Amazing Food Science Discovery: Edible Plants ‘Talk’ To Animal Cells, Promote Healing

 

A groundbreaking new study published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research titled, Interspecies communication between plant and mouse gut host cells through edible plant derived exosome-like nanoparticles,” reveals a new way that food components ‘talk’ to animal cells by regulating gene expression and conferring significant therapeutic effects. With the recent discovery that non-coding microRNA’s in food are capable of directly altering gene expression within human physiology,[1] this new study further concretizes the notion that the age old aphorism ‘you are what you eat’ is now consistent with cutting edge molecular biology.

Exosomes: The ‘Missing Link’ In How Plants and Animal Cells Communicate and Collaborate

This is the first study of its kind to look at the role of exosomes, small vesicles secreted by plant and animal cells that participate in intercellular communication, in interspecies (plant-animal) communication.

The study explained the biological properties of exosomes as follows:

“Exosomes are produced by a variety of mammalian cells including immune, epithelial, and tumor cells [11–15]. Exosomes play a role in intercellular communication and can transport mRNA, miRNA, bioactive lipids, and proteins between cells [16–19]. Upon contact, exosomes transfer molecules that can render new properties and/or reprogram their recipient cells.”

While most of the research on exosomes has focused on their role in pathological states such as tumor promotion, they were recently found to play a key role in stimulating regeneration within damaged cardiac tissue,[2] and are known to be found in human breast milk, further underscoring how irreplaceable it is vis-à-vis synthesized infant formula.[3]

The New Study

The investigators isolated plant derived exosome-like nanoparticles (EPDENs) from ginger, carrot, grape and grapefruit, and observed their behavior in mammalian cells (mice).

They chose these commonly consumed edible fruits and vegetables because,

“It is well established that a plant-derived diet has great influence on regulation of mammalian host cell homeostasis, in particular, cells in the digestive system [1–3]. Deregulation of plant-derived diet regulated host cell homeostasis leads to increased susceptibility to infections, chronic inflammatory bowel diseases, and cancer [4–10].

They noted, “the cellular and molecular machinery regulating such interspecies mutualism between a plant-derived diet and the mammalian gut is not fully defined.” Their new study aimed to gain new insight into defining the mechanisms through which cross-kingdom crosstalk occurs.

Plant Exosomes Affect Mammalian Cells Intimately

After isolating and characterizing exosome-like nanoparticles from all four edible plants, the researchers discovered they possessed remarkable similarity in size and structure to mammalian-derived exosomes. Furthermore, the study showed “that these exosome-like nanoparticles are taken up by intestinal macrophages and stem cells, and have biological effects on the recipient cells.”

The biological effects were described as follows:

  • Ginger exosome-like nanoparticles strongly induced heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) and IL-10 expressed in macrophages, an indication of anti-inflammatory and antoxidant properties.
  • Fruit-derived exosome-like nanoparticles including grape and grapefruit induced Wnt/TCF4 activation, which is a key component of the anti-inflammatory response
  • All tested foods activated nuclear translocation of Nrf2, a key regulator of the HO1 gene, which has an important role in anti-inflammation and antioxidation; ginger was found to be most potent, followed by grapefruit, carrot and grape

Notably, EPDENs were found to be resistant to gastric and intestinal enzymatic digestion, further indicating they are capable of exerting significant biological effects by escaping digestive degradation, which has also been found with lectins and microRNA’s within edible foods.

The researchers discussed their results:

“Our findings show that exosome-like nanoparticles are present in edible fruits and vegetables and reveal a previously unrecognized strategy by which plants communicate with mammalian cells via exosome-like nanoparticles in the gut, and in particular intestinal macrophages and stem cells. We found that edible plants contain large amounts of nanoparticles. Like mammalian exosomes, further characterization of the plant nanoparticles led to identifying them as exosome- like nanoparticles based on the nanoparticles being com- posed of proteins, lipids, and miRNAs. EPDENs from different types of plants have different biological effects on the recipient mammalian cells. This finding opens up a new avenue to further study the molecular mechanisms underlying how the plant kingdom crosstalks with mammalian cells such as intestinal macrophages and stem cells via EPDENs. This information may provide the molecular basis of using multiple plant-derived agents for better therapeutic effect than any single plant-derived agent.”

They also offered that their results may explain why those who consume a greater variety of edible plants are healthier:

“It has been known for decades that people eating a variety of edible plants daily are the recipients of many beneficial health effects when compared to subjects that ingest fewer types of edible plants. Ingesting EPDENs from a variety of fruits and vegetables daily would be expected to provide greater beneficial effects for maintaining gut homeostasis than ingesting EPDENs from single edible plant.”

Discussion: Deeper Implications of the Study

As part of the fascinating new fields of epigenetics and nutrigenomics, this new study’s findings promise to expand the relevance of food in the practice of medicine and the prevention of disease. We have crossed a critical threshold in the past few decades where food can no longer considered simply as a source of caloric content, minerals and vitamins, and building blocks for the body-machine. [Learn more by taking the author’s E-Course] Rather, food carries very specific forms of biologically meaningful information (literally ‘to put form into’), without which our genetic and epigenetic infrastructure cannot function according to its intelligent design.

