include pH modification, organic matter management, fertilizer management, and choice of the most suitable vegetables for a particular soil. This strategy can be employed in areas where heavy metal pollution is not extensive. Another way is the use of phytoremediation techniques in which metal accumulating plants are used to transport and concentrate metals from soil into the aboveground shoots, which are then harvested. This technique is ideal in soils where heavy metal pollution is very high.
Phytoremediation i.e. use of higher plants to absorb heavy metals from polluted lands, has gained much interest recently. Phytoremediation may include phytoextraction, phytoviolatilization, rhizofiltration or phytostabilization. A number of plant species from Angiospermic groups have been employed to carry out phytoremediation. Certain plants such as Thlaspi caerulenscens, Haumaniastrum robertii, Ipomoea alpina, Macadamia neurophylla, Psychotria douarret, Thlaspi rotundifolium, etc. which can selectively accumulate heavy metals are employed to remove heavy metals from soils. Such plants can accumulate 10~500 times higher levels than crops.
Uptake of metal ions is an essential part of plant nutrition. Several heavy metals such as Cu, Mn, Zn, Fe and Ni play important roles in enzyme induction and reaction, membrane function, and isozyme activity. The response of plants to high concentrations of metals varies across a broad spectrum from toxic reaction to tolerance; some plants are obligate metallophytes with a physiological requirement for elevated metal contents in soils (Nedelkoska and Doran, 2000). Of those plant species that actively accumulate metals i.e. hyperaccumulators store metals in their tissues at concentrations far exceeding those in the environment. Heavy metal contents in hyperaccumulators are at least 100 times those found in nonhyperaccumulator plants grown in soil under the same conditions (Brooks et al., 1998). The number of confirmed hyperaccumulating species is expanding rapidly, and includes about 300 plants that hyperaccumulate nickel, 26 cobalt, 24 copper, 16 zinc and 11 manganese. Hyperaccumulators of selenium, thallium, cadmium, lead and uranium have also been reported (Brooks et al., 1998).
Although the existence of hyperaccumulating plants has been known for more than 20 years, their potential environmental and commercial applications have only recently been considered in detail (Robinson et al., 1997a; 1997b). Hyperaccumulators that can remove metals from contaminated soils and polluted rivers and lakes are being investigated for phytoremediation of sites affected by sewage sludge; metal-rich mine tailings, and downwash or aerial fallout from smelting and electroplating factories (Brooks and Robinson, 1998; Salt et al., 1998). Another application is phytomining, whereby hyperaccumulator plants are grown on low-grade ores, the metal-laden crop harvested, and the biomass treated to recover the metal (Brooks et al., 1998). The advantage of this agricultural approach to mining is its low cost relative to conventional methods, allowing economic exploitation of ore or mineralized soil that is too metal-poor for direct mining operations (Nedelkoska and Doran, 2000).
So far, the mechanisms of metal uptake by hyperaccumulating plants and the basis of their metal specificity are poorly understood; the phytochemistry involved varies considerably depending on the metal and plant species (Brooks, 1998). Several reports have suggested that metals are detoxified in hyperaccumulators by binding with low-molecular-weight ligands such as histidine (Krmer et al., 1996) or organic acids such as citric, malic and malonic acids (Kersten et al., 1980; Sagner et al., 1998; Tolr et al., 1996b). However, complexation with such universal plant metabolites is considered by some researchers to be insufficient explanation for the special properties of hyperaccumulator plants, including their metal specificity (Homer et al., 1991). Other mechanisms that could be involved in hyperaccumulation include metal translocation within the plant (Krmer et al., 1996; Tolr et al., 1996a) and compartmentation within the cells, for example, in vacuoles (Vzquez et al., 1992). The role of phytochelatins in hyperaccumulators is unclear at present, although many plants for normal metal homeostasis use these cysteine rich peptides (Nedelkoska and Doran, 2000). Several reports have concluded that phytochelatins are not primarily responsible for hyperaccumulation of Ni or Zn (Krmer et al., 1996; Shen et al., 1997).
Most studies of hyperaccumulation have been carried out using whole plants grown either in soil or hydroponically. For investigation of the mechanisms and metabolic responses of hyperaccumulators rather than agronomic characteristics, there are advantages associated with alternative plant cultivation systems (Nedelkoska and Doran, 2000). In vitro culture of organs such as roots and shoots allows indefinite propagation and experimentation using tissues derived from the same plant, thus avoiding the effects of variability between individual specimens (Pollard and Baker, 1996). Axenic conditions in tissue culture prevent microbial symbiosis disguising the metal uptake characteristics of plants grown in soil, while better control over environmental conditions at the roots can be obtained compared with pot cultivation. Experiments using separately cultured organs also allow the metal accumulation properties of each organ to be identified without interference from translocation effects. Genetically transformed hairy roots produced by infection of plants with Agrobacterium rhizogenes are a convenient form of organ culture (Doran, 1997) and have been used previously in phytoremediation studies (Hughes et al., 1997; Macek et al., 1994; Maitani et al., 1996; Metzger et al., 1992). However, as generation of hairy roots of hyperaccumulating species has not been reported previously, their abilities to hyperaccumulate metals and their utility in hyperaccumulation research have not yet been demonstrated (Nedelkoska and Doran, 2000).
Top
Abstract
INTRODUCTION
HAZARDOUS EFFECTS OF HEAVY METALS ON HUMAN HEALTH
GROWTH RESPONSES OF VEGETABLES TO HEAVY METALS
HEAVY METAL UPTAKE AND ACCUMULATION IN DIFFERENT PLANT PARTS OF VEGETABLES
SOIL THRESHOLD VALUES OF POTENTIAL DIETARY TOXICITY
BIOAVAILABILITY OF ADDED HEAVY METAL IN THE VEGETABLE GARDEN SOIL
SOIL-PLANT-MAN RELATIONS DETERMINING HEAVY METAL TOXICITY
CURRENT TECHNOLOGIES TO DECREASE DIETARY TOXICITY OF HEAVY METALS
CONCLUSION
References CONCLUSIONFactors affecting the thresholds of dietary toxicity of heavy metal in soil-crop system include: soil type involving soil pH, organic matter content, clay mineral and other soil chemical and biochemical properties; and crop species or cultivars regulated by genetic basis for heavy metal transport and accumulation in plants. In addition, the interactions of soil-plant roots-microbes play important roles in regulating heavy metal movement from soil to the edible parts of crops. Agronomic practices such as fertilizer and water management and crop rotation system can affect bioavailability and crop accumulation of heavy metals, thus influencing the thresholds of assessing dietary toxicity of heavy metals in food chain.
Further research is needed to find out the variations in metal uptake by different vegetable species, and the site-specific risk assessment guidelines to highlight and to minimize the potential health risks of ingesting vegetables containing high levels of heavy metals.
Footnotes*Project supported by the Science and Technology Ministry of China (No. 2002CB410804) and the Education Ministry of China (No. IRT0536)
Top
Abstract
INTRODUCTION
HAZARDOUS EFFECTS OF HEAVY METALS ON HUMAN HEALTH
GROWTH RESPONSES OF VEGETABLES TO HEAVY METALS
HEAVY METAL UPTAKE AND ACCUMULATION IN DIFFERENT PLANT PARTS OF VEGETABLES
SOIL THRESHOLD VALUES OF POTENTIAL DIETARY TOXICITY
BIOAVAILABILITY OF ADDED HEAVY METAL IN THE VEGETABLE GARDEN SOIL
SOIL-PLANT-MAN RELATIONS DETERMINING HEAVY METAL TOXICITY
CURRENT TECHNOLOGIES TO DECREASE DIETARY TOXICITY OF HEAVY METALS
CONCLUSION
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Articles from Journal of Zhejiang University. Science. B are provided here courtesy of
Zhejiang University Press
http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1764924"


