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HERBS and Community Agriculture - Discussion

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HERBS and Community Agriculture - Discussion

Possible investment or business opportunities

========

herb_chart.jpg

 

I am at the beginning of a project to investigate this area for possible investments.

Maybe others will come along for the journey?

I will be collecting information and research on this thread

 

HLF / Herbalife has soared in price ... update : NUS kin : Sector

HLF.gif.jpg

Herbalife are a global nutrition company with 2.1 million independent Distributors in 74 countries. HLF's products include protein shakes and snacks, vitamins and dietary supplements, energy and fitness drinks, skin and hair care products.

=== === ===

Meantime:

"There are a lot of plants that have almost been picked to extinction," including goldenseal and American ginseng, Moore said. "A hundred years ago, American ginseng could be found in 22 states and now it's only found in a few."

/source: http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=5456546&page=2

 

HERE's THE BUSINESS PREMISE behind this thread:

The market for Herbs is growing fast, and some of the companies established in this area are doing very well. As a demonstration of the strength of the demand, Herbalife (HLF) is one of the best known sellers of herbal nutritional products and is up almost 10-fold from its 2009 low. NuSkin (NUS) has also shown good growth in its share price. This shows that Americans and a global customer base are learning about the benefits of herbs.

 

Herbs are used in alternative medicine, such as Traditional Chinese medicine. And within China the price of many herbs is skyrocketting. In the future, as Western currencies lose value, the global export market (and to China in particular) may get bigger and bigger.

 

Within GEI, we may help each other to identify international trading opportunities in these herbs.

 

Is anyone else interested in sharing information about this area?

What herbs do you buy regularly, and where do you buy them?

 

== == ==

LINKS:

Charts on TCM co's :: http://www.advfn.com/cmn/fbb/thread.php3?id=26197745

The Herb Expert == :: http://www.herbexpert.co.uk/

Herb Society (USA) :: http://www.herbsociety.org/

Growing herbs Usda :: http://www.nal.usda.gov/ref/herbs.html

Local herbs/ Guide :: http://www.localherbs.org./ : https://www.kamwo.com/help/herb-guide.php

Mosby Alt-Medicine :: http://books.google.com/books?id=V7JSOijtEMIC&pg=PA471&lpg=PA471&dq=%22south+carolina%22+%22yerba+mansa%22&source=bl&ots=6ZSt-PTJLD&sig=AUz1FV_F6zjDmSL5AJCm6Vw77ng&hl=en&ei=AItHTvrpA8TwmAWexazKBg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CB8Q6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=%22south%20carolina%22%20%22yerba%20mansa%22&f=false

Drying herbs ===== :: http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/food/food_safety/preservation/hgic3086.html

Heirloom seeds === :: http://virtual.clemson.edu/groups/seed/heirloom.htm

Mushrooms, photos :: http://www.rogersmushrooms.com/gallery/default~GID~253~chr~a.asp

Edible plant list :: http://www.fireflyforest.com/flowers/category/edible-plants/

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I am at the beginning of a project to investigate this area for possible investments.

I will be collecting information and research

 

This area saved

temp1 : http://www.nightwatchmanchronicles.com/MP3/NightwatchMP3.htm

temp2 : xx

 

Three Books by Richard Alan Miller / America’s Leading Herb Farming Expert

 

XB4670-001.jpg : XB4670-002.jpg : XB4670-003.jpg

1/ Getting Started: Important Considerations for the Herb Farmer

2/ Echinacea: Technical Crop Report ... 3/ Herb Processing Facility 2002

/more: http://www.herbfarminfo.com/

 

413HBHJW9HL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU01_.jpg Herbs as a Cash Crop : On Amazon

/more Titles, and author's bio: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Alan_Miller

Description

Whether you you're a farmer looking for a profitable alternative crop or farmstead enterprise, a city dweller seeking a living in the country, or an entremreneur of any flavor, this book will dispel the myths and point you on the way to a solid, profitable, herb-based business enterprise. This updated second edition covers how to understand your soil, the basics of farming, the fundamentals of farming machinery, how to formulate your own farm business plan, the techniques of preserving your harvest through dehydration. storage and processing. Also covered are direct-to-consumer and wholesale marketing strategies, tips about how to develop your own cottage industry and the potential of foraging for profit. Also included are dozens of sources for additional information.

About the Author

Richard Alan Miller did his undergraduate work in theoretical physics at Washington State Universiy, with graduate work in solid-state physics at the University of Delaware. Then he spent over a decade in biomedical research and development. He has been published in several international journals for his work in both physics and philosophy. He has also taught courses in small farm agriculture, and is the author of Native Plants of Commercial Importance, Forest Farming, Computers on the Farm, and Successful Farm Ventrues. He has also been a regular contributor to the sustainable farming magazine, Acres U.S.A. and has published a national newsletter, The Herb Market Report.

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Eight healing mushrooms:

maitake, reishi, shiitake, Cordyceps sinensis (Dong Chong Xia Cao)*, Agaricus blazei, Phellinus linteus, Trametes versicolor, and Hericium erinaceus

 

250px-Cordyceps_ophioglossoides_02.JPG..logocordyceptssm.jpg

 

More medicinal mushrooms to yet be discovered?