The discovery of plant-dervied exosome-mediated modulation of fundamental mammalian cellular pathways, lends powerful support to the concept that ancestral nutritional practices handed down for countless generations are critical in maintaining our health. With the advent of the post-industrial diet, based largely on ‘food-like’ synthesized nutrition, and the novel introduction of grain-based nutrition in only the past 500 generations, our present diet suffers from a series of profoundly biological incompatible foods.

Millions of years of co-evolutionary processes have generated a wide range of interspecies, cross-kingdom co-dependencies. For instance, mammals and angiosperms (which comprise about 250,000 species and include most of the flowering plants that provide the modern world its diet) co-evolved for at least 200 million years together, and are today two of the most dominant forms of life on the planet. The very molecular and informational fabric of our bodies evolved to intimately depend on the presence of various key food components in the human diet, and the absence of others which may be detrimental to our health. Food components like exosomes may be as important to our health as vitamins and other classically defined ‘nutrients,’ and may even be more important in modulating a wide range of complex genetic- and epigenetic-mediated cellular processes within the body. This may also explain the mystery of how certain fruits, such as pomegranate, have been found to replace the function of the mammalian ovary in an ovariectomy induced models of premature aging.  While pomegranate is one of nature’s most concentrated source of bioidentical estrone, exosomes may be the ‘missing link’ as to how a plant food can support complex hormonal processes within the animal body, along with exerting such a wide range of additional therapeutic health effects. This is all the more evidence with plants like turmeric, which have over 600 health benefits and has been found to modulate the expression of thousands of genes simultaneously.[4]

We believe that taken together, the recent discoveries that 1) microRNA’s within foods like rice can enter into our blood and tissue and regulate gene expression 2) that double-stranded RNAs within a wide range of commonly consumed foods have molecular homology with thousands of human RNAs (and are therefore capable of silencing them) 3) that lectins also can directly activate nuclear machinery within certain cells, the addition of exosome-mediated gene modulation, lends further support to the concept that the quality and types of food we consume carry as much relevance in terms of ‘biological destiny’ as the DNA within our genome.

With exciting research now available, the famous quote attributed to Thomas Edison rings truer today than ever:

“The doctor of the future will give no medication, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, diet and in the cause and prevention of disease.”

References:

[1] Lin Zhang Exogenous plant MIR168a specifically targets mammalian LDLRAP1: evidence of cross-kingdom regulation by microRNA Cell Research (2012) 22:107–126. doi:10.1038/cr.2011.158; published online 20 September 2011

[2] Ahmed Gamal-Eldin Ibrahim, Ke Cheng, Eduardo Marbán. Exosomes as Critical Agents of Cardiac Regeneration Triggered by Cell TherapyStem Cell Reports, May 2014 DOI:10.1016/j.stemcr.2014.04.006

[3] Qi Zhou1, et al Immune-related MicroRNAs are Abundant in Breast Milk Exosomes Int J Biol Sci 2012; 8(1):118-123. doi:10.7150/ijbs.8.118

[4] Sreenivasan S, Thirumalai K, Danda R, Krishnakumar S. Effect of curcumin on miRNA expression in human Y79 retinoblastoma cells. Curr Eye Res. 2012 May;37(5):421-8. doi: 10.3109/02713683.2011.647224. PubMed PMID: 22510010.

Credits: Sayer Ji of Green Med Info, Guest contributor. Used here with permission.

Three Foods From Ancient Times With Miraculous Benefits

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Consumed for thousands of years in various parts of the world, these three simple foods were revered by ancient civilizations for their healing powers. Today, modern science is proving these civilizations right, yet they are still relatively unknown in the Western world. Here are three foods you need to know about.

Being a Vigilant Citizen is not only about being aware of what goes into your mind, it is also about being aware of what enters your body. If your body is fueled with toxic garbage, your brain will also run on toxic garbage. And when your brain runs on toxic garbage, it becomes slow, cloudy, and enjoys listening to Pitbull.

In my series of articles, Dumbing-Down Society, I list some toxic elements found in everyday products that we all need to avoid. This article, however, is about the exact opposite. It is about foods we all need to consume on a regular basis. The three foods in this article have been revered for thousands of years for their incredible healing proprieties and modern science is slowly confirming these ancient claims. Not only can these foods cure ailments, they can be used as supplements to improve the immune system, brain function and general well being.

Ancient civilizations did not praise these foods for the heck of it. They observed, for thousands of years, the various effects these foods had on the mind, the body and even the soul. Ancients were so in awe about their proprieties that they obtained special statues: they were perceived as gifts from above, they were celebrated in ceremonies, and Kings were buried with them. So, without further ado, here are three ancient foods you need to know about right now.

