Forests and Human Health September-15-2011


'Forests provide untapped resources for human health'. This was the title of the press release by IUFRO´s Forests and Human Health (ForHealth) task force on World Health Day in April 2011. It aims to support the dialogue especially between forest and health professionals and to enhance the transfer of knowledge about health benefits and risks. Recently the project was prolonged until the year 2014. This Newsletter is one of the outcomes of the ForHealth Task Force. Other outcomes are, e.g. policy briefs and seminars.

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New findings

Bioactive compounds obtained from natural raw materials are getting increasing attention from medical scientists nowadays. The clinical research has shown the value of many herbal or botanical medicines from e.g. plant’s seeds, berries, leaves, bark or even mushrooms, in treating and preventing diseases. In this issue of Newsletter, we present several recent studies from all over the world.

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Future events of the ForHealth Task Force

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Recent Publications

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Research activities

More and more academic studies dealing with Chinese herbal medicine have been receiving great attention in China.

The use of herbs is a very old and highly esteemed tradition in China. Over three hundred herbs that are commonly being used today have a history that goes back at least 2,000 years. The most important herb materials were listed in the Compendium of Materia medica (Bunco Gangue) compiled during the Ming dynasty, which is still used today for consultation and reference. Nature, especially the forest, provides unlimited raw materials for the pharmacy industry of Chinese herbal medicine.

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The forest as a rich reservoir for natural chemistry

The total land area of Finland is 70% covered by forest. The timber and pulp industries are traditional and important for the country. Recently, more and more research activities have been focused on developing new chemical production based on wood and other biomass-based natural materials.

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This is the newsletter of the Forests and Human Health task force of IUFRO (The International Union of Forest Research Organizations). It is distributed electronically to members of the task force and all others interested.

You can subscribe it for free or un-subscribe by sending a message to Task force members can submit news or feature articles to the newsletter. The editors reserve the customary right to editorial decisions concerning submissions.

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Comments: Lu-Min Vaario,