Dr. R. L. Wysong
November 1990
Natural Powers and Climate
    A basic theme weaving throughout our Reviews is self-improvement, not only individual self-improvement but how the world community can perhaps change things for the better.
    There is no doubt that such thinking is healthful in many respects. Learning how to make changes can prevent frustration, depression and even the untoward health consequences of a chronic feeling of helplessness. Seeing a problem is one thing, feeling you are going to be inevitably victimized by it is another and being able to do something to solve it is quite another.   There is little doubt that humans have incredible capability to change their destiny for the worse or for the better.
    Now comes this topic.   What is said here will put some things in balance and help us to realize that some of our abilities are almost infinitesimally diminutive against the backdrop of the forces and power of nature.
    In an interview on September 16, 1989 Dr. Ben Browning predicted an earthquake would occur in the San Francisco area on or about October 16, 1989.  It struck on October 17, 1989.  The ability to predict climatologic occurrences is highly useful from an economic standpoint.  Many large corporations have retained Dr. Browning to assist them in predicting large earth-wide trends which create consequences that could impact upon different economic arenas.  For example, if he is able to forecast a drought in a particular area this could be extremely valuable to people who are trading, for example in grain future's markets. Dr. Browning holds a PHD in biology and genetics and considers himself to be a specialist in broad scientific areas of complexity.  He holds 67 patents and is author of dozens of scientific papers
    His study of history shows cyclic phenomena in many areas of human concern but his focus has been on climate. An interesting area of cycles is epidemics. He says that by the year 2O5O one half of the world's population will have died as the result of AIDS. He says that this is no unusual occurance since it happens in cycles about every 400 years.  He believes that after a period of time AIDS will become an insignificant disease, or perhaps a disease only of children.  Such diseases simply run their course, according to Dr. Browning, and another 400 years will pass before another major plague hits the earth.
    Parenthetically here s   far in the Review we discussed scientific views that AIDS came from African Green Monkeys, from     Russian germ warfare, from contamination of vaccines, immune degradation, to an agent other than a virus(with one eminent scientist willing to inject himself with the virus to prove the point) to now Dr. Browning's idea. Science is certainly more of a process than a certainty, isn’t it?
    His prediction of volcanic and earthquake activity is based upon cycles of solar tidal forces, planetary vector sum alignments, magnetism, sun spot activity, and the like.  These forces are huge in power and affect the triggering of various locked up energies within the earth, such as volcanism and earthquakes. He predicted, for example, the extreme volcanic activity that occurred in 1964 and 1972 and argues that these simply happen every eight to nine years and are predictable based upon the alignment of the sun, moon, earth, other planets and sun spot activity.
    Volcanic activity, he believes, is the biggest single long range factor to influence earth's climate.  When volcanoes erupt they emit sulfur dioxide which combines with ozone to form sulfur trioxide which combines with water to form sulfuric acid. The sulfuric acid moves from the stratosphere to the troposphere and forms clouds which reflect sunlight away from earth thus cooling the planet. During cycles that volcanic activity is intense there can be cooling at the polar vortex and if at the same time there is an increase in sunspot activity there can be increased heat at equatorial attitudes. The resultant extremes in temperatures create violent shifts in climatic conditions with an average change of increased cooling of the planet. Thus he would argue that the earth is not undergoing a warming at this time but rather a cooling. The jetstreams that are moved as a result of hot and cold areas on the earth can fluctuate wildly as a result of volcanic and sun spot activity and can result in extreme drought, increased precipitation, tornadoes, crop damage and so forth.
    His most interesting prediction is that on or about the evening of the second of December or the morning of the third of December of this year there will be a major earthquake, not in California, but in Missouri, at the New Madrid Fault. This is predicted based upon the knowledge that a fault does indeed lie there and that there has not been earthquake activity there to release the forces that accumulate in these fault lines. He argues that there will be equivalent of a Richter 7 amount of energy stored in that fault on December 3rd, or 48 hours on either side of that, and that the high tidal force that will occur at that time will be the triggering mechanism to result in the earthquake which could be quite significant. Memphis could be affected. St. Louis could be affected and most cataclysmic geologically could be   the possibility of the shifting of the Mississippi itself. When you consider that approximately 300 million people around the world are fed each year from food moved out of the Mississippi, a shift in that river disrupting transport could result in an incredible famine. Tokyo and San Francisco are also poised for a quake on this date, but less likely than in Missouri.