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RE: Open mindedness

Congratulations on getting through all that, but reproducing virtually an entire article is a probable copyright violation for which GW winds up responsible.

"I find that the Chinese researchers have a different orientation than Western researchers."

Science is a universal language.


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RE: Open mindedness

The problem is not that the papers cannot be translated into scientific english, the problem is that they fail to produce reproducible results, which is highly indicative of sloppy work.


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RE: Open mindedness

""I find that the Chinese researchers have a different orientation than Western researchers."

Science is a universal language."


We all know devotion to Big Pharma causes deeds of omission and commission.

To what are you devoted?


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RE: Open mindedness

To scientific herbalism as a complement to other evidence-based medicine, as always.

Speaking of open-mindedness, an essential part of it is accepting different viewpoints about herbalism, without attempting to consign them to corporate conspiracies.


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RE: Open mindedness

Scientific herbalism as a complement to other evidence-based medicine is only one of several possible and beneficial approaches to herbalism. Your input on this board is valuable, but any input in an open forum of this nature should not be fashioned in such a way as to usurp the other approaches. Behaviors which appear to be attempts to do so can call one's motives into question.

Any misdirections in threads can easily be canceled out by the next knowledgeable poster.

I believe that those who are truly interested in the acceptance of different viewpoints about herbalism show respect for and supplement the input of others. I enjoy input that does not lead to the harassment of others or the diversion of thread after thread into nothing but an arcane discussion of chemistry or "evidence based medicine." There are websites that do that much more thoroughly than we will ever be able to accomplish here.

Here, many of us are interested in sharing our own personal experiences with herbs, without being subjected to scientific attack.

Herbalism existed before, and helped to lead to, the development of modern medicine, but there are elements of herbalism that modern medicine either neglects, fails to value, or does not see at all.

Herbalism can also be enjoyed as a meditational assist. An insistance that casual posters provide hard scientific evidence for every little statement that is made in the spirit of contributing to the general sharing process traditional in herbalism, is very disruptive to the tranquility and atmosphere of this board, as well as the quality of the sharing itself. Dangerously untrue assertions can certainly be corrected without totally destroying the harmony and tranquility of the board.