 

Zaatar

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When I was a snotty little kid running around the house getting hungry, I used to go up to my mother, interrupt whatever she was doing and demand food. And, very often, I got the same snack: Zaatar mixed with olive oil inside a pita bread (that’s what you get when your parents are Lebanese immigrants). As I got older, I understood why I was given this wrap all the time. First, it took about 30 seconds to make; second, it’s the cheapest lunch in the history of the world (it costs about 26 cents to make); third, it tastes pretty good. Finally, it is a natural, wholesome food that is packed with important nutrients.

Zaatar is a mix of spices that is mainly consumed in the Middle East. While each region has its trademark take on it, zaatar usually consists of the same basic ingredients: Dried thyme, oregano, marjoram, sumac, toasted sesame seeds and salt.

Zaatar has been part of the Mediterranean diet for thousands of years. It was consumed in Ancient Egypt and, throughout history, has remained a staple credited with various healing properties.

There is evidence that a za’atar plant was known and used in Ancient Egypt, though its ancient name has yet to be determined with certainty. Remains of thymbra spicata, one variety used in modern za’atar preparations, were found in the tomb of Tutankhamun, and according to Dioscorides, this particular species was known to the Ancient Egyptians as saem.

Pliny the Elder mentions an herb maron as an ingredient of the Regale Unguentum (“Royal Perfume”) used by the Parthian kings in the 1st century CE.

In Jewish tradition, Saadiah, Ibn Ezra (d. circa 1164), Maimonides (1135–1204) and Obadiah ben Abraham (1465–1515) identified the ezov mentioned in the Hebrew Bible with the Arabic word “za’atar”. Ezov/za’atar is particularly associated with ritual purity ceremonies, such as preparing the ashes of the Red Heifer (Numbers 19:6) and handling bodily contaminations (Leviticus 14:4, 6, 51-52; Numbers 20:18).
– Lise Manniche. An ancient Egyptian herbalist

As stated above, the renowned 12th Century philosopher, astronomer, and physician Maimonides was a big fan of zaatar. He regularly prescribed it to his patients to cure various ailments and to “open the mind”. Recent studies all tend to confirm these claims, as zaatar has proved to be a powerful antiseptic (it kills nasty things in your body) and a potent “brain food”. Here are some of the proprieties of each ingredient found in zaatar.

Sumac Health Benefits

Sumac is rich in gallic acid, which research suggests has anti-fungal, anti-viral, and cancer-fighting properties, and quercetin, which also seems to an anti-inflammatory agent effective against cancer.

A 2009 study also suggested that sumac can protect DNA from errors during cell reproduction in animals, though research on human cells was inconclusive.

Thyme and Oregano Health Benefits

Thyme and oregano are both rich in thymol and carvacrol, similar organic compounds called phenols that have antiseptic and antimicrobial properties. Like gallic acid, they are also effective in suppressing funguses and other microorganisms.

A 2010 study found that thymol and carvacrol can weaken drug-resistant strains of disease-causing bacteria like Salmonella and Staphylococcus aureus, making the microbes more susceptible to antibiotics.

In lab tests, the antioxidants in thyme were even powerful enough to fight off acne-causing bacteria.

A fluid extract of thyme also helped patients with acute bronchitis and phlegmy coughing fits minimize their respiratory symptoms — which, as The Salt notes, echoes Maimonides’ prescription of za’atar to treat colds.

Brain-Boosting Za’atar?

In certain parts of the Middle East, folk tradition suggests that za’atar has brain-boosting properties – The Salt recounts that Syrian children are often encouraged to sprinkle the spice mix on meals before exams.

Scientific literature on the health benefits of za’atar herbs like thyme, oregano, and sumac for human intelligence is minimal, though some researchers are beginning to speculate that the carvacrol, the phenol found in thyme and oregano, may have cognitive and mood-enhancing properties, at least in rodents.

A 2011 study found that in mice, specific doses of an oregano extract elevated levels of serotonin, a vital brain neurotransmitter involved in regulating mood, learning, sleep, and appetite, working like a low-impact version of the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) drugs that are commonly prescribed as antidepressants in humans.

Another study published last month showed that when fed to rats, steady low doses of carvacrol can boost levels of serotonin and dopamine, which is also involved in mood, learning, and feelings of reward, possibly increasing feelings of well-being and reinforcing other positive brain processes.

Finally, a 2012 study found that in rats, thymol and carvacrol helped alleviate some symptoms of dementia caused by beta-amyloid, a protein linked to Alzheimer’s disease. When dosed with the compounds before being placed in a water maze, cognitively impaired rats learned how to navigate the labyrinth more quickly than expected.

Let’s forget about rats eating zaatar for a second and focus on the great minds who were fueled on it instead. If zaatar was good enough for Egyptian pharaohs, the Bible and renowned philosophers, it is probably good enough for you.