There are over 1,500,000 species of fungi on earth. Mushrooms constitute at least 14,000, and perhaps as many as 22,000, known species, but this may be less than 10% of the total. Assuming that the proportion of useful mushrooms among the undiscovered mushrooms will be only 5%, there may be thousands of as yet undiscovered species that will be of possible benefit to humankind.

. . .

Even among the known species the proportion of well-investigated mushrooms is very low. About 700 species are eaten as food, and 50 or so species are poisonous.

 

Fungi make up about a quarter of the biomass of the earth. They need organic matter to feed on, develop, and grow; hence, they are found almost everywhere except on inlandsis, or above 25,000 feet. Strange as it may seem, seeing as they are usually associated with rot and decay, fungi are something of a cleanser in that they transform dead organic matter into nutrients that plants and animals can feed on. Without fungi, matter would not break down and decompose, and the world would be crowded withdead animals and plants.

/article: http://www.alohamedicinals.com/HealingMush_Private_10-18-06.pdf

== == ==

 

*Cordyceps sinensis (Dong Chong Xia Cao)*:

 

There are many health benefits attributed to Cordyceps sinensis. It is known to the Oriental medical practitioner to tonify the kidneys and lungs, to stop bleeding to dissolve phlegm and the strengthen Jing (vital energy).

 

In recent years westerners have seen the benefits of Cordyceps in immune related illnesses such as diabetes, cancer, AIDS, and lupus. They have observed kidney function being improved in both acute and chronic renal failure, and liver diseases such as fatty liver, cirrhosis and hepatitis show marked improvement after treatment with Cordyceps. The same is true for lung functions such as bronchitis, COPD and asthma. Cardiovascular diseases such as arrhythmias, pulmonary heart disease, chronic heart failure and atherosclerosis have also been helped by this herb. Cordyceps is now also known for facilitating the treatment of fatigue and sexual dysfunctions.

(dosage will generally be estimated at about three grams of Cordyceps per day)

note: The use of CS fungus in treatment of lupus also appears promising.

- from Cordyceps: Treating Diabetes, Cancer, and Other Illnesses - N. Valkov

 

This wanders all over the place, but makes some interesting points about Herbs and Cordyceps

RAM-Ag2 : http://www.nightwatchmanchronicles.com/MP3/RickAg2.mp3

 

Aloha Medicinals is manufacturing more than one-half the total Cordyceps consumed in the world today. There is a reason for that: Aloha Medicinals is the Most Potent Cordyceps ever available, and the only commercially available cultivated True Cordyceps with a DNA profile exactly matching that of wild Cordyceps! / another source: http://hyperionherbs.com/

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And now the BAD NEWS...

 

Herbal medicines will need to be registered with drug regulator to be sold in UK

 

Herbal medicines will have to be licensed by the United Kingdom’s agency for registering medicine and medical devices from the end of next month to be on sale legally.

 

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has introduced the new scheme, traditional herbal registration, which will come into force on 30 April, in a bid to improve the safety of patients. However, the scheme does not deal with herbal medicines’ effectiveness.

 

Retailers will be allowed to sell existing stock after the deadline, but it will be illegal for them to buy new stock that has been licensed after that time. To comply with the new regulations companies will have to have shown that they have met safety, quality, and …

 

/see: http://www.bmj.com/content/342/bmj.d1733.extract

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Herbal Videos from : http://Altnature.com

 

Last fall I began work on my outdoor herbal videos. Learned a lot and got in some practice before frost, here are a few of the things I do in the woods.

 

Harvesting Ginseng

 

 

Some Ginseng close up shots to help you identify it better

 

Prunella Vulgaris, a simple weed that has been called Heal All for Centuries - now showing promise as an antiviral and Herpes treatment

 

Virginia Creeper - A plant that looks a lot like Ginseng

 

Indian Pipe - This was fun, no script, just came across this pretty little plant in the woods and had fun photographing it.

 

Karen Bergeron - Editor Alternative Nature Online Herbal

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Should you take tonic herbs? Are they safe according to TCM? Could you actually be harming yourself by misusing these herbs?

 

In this video I explore the two seemingly oppositional point of views on consuming tonic herbs. On one had we have the Traditional Chinese Medicine approach and on the other we have the modern superfood, tonic herbal, adaptogen movement which as been largely popularized by Ron Teeguarden and many others.

 

 

BOOKS:

ADAPTOGENS: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief. by Steven Maimes and David Winston

The great American herbalist David Winston and researcher Steven Maimes have written an excellent analysis on what is arguably the most important class of herbs for those of us living in a stressed world. The book is clearly written and free of jargon, but will meet the needs both of professional herbalists and those who want to understand this group of herbs more deeply. Adaptogens are herbs that help us work better, which balance our neuroendocrine system as well as our immune system, which make our organs function normally and which increase stamina. Herbs like ginseng, schisandra, eleuthero, ashwaganda, holy basil and lycium (goji) berries are described in useful monographs. Interestingly, the book differentiates adaptogens from similar or overlapping classes of herbs like Chinese qi tonics, Ayurvedic rasayanas, amphoterics which normalize the functions of specific organs, and alteratives which enhance generalized elimination. I highly recommend this book to people at all levels of interest in herbal medicine.