    To get a feeling for the relative power in each of the Richter numbers, which are a measure of the difference between P and S waves, a Richter 7 is 1000 x the force of a 5.  The greatest earthquakes known to have occurred on the earth have been Richter 8.9’s in Columbia and in Japan. Los Angeles, for example, can't have a Richter 8 because it is believed there is not enough energy stored there. By the year 2025, give or take 2 years according to Dr. Browning, Los Angeles could have an 8.6 because that amount of energy will have been stored there by that point in time.
    The largest quakes ever recorded in the U.S. were in the New Madrid fault with an epicenter at New Madrid which was virtually demolished during the 3large jolts in 1811 and 1812. They measured 8.8.
    Here is the way a publication of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Earthquake History of the United States describes the first quake to hit: "A little after 2:00a.m. on December 16 (this is 1811 remember), the inhabitants of the New Madrid region suddenly were awakened by the groaning, creaking, and cracking of the timbers of their houses and cabins, the sounds of furniture being thrown down, and the crashing of falling chimneys.   In fear and trembling, they hurriedly groped their way from their houses to escape the falling debris.  The repeated shocks during the night kept them from returning to their weakened and tottering dwellings until morning. Daylight brought little improvement to their situation, for early in the morning another shock, preceded by a low rumbling and fully as severe as the first, was experienced. The ground rose and fell as earth waves, like the long, low swell of the sea, passed across the surface, bending the trees until their branches interlocked and opening the soil in deep cracks. Landslides swept down the steeper bluffs and hillsides; considerable areas were uplifted; and still larger areas sank and became covered with water emerging from below through fissures or craterlets. On the Mississippi, great waves were created which overwhelmed many boats and washed others high upon shore, the returning current breaking off thousands of trees and carrying them into the river. High banks caved and were precipitated into the rive; whole islands disappeared."  I’ve never experienced the angst or the results of one of these and I don’t want to but Dr. Browning says many of us will.
    He only predicts triggering mechanisms.  It is up to a seismologists and geologists to tell him where there are faults and where energy is stored  Actually, everything in latitudes from Northern Florida and into Canada is a potential earthquake in the December 3rd, or thereabouts, triggering date.
    For those in high risk earthquake areas it is suggested they go to a public library and photo copy the pages of the San Francisco telephone directory that give advise on preparedness for earthquake damage.  San Francisco is well aware of the dangers and has created significant public awareness and protection programs. Earthquake insurance is a smart bet according to Dr. Browning.
    The early 1990's will be the time of increased volcanic activity and resultant climatologic aberrations. As I mentioned before, the cooling affect from the volcanoes and then increased sun spot activity will result in wildly stormy years marked by erratic weather patterns.
    As evidence of his belief that the earth is cooling, he says, one need only examine what is happening agriculturally. Mexico has recently been damaged by increases in cold. There have been freezes in Texas, in Florida, and San Diego. All four of the most tropical U.S. points have experience incredible cold resulting in crop damage. The later part of the 1990's he predicts will be more benign, weather wise, and return to more stability.
    We greatly underestimate the impact of volcanic activity. An average volcano can spew 40 million tons of sulfur dioxide in the air which can go through chemical reactions stated before with ozone and water to yield 60 million tons of sulfuric acid. The extreme winters of 82 and 83 with large scale kills of fish, for example, even in the Atlantic as a result of shifting currents, were results of such volcanic activity. Additionally, volcanoes can emit several cubic kilometers of granite into the air. The affect of the dust and sulfuric acid continues over quite a long period of time usually about 8 years. Thus climate patterns far removed in time from volcanic eruptions may be due directly to the action of volcanoes nonetheless.
    Dr. Browning views with disdain humans with their puny aerosol spray cans.  He says how could humans possibly contribute to, for example, the elimination of ozone in the atmosphere with their minuscule activities when milions of tons of chemicals are emitted by volcanic activity.. He further argues that the greenhouse affect is important only on a localized basis. He says if man throws garbage at his feet he will wade in garbage. But he disagrees that human activity can have significant impact on earth scale climatologic patterns. For example, he says that 38% of all cellulose in the world is destroyed by termites.  They release 260% more carbon dioxide than all of man’s fuels together.  He says the ozone holes were discovered in 1958 and 1985 following volcanic activity – not human CFC aerosol cans. As I said he argues that the sulfur dioxide combines with ozone to form sulfur trioxide which combines with water to form sulfuric acid. Thus ozone is depleted in this reaction.  He also argues that these ozone holes heal themselves just as the present ozone holes are being healed.   He says for any one who believes that their aerosol can is affecting the earth's climate that they should walk to the base of Mt. St. Helens and gaze at it and then look at their aerosol can.