Many come from time to time to herbalism as a welcome retreat from the materialism and logical hardness of modern medicine. We are not generally ignorant of the scientific method or the benefits of evidence based research; we are attracted to herbs because they are themselves living organisms with existences which are valuable in their own right. We are interested in the herbs in and of themselves, apart from any uses man may find for them, and of the experiences we and others have had with them.

Anyone who has ever visited a traditional herbal garden will understand what I am trying to convey here, with the warmth of the sun pouring down; the drone of bees in the air; the interesting herbal forms silently hanging in space--and the seeming imperviousness to this by some makes me wonder if they have ever actually gardened.

If you are truly open minded, you will give those of us who value other approaches to herbalism the benefit of the doubt and try to understand where we are coming from when we express resentment of disruption of the traditional and tranquil flow of herbal information, with one person after another sharing what they have heard, learned, or experienced. By a natural progression all will have a chance to speak and teach. If you wish your contributions to be pure evidence-based science as currently taught today, there is a place for that; but to try to usurp the natural other places that exist is not only NOT open minded, but much, much, worse. You deprive others of an experience that you yourself do not value...or, perhaps, even have the capacity for.

This is a gardening forum, for gardeners. A focus on "cures" and not the plants themselves is inappropriate here. The lore of the plants--the traditional things said about them--is part of the lore of gardeners that like to plant herbal gardens.

This is not a pharmacy.


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RE: Open mindedness

"I enjoy input that does not lead to the harassment of others or the diversion of thread after thread into nothing but an arcane discussion of chemistry or "evidence based medicine." "

There are numerous posters here who cite research and "chemistry" in making posts about herbal treatments. Are you suggesting everyone should desist from doing so, or just me?

"Here, many of us are interested in sharing our own personal experiences with herbs"

And there is nothing stopping you. Many posters like to note studies and research trial that they feel support or don't support particular use of a herb. If you'd rather not engage in such discussions, there's no requirement that you do so.

"Many come from time to time to herbalism as a welcome retreat from the materialism and logical hardness of modern medicine."

Without debating the assumptions you're making here, it should be noted that many come here to enjoy discussion of herbalism as a complement to mainstream medicine, not a substitute.

If there's one thing that's "disruptive to the tranquility and atmosphere of this board", it's the insistence that only one philosophy should be permitted here, and that those with different views should be subjected to personal attack. We can disagree without having to descend to ad hominems or insinuations about others' motives, assuming they are not outright spammers such as we see here on occasion.

"There are websites that (discuss evidence-based medicine/herbalism) much more thoroughly than we will ever be able to accomplish here."

And there are websites entirely devoted to testimonials, thinly disguised commercial promotions and attacks on evidence-based medicine, with no alternate viewpoints tolerated. Some may prefer that sort of single-mindedness to openmindedness (although even on those types of websites, harmony and tranquility are often in short supply). :)

E-mail me if you'd like more information on these websites.


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RE: Open mindedness

I agree with eibren on most of that last post, but i think it's okay to share more info than just gardening. Yes, it's a garden forum, but herbalism is a very broad subject.
I'm amazed at the personal attacts in this forum, and i've been guilty of a couple myself, as they were jokes, but whatever I'm done. I am openminded, willing to read, but do not have to agree. I thought herbalists would support each other, make suggestions, not tear everything apart and raise so much animosity.Sad.


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RE: Open mindedness

"There are numerous posters here who cite research and "chemistry" in making posts about herbal treatments. Are you suggesting everyone should desist from doing so, or just me?"

It is your strength to be able to make such posts, and I did not state that you should not make them. I suggest you make a more concerted effort to see just what is and is not being said, and what is and is not being claimed, before you begin a pitched battle. You appear to frequently be mistaken in your assumptions...or are you deliberately twisting the input of others to gain a point?

What I suggested is that you allow others to post in the fashion most comfortable for them, even if it is not in the manner that you prefer.

You can provide supplementary knowledge without challenging sincere posters that simply wish to share what they have experienced or heard.

Many posters use the old terminology of herbalism, which is more all-encompassing than what you are comfortable with. It is, however, the historical way to talk of herbal properties, and still has some value, as well as correspondences with how the Chinese talk of their herbs.

There is no need to crawl all over a poster just because he or she mentions that an herb has "anti-inflammatory" properties.

The same thing is frequently said of aspirin, and no one objects.

... ... ...

What I personally would appreciate more, in such cases, is knowing what you, from your point of view, feel the words "anti-inflammatory" encompass--and that can be done by a post which explains that, without trying to make someone else look as though they have done something wrong by posting what they knew.

We are a community of minds here, and we all have contributions to make. None of those contributions should be discouraged or belittled. Even the simplest can prove to be a thread to an interesting investigation of shared knowledge.