 

Radiant Health - Ron Teeguarden

 

Ancient Wisdom of the Chinese Tonic Herbs - Ron Teeguarden:

http://www.yahwehsaliveandwell.com/ancientwisdom.html

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ORGANIC FARMING: PHILOSOPHY AND PRACTICE - A Reading list

 

Organic Farming, Nicolas Lampkin (Book)

A very good, practical, general book on organic farming that features long, detailed chapters on specific techniques such as manure management, rotation design, soil health, weed management and grassland and fodder crops. Also has a section on livestock husbandry.

 

Eco-Farm: An Acres U.S.A. Primer, Charles Walters and C.J. Fenzau (Book)

(New edition - 1996) Agriculture is explained in terminology that not only makes the subject easy to learn but vibrantly alive. Delivers a complete education in soils, crops, and weed and insect control from the eco-agriculture perspective.

 

Science in Agriculture: The Professional’s Edge, Arden B. Andersen (Book)

The author believes that farmers have been deluded into thinking that pesticides and chemical fertilizers will solve all their problems. He believes that farmers must be educated in the basic sciences. This book is a clearly explained, concise recap of the main schools of thought that make up eco-agriculture.

 

4018.gif : AcresUSA has the book at $16.95

 

Successful Small-Scale Farming, Karl Schwenke (Book)

Introduces anyone owning or planning to own a small farm to both the harsh realities and the real potential involved in making a full or part-time living on the land using organic methodologies. Gives innovative strategies for finding & creating a market "niche" for your farm’s crops or services.

 

New Farmer and Grower: Britain’s Journal for Organic Food Production

Published quarterly by the British Organic Farmers/Organic Growers Association it is an excellent source of organic farming information including in-depth information about organic livestock management

 

Biodynamic Agriculture, Willy Schilthuis (Book)

A concise and fully illustrated introduction to the principles and practice of biodynamic agriculture. Biodynamics is an internationally recognized approach to organic agriculture in which the farmer or gardener respects and works with the spiritual dimension of the earth’s environment, enabling the life processes and ecological interconnections of plants and animals to function at their best.

 

Biodynamic Farming Practice, Sattler & Wistinghusen (Book)

The definitive book on biodynamics. This is a thorough, scholarly textbook describing in detail scientifically proven biodynamic techniques developed over many years in Europe. Used in college agriculture programs in Europe.

 

More Books on this Topic, and on the following Topics:

 

SOIL BUILDING

 

FIELD CROPS

 

PESTS AND WEEDS

 

LIVESTOCK

 

THE HOME PLACE: VEGETABLES, HERBS, FLOWERS, TREES, FRUIT AND YOUR LAWN

 

CONSUMERS

 

GENERAL TOPICS

 

ANIMALS

 

TREES AND FRUIT

 

HERBS AND FLOWERS

 

/link: http://extension.agron.iastate.edu/sustag/resources/prairietalk.html

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MORE BOOKS

 

Growing 101 Herbs That Heal by Tammi Hurtung

 

6627.gif

 

Price: $24.95 : http://www.acresusa.com/books/closeup.asp?prodid=1176&catid=20&pcid=2

 

What better way to take your medicine than straight from the garden? From St. John's wort to fennel, from chicory to skullcap, herbalist and gardener Tammi Hurtung introduces the special cultivating and care techniques required for growing 101 versatile and useful herbs. Add diversity and healing power to your garden with medicinal plants. Learn to grow, harvest, and make inexpensive, potent home remedies for your whole family. Discover how easy and economical it is to create your own teas, tinctures, compresses and more. Softcover, 247 pages. #6627

 

Rebirth of the Small Family Farm by Bob & Bonnie Gregson

 

6288.gif

 

Price: $12.00 : http://www.acresusa.com/books/closeup.asp?prodid=56&catid=27&pcid=2

 

This a concise, yet complete handbook for starting a successful organic farm based on the community-supported agriculture concept. Written for farmers and non-farmers alike, the book illustrates how wo middle-aged novices?made a decent living on less than two acres of land. The model explained in the book is an updated version of the diverse market gardens/farms found throughout recorded history. Not just a theory book, it details specific tools, techniques and how-to information. 8.5 x 11 inches. Softcover, 64 pages, Item # 6288.

 

Small Farms Are Real Farms by John Ikerd

 

6853.gif

 

Price: $20.00 : http://www.acresusa.com/books/closeup.asp?prodid=1640&catid=27&pcid=2

 

Since the middle of the last century, American farm policy has taken the nation into the dead end of industrial farm production and food distribution. Farming, at its core a biological process, has been transformed into an industrial process, thus demolishing the economic and cultural values upon which the nation was founded. Along the way, small farms have been ridiculed and dismissed as inconsequential ?but now the seeds of a rural renaissance are being planted, not by these industrial behemoths, but by family-scale farms. In this collection of essays by one of America most eloquent and influential proponents of sustainable agriculture, the multifaceted case for small farms is built using logic and facts.