    These predictions are highly interesting to many people concerned about how to orient their business for the future or even plan their personal lives.  If his views were not so well founded in scientific fact and if his previous predictions were not so true (Paine Webber says he's 80% percent + correct in predictions) he could simply be brushed aside as another fanciful crystal ball gazer.
    The prediction that cold is going to continue to work its way south in our country, for example, has great impact on agriculture and even in terms of where a person may live.   In 1910 Northern Florida grew citrus bountifully. Then in 1985, 100,000 acres were frozen in mid Florida and in 1990 the very tip of Florida experienced freezing.  Mexico City in 1989 experienced 22o weather.
    Right now crops have been driven 700 miles south of where they grew well in 1940 as another evidence of the cooling. Toledo, for example, 70 years ago had a 195 day growing season it has now about a 120 day growing season and will be 95 days by 2010. Warming and cooling trends go through cycles. The present 180 year cycle of cooling will end in 2070, according to Dr. Browning, with a warming beginning after that.
    In searching geologic and archeological records these cycles occur throughout earth's history. We know that great variations in climate from what we experience today have occurred in the past. You can find in Siberia frozen animals that now live in tropical type climates. We find evidence that vast deserts such as the Sahara can move back and forth though time between a green savanna and desert over the millennia.
    A cooling period will result in present US. Agricultural areas of abundance becoming dessimated by drought over the next few years. This will greatly affect humans earthwide since we are the food basket of the world  Dr. Browning lives in New Mexico, evidently with the belief that this area will become a much more suitable place to live than, for example, a more northernly state which he believes is only going to experience more severe winters and increasing economic turmoil as a result of erratic weather patterns.
    Some of Dr. Browning’s conclusions are confusing in light of current environmental thinking. Not only would he argue that ozone holes are not caused by spray cans, but that even deforestation is insignificant since he contends that the grass that replaces forests holds more carbon then the forests that are being cut down. This, along with his argument that termites create more greenhouse gases than all of human fossil fuel burning, could lead us to conclude that there is little adjustment that society needs to make, since whatever it does pales in insignificance.  But there are individuals with like credentials on the other side of the fence arguing strongly that human activity is dramatically impacting earth-wide natural patterns. So again we have experts on each side of the fence disagreeing with one another.  So what are dummies like us supposed to do?  One comforting thing is that if we disagree with either side, we have expert backing.
    There is value in understanding our diminutive stature in the face of nature.. Dr. Browning hammers this home convincingly. We are certainly not going to be able to plug up a volcano or reinforce the earth to prevent an earthquake. Given these inevitable natural phenomenon, the best we can do is to recognize and prepare for their forces. By so doing, we are more likely to survive events which could indeed be life threatening.
    Such cataclysms are an obvious, evident and immediate reminder that we are at the mercy of natural forces.  Its easy to see cause/effect relationships. If we live at the base of a volcano that is about to explode, its smart to move on.  If we live in an area where earthquakes are likely to occur, it is wise to live in properly designed buildings and have appropriate survival and emergency matters taken care of before the quake strikes.
    On the other hand, subtle natural forces often escape our attention. The impact of our life style, the fact that we seldom venture out-of-doors and experience fresh air and sunshine, or that we don't regularly exercise, or that we don't balance our lives with productive work and restful pleasures, or perhaps we don't eat foods as they are provided to us by nature, but rather opt for fabricated, embalmed food artifacts, are treated lightly. In these instances, we normally do not suffer immediate consequences, and so we tend to believe natural law is not at work here. Because the results may be far removed from the instigating causes, we feel secure in living our lives pretty much as we wish. If we immediately suffered an allergic reaction to the consumption of trans-fatty acids, or experienced a coronary artery blockage after consuming oxidized cholesterol, or couldn't breathe after smoking a cigarette, or developed osteoporosis after sitting in a chair or lying in a bed all day long, or developed cancer immediately after we breathe the fumes from our automobile, we would likely treat these matters with the same respect and preparedness we do larger, natural cataclysm events, such as volcanoes and earthquakes.
    Whether spray cans really destroy ozone, whether fossil fuel burning is creating a greenhouse effect, or whether rain forest destruction will affect our climate are difficult issues to resolve. But these are singular cause and effect questions. Our world is an interconnected matrix with no one event causing simply one other singular event. Rather, an action in one place is multiplicative in its consequences.  Rain forest destruction, for example, is not just a matter of whether trees or grasses are the better carbon reservoir.  As we've discussed in previous reviews, there is far reaching impact upon human endeavors from the destruction of these irreplaceable pristine areas including, and certainly not limited to, the destruction of potential helpful medicines, the destruction of a more sustainable economy for humans in these areas, the destruction of wildlife habitant, the loss of topsoil, the squandering of resources to produce meat-based foods, and so forth.
