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Research idea

 
Posts: 44
Location: Las Vegas
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Hello!

I am new Permies, and am about 4 years into the permaculture rabbit hole. About a year and a half ago, I bought my own little home in Las Vegas, NV where I work as a nurse. It is slowly transforming from a concrete and rock heat island to a very cozy permaculture garden. Seeing as how I am a nerd, I'm starting to think very nerdy thoughts about plants and health. Well, actually I started heading down the natural health trail after being sick with Lyme Disease for 10 years getting misdiagnosed. I guess I've been experimenting on myself for a long time with natural remedies, and I love the 'why' and 'how' of biology. So... not only do I plan on happily continuing down the permaculture rabbit hole, but I want to do some real, measurable and reproducible research.

I was hoping someone out there had done something similar, or had contacts or knowledge of health research related to permaculture. Let me give one example of a research idea I had so that you can kind of get an idea of what I'm talking about:

Different plants contain different biochemical constituents which benefit humans, for example, the hydrocarbon limonine found in the essential oils of Lemon, Bergomot, etc. has been proven to shrink tumors in mice in a.... I want to say Japanese study. Also, both humans and plants have electrical fields. This is measurable. A study was done that showed the electrical fields of someone very ill with something like stage 4 cancer was significantly different than that of a healthy person.

My question is this... we always think that we are tending to the plants. What if the plants are stimulated by unique changes in a human's electrical field to produce more or less of their particular biochemical properties? What if someone with arthritis grows a Rosemary, lets say, and the anti-inflammatory chemicals that plant produces is increased compared to what it would have been if a healthy person had grown that plant? What if there is more symbiosis occurring than we ever thought?

I want to test this. My plan so far is to find a plant that has a natural pain reliever (I'm not growing weed.... don't even go there.... I like keeping my nursing license) and is also able to be cloned. I would establish 2 clones of the mother plant in the same soil, with the same growing conditions, one as the control, one as the test. The only difference in their care would be that prior to caring for one of the plants, I would use an electrical stimulation (like that chiropractic gismo) to cause myself to be in so much pain that I have a noticeable adrenaline dump (I'd measure this by taking my vital signs first). So every time one of the plants was being taken care of, I would be in considerable pain. Then, once the plants got to maturity, I could have samples tested for levels of the pain reliving biochemical. My theory is that the plant who I was in pain around, would be triggered to produce more pain reliever due to the change in my own body chemistry and electrical field.

That is my basic idea. I have A LOT of details to get ready, like what plant is A) produces a measurable pain relieving biochemical and B) can be cloned so that both my test and control plants can have the same genetics. I'd also need to research the extent of human's electrical fields so that my control plant can be placed far enough away and wouldn't be affected by my electrical field while I was in pain.

This is just one of MANY experiments I want to run. But I just wanted to throw this out there and see if anyone knows of a good lab to send things too, any plant/permaculture studies that might help or interest me, etc. Any medical permie nerds out there?

Thank you!

Kelly B. RN OCN
 
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Hi Kelly.  First off, WELCOME TO PERMIES!  Next, love it.  We have so much to learn about everything, including what plants are up to with all their senses, and how species interact at the biochemistry level.  Please keep us updated!  One suggestion is that you use more than an n=1 in your experiment.  May I humbly suggest at least 3 of each in the control and test groups.  Even with cloning you can have significant differences from plant to plant.  When I go to root cuttings some of them don't make it, some root vigorously and take off and some take a while to get going.  Why?  No idea.  Would any differences from plant to plant effect your study....don't know.  It's even possible that there would be different point mutations from section to section of the plant.  Would that make a difference...don't know.  That's the only reason I suggest n=3.  If you get 3 going one way and the other 3 going the other way you can have a lot more confidence that differences are relevant (assuming all other variables that might differ are not consequential.  Not sure about labs, sorry!  Hopefully others can help you out with that.  Can't wait to see how this goes, one way or the other.  Thanks for your post.
 
Kelly Beck
Posts: 44
Location: Las Vegas
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Thanks, Greg! I agree, n=3 would be best. I hadn’t even thought of the point mutations that could occur. More data, more sure interpretation!

And if anyone can think of a temporary, non damaging biochemical change I can induce in myself besides pain (that would have a coorosponding plant chemical to relieve it), let me know, lol! I’ll use the pain electrodes, because I’m more curious than sane, but... you know... no pain would be better.
 
Kelly Beck
Posts: 44
Location: Las Vegas
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Okay... I had a thought on this experiment. Maybe someone out there will have more amazing input :D

Willow bark has Salicin in it, a pain reliever very similar to the pain reliever in ASA, aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid). This plant may be the one for my experiment! Willow is a little TOO easy to propagate from cuttings to my understanding, so having the control and testing groups come from cuttings of the same plant for as similar genetics as possible would be easy.

I do need to find out how old the new bark growth needs to be before it has a peak production of Salicin. I don't want to use Willow if I would need to do the experiment over too much of an extended time.... this this is literally going to be a pain.

Also, I'm in the process to see if any labs are able to analyze the bark for Salicin levels for me once ready. I don't have any funding, this is just for my own curiosity.... so money is an issue.

One article I read had VERY widely ranging Salicin amounts from the same species of the tree. Maybe this is a chemical property that willow makes in too varying amounts to rely on a true interpretation of the data. Hmmmm....

I'm considering the species Salix Alba as it has been used medicinally for a very long time and seems to be easy to purchase plants.

Any Willow experts out there?

Thanks!

Kelly B.
 
Posts: 44
Location: Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia.
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Find a university that specializes in plant biology or human health.  Review the list of individual professors - the ones who are doing work in this field are who you should send this to.  This is not a research project that fits in the field of permaculture, but in the field of:

- plant perception or Plant Gnosophysiology (the ability of plants to sense and respond to the environment to adjust their morphology, physiology, and phenotype accordingly. or similar.)
- neurobotany

 
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Hello everyone.
I have some thoughts which may or may not be helpful and which may not be allowed (won't be offended if the world-dominating folks remove my tiny ad 🤔😏😘)

1) Personally I have appreciated the pain relieving properties of wild lettuce but I've never tried planting it so don't know if it minds being cultivated.

2) I heard somewhere that if you first soak your seeds in your own saliva, the things you are planting will produce the things you need.

3) And finally the tiny ad: Marjory Wildcraft's Grow Network 2019 had a couple of speakers which you may find interesting.  Patrick Jones, Vet and Naturopath is a veritable fount of knowledge when it comes to herbs and plant properties. She also had another speaker who is doing research in plant biology and communication.  I think you would find her work fascinating.  I will get back to you with her name in a bit, provided I can find my way back here...lol

(I apologise for not addressing you by name.  It's been a stressful year and my memory cells are weary so even though I just read your posts, I don't remember your name.  Kelly maybe?). Anyway, good luck.  I'm sure this amazing neighborhood would be happy to help you financially through go fund me or something like that.  
 
Anita Johnson
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Hi Kelly 😁
The other scientist's name is Monica Gagliano

If you quick sign up for the grow network 2019 summit you may get in on the last day of replays. (Free yet today and only $150? I think to buy the whole package of seminars, including one from Wheaton Labs!  Well worth it!)
 
Just put the cards in their christmas stocking and PRESTO! They get it now! It's like you're the harry potter of permaculture. richsoil.com/cards
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