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The Green Thing
> In the line at the store, the cashier told the older woman that she
> should bring her own grocery bag because plastic bags weren't good
> for the environment.
> The woman apologized to him and explained, "We didn't have the
> green thing back in my day."
> The clerk responded, "That's our problem today. The former
> generation did not care enough to save our environment."
> He was right, that generation didn't have the green thing in its
> Back then, they returned their milk bottles, soda bottles and beer
> bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to
> be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same
> bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.
> But they didn't have the green thing back in that customer's day.
> In her day, they walked up stairs, because they didn't have an
> escalator in every store and office building. They walked to the
> grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every
> time they had to go two blocks.
> But she was right. They didn't have the green thing in her day.
> Back then, they washed the baby's diapers because they didn't have
> the throw-away kind. They dried clothes on a line, not in an energy
> gobbling machine burning up 220 volts - wind and solar power really
> did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their
> brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.
> But that old lady is right, they didn't have the green thing back
> in her day.
> Back then, they had one TV, or radio, in the house - not a TV in
> every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a
> handkerchief, not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the
> kitchen, they blended and stirred by hand because they didn't have
> electric machines to do everything for you.
> When they packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, they used a
> wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic
> bubble wrap.
> Back then, they didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to
> cut the lawn. They used a push mower that ran on human power. They
> exercised by working so they didn't need to go to a health club to
> run on treadmills that operate on electricity.
> But she's right, they didn't have the green thing back then.
> They drank from a fountain when they were thirsty instead of using
> a cup or a plastic bottle every time they had a drink of water.
> They refilled their writing pens with ink instead of buying a new
> pen, and they replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of
> throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.
> But they didn't have the green thing back then.
> Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their
> bikes to school or rode the school bus instead of turning their
> moms into a 24-hour taxi service. They had one electrical outlet in
> a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances.
> And they didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal
> beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find
> the nearest pizza joint.
> But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful the
> old folks were just because they didn't have the green thing back
This fact sheet provides basic information about the herb black cohosh—common names, uses, potential side effects, and resources for more information. Black cohosh, a member of the buttercup family, is a plant native to North America. It was used in Native American medicine and was a home remedy in 19th-century America.
Common Names—black cohosh, black snakeroot, macrotys, bugbane, bugwort, rattleroot, rattleweed
Latin Names—Actaea racemosa, Cimicifuga racemosa
What Black Cohosh Is Used For
Black cohosh has a history of use for rheumatism (arthritis and muscle pain) but has been used more recently to treat hot flashes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and other symptoms that can occur during menopause.
Black cohosh has also been used for menstrual irregularities and premenstrual syndrome, and to induce labor.
How Black Cohosh Is Used
The underground stems and roots of black cohosh are commonly used fresh or dried to make strong teas (infusions), capsules, solid extracts used in pills, or liquid extracts (tinctures
What the Science Says
Study results are mixed on whether black cohosh effectively relieves menopausal symptoms. An NCCAM-funded study found that black cohosh, whether used alone or with other botanicals, failed to relieve hot flashes and night sweats in postmenopausal women or those approaching menopause.
Most studies to date have been less than 6 months long, so the safety of long-term use is uncertain.
NCCAM is funding studies to further understand the potential effects of black cohosh on hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms.
There are not enough reliable data to determine whether black cohosh is effective for rheumatism or other uses.
Side Effects and Cautions
United States Pharmacopeia experts suggest women should discontinue use of black cohosh and consult a health care practitioner if they have a liver disorder or develop symptoms of liver trouble, such as abdominal pain, dark urine, or jaundice. There have been several case reports of hepatitis (inflammation of the liver), as well as liver failure, in women who were taking black cohosh. It is not known if black cohosh was responsible for these problems. Although these cases are very rare and the evidence is not definitive, scientists are concerned about the possible effects of black cohosh on the liver.
Some people taking black cohosh have experienced side effects such as stomach discomfort, headache, or rash. In general, clinical trials of black cohosh for menopausal symptoms have not found serious side effects.
Although concerns have been raised about possible interactions between black cohosh and various medications, a 2008 review of studies to date concluded that the risk of such interactions appears to be small.