    Dr Browning’s admonitions that we heed the larger forces of nature need not contradict an earth and health sensitive lifestyle.     On the contrary, it reinforces appropriate reverence for the power and authority of nature and should move us to live within its laws even if the consequences of disobeying are not immediately evident.
    In conclusion, for those living near the fault in Missouri, or in other quake sensitive areas, it would wise to become more educated in earthquake preparedness. For the rest of us, it will be highly interesting to see if this predicted December date of Dr. Browning's comes true.
        Harris, S,L., "Agents of Chaos, Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Other Natural Disasters", Mountain Pr., 1990
        Browning,  Dr.  Iven,   "Climate and The Affairs Of  Man", Tanstaafl Communications, Unlimited, 1990
Fat and Cancer
    Evidence continues to mount supporting the various theses described in the Lipid Nutrition book.  How much is the little bit of extra fatty food you're eating hurting you? According to the latest reports in Cancer Research, both fat and calories pose breast cancer risks to women. This study concluded that every excess calorie eaten raises breast cancer risk, but with each excess fat-derived calorie posing about a 67 percent greater risk than excess calories from other sources. A study of Finnish women likewise reported that the fat-related risk is of the most significance, rather than just the extra calorie count. Dividing almost 4,000 women into three groups, depending upon how much fat was in their diet, an observation period of over twenty years indicated that the subgroup eating the most fat had a breast cancer risk approximately 70 percent higher than the subgroup eating the least fat.
    And how much is cooking most of our food hurting us? One study recently concluded that not a high-fat diet alone is guilty of increased cancer risk, but a cooked high fat diet even more so. Cooking indeed appears to transform benign ingredients into ones which spur the growth of microadenomas -- common colon abnormalities which can develop into malignancies. One study, using over 200 mice and rats. fed twenty percent of the diet cooked in beef tallow to some, and 5 percent to others. The animals on diets with 20 percent fat cooked to 324 degrees showed a 50 percent increase in microadenoma development.
    We would again argue that this is predicted from our synergonic view.  Lipids within their natural context in raw natural foods are not only not dangerous, but healthy.  Strip them from their source and then oxygenate them, heat them and irradiate them and you no longer have a nutritious food but rather a pathogenic toxin.
        Science News, November 10, 1990
The Florida Everglade
    The Everglades is a river, more than 50 miles wide and only a few inches deep, flowing slowly over a riverbed that drops only a few feet toward sea level in a hundred miles? In spite of it being the "Everglades National Park" --sounds so protected and so apart, doesn't it? -- we have much in danger and much need for radical intervention in order to save what's there before if's too late.
    There have been massive efforts to tame the Everglades land, and dikes, drainage systems and pollution have disrupted the wet summer/dry winter flow of the water.  Now life hangs by a thread: already wading bird populations have declined 90%.  It is a rare year when one of the approximately 30 panthers remaining is not hit by a car on Alligator Alley, the highway that cuts through the Everglades, across the bottom of Florida, between Fort Lauderdale and Naples. The water which is the lifeblood of the Everglades is now used to water the sugar cane plantations and fill swimming pools in Miami and Palm Beach. As hatchling alligators are concentrated in increasingly smaller pools of water, they become easy prey, and the wading birds which once lived there by the tens of thousands are all but gone.
    What's being done? One thing is that the Kissimmee River, far upstream from the Everglades National Park, will soon be restored into its natural meandering bed, which should rewater many surrounding marshes. It has been channeled into a straight drainage ditch for several years, and letting it revert back may help. This is America's most threatened National Park in need of much work to salvage its fragile ecosystem.
        "The Everglades,' a pamphlet by The Wilderness Scciety no date
    Madagascar is an island approximately the size of Texas which is believed by many to have been separated from the African mainland 160 to 165 million years ago. In its pristine isolation, many, many species are found which are found nowhere else on Earth.  Therein lies its specialness: there is nowhere else like it on Earth, and here are some of the statistics. 93% of its primates, 233 of its 250 reptiles, 131 of its 133 frog species, and 8 of its 9 carnivores are found only on Madagascar. In the plant kingdom, 98% of its 112 palm species and 76% of the flowering plants are endemic to the island. Madagascar has more chameleon species than the rest of the world combined. It has more orchids than all of Africa combined. Additionally, Madagascar has nearly as many species of primates as Africa, despite the fact that Madagascar has neither monkeys or apes.     All the primates on the island are lemurs, ranging in size from the four inch long mouse lemur to the huge indri which looks like a cross between a giant panda and a teddy bear.