How to get and consume zaatar

Zaatar can be found in most markets selling products from the Middle East. You can also order it online through Amazon – this one is pretty authentic

You can also buy each spice that make up zaatar separately and create your own blend.

Zaatar can be sprinkled on dairy products, vegetables and meats to add flavor. It is however at its best when mixed with its long time partner: olive oil.  I personally like to spread some zaatar and olive oil on whole wheat bread, and then add a slice of tomato and some feta cheese. Nice.

Black Seed Oil (aka Nigella Sativa Oil)

Nigella sativa (Black cumin) on wooden spoon and essential oil. Real oil from nigella looks like dark honey

Although black seed oil has been praised for thousands of years for its incredible healing properties, it gets little to no love in the Western world. However, scientific research is shedding light on this seed’s awesome powers and is gradually confirming what ancient cultures claimed for thousands of years: Black seed oil is a miracle worker. Considered to be an “elixir of life” and the “most powerful oil in the world”, black seed oil built its reputation over thousands of years of use across various cultures.

Black Cumin Seed (Nigella Sativa) oil has been used in traditional medicine since the beginning of civilization. It was called Panacea (which roughly translates to ‘cure-all’) in Ancient Egypt; it was found in the tomb of King Tut and it is said that Cleopatra used it as a beauty treatment. Hippocrates, the famous Greek physician, used it to cure digestive and metabolic disorders. The Prophet Muhammad called it “a remedy for every illness except death.

The oil has also been recommended by practitioners of Ayurveda and Chinese Traditional Medicine for thousands of years for conditions from diabetes to indigestion to cancer. In recent years, it has been put to the test of modern science and several studies confirm its long reported health benefits.
– Natural Living Idea, “Black Cumin Seed Oil: The Most Powerful Oil In The World?”

Black seed oil has been used by ancient cultures to cure and to prevent pretty much anything – from common colds to life-threatening cancers. Science is now confirming these claims.

Nigella Sativa has been involved in hundreds of studies regarding health, and particularly cancer treatment and prevention. One of its active ingredients, Thymoquinone, has been found to be particularly effective in reducing the size of existing tumors. In studies on rats and humans, researchers found that Black Cumin Seed Oil:

  • Inhibited tumor growth by up to 50%
  • Increased the growth of healthy bone marrow cells by 250%
  • Helps to protect the body against damage from chemotherapy and radiation
  • Has strong anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties
  • Aides in the production of natural interferon
  • Can even deactivate or kill certain types of cancer cells

– Ibid.

Although that is pretty impressive, black seed oil is most useful when it is consumed on a daily basis to improve health and to prevent illnesses from even appearing. The “magic” ingredient in black seed oil is called crystalline nigellone, a compound that is relatively rare in nature and difficult to synthesize. Black seed oil also contains Beta Sitosterol, Calcium, Copper. Folic Acid. Iron, Oleic, Linoleic and Linelenic Acids (Omegas 3 & 6), Palmitol, Phosphorous, Protein, Stearic Acid, Thymoquinone, Vitmins B1, B2 & B and Zinc. All of these ingredients contribute in maintaining optimal health.

Overall, the greatest benefit of Black Cumin Seed is its effect on the immune system and metabolism – which, in turn, supports all the functions of the body. The active compounds in the oil have been proven to fight several diseases by naturally boosting the body’s production of immune cells, bone marrow, and natural interferon. It also protects the liver (your body’s filtering system) from toxicity. Even for people in the best health, regular supplementation with Black Cumin Seed Oil can greatly increase their overall sense of health and well-being.

Some of the many conditions successfully treated with regular ingestion of Black Cumin Oil, over an extended period of time (6 months or more), include:

Allergies and Sinusitis
Anxiety and Nervous Tension
Bronchitis
Colds and Flus
Colic (babies)
Diabetes
Diarrhea, Indigestion and Heartburn
Hair Loss
Headaches and Migraines
High Blood Pressure
Insomnia
Intestinal Parasites
Lethargy and Depression
– Ibid.

How to Get and Consume Black Seed Oil

Black seed oil can be found in markets specializing in Mediterranean and North African products. It is however rather difficult to find in some areas. For this reason, I found it easier to order the oil online – this brand is one of the most authentic

No matter what brand you buy, make sure the oil is 100% pure, cold pressed and its color resembles dark honey. Oils that are too light (like vegetable oil) might have had important nutrients filtered out.

For general well-being, it is recommended to take one teaspoon of oil in the morning, one hour before breakfast. For therapeutic purposes (if you’re sick) a second teaspoon in the evening is recommended. The taste is somewhat nasty, but you’ll eventually get used to it. After about week of using this magical oil, you’ll feel a noticeable boost of energy and you’ll feel pretty sharp. If you don’t believe me, go back in time and ask King Tut, Cleopatra, Hippocrates, and the Prophet Mohammad. They’ll tell you.