It is not clear if black cohosh is safe for women who have had hormone-sensitive conditions such as breast cancer or for pregnant women or nursing mothers.
Black cohosh should not be confused with blue cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides), which has different properties, treatment uses, and side effects than black cohosh. Black cohosh is sometimes used with blue cohosh to stimulate labor, but this therapy has caused adverse effects in newborns, which appear to be due to blue cohosh.
Exercising outdoors? It's that time of year again! Check your local air quality forecast to help plan the best time for a workout or run. Knowing your local air quality can help avoid aggravating respiratory problems.
Today's environmental tip: Everyone can make a difference! High school students can study links between everyday actions at their high school, greenhouse gas emissions, and climate change. Become a "climate ambassador" leader in your school or neighborhood and motivate friends, schools, and community leaders. Talk to you friends - help spread the word!T
Today's environmental tip: During hot weather, don't top off your gas tank. Refuel your car or truck in the early morning or the evening when it's cooler. A small fuel spill may not seem like much, but every spill evaporates and adds to air pollution, and fuel pumps with vapor recovery systems can feed a spill back into their tanks - after you paid for it. So, in hot weather - don't top off!
Today's environmental tip: Don't trash it - reuse it! Be creative as you look for new ways to reduce the amount or kinds of household waste. Give cardboard tubes to pet hamsters or gerbils. Plant seeds in an egg carton. Make a flower pot out of a plastic ice cream tub. By thinking creatively, you will often find new uses for common items and new ways to recycle and reduce waste.
Submit your visionary ideas about environmental health research
Strategic planning process begins at NIEHS
The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEH is seeking input from the public as well as researchers for its new strategic plan. To get involved, submit an idea for research or nominate a workshop participant.
"We are looking for visionary ideas to help define the institute's future directions, research goals, and resource priorities," said NIEHS Deputy Director Richard Woychik, Ph.D., who is leading the strategic planning effort.
The NIEHS is the nation's leading federal biomedical agency supporting research to discover how the environment influences health. It's part of the National Institutes of Health.
Visionary ideas can be submitted through the Internet at http://strategicplan.niehs.nih.gov/. All submitted ideas will be posted to the Internet site, and anyone can comment on the ideas or give a thumbs-up or thumbs-down rating. The site also integrates with Facebook and Twitter. Submissions will be accepted through April 30, 2011.
Additionally, NIEHS is seeking nominations for a stakeholder community workshop in mid-July in Research Triangle Park, N. C. You can nominate yourself, a colleague or anyone who is passionate about research on our environment, and improving public health and preventing disease. Nominations can be made at http://www.niehs.nih.gov/about/od/strategicplan/nomination/index.cfm.
"This is an opportunity for everyone who cares about environmental health to have a voice in shaping the direction of our research," said Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D., NIEHS and National Toxicology Program director.
The public will have many opportunities to provide input and review throughout the 15-month strategic planning process. Visit http://www.niehs.nih.gov/strategicplan/ for more information about the process and timeline for establishing the new NIEHS strategic plan, or to review the existing 2005-2011 strategic plan.
The NIEHS supports research to understand the effects of the environment on human health. For more information on environmental health topics, visit www.niehs.nih.gov. Subscribe to one or more of the NIEHS news lists (www.niehs.nih.gov/news/releases/newslist/index.cfm) to stay current on NIEHS news, press releases, grant opportunities, training, events, and publications.
Today's environmental tip: Make it a full load! The average washing machine uses 40.9 gallons of water per load. If you buy a a new washer, shop for a high-efficiency washer that needs less than 28 gallons of water per load. To achieve even greater savings, wash only full loads of laundry or be sure to choose the appropriate load size on the washing machine. Help eliminate the use of fossil fuel. http://www.greenbusinessopportunity.net
Today's environmental tip: Pollute less with clean diesel! Encourage your hometown or state to spend road construction funds on newer, clean diesel equipment to help cut air pollution. Contractors, owners, and operators of diesel equipment can retrofit existing diesel engines with new technologies that pollute less, as well as replace old equipment.
The largest genocide in
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