    What else is special about Madagascar? It is in danger, as is so much of our world. It has been heavily deforested, until now native vegetation covers only 10% of the land. There is a long list of creatures who have already succumbed to extinction, including at least two types of giant tortoises, elephant birds (which were the largest birds ever live; their eggs weighed 20 pounds), and one species of lemur which grew to be as large as a female gorilla.
    This is a very poor country caught in the web of development which can be so destructive. On a somewhat optimistic note, the Madagascar government is earmarking money donated by conservation groups for long-term conservation measures. Nature reserves, national parks and other preservation areas are being set aside; over 400 park rangers are being trained to protect against hunters and poachers; local education programs are being launched. The Institute financially supports efforts to protect both Madagascar and the Everglades as the natural gems they are.  Let us all hope that this won't be too little too late for a fragile island with so much worth safeguarding.
        --World Wildlife Fund fundraising appeal; no date given
Light, Time, and Health
    This is another topic about big natural forces relating to the sun and its planets.  Only in this case were not concerned about Iben Browning's earthquakes and volcanism but about light and its cycles.
    What is the effect of waking in the morning, getting dressed and eating breakfast in our homes under incandescent light, jumping in our car in the garage, opening the garage door with a button, driving to work, parking there, then spending the rest of the day under fluorescent light in our offices, then returning to our car, coming back home into our garage, going to the kitchen to eat and then to the TV for some time of leisure then onto bed? In this scenario we actually may be exposed to no more then a couple of minutes of unfiltered light each day. And even that would be eliminated if our cars are parked in a port when we go to the work place.
    Is the issue only whether we have enough light to permit vision or is the issue whether we have light in its unfiltered form as it comes to us from the sun and in sufficient quantity. Synorgonically we can predict that deprivation of natural light would result in consequences.  If for the 276 miles on our time line we have talked about before where life was subject to its natural environment it was exposed for the majority of the daylight hours to the full spectrum of natural light, then we can expect that our systems are likely adapted to this exposure.
    Over the past generation a large amount of research has confirmed that natural light in its cycle has dramatic affects on all aspects of our lives including sleep patterns, fatigue, alertness, appetite, reproduction, mood swings, weight maintenance, and much more.  Clinical studies have shown that five to ten percent of the population in the mid to northern United States, for example, becomes seriously disabled between December and February when nights become longer.   Symptoms include sluggishness, difficulty in awakening, carbohydrate craving, psychological responses of sadness, social withdrawal, low sexual desire, and work disturbances.
    The mechanisms by which these affects occur have been elucidated in clinical treatment where it is possible by increased exposure to natural light or even exposure to artificial bright light to trick the brain into its summer cyclic mode. The rhythms of light as they strike the earth depend on the Earth's rotation on its axis every 24 hours and the revolution of the earth around the sun every 365 days.  Seasonally, changes occur because of the Earth's tilted axis.   The moon also goes through phases with varying degrees of illumination that occur on a cycle of 29 days.
    The power of the light from the sun and the moon are held in the beliefs of some of the Earth's oldest civilizations.   Natural light has been honored              through various religions and the sun and moon personified. Some cultures revered the sun as god and the creator and father of all things.  The ancient Mexicans fueled their god with frequent sacrifice believing that the sun required bleeding hearts of animals and humans to keep it in the full vigor of heat and light and motion.
    Because of the similarity of the menstrual cycle that of the moon, the moon has long been seen as the magnificent guardian of birth--or for some as a cruel god who monthly defiled women.
    Hippocrates in 400 BC recorded observations about his suspicion that the cycles of the earth and the moon were related to biological rhythms and physical and mental health.  Thus as in many other instances of advancing knowledge, scientific truth often predates its so called modern discovery as a result of our advanced capabilities.
    Current research helps clarify the way in which light can affect our health.  As the level of light changes, chemicals within our body change which affects our alertness and our capacity for physical and mental tasks. It is for this reason that seasonally changes occur in mood, energy sleep and susceptibility to certain illness and diseases.  In some people, due to biochemical individuality, such changes can be so powerful that they become health problems requiring medical intervention.