Turmeric Powder

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Turmeric powder is a staple in Indian cuisine and is often found in curry-based recipes. Although it is relatively easy to find in supermarkets, most Westerners are not taking advantage of this spice’s incredible healing powers. This situation is unfortunate because turmeric is a potent antidote to the many ills resulting from our modern lifestyle characterized by poor diet, contact with toxic chemicals and heavy pollution.

The most well known medicinal action of turmeric is its use as a powerful anti-inflammatory, the effectiveness of which is comparable to pharmaceutical medicines. However, it also acts as an alternative, analgesic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, anti-allergic, anti-oxidant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, cholagogue, digestive, diuretic, stimulant, and vulnerary  . Modern science is beginning to recognize and understand the amazing healing qualities of turmeric and much research is currently being conducted.
– Lisa Gallant, Turmeric : “The Golden Goddess”

There is nothing new about the usage of turmeric – its healing powers have been known since the dawn of civilization. Turmeric has been used for centuries in Ayurveda, the 5,000 year old natural healing system of India. In Ayurveda, turmeric is believed to balance the three doshas, the three bodily humors that make up one’s constitution (named vata, pitta, and kapha).

It was around 500 BCE that turmeric emerged as an important part of Ayurvedic medicine. Ayurveda is an ancient Indian system of natural healing that is still practiced today. Ayurveda translates to “science of life”– ayur meaning “life” and veda meaning “science or knowledge.” Inhaling fumes from burning turmeric was said to alleviate congestion, turmeric juice aided with the healing of wounds and bruises, and turmeric paste was applied to all sorts of skin conditions – from smallpox and chicken pox to blemishes and shingles. Ayurvedic literature contains over 100 different terms for turmeric, including jayanti, meaning “one who is victorious over diseases,” and matrimanika, meaning “as beautiful as moonlight.”

In Indian culture, the importance of turmeric goes far beyond medicine. The Hindu religion sees turmeric as auspicious and sacred. There is a wedding day tradition in which a string, dyed yellow with turmeric paste, is tied around the bride’s neck by her groom. This necklace, known as a mangala sutra, indicates that the woman is married and capable of running a household. The tradition still continues in Hindu communities and has been compared to the Western exchange of wedding rings. In parts of southern India, a piece of the turmeric rhizome is worn as an amulet for protection against evil spirits.
– Lisa Gallant, “Turmeric, the Golden Goddess”

In India, turmeric has been used traditionally for thousands of years as a remedy for stomach and liver ailments, as well as topically to heal sores, basically for its supposed antimicrobial property. In the Siddha system (since around 1900 BCE) turmeric was a medicine for a range of diseases and conditions, including those of the skin, pulmonary, and gastrointestinal systems, aches, pains, wounds, sprains, and liver disorders. A fresh juice is commonly used in many skin conditions, including eczema, chicken pox, shingles, allergy, and scabies
Siri-Ved Kaur Khalsa, “Turmeric, the Golden Healer”

Recent studies are not only confirming what Ancients believed about turmeric, they are also discovering several applications for modern ailments. Here’s a quick summary of the properties attributed to turmeric by modern science.

  • A Potent, Yet Safe Anti-Inflammatory
  • An Effective Treatment for Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Relief for Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Help for Cystic Fibrosis Sufferers
  • Cancer Prevention
  • Inhibits Cancer Cell Growth and Metastases
  • Turmeric and Onions May Help Prevent Colon Cancer
  • Turmeric Teams Up with Cauliflower to Halt Prostate Cancer
  • Reduce Risk of Childhood Leukemia
  • Improved Liver Function
  • Cardiovascular Protection
  • Lowers Cholesterol
  • Protection against Alzheimer’s Disease

– whfoods.com, Turmeric

Yup, that’s a pretty hefty list … and the research has barely started.

How to Get and Consume Turmeric

Due to the surge of popularity of Indian food, most supermarkets now carry turmeric powder. If you live close to a market selling South East Asian products, you can probably buy a bucketful of the spice for about a nickel. You can also order it only through sites like Amazon – this one is pretty good

Turmeric can be consumed in a variety of ways, but, due to its peculiar taste, I do not suggest adding it where it doesn’t belong. Turmeric is right at home in soups, curries or tossed with rice and vegetables. Make sure to add black pepper to your recipes as it is known to improve the bioavailability of turmeric, making it even more effective. You can also simmer turmeric with honey, ginger and lemon to make the world’s healthiest beverage.

In Conclusion

Zaatar, black seed oil, and turmeric powder were considered to be true miracle workers by ancient civilizations for millennia because, like miracle workers, they have the power to heal. They also improve general health by cleansing the body, sharpening the mind and nourishing the soul. Unfortunately, instead of benefiting from these affordable gifts from nature, many resort to swallowing pills made by profit-driven pharmaceutical companies to feel better. Some of the pills sold on TV have horrible side effects such as “suicidal thoughts”. If a pill makes your brain want to kill itself as a “side effect”, maybe it’s a sign from the universe that you should not be taking this pill. The side-effects of the three foods in this article? You feel better and you’re in a better mood. That’s the universe telling you that you should eat these foods … and thousands of years of experience, wisdom and knowledge agree.