Softcover, 249 pages,Item # 6853.

 

Food Production Systems for Backyard or Small Farm by Produced by AiM Productions Browse Our Catalog

 

7027.gif

 

DVD Price: $59.95 : http://www.acresusa.com/books/closeup.asp?prodid=1981&catid=17&pcid=2

 

Not long ago we knew how to feed ourselves, take care of our animals, and knew what to plant. Not anymore, but this DVD is an excellent way to recapture lost knowledge. Created by one family in central Texas that actually alks the talk?this DVD shares the result of their 10 year journey of self-sufficiency on their small 2 acre property with tips that can be used anywhere. Based on what can be accomplished by one person working 2-4 hours per day, this DVD covers gardening, rabbits, home butchering, poultry, dogs, edible landscapes, water systems, and more.

DVD format, 110 minutes. Item #7027.

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Surviving in the Cash Economy Once Your Food Forest is Established

 

Commercial Farm Projects, Economics, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Markets & Outlets, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Village Development — by Judith Goldsmith November 3, 2010

 

Richard Alan Miller likes to tell the classic story of one of the first farmers who came to him for help.

 

herbs3.jpg

 

He had 400 acres in Iowa in corn, which was infested with burdock. He had tried everything — spraying, everything — and he couldn’t get rid of the stuff. The bank was threatening him with foreclosure.

 

He came to a workshop I’d given at Charlie Walter’s Acres U.S.A. conference in Kansas City, and got in touch with me. When the bank heard I’d been hired to consult, the banker gave him a one-year stay of execution. I advised him to: sell half his land; sell half of his capital equipment; and then I had him get rid of his noxious weed — which was the corn! — and grow what nature wanted him to grow, which was the burdock!

 

I helped him sell all his burdock crop to Asian markets in Chicago, at two dollars a pound fresh (I advised him that he’d only get 60 cents a pound dried), where they couldn’t get enough of it for kim chee and fresh vegetables. After the first year, he was out of foreclosure. After three years, he owned his own land outright . . . and he started buying back his old land, and putting it into timber for his grandchildren!

 

Miller’s consulting does not always result in such dramatic conversion, but it has brought financial stability to many other small- to mid-size farmers and would-be farmers throughout the U.S.

 

His game plan: replace the twenty billion dollars of botanicals imported into the United States for use in pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and food production with locally produced products grown, processed, or manufactured in the US.

 

I’d seen Miller’s book, The Potential of Herbs as a Cash Crop, and copies of his one-time monthly journal, The Herb Market Report. But my impression of herbs was the fresh bunches sold in the grocery for 89 cents; or little cottage industry potpourris and dried herbs sold at crafts fairs. But that’s not what Miller’s work is about.

 

/more: http://permaculture.org.au/2010/11/03/surviving-in-the-cash-economy-once-your-food-forest-is-established/

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... Hmm ...

This thread seems to be well-read, but not generating any comments.

Surely, there must be some reactions out there to the many ideas and links herein ( ?? )

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... Hmm ...

This thread seems to be well-read, but not generating any comments.

Surely, there must be some reactions out there to the many ideas and links herein ( ?? )

 

You might be interested in this BBC series - "Grow Your Own Drugs":

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00s8f4h#synopsis

 

Unfortunately no longer available but some possibly useful links and the ethnobotanist James Wong seems like an interesting guy.

 

You might find this reading list from Kew Gradens useful too:

 

http://www.kew.org/science/eblinks/ethnobook.html

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My uncle uses Cordyceps - Dong Chong Xia Cao.

 

And recommends it to others in the family. He thinks it is good for anti-ageing.

 

I do recall him saying something about the price shooting up last year.

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My uncle uses Cordyceps - Dong Chong Xia Cao.

And recommends it to others in the family. He thinks it is good for anti-ageing.

I do recall him saying something about the price shooting up last year.

Yes, the Cordyceps price did shoot up, it seems:

 

"As the Spring Festival, Tibetan New Year approaching, a number of native sought after by everyone. Reporter learned yesterday in an interview with the supply and demand changes, starting from October 2009, all native of the prices have started to rise, including the largest price increase of Cordyceps sinensis. Currently, the best Cordyceps price around 98,000 yuan per kilogram, compared with 10,000 yuan higher than before in October to two million, the most common catty Cordyceps price higher than in October before a 8,000 yuan to 10,000 yuan."

/source: http://www.qhchongcao.org/post/50.html

 

I just bought some tablets. Many different varieties, produced in China, are available in Hong Kong.

They are mostly called: "Cordyceps Sinensis" - CS-4 in English.

 

I bought 60 tablets, of 500mg for HK$288, on sale from almost twice that price.

 

Here's a video about the US hybrid version of Cordyceps ..

 

I will let you know if I notice any benefits from taking these.

(I am already taking every day:

Omega3, Spirulina, Vitamin-C, MSM, Centrum Multivitamins, along with alkaline water.)

 

Since I started on this regime, I feel stronger and healthier.

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Herbalife is a MLM company that promotes it's products as aids to weightloss. The products suck.

