Category: Features

Featured stories feature some of the best interviews and content on our site.

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Bodhi Beads in China

Bodhi beads were used by Buddhists as a prayer tool for counting the number of prayers chanted while reciting mantras. Nowadays, buyers in China use Bodhi beads as ornaments, collectibles or high-grade gifts. As a result of the market hype, the price of Bodhi beads has risen quite quickly, especially for beads that have been traditionally collected by people for many years.

Li Fei-fei / July 14, 2017
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We Have Lots of Work to Do!

The herbal industry is growing at a rate much faster than the slow growing forest botanicals. Susan Leopold, executive director for the United Plant Savers, shares her thoughts on medicinal plant conservation.

Susan Leopold / July 14, 2017
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Tulsi: A Strong Candidate for Controlled Environment Cultivation?

Plant tissue culture is a technique used to grow plants under sterile and controlled environmental conditions. Using this technology, sustainable mass production of high quality medicinal plants can be achieved, which in turn can reduce pressures created by wild harvesting.

Mukund Shukla / July 14, 2017
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The Effects of Experiencing Green Spaces on Health and Well-being: Insights Into a New Research Domain

There is increased interest in multidisciplinary studies that relate human health and well-being with environmental factors. One of the new frontiers relates to the effects that experiencing green spaces have on mental and physical health. The shinrin-yoku research model is presented here as an example of this captivating enterprise.

Verena Kulak / November 3, 2016
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Spiritual Uses of the Buttercup Family in North America

Classic ethnobotany describes a strong connection between plants used to treat neurological diseases and those associated with ceremonial and/or ritualistic practices. This article examines current phytochemical and pharmacological understanding for several spiritual species belonging to the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae) which have previously been employed as medicines during ceremony

Christina E. Turi / November 3, 2016
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Where’s Your Head at? Plant Intelligence and Medicinal Plants as a New Window Into This Complex Case

Can plants think? It is a controversial question that inspires both skepticism and interest. This article will highlight instances in which plants (though not in the same manner as animals), demonstrate kinship and altruism, the presence of reasoning or control centers, and the capacity to communicate with the surrounding environment.

Lauren A E Erland and Praveen K Saxena / November 3, 2016