15 Plants That Teach Us Sacred Geometry At Its Finest

Plant growth is governed by the Fibonacci sequence, which can be understood as a law of accumulation. The role of the Fibonacci sequence in the growth of plants is a intriguing example of the unifying order behind all creation. These patterns exist at all levels and permeate the universe, reminding us that the same swirling energy is shaping, sunflowers, whirlpools, spinning galaxies, and our own DNA.

Sacred Geometry is the meeting of science and spirituality, ‘the blueprint, the structure of spacetime that organizes matter.’ It is an ancient science that explores and explains the language or building blocks of all things in our Universe.

When one looks into the absolutely vast amount of information that has been collected on the extensive number of forms in which Nature employs the proportion of Phi, it is obvious that there is no other specific number that recurs throughout life on Earth with such regularity.

In effect, the Fibonacci sequence describes how things grow, building and multiplying according to what’s already there. This growth by accumulation is reflected in how trees branch, flowers form, and ferns unfurl.

All phenomena, from the infinitely small to the infinitely big … the growth of plants, human body proportions, the structure of crystals, the orbit of the planets, light, music and more has a specific geometric structure. Everything in the Universe follows the same geometric pattern that fractals over and over creating endless possibilities of light, color, shape and sound. Every motion, system of growth, cell, plant, animal, planet, star, galaxy and black hole are all ruled by the mathematical laws of sacred geometry. Ancient cultures around the world have used this ‘mystery school’ knowledge to build monuments, churches and sacred sites. We have been studying these places for ages and through modern science perhaps we now beginning to understand the meaning and purpose behind these structures.

In an overwhelming number of plants, a given branch or leaf will grow out of the stem approximately 137.5 degrees around the stem relative to the prior branch. In other words, after a branch grows out of the plant, the plant grows up some amount and then sends out another branch rotated 137.5 degrees relative to the direction that the first branch grew out of.

The Fibonacci sequence governs the placement of leaves along a stem, ensuring that each leaf has maximum access to sunlight and rain. If you look straight down along a stem, the leaves (or branches) emerging from it will spiral such that when you count from one leaf to the one that lines up directly below it, the number of leaves between them and the number of times that group of leaves spirals around the stem will both be Fibonacci numbers.

This same principle is at work in the formation of pine cones, sunflowers, pineapples, and cacti. All have a double spiral structure that allows their smaller elements (seeds, for instance) to pack closely and efficiently. Look at the middle of a sunflower: you will see that the seeds line up in crisscrossing spirals radiating from the center, and if you count the number of spirals turning in each direction (clockwise/counterclockwise), they will always be Fibonacci numbers.

Here are 15 plants that perfectly demonstrate this principle:

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Plant, Sacred Geometry, Symmetry, Garden, Blossom

Sources:
prweb.com
divinetemplatecreations.com
natures-word.com

Josh Richardson is blogger, healer, and a constant pursuer of the natural state of human consciousness.

Children Grow Food Better Than Adults & Lead Paradigm Shift

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Riding the full force GMO backlash of 2014, communities and individuals alike are breaking down the door with Black-Friday urgency in search of better access to better food. Yet in a country where we continue to be limited by the bottom line of big corporate influences and their overarching monetary reach, the first sprouts of a mighty paradigm shift have been peeking through the dirt waiting for everyone to notice. What I’m talking about is the decentralization of food back to communities and individuals.

Children ≥ Adults

In recent interviews Dr. Richard Alan Miller, herbalist and longtime fixture in alternative agriculture, has described what he sees as proof of a shift in consciousness that is occurring in his recent work on the outskirts of Mexico City, as well as in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Groups of children, varying in age, are learning to grow vegetables and salad greens on their own terms. Taking a page from Rudolf Steiner’s Waldorf educational philosophy, the children become both the teachers and the students.

They learn at their own pace while Dr. Miller and others remain to oversee and provide only minimal, gentle guidance. According to Dr. Miller, while observing the youth interacting with nature he noticed that many of them “had inherent, natural skill that was better than most master gardeners.” The food grown by the children was then used in nearby cities to feed hungry adults. “We are witnessing an educational shift with a new paradigm shift in agricultural reform in which small groups of children grow food for larger groups of adults,” said Dr. Miller.

Local Open Source Food = Empowered Community

The answer to many of society’s problems can be found by walking in the opposite direction of the current push for further centralization being sold in many aspects of our life. Indeed, it is because of the centralization of the food system that we are now vulnerable to supply chain disruptions that can come from a variety of sources, instantly crippling unprepared communities. In addition, a centralized food supply allows large corporations to monopolize the food sources while diminishing both our rights and the quality of our food. However, alternatives to this model have begun appearing, such as the seven acre Beacon Hill site in Seattle, which made headlines in 2009 with plans for the first free open Food Forest within city limits. Simultaneously, the common sense concept gained momentum through many cities across America.