Just saying....

 

You probably already know that Australia has regulations now about the use of certain supplements.

(Complimentary-Alternative Medicines they call them).

 

Some vendors have gotten around this by selling their supplements for animals (I refer to a product

known as "black salve" which is used in cancer treatment and is very successful might I add).

 

This is a very compeditive market to enter and the regulators are circling.

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You asked What herbs do you buy regularly?

 

Well, actually I pick my own. No sense in paying for stuff that is readily available.

I pay for things that I can't just plant and grab which are usually minerals or blends

of exotic herbs for immunity which is so important these days. In the past I have paid

for weightloss/liver detox/detox herbs which are sort of similar in the way they are

marketed.

 

Tim Ferris marketed a product called Brain Quicken. A blend of stuff to improve brain

performance. Blend and marketing seem to be a key in success of products IMHO.

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You probably already know that Australia has regulations now about the use of certain supplements.

(Complimentary-Alternative Medicines they call them).

 

Some vendors have gotten around this by selling their supplements for animals (I refer to a product

known as "black salve" which is used in cancer treatment and is very successful might I add).

 

This is a very compeditive market to enter and the regulators are circling.

I didn't know that about Oz.

Perhaps the way around it is to grow your own...

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FOOD EXPO - comes back to HK this weekend

 

It is mainly about food - but there are many food supplement providers exhibiting too.

 

The HKTDC Food Expo has a good taste for business - a taste which just gets better with each serving. The 2010 event attracted more than 740 exhibitors from 22 countries and regions - 23% more than the previous year. New participating countries and regions included Austria, Brazil, Colombia, Italy, Switzerland and Uganda.

 

/see: http://www.hktdc.com/fair/hkfoodexpo-en/s/2003-General_Information/HKTDC-Food-Expo/Fair-at-a-Glance.html

 

 

The organiser (HKTD) seems to be concerned that people not get ripped off:

 

Practical Tips

•How to Buy Genuine Ginseng & Dried Seafood at the Right Price?

The Consumer Council of Hong Kong provides you practical information and advice to purchase genuine ginseng and dried seafood at the right price. Click for more details (Information in Chinese only).

== == ==

 

Exhibitor Comment:

====

“There are five exhibitors and five visitors in this mission from Canada. This is my third time as mission leader attending the Food Expo. We find the Expo a very good platform to market our products. This year, our exhibitors have brought ginseng and ice wine from Ontario, and other food products such as vitamin D. This is the first day and our exhibitors have already met with buyers from Asia, the U.S. and Europe. The HKTDC staff has been very helpful; we expect to meet with more potential buyers in the next few days.”

Exhibitor

Susan Powell, President, Canadian Food Exporters Association, Canada

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The Top Five "Cures from Around the World" are:

==========

1. Durian Fruit (Malaysia): hydro-tripifan lowers fever

2. Elderberry (Austria): good for respiratory ailments

3. Cordyceps (Tibet / China): fights cancer, aids performance

4. Noni Berry (French Polynesia): reduces inflamation

5. Bitter Melon (Japan): lowers blood sugar

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FOOD EXPO - comes back to HK this weekend

 

It is mainly about food - but there are many food supplement providers exhibiting too.

 

The HKTDC Food Expo has a good taste for business - a taste which just gets better with each serving. The 2010 event attracted more than 740 exhibitors from 22 countries and regions - 23% more than the previous year. New participating countries and regions included Austria, Brazil, Colombia, Italy, Switzerland and Uganda.

 

/see: http://www.hktdc.com/fair/hkfoodexpo-en/s/2003-General_Information/HKTDC-Food-Expo/Fair-at-a-Glance.html

A REVIEW OF FOOD EXPO 2011

 

The Chinese love food... and herbal medicine too. So it should not surprise anyone that there is a big turnout for this year's Food Expo.

 

1181635089_d213e769c9.jpg

 

Even so, I was a little overwhelmed at the size of the crowds that turned up at the HK Exhibition and Conference Center on a quiet Saturday in mid summer. I reckon this must be the most successful of the many shows sponsored by the HK Trade Development organisation. Special crowd control arrangements, which I had not seen before, were in place.

 

Why? The variety of food is staggering. It ranges from Chinese herbs used in TCM, to specialty teas and wines, to seafood and specialised meats from Italy. One of the most popular sections was the Gourmet section, complete with its own international team of chef presenters, which was so packed that we could hardly get into it. Do I need to go again tomorrow? Maybe.

 

Some of the individual booths that we stopped at will give a flavor of our own interests and some of the variety that a food addict can sample.

 

I made a beeline to the Canadian section, because I wanted to see what sort of food was coming from North America. The first booth that caught my eye was the one sponsored by the Canadian Ginseng Exporters Association. There was plenty Ginseng there on offer, but I didn't see many Canadians. All of the 3 or 4 people manning the booth seemed to Hong Kong Chinese. When I enquired about this, I was told they worked in the HK office of the organisation, and the "Canadian Canadians" had been at the booth in the morning, but they had meetings all afternoon.

 

trees2.png

 

I wanted to learn something of the nature of the ginseng exporting business, since I had been told by a HK friend that many Chinese prefer Korean or Chinese ginseng to the North American product.