If you wish to share your horror stories of misapplied herbalism, start a thread that does so. I am suggesting you not allow your fears to cause you to try to quash the general spirit of inquiry, discovery, and sharing here.

You seem unable to accept that modern science does not know everything, and that some have found help from herbalism that they failed to find from modern science. You apear to want to deny that hope to people who, in many cases, have already tried to follow your preferred route, and have come to herbalism as a last resort. When people post that they are in pain, you ignore their posts to continue an argument you began earlier in a thread, obliterating their input. It is horrible to watch.


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RE: Open mindedness

"What I suggested is that you allow others to post in the fashion most comfortable for them, even if it is not in the manner that you prefer. "

You criticized me for doing something that other posters do - discussing research and science-based explanations for why herbs work. What you evidently don't appreciate is that I, unlike some of those other posters, talk about the limitations and defects of those studies and why claims for certain herbs are unfounded. I may mention historic uses of an herb in the right context and don't mind if others do.

I regret that you and one or two others here allow their need to defend all aspects of alternative medicine to degenerate into outright hostility to someone who questions ineffective or dangerous remedies. You seem to fear that herbalism will be damaged by open discussion, but I believe it will be strengthened.

"I am suggesting you not allow your fears to cause you to try to quash the general spirit of inquiry, discovery, and sharing here."

I couldn't have said it better. :)


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Communication Critique

"You criticized me for doing something that other posters do - discussing research and science-based explanations for why herbs work.

I would prefer you consider my input a critique, not a criticism. Things which are good, but still could be improved, are critiqued.

1. There is nothing wrong with discussing research if that is the point of a thread, or even if it is not.

2.The manner in which you choose to share your insights can have a large impact on the direction a thread subsequently takes, however.

3.If a thread descends into argumentation, instead of continued sharing, that can in some cases weaken the origional intent of a thread.

4. There is always the possibility of starting a more chemically-oriented thread on the same basic topic, to keep your scientific arguments from swamping a thread, and I think such threads could be quite instructive to all of us--and, at times, more appreciated.

5.Briefly stating your insights on the origional threads,so your viewpoint is recorded in that thread, is also helpful. It's when the thread becomes taken over by argumentation that it becomes frustrating.

For example, the thread I started on flu remedies would be much more useful to me by now if I didn't have to wade through all of the chemical argumentation. It takes too long for me to download it whenever I want to get into it now for a quick reference (I am on dial up). Several people have made interesting comments in it that are almost totally obscured by the needless length of the thread.

6. There seems to be an implicit assumption in the way you post, and that is that everyone, in all times and places, will always and forever have access to the best and most modern medical treatment.

7. Not all of us believe that this will always be the case for us, and we want to be aware of other possibilities.

8.Most of us try to access the best care whenever that is possible for us; we don't need to be constantly lectured about the desirability of that.

Most people, for example, will try to get Tamiflu or a new flu vaccine, if those possibilities are available to them. However, anyone who has read up on conditions during a pandemic is aware that optimal medical conditions are not always the norm.

9. It's fun to see you, Apollog, Brandon, and others argue things out, and even to participate in those kinds of discussions, but it is not fun to have threads with other potential twisted into discussions like that.

10. If a poster mentions that they are in extreme pain in one post, and in the very next post after that you simply resume your arcane chemical argument with someone, that is one example of a spot where a different posting style might have been more useful.

...

"What you evidently don't appreciate is that I, unlike some of those other posters, talk about the limitations and defects of those studies and why claims for certain herbs are unfounded."

The points I just made above have nothing to do with the value of the insights which you bring to this board. Your insights are very useful and valuable, and I appreciate them.


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RE: Open mindedness

"I may mention historic uses of an herb in the right context and don't mind if others do."

This forum IS "the right context." As long as the poster properly labels the nature of their input ("it is said," "it has been empirically determined", etc.)there should be no problem with their input.

"I regret that you and one or two others here allow their need to defend all aspects of alternative medicine to degenerate into outright hostility to someone who questions ineffective or dangerous remedies."

1. "Need to defend all aspects of alternative medicine" has nothing to do with the input I am giving here. "desire to enjoy posting on this forum" would be more accurate.

2. "degenerate into outright hostility to someone who questions ineffective or dangerous remedies"

Again, "degenerate into exasperation with someone who continually takes over threads" would be much more accurate.

... ... ...

"You seem to fear that herbalism will be damaged by open discussion, but I believe it will be strengthened."

I have no such fearfulness. I will do as I may, irregardless of your input, and, unlike yourself, I am not linked or allied to any special interest groups on either side. I see both sides.

My interest is in being able to participate in a forum on traditional medical herbalism in a traditional, sharing manner, with ALL inputs respected, not just yours or those of modern medical studies, in a tranquil, nonargumentative manner.

Argumentation is easy for me to come by--I am rather argumentative myself, and enjoy it in its place.

What is not easy to come by is the honest input of people that actually use or have knowledge about herbs. The shared input of people that know of harmful effects of herbs is part, but only one part, of that.