    Certain plants appear to follow the cycle of the sun.  The plants turn towards the sun as it moves and some plants open their leaves and flowers during the daylight and close them in the evening.   Such plants are called heliotropic plants.   In the first half of the 1700's a French scientist discovered that if a heliotropic plant was placed in a dark closet, that it still continued to follow the sun's passage across the sky.  Thus these timing mechanisms are deeply ingrained within  our genetic structure and closely linked to the relative motions of the earth,  moon, and sun.   It is now believed that a built in sense of time is present in virtually all plants and animals from the most simple to the most complex.  The fetus is cued into these cycles within the womb with the rise and fall of various chemicals passing the placental barrier.  Circadian systems, the 24 hour solar light system, tell the deer when they are at more risk from predators and when geese should fly south and when flowers should open. These rhythms are so precisely timed in plants that clocks have even been created by planting different species of flowers in a circle such that they open at particular times.
    On the backside of the review summary is a daily rhythm chart describing the rise and fall of various biochemicals and the activities performed best on the average during each part of the day.  You will see for example that the morning hours are best for mental activities whereas the noon and early afternoon hours are best for physical activity, and nighttime is, of course, best for sleep.  For example, before  we arise each day our heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and cortisol levels (which help defend against stress) all begin to rise preparing us for the action of the day.  In the evening the opposite occurs with melatonin rising to increase sleepiness.
    Although we are genetically programmed to various solar and perhaps other planetary rhythms, we are adaptable and respond to cues from our environment.  Light is certainly one of those cues as it passes through the eye and stimulates centers within the brain such as the hypothalamic suprachiasmatic nuclei, the pituitary, pineal other parts of the brain’s stem.   These in turn send hormonal signals to other organ systems to create the rhythms to help insure health and survivability.  Bright light during early dawn hours can reset the pace maker to an earlier hour while bright light late in the evening can reset it to later hours.  Improper functioning of the timing mechanism as s result of abnormal light patterns can result in a variety of health consequences.
    It is now known that such potent physiological chemicals as cortisol, testosterone, thyroxine, and serotonin have yearly fluctuations.  On the other hand  the immune system is believed to have a rhythm that fluctuates within a week called a circaseptan rhythm.  Thus there are not just daily and yearly cycles, but monthly, seasonal, and even weekly as well.
    Many now argue that a smoothly running circadian system well synchronized to the natural light-dark cycle is a foundation of good health. Disruptions in natural cycles such as predawn bright lights, or switching lights on in the middle of the night can result in potential health consequences.   When the rhythms are disturbed, moving back to the natural rhythms and following the flow of light and dark, and in some instances the use of 2500 lux or greater lights therapeutically as a synchronizer may be necessary.     The rhythms   can also be affected by electromagnetic fields, and various chemicals including alcohol and insecticides and methylxanthines as found in coffee and chocolate and medications.  Some of this evidence is disputed but since the life cycles are mediated by chemical messengers it seems reasonable that any other effect that can impact upon our biochemistry could potentially disrupt natural cycles.
    Now in our modern urban setting of central heating, windowless offices, 24 hour convience stores, air travel across time zones, and shift work all done with impunity as if we can escape our link to our environment, more and more problems are believed to be related to these disruptions including even the shortening of life span.
    Effects can be highly individualized and may reflect our genetic heritage to populations based in different areas on the earth.     Some populations near the equator have almost perfect and even rhythms of light and dark while those at the poles can experience perpetual light and perpetual dark.  Some individuals, for example, can take up to 18 days, to readjust their time clocks to trips across 6 time zones. This is likely the reason more and more people move toward the equator as they age – because the even cycles of light make them feel better not just because its warm.
    Shift work is probably one of the greatest offenders of our natural light cycles.  It has been shown that shift workers have an increased risk of coronary artery disease, sleep disorders, respiratory problems, lower back pain, and intestinal disorders and they have higher rates of job stress, and emotional problems as well as increased use of alcohol, sleeping pills, tranquilizers, and the like.  The 1979, Three Mile Island Nuclear Plant is believed to be at least partly due to the shift schedule of the crew on duty.
    In extremely high latitudes where mid-winter can bring continuous darkness there are many adverse reactions including major changes in mood and for some there are disruptions of the menstrual cycle, mental illness, suicide, and violence.
    We are going to carry a book in the library called The Light Book which contains a thorough discussion of the relationship of light time, and health. In it are details discussing scientific evidence demonstrating the relationship of a wide variety of biological factors to light.