 

My first surprise was that ginseng was found in Canada as early as 1716, and it is not a new product. The market for the new world product is different. Korean ginseng is red and "wet" and is often sold in liquid form and drunk down in a single gulp. People prefer to buy Canadian and US ginseng in "dry" form as chips, or powder. When it is brewed in hot water, it makes an excellent and refreshing tea.

 

The Ontario ginseng exporters have had to struggle to control costs. The weak US dollar has meant that US ginseng can undercut Canadians, whose costs are expressed in the stronger US dollar. They Canadians have have to cut their Canadian dollar export prices to stay competitive.

 

This was the Ginseng organisation's seventh year at the HK exhibition and they were please to be on the "public" side, rather than the pure commercial trade side. There seemed to be strong interest in the booth from the general public, who was stocking up and taking advantage of buying various of their products at specially discounted prices.

 

...continues...

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A REVIEW OF FOOD EXPO 2011

...continues... / this could interest you, Jake

There were a surprising number of Japanese exhibitors at the Food Expo. Perhaps they wanted to promote themselves more prominently at a time when Hong Kongers, along with the World in general, had turned away from Japanese agricultural products after the March disruptions and the release of radiation in Fukushima.

 

I stopped at one of the booths to try a sip of ginger tea, and was greeted by the owner of the company renting the booth. He spoke good English and I learned later that he had previously been a lawyer practicing in Hong Kong, and changed careers only about one year ago. At the 2010 Food Expo he had been helping out a friend with a booth and he met a Japanese company that produced and sold specialty teas. He set up his own company, RS Lifestyle Ltd., to act as their distribtor in Hong Kong and China. Not only does his company box the product in HK, they also designed the Chinese language packaging. I could not read the labels, but I can say that the products look clean and colorful, and are obviously designed to appeal to young health-conscious consumers.

 

product_gongtongt1.jpg..product_yinggei1.jpg..

 

We spoke at length about three of his teas. The ginger tea has a nice flavour, which I could happily drink everyday. It is the company's most popular product. I also tried the green Mulberry tea, which has certain health benefits. Mulberry tea leaves have been shown to "contains antioxidants, helps lower high blood pressure, and naturally helps you lose weight by blocking sugars." The taste was bitter, but not unpleasant, and I told him it might have some potential as an export product to the USA market, where a product that aided slimming could prove very popular. He was eager to help develop the English speaking market in North America (and potentially in Europe too?) He though his company could help with the packaging, since that was something he enjoyed doing. We spoke a little about some of the obstacles, like the cost of shipping a product, which when boxed is very light and would quickly "cube out" a shipping container. My partner was with me, and she pointed out that any new food product in the USA would probably need FDA approval, and that can be expensive. Still, the concept of getting involved a product like this was interesting enough, that I took away with me some samples. I was especially interested in the Mulberry Tea, but also took a few packets of a "Beauty Tea" with various ingredients, that is reportedly very good for skin texture and is popular amongst young Chinese women. The Japan-based production could be an issue for some consumers, since there have been some press reports of radiation showing up in Japanese products such as tea. But I was assured that all the teas used in the products come from the North of Japan. This may leave them free of contaminents, but would need some testing.

 

Perhaps an "awkward" time like this might be a good time to forge a business connection in Japan since the manufacturer may be more open to working with someone with little experience in distributing tea. (Is there a business opportunity in here for someone in the UK or Europe, who is alert enough?)

 

We bought some specialty tea at ....

 

We made several other long stops at various booths, and there is one more product that I would like to mention: that is Honey.

 

I was amazed by the number of varieties of Honey on offer at the booth of Wang's Bee Garden, Jiangxi. I learned that "China ranks first in the world in total output and trade volume of bee products." And that "many kinds of single-flower honey are still unknown to most customers." Wang's promotional brochure describes itself as "the first large-scale bee enterprise in China which specialises in researching and developing special bee products... The crude honey used... is collected from high mountains and wild forests and is not polluted." (I hope that description is accurate.) The brochure described 18 types of honey, two types of Royal Jelly and the benefits of all 20 products.

 

Here are three examples of their descriptions:

 

Hawthorne Juice Honey - also called "Children's Honey"

Hawthorn is a kind of traditional fruit... which has the efficacy of helping digestion. Its honey is sweet, tasty, and has a rich perfume.

Function: To stimulate digestion and promote the functional activity of the stomach, to improve the normal flow of qi and dissipate blood stasis.

 

Ginkgo Bilboa Honey

Gingko is commonly called "White fruit" by Chinese people. Gingko tree is one of the rare plants in China and it is praised to be the "live fossil." Gingko honey is mainly made of natural honey, with the extract of gingko added. It tasted sweet and slightly bitter, with an after-taste which is cool and refreshing, and is an excellent nutriment for middle age and old age.

Function: To arrest persistent cough and asthma and to reduce leucorrhea and urination.