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RE: Open mindedness

Thought i'd check in and see if this had turned by a miracle into an herbalism forum. But no it's still the same old nasty same old arguments going on and on forever and ever. Seems like the only way to improve this forum is to have ivillage simply do away with it and only have a forum on herbs.
It seems that two rotten apples have spoiled this whole barrel of herbalism apples. Can't help but wonder if that wasn't their objective to begin with.


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RE: Open mindedness

"unlike yourself, I am not linked or allied to any special interest groups on either side."

Inevitably, we see the "pharma shill" gambit being used here in an attempt to silence discussion that someone doesn't want to hear.

Regardless of such unfounded attacks, I will continue to present useful, accurate information and express my opinions here in a civil manner.


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RE: Open mindedness

"Posted by eric_oh 6a (My Page) on Sat, May 9, 09 at 14:24

"unlike yourself, I am not linked or allied to any special interest groups on either side."
Inevitably, we see the "pharma shill" gambit being used here in an attempt to silence discussion that someone doesn't want to hear.

Regardless of such unfounded attacks, I will continue to present useful, accurate information and express my opinions here in a civil manner.""

You accused me, and again accuse me here, of "not wanting to hear" your input.

That is not the case, as I already indicated. I appreciate your input, when it does not take over every other purpose for posting a thread on the forum.

I will accept that you are not a "pharma shill," since you make that claim, but you might as well be, in the effect that you have on this board. That you are not capable of seeing that, after the repeated feedback you have been given by others regarding your performance, is a mystery to me.

The statement that you took offense to was a reference to your appraent technical background. You belong to an interest group whether you admit it to yourself or not. You are so immersed in that culture that you seem to feel any other is evil. You are on a crusade on this forum against evil. That is the emotional force that is backing you up. And you are wrong.

There is evil, in those who promote herbs with little understanding for profit. That is not all that you quash here.

I do not have a bias through employment because I am retired. When I was employed, my work required an understanding of technical matters, and I have a fascination with technical issues.

I also enjoy merely discussing herbalism with people who have practical experience with it, rather than simply the technical aspects.

A flower cannot bloom if it is shaded out. A forum cannot function if it is dominated by only one viewpoint.


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RE: Open mindedness

AMEN eibren. No one couldv've said it better. This forum is dominated by a few posters who are VERY busy keeping it from being about herbalism, and arguments over scientific data and whatnot. Yes, eibren, I long to see posts from people with personal experience and training from other herbalists. Instead, I get this. It's kinda fishy, if you ask me, and not in a good omega 3 kinda way. Hmmmm........
What herbs are useful for those who claim to be unbiased (not affiliated)? Are there any good herbs for ego?


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RE: Open mindedness

Eric, wow, I've been reading a multiplicity of threads here where people are trying to suss out the Scientific vs Folk Herb tradition, and calling you out, so to speak.

First off, I greatly appreciate your input. I am an herbalist who was raised by scientists, and well taught in biological science. I often find myself at odds with the Herbal community in asking for more scientific proof. At the same time, I am often at odds with the Medical community in their paradigm for proof, without an understanding of herbal medicinals.

To my mind, that appreciates both worlds for their strengths: we are at a bellweather point of understanding what herbal medicinals do, with a groundswell of public demand of understanding.

The question that comes up for me in reading all these threads in this forum, to you: What herbs have you used to good effect? Which ones have you used that have helped you ? What is the best herb you have used for medicinal effect? Perhaps I have missed that in this forum, having left it for a couple of years.


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RE: Open mindedness

Good question phylla, but I'd like to see an answer from brendan. I'm very curious as to how old he is, what he does for a living, and what herbs he grows and uses. I'm very interested in knowing more about him and eric oh since they post so much.


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RE: Open mindedness

I'm a biology student, 22 years old, I do not currently have a garden.


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RE: Open mindedness

thanks brendan, for being so open. So you don't grow herbs. Do you use them?


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RE: Open mindedness

I am active and young, so haven't much need for most herbs, I do work extra cinnamon into my diet, which already contains a wide variety of plants, I'm a healthy diet and exercise person.


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RE: Open mindedness

I have noticed that among proponents of alternative medicine, there is often a conviction that anyone who questions the efficacy and/or safety of an alt med practice must have Ulterior Motives, generally financial. There is an intense interest in ferreting out information on perceived opponents, and if none is to be had, nasty insinuations will do.

I rarely question people here about their backgrounds, as I don't consider myself the forum Thought Police, and I'm more interested in discussing ideas.

Do I have an "agenda"? Of course, and I'm open about it. I just recently linked to this thread in response to a question from novice, which I guess s(h)e has forgotten. There are more than a few here who have an obvious agenda to "expose" mainstream medicine and rail against it, and that's their business as far as I'm concerned. I would find it presumptuous in the extreme to tell them that they are posting too much and have no right to express their opinions as often as they do.

