- 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, isnt 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 8.9s 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 ½ 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." Ive never experienced the angst or the results of one of
these and I dont 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,
- 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
- 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
- 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
mans 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
- 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. Brownings
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 Brownings 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.
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
- 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
- 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 ¼ 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 ½ 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
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 brains 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
- 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.
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 plants 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. Heres 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 lifes beautiful self
Science News, November 3, 1990