    Some of these relationships include fertility, puberty, menstruation, sexual arousal, labor and birth, sleeping patterns, hunger and digestion, start and stop eating signals, metabolism, weight maintenance, eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and food cravings, alcoholism and other substance abuses, moods and behavior including SAD which is seasonal affective disorder which we discussed before in the review, bone growth and reabsorption, (primarily mediated by the conversion of previtamin D in the skin) the immune system and when best to treat certain diseases such as with chemotherapy for cancer as we have discussed previously in the Review. This is now a specialty called chronotherapy. It should also be mentioned that death itself is related to these cycles with death due to certain causes such as heart, respiratory, infectious disease and suicide all occurring during their own particular seasons of the year.
    The main point here is that we have dramatically extracted ourselves from our natural light roots.  Not only do we not receive the full spectrum of the sun but we constantly confuse mechanisms by the introduction of artificial right.  That we may be affected by more than simply the visible part of sunlight is evidenced by the spectrum illustrated on the summary sheet.   Notice how that visible light represents a minuscule part of the whole spectrum of radiation coming to us. Just because we cannot see 90+% of the electromagnetic radiation reaching us does not mean it does not affect us in some way.
    We tend to believe that only that which we can see and feel is of importance.  Unfortunately, nature does not agree.
    We are a part of an unimaginable kaleidoscopically complex order of things, the majority of which we cannot directly cerebrate.  We can only expect that as we move further away from our natural roots that damage will be done.
    This is a highly interesting and significant topic.  Things we can do to help synchronize our timing mechanisms include exposing ourselves to as much whole spectrum lighting as possible. This does not mean to expose our skin to tropical sun until we burn, but rather to permit our eyes and skin to daily receive whole spectrum light.  A good way to do this is by daily walks of 10, 15, 20, 30 minutes. It is believed that even these short time periods can dramatically help maintain proper rhythms and biochemical health.  Seek opportunities to be outside while at the office try to find areas with natural sunlight and windows and take breaks whenever possible out of doors to tune yourself with nature.
        Hyman, Jane W., The Light Book. Los Angeles: Jeremy P. Tarcher, Inc., 1990
        We can Make a Difference
Animals Healing With Plants
    Taking a medicinal cue from animals may be one way to identify potential drugs for humans, perhaps a more effective and safer pharmacy than that which can come from the chemists’ bench.
    Two primatologists, from the Mahale Mountains Wildlife Research Center have reported that ailing Mahale chimpanzees will turn to local plants for self-treatment. In one case, a chimp was observed to suffer from lethargy, loss of appetite, darkened urine and bowel irregularity. She was lying on the ground, while other chimps foraged for food and took turns watching over her. A few hours after her illness began, she started chomping on the tender shoots of a native shrub known as “bitter leaf”-- Veronia amygdalina. This shrub is not a food source for the Mahale chimps, but her behavior suggests that the chimps may seek it out for medicinal purposes: she sucked and swallowed the bitter juice from the plant, and spit out the fibrous remains after chewing. By the next afternoon, although she was still weak, she had begun eating, defecating normally, and foraging for increasingly longer periods without stopping to rest. She seemed to have healed herself. In fact, studies have documented that     African tribes use extracts from this very plant’s stems, roots, seeds, leaves, and bark to treat a variety of human ailments, especially intestinal upset and appetite loss.
    In another report, Rodriguez of the University of California has demonstrated that chimpanzees in Mahale and in Gombe National Park will use two species of shrubs belonging to the genus Aspilia, members of the sunflower family, as medicine. They eat these two plants in a very uncharacteristic way, they pluck one leaf at a time, and swallow it whole without chewing.     There is a red, sulfur-containing oil in the leaves of these species known as thiarurbrine-A, which is an effective killer of disease-causing bacteria, fungi, and parasitic worms. Additionally, thiarurbrine-A shows as much anticancer activity in cultured human cervical cells as vincristine and vinblastine, which are standard chemotherapy agents derived from the periwinkle shrub.     The swallowing of the leaves whole enables the body to not rupture the surface of the leaf during chewing, so that just the right amount of thiarurbrine-A is released as an antibiotic or antiparasitic while perambulating through the digestive system. Again, although these seem to be very smart chimps, studies are still inconclusive.
    In a similar case, Ugandans routinely use a plant called Rubia cordifollato treat upset stomachs. And chimpanzees in the locale swallow these leaves whole from time to time even though the plant is not part of their routine diet.
