Growing bigger trees faster


Diverse and productive renewable resources are key for a sustainable system. The increasing demands of natural resources, together with the recovery time that it takes to recover wood resources have forced industry to find new sources of supply.

A good example of this is Amazon forest. In the past 40 years the Amazon rain forest has lost 20 per cent of its total surface and the worst is still to come.

Fortunately its not all bad news, scientists and researchers from the University of Manchester have discovered a way to make trees grow bigger and faster, which could increase supplies of renewable resources and help trees cope with the effects of climate change [1]. Image: See credits under reference [2] below. 

Bromelain enzime in pineapple stronger than chemoagents against cancer



Pineapple (Ananas comosus), named among the healthiest foods in the world, is known to exert many health benefits and has a lot of beneficial properties. Pineapple is rich in vitamin C, manganese, fiber, vitamin B6, B1 copper and folate, but to this properties we will have to add a new one, being the source of an active constituent, namely Bromelain, that has been found to exert anti-cancer properties, being stronger than certain chemo-agents against some types of tumors.

Although existing in all parts of the fresh pineapple plant and fruit, bromelain, a pineapple stem extract with a variety of therapeutic benefits arising from interaction with a number of different biological processes [4], is concentrated in higher quantities in the core of pineapple, in the stems.  Image: See credits under reference [10] below. 


Family: Bromeliaceae

Genus: Ananas

Common name: Pineapple.


Tannins from sorghum fight obesity



Tannins from Sorghum, an ancient old-world cereal grass [1] used as fodder plants [4], has been the focus of a study performed by a team of scientists led by Kansas State University and US Department of Agriculture researchers. Their main goal was to understand the role of tannins, polyphenolic compounds that bind to proteins and cause their precipitation [2], how could tannins from Sorghum be modified to be used as food and feed [3]. 

Tannins are known to have a high antioxidant value, they exert anti-inflammatory and UV protective properties [3]. We can find tannins in herbs as Witch hazel, tarragon, cumin, thyme, cinnamonvanilla, cloves [2], grains such as finger millets and barley [3], in legumes as beans (red beans, white beans), peanuts, chickpeas, in chocolate, in pomegranates, persimmons, berries, nuts and last but not least in drinks as wine [2], responsible for its bitter taste and where its precipitation produces these characteristic sediments. Image: See credits below under reference [6].


Family: Poaceae

Genus: Sorghum

Common name: Downs Sorghum


Jojoba oil


The Sonora desert gets its name from the Sonora state in Mexico. It covers a considerable extension of land, as well as in parts of southeastern California, southern Arizona and a big part of Baja California.

Sonora desert has a extension of more than 100,000 square miles and as in other deserts, the arid climate makes almost impossible to have plants growing there.

Except for some of them, some species that are considered to be suitable for desert climates as Simmondsia chinensis, the plant from which Jojoba oil is extracted. Image: Simmondsia chinensis by Bri Weldon under Creative Common license (CC BY 2.0). 


Family: Simmondsiaceae

Genus: Simmondsia

Common name: Jojoba, Goatnut, deer nut, pignut, wild hazel, quinine nut, coffee berry, and gray box bush [3,13]


Curcumin and prostate cancer



Curcuma longa, a bitter taste tropical plant that belongs to the Zingiberaceae family cultivated extensively in Asia, India, China and many other countries [1], has been traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat multiple symptoms and as a natural remedy for many other ailments and affections.

Curcuma longa resembles a lot other Zingiberaceae family plants as Zingiber officinale (Ginger), and as this one has many known properties and health benefits.

The powder obtained from the dried rhizome of Curcuma longa (turmeric), known as curry, is used in many traditional Indian dishes and is part of the Indian diet since centuries ago. Image: See credits under ref. [18] below.


Family: Zingiberaceae

Genus: Curcuma

Common name: Turmeric, Curcuma longa, Curcuma domestica Valeton.