September 12, 2004 |
Pungent white incense wisps into the air from an earthen burner as Maria de Lourdez Gonzales Avila begins a cleansing ceremony with her students. Gently blowing the perfumed smoke on their heads, arms, legs and into their mouths, Avila aims to purify the students' minds and bodies from negative energies.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 20, 1994
County health officials warned Monday of the possibility of contracting a potentially fatal bacterial infection from a Latino folk health remedy made up of dried, ground rattlesnake. In recent months, three people in Los Angeles County have died of a severe bacterial infection caused by a species of salmonella commonly found in reptiles, according to the Department of Health Services. Two others have been hospitalized.
February 23, 2004
Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest first began using cascara sagrada, or sacred bark, hundreds of years ago. When dried and aged for a year, the bark of Rhamnus purshiana, a tree related to the California buckthorn, becomes an effective stimulant laxative, meaning it causes the intestinal muscles to contract. The plant's active ingredients are found in some over-the-counter laxatives.
February 25, 2003 |
The eight fruit bats are trying to sleep, but it's not easy. At midday, they dangle from a stick alongside one of the busiest streets of this teeming city. The bats hang head down, their feet and mouths bound tightly with rubber bands. Passing cars, buses and motorcycles belch so much smoke that the pollution at street level exceeds any smog alert standard. The bats' little ears twitch amid the cacophony of honking horns and revving engines. But these bats are not destined to suffer long.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 30, 1989 |
Consider hot pepper spices. Mexican chili. Hot Hungarian paprika. Cayenne pepper powder. They all come from the fruits of a family of plants called capsicums. Use of capsicums as seasonings dates back to 7000 BC, according to Mexican artifacts. In 1841 the Swiss traveler Tschudi encountered meat spiced with peppers while traveling in Peru. He wrote that, after a few spoonfuls, "the mouth starts to burn like glowing coal."
June 30, 1988 |
Dr. Jacques Benveniste has an "unbelievable" problem. The French allergist has produced experimental results that other scientists find difficult, if not impossible, to believe. In essence, he has observed a biological effect produced by solutions so dilute that, theoretically, they contain nothing that could cause the effect. Taken at face value, the work suggests that the solution has some form of bizarre "memory" of substances that it once contained.
December 14, 1990 |
The young woman leaning over the glass countertop at Botanica Cristo Rey in East Los Angeles is distraught. With her baby at her feet, she explains that her philandering husband finds her unattractive. He hits her when she confronts him about his cheating--and she is in desperate need of a remedy for her deteriorating marriage. "This is war," shop owner Juanita Alvarez whispers as she beckons the customer to come closer. There is a store full of ammunition to consider.
July 11, 2001 |
Some popular herbal medicines can be dangerous and even life-threatening for people undergoing surgery and should not be taken before an operation, according to a review of research released Tuesday. Echinacea, ephedra, garlic, ginkgo, ginseng, kava, St.
September 1, 1989 |
A tonic of deer antlers is a powerful rejuvenator while a tea of lobster eyes, Ganoderma mushroom, licorice root will relieve physical pain. And the man who tells you so is Ron Teeguarden, who explains that he learned his craft from a Chinese Taoist master and seems so intent on demystifying herbal healing that he even wrote a book about it, "Chinese Tonic Herbs" (Japan Publications Inc.).
March 27, 1991 |
Each night before she goes to bed, top-ranked triathlete Colleen Cannon sets up the smelliest part of her training regimen. She places a potpourri diffuser by her bedside--an electrical device that heats water and fragrance--and adds 10 drops of "essential oils" (oils distilled from flowers, bark, roots and other plant life).