 

Rose Flower Honey

Function: To relieve stagnation of qi, regulate blood circulation and to arrest pain

 

I had taken the brochure away to study it for a few minutes, and returned asking for "Loquat Honey", which "helps to reduce phlegm, cure cough, and soothe the stomach." The woman at the booth apologised: "We have been looking for that type of honey for months. Many are trying to get it, but it is now very hard to find." She suggested some other types, which I tasted, but none of them tasted special or unusual enough for me to purchase. I suppose I might try their products sometime in the future.

 

SaltyLemon.jpg

 

The booth next door had something that I had never seen before: "Salty Lemon Honey", manufactured in HK by Best Grace Ltd. The taste was unique, and did indeed taste of salty lemons, within a honey base. The decription of the production process was another novelty, it is allowed to age (in barrels in the mountains for years before it is sold.) The normal product (at HK$148, normal price and HK$128, discounted price) is aged for 5 years. And the premium product is aged for 7 years (with a HK$138 discounted price for a smaller bottle.) These prices were about double the price of the Wang's Bee Garden honeys.

 

One of our last stops was at the booth of the MCMIA/ Modernized Chinese Medicine International Association. This is a trade organisation based in Hong Kong which is tasked with the mission to foster the internationalisation of Chinese Medicine (CM), with Hong Kong as the global hub. Amongst other activities, MCMIA "tirelessly creates business opportunities for its members", by organising trade and exhibit missions, sponsoring business forums, and "promoting the flow of information through its website and gatherings". It seems like the organisation and its website got a big push in 2008/9, when the government briefly spoke of making Hong Kong a hub for CM. But there is little new material on its website after 2009. The "tireless" promotion seems to have become tired... but has not died.

 

/ MCMIA objectives: see post #26

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from Google trends

Screenshot2011-08-13at171449.png

 

Hmmm, down trend in people searching for "herbs" but there seems to be an uptrend picking up in News reference volume for "herbs" since the start of 2008.

 

Screenshot2011-08-13at171517.png

 

Looks like a slight upward trend in people searching for "buy herbs".

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Thanks for reminding me of the Google service.

Looks like a slight upward trend in people searching for "buy herbs".

These search terms make for an interesting comparison.

 

TCM/ or "Traditional Chinese Medicine" is the (amongst other things) the use of herbs in medicine, rather than Western pharmaceuticals. As a search term, TCM hasn't fared well.

 

TCM.png.jpg

 

And yet, if we look at some of the individual herbs, they have seen increasing searches:

 

Ginseng:

Gins.png.jpg

 

Though Western producers have struggled a bit with their marketing to China, as the Chinese would put "American" on their ginseng products, rtaher it was grown there or not:

 

A: Wisconsin ginseng growers seek tonic for China trade / May 18 2004

D: Wisconsin farmers hope branding ginseng will help boost their market in China / Jan 1 2010

 

WiGing.jpg

(Tong Ren Tang, a 340-year-old Chinese pharmaceutical company has signed a deal with Wisconsin ginseng growers to promote the Wisconsin ginseng label in China)

 

In the 1980s, Wisconsin reigned as the world’s ginseng capital. Herbal medicine buffs prized the state’s "man roots" for their potency, and farmers raked in an average of $125 million a year. But stiff competition from Canadian and Chinese growers -- paired with trademark piracy -- has diminished the Badger State’s standing.

Now Wisconsin farmers are hoping to reclaim the glory days of ginseng. Brian Bull reports…

 

Cordyceps:

Cordy.png.jpg

 

... has benefitted from research discussing its supposed benefits:

 

A: New Studies Show Significant Anti-Aging Benefits of Cordyceps / Oct 7 2010

B: Does it work? Can cordyceps reduce tiredness? / Dec 28 2010

 

The later article, is not so favorable about effectiveness of the cultivated cordyceps:

"The reputation gained by cordyceps from its use by Chinese athletes and older adults has not been supported by the results of clinical trials. Some claim this is because the type of cordyceps gathered in the wild is more beneficial than that grown for food supplements. Given that wild cordyceps is so expensive, affordable supplements will most likely continue to be made from the fermentation extract Cs-4. The studies conducted to date have found that this cordyceps extract does not improve exercise performance for either trained younger athletes or for older adults."

 

Yet I have friends here in Hong Kong who take it every day, and swear they get good results. (Meantime, I am "experimenting upon myself.")

 

Arnica

arnica.png.jpg

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GROWING CHINESE MEDICINALS IN AMERICA:

 

Reflections of an Herb Grower / by Peg Schafer

 

EXCERPT

We in the U.S. are just beginning to build a base of valuable global herbs. As the world's herbs come to our markets, new issues emerge regarding harvesting, proper identification, and contamination. Quality control, especially the problem of improper substitutions of one herb for another, continues to plague the herbal import industry.

 

Over-harvesting of herbs is a big challenge in China and the U.S., as many botanical medicines are not cultivated but collected in the wild. In this country, United Plant Savers (UpS) has been founded to tackle the issue. This group has developed two working lists to identify the extent to which herbs are suffering from over-harvesting: a first-tier alert "At-Risk" list, and a secondary "To Watch" list. American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) is included on the UpS "At-Risk" list, and Spikenard (Aralia californica) appears on the "To-Watch" list.