This movement can be seen in the first crop of documentaries chronicling the rise of urban farming and community food forests. America is witnessing many communities develop local foodsheds in small cities and large metropolises alike. A foodshed encompasses the land where the agricultural products are grown or raised, the route the food travels, the markets in which it is sold, and finally the individuals who eat it. This is true community empowerment on multiple levels.

With these local movements beginning to establish powerful roots, we are now seeing a supercharged quickening of their efficacy with the use of alternative agriculture practices such as permaculture, biodynamic practices, vertical and rooftop gardens for space limitations, drip irrigation and structured water systems for water conservation, and microbial, phyto, and bioremediation for accelerated soil building. The combination is propelling humanity forward and rebuilding the connection we have lost between our relationship with food and each other.

Contributionism Philosophy

Put into the public consciousness by Michael Tellinger, the idea of the Ubuntu movement can be summed up in one word; contributionism. A straightforward concept, it is set around building community, following one’s passions, and stepping away from the monetary/corporate system. The open-sourced, free food movements happening in every community on large and small scales are testaments to the permeation of this idea and its unstoppable growth. The fact remains that corporations have little power to do anything in the wake of decentralized community contributionism around a free food movement.

Just recently, McDonald’s attempted to get its brand into this new paradigm by launching the “Give lovin’, get lovin’” campaign. On McDonald’s heels, Braintree also recently rolled out the #AcceptAnything food truck with a similar “take anything as payment” effort to keep some semblance of monetary control over a system that is in flux and searching for solutions. However, what corporations fail to understand is that this shift is not simply a new market, a changing demographic, or a product to exploit for the purpose of enhancing their bottom line.

In many ways, it is because of their corporate abuse, suicidal banking practices, and an overall inability to show empathy that communities are walking away from that old paradigm. In America there are over 46,000,000 people on The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) –AKA food stamps. This is proof that the old paradigm didn’t work and is at an end. As individuals and communities learn and empower themselves through decentralized free food urban gardens, it is an absolute certainty that this number will decrease.

References:

http://www.beaconfoodforest.org/

http://www.seattlechannel.org/CityStream/segments?videoid=x29838

http://vimeo.com/109299341

http://quantumwai-structuredwater.com/our-products/

http://www.fungi.com/product-detail/product/earth-repair.html

http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2015/02/04/mcdonalds-not-first-to-accept-kisses-hugs-as-payment/

http://crabtreefarms.org/about/what-is-a-foodshed

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aC8JcXIoITw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeoGc4hxnno

Karma: Not The “Mainstream” Version – The Real One

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karm

Karma is a concept taught by various cultures throughout human history, and is an idea that dates back thousands of years. Despite its proliferance, the idea of karma seems to be generally misunderstood and  frequently tossed around without any real understanding of its true meaning.

What is Karma?

In the Bhagavad Gita (one text out of many from multiple cultures that speak of karma), there are constant dialogues about how to attain what’s referred to as “moksha”.  Moksha is the release from the cycle of rebirth; a sort of transcendent state or freedom from the world we currently know – a world in which our senses deceive us. It’s a state of bliss that can only be attained when we have freed ourselves from the web of Karma. Once we reach that point our soul is ready to move on to another experience that goes beyond rebirth.

According to Hindu philosophy, the only “higher” activity one can engage in other than performing selfless, fruitful action is the quest and cultivation of spiritual knowledge, contemplation and truth.

Let’s take a look at what karma really means:

“The Principle of Karma requires that the experiences of the individual being, based on his actions during the lifetime, are imprinted in the subtle body, which will therefore have to possess some organized structure of fine matter as mental state within it, and will accordingly be impelled to move to specific locations for rebirth. The principle of Karma is fundamentally based on this very concept that the deeds of today shape the future events for man – the most intelligent of beings is gifted with the discriminating ability in addition to the instinctive habits that all other creatures possess.” – Paramahamsa Tewari (source)

The general idea is that every time we perform an action a cause is created that will have corresponding effects.  Again, Karma literally translates to “action” or “deed” and included within that action are your thoughts and intentions. The karma principle makes it clear that the universe will respond to you in this life and/or the next. Actions have “consequences,” and thoughts do as well.

I personally like to leave out “good” and “bad” when it comes to the consequences of our actions. For example, a human being can have what we call a “good” experience or what is perceived as a “bad” experience. The truth of the matter is that they are experiences, regardless of how we perceive them and choose to label them. We can either choose to grow from these experiences and learn from others, untangling ourselves from the web of karma, or we can continue viewing them as “bad” (for example) and prevent ourselves from moving forward.

According to some Indian philosophies, like Jainism, Karmas are invisible particles of matter existing all around us. Our souls attract these karmas through various actions. For example, every time we get angry we attract karmas, just as when we are deceitful or greedy. Likewise, every time we kill or hurt someone we attract karmas. According to Janism these karmas form layers upon layers over our souls and keep us from realizing our true potential and our ability to hear our soul’s voice.