Some forget that the stated purpose of this forum is to discuss the use of herbs for medicinal purposes (check out the description on the main forum page). That takes in a lot of territory.

eibren: "A flower cannot bloom if it is shaded out."

That's very poetic. I'd offer this: "A monoculture, whether in the garden or the realm of ideas, is unhealthy."

Diversity is an excellent thing. I suggest we learn to live with it and benefit from it.


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RE: Open mindedness

novice,eibren and phylla, your posts were in my opinion very accurate.
eric, do you really not see that it is not what you say that offends people but how you say it. attitude is everything in any form of communication. Almost anyone could give me information to the effect that there could be a problem with taking pokeberry juice. You on the otherhand would tell me it is poison.Period no ifs, ands, or buts. than proceed to tell me only western medicine has the answer. When i first came here i was split between western medicine (I have a great doctor)and herbalism. By your mannerisms you have turned me off to doctors in general as the herbalism people have been concise, put things in an acceptable mode of communication understood by anyone. Do you thing anyone cares if 1000x100000 studies have been done or not done on either strawberrys or oxytocin. If i or anyone cared about oxytosin. We have our own doctors even better we have the internet. With strawberrys i'll take someone who knows something about plants and herbs.esp if they manage to communicate in an acceptable way. You seem to be a disagreeble person who likes to argue about nothing OF VALUE. Have you not been told this many times by many people as far back as 04? I feel sorry for you. You must lead a very lonely life and you could have friends here if you would debate more agreeably. I think you have a lot to offer us if you'd lay off the medicalese and concentrate on being helpful instead of concentrating on how you would save us from ourselves.

Oh Yeah! I got lots of faults also. but i do make an attempt to be polite untill i run into a know-it-all and at my age i feel its my responsibility to set some people straight who can't take a hint.


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RE: Open mindedness

Goshen: If you think Eric has been told repeatedly that he's a sad and lonely man, and it hasn't had any effect, why exactly are you telling him again? Are you just saying it to hurt him? What kind of a person does that?


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RE: Open mindedness

Brendan, most thought-oriented, detail types are not easily hurt. You have to pound them with repetition to get a point through. If any of us thought that subtler means would work, we would stick to those. I'm certain they were tried in the past.

If our input hurts, it is not meant to. Your input here is also appreciated. You both offer a lot to this forum, and it would be a great loss to lose either of you.

Other people, with other orientations, also have a lot to offer. All we are asking is that you two lean back occasionally and see what else goes on here. Give others the chance to make their contributions as well in the threads. Let everyone have their say.

Traditional herbal lore is what leads to scientific investigations. The approaches can be complimentary, and all of us are against the charletains, not just two of us.

Many of us are here to learn, and we want to learn from all sides.


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RE: Open mindedness

If i ask about someone, it's because i'm truly curious. I'm not the thought police,lol! I really wanted to know more about brendan. I'm not questioning HIS motives. I'd like to know more about other people i have discussions with on this forum, but if they have something to hide or wish to remain very private, that's fine, but does make me wonder why. A desire to be mysterious maybe? Benefit of the doubt. eric, i hope you are not a sad and lonely man. I find you to be very intelligent and articulate. However, when anyone suggests an herbal remedy, you slam the herb as unsafe. So, as suggested above, your input is valuable, but back off a little. Consider offering more of your words of wisdom, like what you said at the bottom of your last post on this thread.
eibren, you've said it perfectly once again.
Much love to you all.


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RE: Open mindedness

Novice Oh I'm definitely not hurt, and totally understand your questioning. Whether your intent was to learn more or to find a lever for rhetoric to rest on I'm not upset at all about it.

eibrenI really doubt Eric is feeling hurt either.

However, even if Goshen didn't hurt Eric's feelings, I think that was still the goal, I do not take my cues on ethics from John Stuart Mills, I do think that someone can have immoral and or unethical intentions, and that was my purpose in pointing that out. Social pressure is likely to work in matters of ethics, it is unlikely to work in matters of fact in people schooled in logic.

I absolutely agree with the notion that folklore should inform scientific investigation, What really annoys me is when a false folklore trumps a real scientific investigation, it seems that far to often a claim made up out of whole cloth my a marketer 20 years ago is taken as gospel when a large, double blinded placebo controlled study is ignored. Most of my posts aren't actually about herbs, but rather are about logic, yet I still get painted as being dead set against herbs, which I find a bit annoying.


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correction

I should say logic and physiology.


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RE: Open mindedness

Logic is a wonderful thing; I had a course in logic myself when I was in college. Did rather well in it.

It's true that it is sometimes difficult to differentiate between true traditional teachings and made-up fallacies, but that is just another reason to let all have their say. If all contribute, the true uses of an herb tend to emerge.

That won't happen if all of the experienced herbal users are driven out of the forum, though, by insults disguised as science and logic. People with true knowledge have too much respect for themselves to allow that.


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RE: Open mindedness

Eric if i hurt your feelings I do apoligise. I meant everything i said.I only put in what i had thought was the way you would have put it to someone else,thereby catching your attention. I agree you are intelligent.
I would never have dreamed of addressing anyone else in that manner.