 

With an expanding global pharmacopia, we have wider choices in our solutions to this problem. For example, there are other herbs with ginseng-like properties that may be substituted for Panax. This is a significant advantage, because the regions appropriate for growing American Ginseng and Spikenard are limited. Additional analogs that grow well, depending on conditions, are the Chinese herb Codonopsis (C. pilosula) and the Ayurvedic herb Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera). An analog for Yerba Santa (Eriodictyon californica), which appears on the "To-Watch" list, is the Chinese herb called Japanese Elecampane (Inula japonica), which is relatively easy to grow. Some western herbs that you may be familiar with that have eastern analogs are Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) with Chinese Wolfberry (Lycium chinese), Vervain (Verbena officinalis) and chamomile (Matricaria recutita) with Bupleurem (B. chinense), and Elder (Sambucus spp.) with Burdock (Arctium lappa).

. . .

Herbs in general like low inputs: minimal fertilizer, or elemental fertilizers and no heavy composting. Low inputs also keep labor and supply costs down. A polycultural situation like you find in nature is ideal; this is where communities of plants grow together.

 

I've found that medicine makers are very interested in fresh and freshly dried Chinese herbs, grown locally without pesticides, herbicides and other possible contaminants - they want to offer their patients vibrant, effective, clean medicine. Since at the very least Chinese herbs are fumigated when they cross the U.S. border, TCM practitioners are keen to find better sources for their medicines. It makes sense that when you are sick, you should have the best medicine available. Not only Chinese, but also Ayurvedic, Native American and other cultures' herbs are being actively sought after. Education is still the name of the game, and the market is young, but it is growing rapidly.

 

/more=: http://www.chinesemedicinalherbfarm.com/article_growing.html

/seeds: http://www.chinesemedicinalherbfarm.com/seeds.html

 

NZ_peg_150.jpg

About Peggy Schafer

Peg Schafer is a nationally recognized authority on the growing of Chinese herbs, and oversees a number of projects that are focused on growing the highest quality and most medicinally efficacious Asian herbs possible. With a background in nursery management and farming, she is the owner/operator of the Chinese Medicinal Herb Farm near Petaluma, California. This 15-year-old certified organic farm has produced more than 250 different Chinese herb crops...

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The TOP 5 Herbs, for your "Herb Bank"

======

The Survival Herb Bank contains 20 powerful herbs, all with proven track records as “off the grid”, even underground treatments. Just look at what’s included:

 

1) Arnica Montana (Arnica), used throughout Europe and North America since the 1500’s as a cream or ointment, effective for soothing muscles, reducing inflammation and healing wounds. When brewed as a tea, this amazing herb has been used for stress, sleeping problems, emotional trauma making it an excellent “meltdown herb.”

 

2) Actaea Racemosa (Black Cohosh), a traditional Native American discovery from the root of the cohosh plant known for relieving menstrual cramps and symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, irritability, mood swings and sleep disturbances. The root of cohosh is an excellent remedy to provide comfort during times of hormonal changes and menstrual periods. It has sedative effects, making it useful for calming nerves, and has been used for assistance during childbirth, which is a particularly high-energy, depleting and traumatic time for the body.

 

3) Eupatorium Perfoliatum (Boneset), an herb traditionally used by Native Americans, who called it “Ague Weed,” now commonly called “boneset.” It’s a great remedy for treating the symptoms of influenza, and helpful for treating aches and pains and fever. Occasional use of boneset leaves brewed as tea helps detoxify the body, removing excess uric acid. It also acts as to expulse other toxins. In a survival instance, this herb can mean the difference between life and death in high fever or poisoning.

 

4) Calendula Officinalis (Calendula), is one of the most widely used herbs for relieving an upset stomach, ulcers, menstrual cramps and is known for having anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antibacterial effects. A boutique soap and cosmetic maker charges upwards of $40 per bottle of skin toner made from calendula extract. You can make this at home. The most helpful use of calendula is as a tincture made from leaves or flowers, used as soak for poultices to help heal wounds. It is a great, natural antibacterial agent.

 

 

5) Nepeta Cataria (Catnip), has a long history of being used as a digestive aid. It’s a natural sedative that also helps to ease digestion, colic and diarrhea. Dehydration caused by diarrhea, and high body temperatures caused by fevers can be life-threatening. A tea brewed from its leaves may help alleviate these symptoms. Catmint is also a mild sedative that naturally helps calm the nerves during stressful situations.

 

HerbBank.jpg

/see the rest of the Top 20 herbs, for the "Survival Herb Bank":

http://www.greenenergyinvestors.com/index.php?showtopic=15215

 

(Why not become a Herb Banker ?)

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I also tried the green Mulberry tea, which has certain health benefits. Mulberry tea leaves have been shown to "contains antioxidants, helps lower high blood pressure, and naturally helps you lose weight by blocking sugars." The taste was bitter, but not unpleasant, and I told him it might have some potential as an export product to the USA market, where a product that aided slimming could prove very popular.

 

A common tree around the world, the mulberry is a delicious fruit of spring. There is a wide variety of species. Most have edible fruit as well as edible leaves and young shoots

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