Wednesday, 8 February 2012


A lectin was isolated from elder (Sambucus nigra) bark by affinity chromatography on
fetuin-agarose. It is a tetrameric molecule (Mr 140000) composed of two different
subunits of Mr 34500 and 37500 respectively, held together by intramolecular
disulphide bridges. The lectin is a glycoprotein and is especially rich in asparagine/
aspartic acid, glutamine/glutamic acid, valine and leucine. It is also the first lectin
isolated from a species belonging to the plant family Caprifoliaceae.

Examples for the usage of glutamine

In catabolic states of injury and illness, glutamine becomes conditionally-essential (requiring intake from food or supplements). Glutamine has been studied extensively over the past 10–15 years and has been shown to be useful in treatment of serious illnesses, injury, trauma, burns, and treatment-related side-effects of cancer as well as in wound healing for postoperative patients.[8] Glutamine is also marketed as a supplement used for muscle growth in weightlifting, bodybuilding, endurance, and other sports. Evidence indicates that glutamine when orally loaded may increase plasma HGH levels by stimulating the anterior pituitary gland.[9] In biological research, L-glutamine is commonly added [10] to the media in cell culture.

[edit] Aiding recovery after surgery

It is also known that glutamine has various effects in reducing healing time after operations. Hospital-stay times after abdominal surgery can be reduced by providing parenteral nutrition regimes containing high amounts of glutamine to patients. Clinical trials have revealed that patients on supplementation regimes containing glutamine have improved nitrogen balances, generation of cysteinyl-leukotrienes from polymorphonuclear neutrophil granulocytes, and improved lymphocyte recovery and intestinal permeability (in postoperative patients), in comparison to those that had no glutamine within their dietary regime, all without any side-effects.[11]

Valine is an amino acid necessary for human health. It is known as a branched chain amino acid (BCAA). This amino acid functions as a stimulant and promotes muscle repair. It was first isolated in 1901 by Emil Fischer, a German chemist. Foods such as fish, cottage cheese, poultry, mushrooms, and brown rice are all high in this amino acid.
Also known as Val or simply V, this is one of the three BCAAs which are required for the human body to function properly. Leucine and isoleucine, in combination with it, account for 70% of the amino acids present in a human body's proteins. Valine is responsible for encouraging normal human growth, repairing tissue, and regulating blood sugar. A lack of this amino acid results in diminished mental functioning.
This substance is known as an essential amino acid, which means that the body cannot produce it on its own, and that dietary sources are necessary. It is possible to be deficient in valine, despite the abundance of natural sources available. Individuals on low-fat diets and those who do a great deal of strength training may need supplements, as they may not be getting enough of it in their food, or may be outstripping its ability to repair muscle tissue. A lack of it in the human body can cause nerve damage by degrading the nerves' myelin coverings, and this can lead to neurological disorders.

Monday, 6 February 2012


Herbal Ally Tasks January-March 2012
1.       Consider your ally ion its dormant state. If you can see/visit it – sketch what you observe or take pictures. Does it need pruning/sheltering from possible frosts? Does it still have leaves or fruit attached? Are you going to grow it yourself? Where are you going to source it from? Are you going to buy/beg plants/grow from seed?
2.       Obtain some dried form of your ally and take yourself a tea once a day for one week and notice taste/flavour/effects on you.
3.       What did ancient herbalists use your ally for? How did they prepare it? Check Culpepper, Galen, Avicenna, Hildegarde of Bingen, 16th, 17th, 18 and 19th century writers. (Hint: Maud Grieve and Matthew Wood give good summaries of older herbalists). Don’t forget Scudder, Ellingwood and King on Henriette Kress’ and Paul Bergner’s websites.
4.       If you are going to plant your ally, prepare the ground and decide on and plan your planting scheme and plant your seeds. Take careful note of how long seeds take to germinate in what growing conditions and how long they take to acquire two “real” leaves. Pot on.
5.       Research modern/current usage of your ally. Check if there is any difference between UK/Us/European usage (or TCM/Ayuvedic/Western)
6.       If your ally has bark, consider removing bark from prunings and either drying/tincturing, make tea or syrup or doubly infuse in oil. (Make sure the bark is suitable for internal ingestion first!).
7.       Spend time with your ally during its dormant state – ask what it would like to teach you over the coming year.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

links to the center of it all

springfield sanctuary
sarahs blog

aprentice blogs links

Found it very usefull to have links to aprentice blogs on comfrey cottages so im trying to copy the idea

comfrey cottages
sage and thyme cottage
ramblings of a herbaholic
jos herby blog
spinneys herbal sanctuary
charlie farrow
The wildside of life
moon gazing hare
on disturbed ground
nature spirit
philanthropic farey tales
revelations of a crowded mind.


I have cut myself some elder and now intend to strip the bark and make the double infused oil had to wait to do this as had run out of oil.
I havent done the bruise bit yet
I have the concept that a bruise is blood lekage into the skin and that it is made of dead blood cells .
but need to look into it better than this.
Know that skin has manny layers and glands that keep it oilly and hairs and sweat glands that it grows continuously and that we all shed quite a bit from our skin.
so with that breif resume of my current knowledge ill see what I learn may cheat a bit and take a look at the other blogs.
I intend to just keep going with what didnt get done and to add the other tasks for feb.

my limitted success in janurary

I did manage to get out and map some  of the mile around my home i found some elder quite a lot of hawthorn some blackthorn and a couple of roses see what you think of my pics

hawthorn hedge
hawthorn bush close up
elder buds
hawthorn hedge
elder in trimmed hedge
I came past the building on the horizon 
elder rose and hawthorn
elder and rose
rose and hawthorn
hawthorn and rose

and I hope this is sloes on blackthorn