Novice, I'm a 70 year old disabled widow. I majored in abnormal psychology in collage though i never worked in that field. Of course you can use it in any field i guess. I just never needed to work and did a lot of volunteer social work. I have been around long enough to have met every type of personality there is.Also am very good at knowing personality types at a glance.
Ilove to garden, Love people,nature,animals,history. Recently have become intrested in survival techniques used by indiginous peoples of the world.
In other words i'm just a simple homemaker. Degrees do not impress me. The smartest most intelligent person i've ever met was a self taught mexican grade school teacher. Have met and talked to people from every education level.
I also love fried catfish,hushpuppys, french fries,lemon pie, all veggies except boiled okra.
Get along with most people.love kids,Hate abusers.Am considered very openminded by friends and relatives. How about everyone elses story?


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RE: Open mindedness

Goshen, that sounds very cool. With age comes wisdom. Psychology fascinates me also, but I just took a basic course in it, so I read a lot of books to learn more. Love catfish and hushpuppies too, lol. Don't eat them often, but the southerner in me loves em from time to time. My interests are very broad, and I read A LOT to satisfy my curiosities. I no longer work in the field I got a degree in either. I worked in wildlife rehab, but now I'm a stay at home mother of two little ones.
Brendan, I asked because I truly am interested in knowing more about you, no other motives- promise! Not trying to "hurt" anybody.


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RE: Open mindedness

Hi goshen,
Now you've done it - disrespecting the okra!
What can "open" you mind about ways to enjoy it?
Raw fresh from the garden for sensitive guts, the mucilage is soothing.
Steamed on top of rice, without cutting into the pod it is not mushy.
Seeds can even be coagulated into a vegetable curd "cheese" when no soy crop.


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RE: Open mindedness

Okra is absolutely delicious


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RE: Open mindedness

I retired from casework a few years ago. I used to do a lot of safety assessments, case plans and evaluations, recommendations to the court, etc, etc. Part of all of that was monitoring necessary medication usage by court-ordered clients. I've had professional training in active listening, communication skills, leadership skills, family therapy, abuse risk assessment, and personality typology, as well as trainings in brainstorming and problem solving protocols, and in logic on the college level. I have understood the scientific method since Junior High School.

My favorite course in college was New England Flora, which required the use of plant identification keys. As a result of that course, I still have difficulty respecting any artist unobservant enough to not depict flowers accurately. I have had courses in chemistry and physics-physics on both the HS and college levels. I minored in psychology in college. I majored in English to overcome my excessive bias toward the scientific.

I have raised two children, both of whom attended Montessouri nursery schools and are now totally independent, self-supporting adults.

... ... ...

As for herbalism: I feel the same thing is being done to herbalism that was done to alchemy when it spun off chemistry, and to Catholicism when its mental health procedures were preempted by psychoanalysis. The West seems very good at throwing the baby out with the bath water.

My views on the above have developed gradually, over a long period of time, and have crystallized in this forum. There is no need to lose what herbalists are being pushed to give up, and I will fight against this modern dismemberment in any way I feasibly can. This is basically a struggle between differing personality types, each with their own values and agendas.

The scientists appear to me to be the thought-oriented, detail types that are incapable of seeing the forest for the trees. The proponents of the old traditions tend to be the thought or feeling-oriented intuitives, who do see the forest but not always the trees. These types could be complementing each other in this forum, but for such complementarity to occur all must operate in good faith, and with full respect for other viewpoints.

There are things in the herbal tradition that modern science is not attending to, or even bothering to try to put in perspective. One of these is the assignment of each herb to a planetary ruler.

... ... ...

I also love Okra. Try it deep fried with a little batter over it, if it is the squishyness that you don't like. Everone has a right to their own taste, though.


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RE: Open mindedness

LOL!!!! Hey i like you guys. All have an underlying respect for nature that showed up early. What more could one ask?
Oh- uh-er I did'nt say i disliked okra. Just boiled okra. Love it fried or a little in soup but boiled? Yuk!!!!!
eibren, i agree with your description of scientist versus herbalism. People who are drawn completely to science tend to only see the world in black or white. no greys allowed. Except once in a lifetime there comes along a genus who can see in black and white and every shade in between like Devinci,Copernicus,Darwin and Einstein.
Herbalists on the other hand tend to have the ability to see all colors and be able to blend together all nature. Dare i say , more of a mind,physical thing.
Do you think the two mindsets can ever agree or even agree to disagree? More likely they will always dance a fine line but never able to cross over it.

Yes it takes both kinds to facilitate a complete whole but being as we are humans that have'nt evolved to that point yet. What can we do but disagree to our mutual failure.
I've noticed too the role Catholic priests play in psychology. What better way to handle guilt than to have a confession with pennance, liberating any guilt feelings. It would'nt work without faith however. Which brings up another question. Would we humans be better off with more faith in something and less scientific questioning. The answer will depend on what personality type you happen to be. Which brings up another question. Do we have a choice in which way we think or is it all genitic?
OH well it's late and i'm going to sleep.