    Now imagine that you are a tree-dwelling mantled howling monkey living in Panama, Costa Rica or Mexico. You have a serious problem: other members of your colony routinely kill most of your babies. This is because you are either low in the pecking order -- so your offspring are easy targets -- or high in the pecking order --so your offspring are future threats to the other members of your colony. Well, naturally this would be disturbing, but if you had a slim chance of raising an offspring to adulthood, and you naturally wanted your genes to have a greater chance of widespread perpetuation, what do you do? Well, this isn't really fair to pose this to you because you're probably, like me, about as far from a tree-dweller as you can get. Here’s the solution, though, which they have hit upon: they apparently use diet to dictate the gender of their offspring. Numerous cases have reported female howlers eating a collection of as-yet-unidentified plants before or after copulation, but at no other time. This same group of female howlers bore exclusively male offspring -- or, in a few mothers' cases all female offspring -- for over a period of twenty years. This gender bias would not occur purely by chance -- all males for twenty years. These unusual plants they eat just before or after mating are providing either estrogen-like compounds or chemicals which change the pH of the vagina thus helping to shift the gender odds. This way, the few who do survive are male, and this would ensure that the mother's genetics would be more widely sown.
    In another coincidence, pregnant women in Kenya commonly use a tea brewed from the bark and leaves of a small tree of the family Boraginacea to induce labor or abortion. This fact was unknown to ecologist Holly Dublin, who spent nearly the entire year of 1975 tracking and observing a single 60-year-old pregnant elephant in the latter half of her 20 to 22-month gestation period. During the time she lived near this elephant, she watched all her comings and goings, including dietary habits. The elephant had a very routine life: each day for almost a year she hardly ever varied from wandering approximately 5 kilometers a day in search of a very standard fare of bush plants. Then, one day, the elephant very deliberately marched for approximately 28 kilometers to a riverbank, where she stopped in front of a small Boraginaceae tree and proceeded to devour the entire tree, leaving only a stump. The elephant had never before been observed to eat from this tree and in fact the researcher had never seen it before. The elephant returned to her familiar turf and gave birth to a healthy baby shortly thereafter.     Although this is a single inconclusive report, Dublin contends that the tree held some compound which helped the elephant mother to encourage or intensify labor to expedite the birth. Since we know that Kenyan women use the bark and leaves to make tea to induce labor or abortion, there certainly seems to be some awareness here on the part of the elephant.
    The evidence linking animals to medicinal compounds in nature goes on: wild rhesus monkeys and other monkeys have been observed to periodically consume dirt. Along riverbeds, near excavation sites, and in open fields, monkeys have been observed digging and eating. Virtually all the digging takes place in areas where the soil has a high mineral content, but in addition to the nutritional benefits they would derive, the soil may also have medicinal function. Much of the soil they are choosing is high in kaolin, the active ingredient in antidiarrheal medications. The Type B soil which they are choosing, the layer beneath the topsoil, is often eaten by people around the world as a stomach settler. In Bolivia, people traditionally smear soil on the skin of certain bitter-tasting potatoes before eating them, which apparently offers them protection from glycoalkaloids, secondary compounds in the potato skin which could otherwise cause illness. Navajo, Hopi and other native tribes in northern Mexico and the U.S. Southwest also use clays to protect against toxins in the skin of wild potatoes. The Pomo tribe in California adds clay to acorns during cooking to prevent possible bellyache -- the clay binds and breaks down bitter-tasting tannins from the seeds. Thus the dirt eaten by the rhesus monkeys may serve not only to provide adequate nutrition, but also may function as a detoxifier. The large surface area of many soils, particulady clays, and their negative electrical charge may enable them to bind up poisonous secondary compounds which are ingested as the monkeys eat certain plants.
    There is a legend among the Navajo about "bear medicine" from the plant genus Ligusticum. Various species of this plant in China, India, Mexico are used as an antibacterial agent, dewormer, insecticide, and 4reatment for upset stomach and rheumatism. Also, certain compounds from this plant act as an anticoagulant. According to Navajo legend, the Bear gave Native Americans these plants. In fact, bears have often been observed not eating the root, but chewing it up and spitting out the mixture of saliva and mace rated plant. then methodically rubbing it on paws and fur, apparently as an antiparasitic agent and insecticide. Even captive bears -- both grizzlies and polars -- will perform this behavior just as the wild bears do when the plant is given to them.
    Very interesting as well as humbling stuff.  The ability of natural plants to affect disease is bah-humbug to most modern medical minds and regulatory officials.  Most are unaware of the voluminous credible substantiation which exists in the literature verifying the usefulness of herbals.  These animal observations are another verificaiton of the potential healing without whole plants and wonderful testimony to life’s beautiful self sufficient balances.
        Science News, November 3, 1990