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Why do plants smell?

The witch hazel down the road has just finished flowering, but two weeks ago the scent of honey hung around it even when the air was below freezing. A little further up there is an osmanthus, which also has a sweet scent. It’s not for attracting pollinators, which is often the reason for plants to produce a smell, because it’s still winter. And many plants produce fragrance in their bark, leaves or seeds as well; think about bay...

Posted by Su Bristow on Fri, 23 Feb 2018

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Why do plants smell?

The witch hazel down the road has just finished flowering, but two weeks ago the scent of honey hung around it even when the air was below freezing. A little further up there is an osmanthus, which also has a sweet scent. It’s not for attracting pollinators, which is often the reason for plants to produce a smell, because it’s still winter. And many plants produce fragrance in their bark, leaves or seeds as well; think about bay...

Posted by Su Bristow on Fri, 23 Feb 2018

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Blood sugar: keeping it steady

We can’t help knowing that type 2 diabetes is on the rise; the message is everywhere you look. And it goes hand in hand with the fact that people are getting heavier. Again, the message is everywhere; you only have to compare a photo of a group of people in the 70s, say, with the people you see on the street today. Somewhere in the abundance of the late 20th century, fuelled by convenience food, we crossed the line fr...

Posted by Su Bristow on Fri, 16 Feb 2018

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The Meaning of Illness

We’re always trying to find meaning in what happens to us, and illness is no exception. Do you get colds all the time? Can’t sleep? You must be doing something wrong. But it’s only useful to think that way if you figure out what it is that’s getting in the way of good health, and do something about it. I know it’s easy to say. We all know we should eat less/exercise more/learn to manage stress better, but we mu...

Posted by Su Bristow on Fri, 9 Feb 2018

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Eat to please your microbiome

All the studies are showing that the greater the variety of microbes we have living inside us, the healthier we will be. And it’s not just about a happy digestion; an unbalanced population of gut flora has been linked to everything from immune trouble to depression to degenerative diseases to cancer. So what happens when we ask the question: what should I eat to please my microbiome? The first essential ingredient is ...

Posted by Su Bristow on Fri, 2 Feb 2018

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