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RE: Open mindedness

I think your views on scientists were possibly more a result of the lateness and some wishful thinking than anything else. The greats like Darwin and De Vinci were great not because of their grayness, but rather because of their fantastic intuition. The Scientists followed their fantastic hunches with rigorous testing and reasoning to determine the validity of their ideas. Testing and verifying is key to all of the science that the greats produced. The things that were guessed at and then taken on faith were not convincing to others, did not stick, and they do not get credit for. There was a Greek philosopher who said "The moon is a great rock, and the sun a great hot rock" but he never devised any sort of test, and his thoughts, while essentially true, did not contribute to mans utilization of those truths.

I would absolutely agree on the notion of faith versus testing, and how science people test. Having been raised Catholic I do not think I'd agree on the release of guilt, guilt was piled on at every turn it seems.

You do have a choice in the way you think.

Here is a little test, try and be quick about it.

A bat and a ball together cost $1.10
The bat costs $1.00 more than the ball
How much does the ball cost?

Now most of us right away think the answer is ten cents, but critical thinking involves mirror thinking, where you take your answer and you run it back through to check and see if it works both directions, this happens in the pre-frontal cortex and is the opposite of faith. if you did check you would notice that a dollar more than ten cents plus ten cents is a dollar and twenty cents, which is more than the ball and bat cost together. Some people do this automatically, others never even try.

Most of what herbs are claimed to treat are problems caused by real physiological (not psychosomatic) issues. There for the treatments, if they are meant to do more than make the person feel better for a short period of time, should target these physiological issues. Some herbs do this, some herbs do not. If we are going to take the time and effort to grow and package and sell and buy and consume herbs we should be sure that they work better than sugar pills. Parse out what really works, and never ever ever take something that does not work over something that does unless the side effects are worse than not treating. Many people die horrible painful protracted deaths from cancer each year taking herbs instead just because they don't want the nausea and weakness of chemo, ignoring the fact that the cancer will also cause nausea and weakness and pain and death in many cases.These people should not be doing this under the false impression that a vial of magic water or a bit of leaf from some olive tree is going to prevent any of the harmful physiological processes that will happen from happening. Faith that kills you in a painful way is not a good thing.

How many innocent people do you think rotted in jail for years or were strung from tall trees because the ones persecuting prosecuting them had faith that they were the guilty party? Do you think Polpot lacked faith as to the usefulness of killing off all of the undesirables? Had Darwin had the faith that his family so desperately wanted him to have (especially Emma Wedgewood) do you think he would have written his book, or even gone on his voyage? Do you think that faith that disease was caused by a lack of faith helped us discover the germ theory of disease, and develop all of the germ based methods of hygiene that doubled our lifespans? Do you think that Alexander flemming would have discovered something better than Penecillin had he only had faith in the previous notion that nothing could target bacteria with out hurting mammalian cells as well?

Faith is dangerous, and should not be accepted lightly.


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RE: Open mindedness

Wow, you guys are impressive. Now we've moved to a discussion on faith- or religion. Very touchy subject. Here are my thoughts to keep it brief and not controversial: will NOT slam Catholicism, but will okra! Oooh, it's too mushy and tasteless for me no matter how you cook it.
Eibren, liked a lot of what you had to say as usual!


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RE: Open mindedness

>> Here are my thoughts to keep it brief and not controversial: will NOT slam Catholicism, but will okra!

Sorry, slamming okra (even boiled) makes it clear that you are a biased, foolish person... Hardly a good way to keep things non-controversial :)

Off to the woods for a few weeks, no internets there. Later, y'all!


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RE: Open mindedness

I thought I did a good job of not addressing articles of religious faith.


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Re Psychology

i'm confused opollog. Am i a sorry person for disliking okra? or was it someone else? The slimy feel of boiled okra sliding down my throat makes me want to upchuck. Just a personal thing.LOL ;)
Brendon of course completely did'nt get the point nor the idea behind the point.
Also I was pointing out that cathlocism had a great psychology method going. Nothing at all about religion.
Another comment: There are always some people who think the only rules to be allowed are their own. which also is not religious.


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RE: Open mindedness

Well Goshen, if I missed your p[oint its because when you wrote "Would we humans be better off with more faith in something and less scientific questioning." I took that to b e your point, If that didn't matter than I can hardly be blamed for missing your point, if it did then you don't seem to have gotten your own point.


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RE: Open mindedness

>> i'm confused opollog. Am i a sorry person for disliking okra? or was it someone else? The slimy feel of boiled okra sliding down my throat makes me want to upchuck. Just a personal thing.LOL ;)

Sorry, trying to be humorous. If you don't like okra, you don't, no value judgment, only pretend scorn. But in a gardening forum, discussion of which plant is 'best' often seems more controversial to me than religion (although certainly more on-topic). :)


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