I find it very interesting that the philosophy and concept of karma is discussed in various ways by multiple cultures, religions and philosophers over a period spanning thousands of years.

Karma Yoga

Again, karma is all about action. In Hindu philosophy, it’s believed that purified minds will be the ones to partake in jinana yoga, what is also known as the yoga of knowledge. As mentioned earlier, this quest for truth and contemplation was believed to be a superior act of being as opposed to performing karma yoga (good deeds without care for their rewards or consequences, selfless acts), but both are paths to the same destination.

Performing karma yoga is all about performing acts that can benefit the planet(s), acts that stem from the heart’s intent strictly for  the benefit of the world(s) or others.  This is important to remember, because many can perform good deeds in order to benefit themselves, reap the rewards, get to a specific destination or to “look good” in the eyes of others. Performing acts from an incorrect place within your heart is not  “doing your karma,” but rather, performing a selfish act in the disguise of good deeds – something that might actually cause you to accumulate more karma instead. Karma is all about the place you are coming from within, which brings me to my next point.

 The Difference Between Karma and the Mainstream Idea of It

When I refer to the “mainstream idea of karma” I am more so referring to the idea and energy behind the statement “they’ll get what’s coming to them” as well as the idea that performing good deeds will provide you with good rewards.

Although “good” deeds might come full circle and have positive fruition, just as “bad” deeds do,  karma has absolutely nothing to do with people “getting what’s coming to them” as a result of their “bad” actions. It’s about learning from your experiences, not about receiving the consequence of your negative action for the sake of receiving it. The focus needs to be on achieving personal growth as a result of your deeds; even if we are not consciously aware of it, there is growth occurring at the soul level. Karma is an opportunity to move forward. If you see somebody hurting another person and then you see that aggressor hurt or suffer afterwards, it’s not your place to point your finger and say “karma,” or “they got what was coming to them.” Karma is accumulated so we can eventually rid ourselves of it, learn what we need to learn from this human experience, and move on. It has nothing to do with the energy of judgement and blame.

Furthermore, if you do good deeds while under the belief that good deeds will be reciprocated, you are completely contradicting the idea of Karma. Why? Because performing karma is all about action that comes from a selfless place within your heart, for no reward, for the good of the world. If you have the idea in your head that you will somehow be rewarded, or you are engaging in acts of good will for others to see, or trying to move forward in your career or other aspects of your life, you might in fact be wrapping yourself up in even more karma. The most important thing to consider is the intent and the reasons behind your actions.

“Actions performed without desire for rewards with spiritual consciousness contribute to the fulfillment of liberation. When fulfillment is achieved one attains the ultimate consciousness and liberation is automatically included. By performing actions in this manner a living being becomes verily a being of non-action. Renunciation is relinquishing the desire for rewards attached to appropriate actions. Performing actions in spiritual consciousness without desire leads to liberation.” (source)

There is a quote I saw that was floating around the internet not long ago that stated:

“Karma, no need for revenge. Just sit back & wait, those who hurt you will eventually screw up themselves & if you’re lucky, God will let you watch.”

The idea that one can take joy in another persons misery is not at all indicative of the theory of karma. Judgement has no place with regards to the theory of karma. It’s all about lessons and opportunities for spiritual growth.

Collective Karma

“The universe that we inhabit and our shared perception of it are the results of a common karma. Likewise, the places that we will experience in future rebirths will be the outcome of the karma that we share with the other beings living there. The actions of each of us, human or nonhuman, have contributed to the world in which we live. We all have a common responsibility for our world and are connected with everything in it.” – The 14th Dalai Lama

Just as we accumulate karma as individuals, we do it on a collective level. Our actions as one giant human race will have consequences, and we’ve seen that time and time again. One of the biggest examples is how we are operating here on planet Earth, as well as our relationship with the environment and other life forms that share the planet with us.

I think it’s important to question what exactly we are doing here – what we are thinking and how we are acting, and to then examine what type of reality we are manifesting as a result of those thoughts and actions. After all, quantum physics is shedding light on just how important human consciousness is, and how factors associated with consciousness are affecting our physical material world. You can read more about that here.

I will leave you with this quote, as it is a completely separate topic yet still related to the idea of karma in some way.

“Broadly speaking, although there are some differences, I think Buddhist philosophy and Quantum Mechanics can shake hands on their view of the world. We can see in these great examples the fruits of human thinking. Regardless of the admiration we feel for these great thinkers, we should not lose sight of the fact that they were human beings just as we are.” – Dalai Lama (source)

**This is a very brief, condensed explanation of Karma according to Hindu Philosophy. Please keep in mind that the idea of Karma is present in various ancient cultures that have roamed the Earth through various stages of human history.

Source: http://www.collective-evolution.com/2015/01/21/karma-not-the-mainstream-version-the-real-one/