Read below for herb research news, rosewater+sea salt brownie recipe, this month's book pick, web roundup
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Hi <<First Name>>,

So you all voted or will vote, right? It's just a few days before election day. And what a cycle it's been. Conflict has been showing up in many of our communities. Conflict and anger have potential to clarify and connect, or cause harm to people and relationships. My meditation this month has been awareness of how conflict and "othering" shows up in my life, and how I can be a helpful force within it all. 
I have been proud to see so much support for #NoDAPL

Read below for:
Flying south at sunrise from Seattle to San Diego, Mt. Rainier on our left. October 30. 2016.

Herb research news

Carnosic acid from rosemary leaves exhibited antibacterial activity against all multidrug-resistant MRSA clinical isolates tested, which are resistant to four up to nine antibiotics. [Link]

Several compounds found in lichen are getting some interesting research attention. Atranorin, perlatolic acid, physodic acid and usnic acid were studied for their neurotrophic activities in cell lines. All but usnic acid were found to upregulate gene expression of BDNF and NGF - markers of nootropic activity. [Link] Atranorin is found in some Parmelia lichen species, perlatolic acid in Cladina stellaris, physodic acid in Hypogymnia physodes, and usnic acid in Usnea species. 

Baicalein, a major flavonoid present in Scutellaria baicalensis, negatively impacted the bioavailability of ciprofloxacin in a multi-dose study on rats by measures of serum peak concentration and AUC. [Link] Granted, baicalein as an isolate is rarely used in clinical settings. Given the popularity of Chinese skullcap in the treatment of many infections, this preclinical study is worth noting. 

The antioxidant reservatrol (480 mg/day) demonstrated benefits in fasting insulin and insulin resistance in a 4-week double blind study in Type 2 Diabetic patients with chronic periodontitis (N=43). Benefits were also observed for mean periodontal pocket depths. No significant changes were observed with fasting blood glucose. [Open Access - Link]

Rosewater+ sea salt brownies

We expected a major storm in the PNW in mid-October. In preparation for power loss, I charged batteries, trimmed branches, and...made brownies. Because it's essential. When you take chocolate and combine it with roses, coarse sea salt, and maple syrup, magical things happen. And said storm never arrived. (Maybe it was the brownies?)
  • 125g butter or coconut oil
  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 1/2 cup dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sweetener of choice (maple syrup is excellent if available)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbs rosewater
  • ½ flour of choice (I use almond/coconut)
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, starting with the wet ingredients first and mixing the dry ones in. Pour into a baking pan and bake at 350*F for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Alternatively, if you already have a favorite brownie recipe, just substitute maple syrup for the sweetener, and add sea salt and rosewater to taste. 

Book pick: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

This month in Renee's Reading Room we will be reading Yuval Noah Harari's bestseller Sapiens. This book has received high praise in anthropology circles for challenging the stories of our evolution and development. This is timely as its sequel, Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, is scheduled for release in February 2017. 

Head over to our book club to join the discussion or catch up on I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life, last month's pick. 
The environmental art of Nils Udo

Waterhouse: spruce trunks, birch branches, willow switches and sod on tidal flats--Waddensee mudflats, Holland, 1982

"The Installation was far out on the mud flats. The surface of the flats, stretching endlessly to the horizon, was covered by billions of tiny mud-worm casts. To start we piled up excavated earth to form an arrow-shaped pool, then we set up spruce trunks with their birch brushwood before building the island, which was planted with turf." - Nils Udo

If you are a fan of Andy Goldsworthy, you'll enjoy Bavarian artist Nils Udo. See more here.

Web roundup
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