16 Herbs for Liver Health and Detoxification

Green Health

With the word “detox” being featured on most teas, juices, and diet plans, it’s easy to feel that you need to take charge of ridding your body of all the harmful toxins you are exposed to. But the body has its own detox system. In fact, harmful chemicals from everything you ingest or inhale – food, drinks, medicines, or smoke – transform into less harmful, water-soluble substances in the liver in a 2-phase process and are then excreted.

That said, the first phase of the detoxification process also generates free radicals, which then go on to damage cells and cause inflammation. Normally, this damage is countered and repaired by the liver cells which add other molecules with antioxidant properties (such as cysteine, glycine, or sulfur) to the toxins to make them water-soluble. These toxins can then be excreted from the body via urine or bile. Maintaining a healthy diet with antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables can help your body do this naturally. But if you’re chomping down on burgers, pizzas, and donuts every other day, you might need something to naturally supplement your body’s liver function, and in turn, the detoxification process.  Here are some herbs that could help you do just that.

Each week, The Green Orbit, will cover each one of these natural products in full detail.

1. Ginger

2. Garlic

3. Turmeric

4. Cumin

5. Cinnamon

6. Indian Gooseberry

7. Bhumyamalaki

8. Kutki

9. Bhringraj

10. Burdock Root

11. Milk Thistle

12. Chicory

13. Giloy

14. Licorice

15. Dandelion

16. Barberry

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China’s new richest person is a bottled water tycoon

Business Quicks

The richest person is China is a bottled water tycoon, knocking Alibaba founder Jack Ma from his mantle.

Zhong Shanshan founded Nongfu Spring in 1996 in the Zhejiang province on China’s Eastern coast.

The Bloomberg Billionaires Index now puts Mr Shanshan in top spot with wealth of $58.7bn (£46.2bn).

The recent stock market listing of his bottled water firm and a controlling stake in a vaccine maker have helped boost his fortunes.

Nicknamed the “Lone Wolf”, Mr Zhong is now Asia’s second-richest person behind India’s Mukesh Ambani, the billionaire behind Reliance Industries.

Mr Zhong now ranks 17th overall on its list of the world’s top 500 richest people.

Most of China’s new billionaires come from the tech industry. But rising tensions between China and the US over Huawei, TikTok and WeChat have pushed down valuations of Chinese tech stocks.

China’s food and grocery sector is now vying with its tech industry in producing the country’s richest business people.

In April, Mr Zhong’s Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy Enterprise listed on the Chinese stock market. His controlling stake in the firm saw his overall wealth jump as much as $20bn by August.

The pharma company says it has partnered with two universities to develop a candidate vaccine to fight Covid-19.

Red caps

Nongfu Spring shares jumped 54% on the first day of trading earlier this month when they were listed on the Hong Kong stock exchange.

Nongfu Spring’s red-capped bottles are sold nationwide from small stores to high-end hotels. The company also sells teas, flavoured vitamin drinks and juices.

The successful stock market listing propelled Mr Zhong into China’s top three richest people alongside Alibaba’s Mr Ma and Tencent boss Pony Ma.

But this week’s downturn for tech stocks saw the Chinese tycoon move up the wealth rankings.

Mr Zhong may not stay ahead of Mr Ma, who has held the top spot for the past six years, for long.

Alibaba-backed Ant Group is due to list on Chinese and Hong Kong stock exchanges next month, which will boost the tech boss’s wealth even further.

The online payments firm could net Mr Ma an estimated $28bn if the company achieves the $250bn valuation it has been targeting.

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Cuban doctors add another four British Nobel nominations

Green Altruism

London, Dec 31 (Prensa Latina) The international campaign to recognize Cuban doctors of the Henry Reeve brigade with the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize today added four other formal nominations in the United Kingdom.

The new proposals were made by Paula Barker, Ian Byrne, Dan Carden and Kim Johnson, who are members of the British Parliament representing different electoral districts of the English city of Liverpool, the director of the Campaign for Solidarity with Cuba (CSC), Rob Miller, informed Prensa Latina.

According to the activist, the Norwegian committee in charge of awarding the Nobel Peace Prize confirmed to each of the legislators the receipt of formal nominations, bringing the number of applications submitted by British parliamentarians to 16, in addition to eight others sent by academics from the United Kingdom.

In their letters to support the proposal, the four members of the House of Commons agreed to highlight the humanitarian aid provided by the members of the Henry Reeve brigade in countries affected by natural disasters and epidemics such as Covid-19.

The Cuban health workers who make up this brigade on a voluntary basis, demonstrate selfless humanitarianism in the face of health emergencies and natural disasters, and aid regardless of political borders, Johnson said.

Carden, another of the MPs highlighted that doctors from the Caribbean island have worked in 39 countries during the Covid-19 pandemic, which shows, he said, what can be achieved when working in a spirit of cooperation, peace, and solidarity.

For his part, Byrne considered that the internationalism and humanitarianism shown by the members of the Henry Reeve brigade deserves to be recognized with the Nobel Peace Prize, while his colleague Barker assured the Norwegian committee that the world has much to learn from Cuba in terms of medical cooperation and training of health professionals.

According to the rules, nominations for recognition can only be made by parliamentarians, academics, magistrates of international courts, people already awarded and active or retired members of the committee and have a deadline of January 31 of each year.

Apart from the formal requests, an open letter in support of the awarding of the Nobel to the Henry Reeve brigade published by the CSC has accumulated more than seven thousand signatures so far.

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They recall in Venezuela the entry into force of the Constitution

Politics & Laws

Caracas, Dec 30 (Prensa Latina) The head of state, Nicolás Maduro, recalled today the entry into force in 1999 of the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, promoted by the revolutionary leader Hugo Chávez (1954-2013).

‘We celebrate 21 years of the entry into force of the Bolivarian Constitution of Venezuela. The day the new participatory and protagonist democracy we are deepening today began to be forged,’ Maduro wrote on his Twitter account.

The president also asserted that the Magna Carta constitutes the guide to defend the equality and justice of the Venezuelan people.

Upon taking office as president of Venezuela on February 2, 1999, Hugo Chávez ratified the will to promote the drafting and promulgation of a new law of laws that would open the doors to the process of social change.

‘(…) I swear before my people that on this moribund Constitution I will promote the democratic transformations necessary for the new Republic to have a Magna Carta adequate for the modern times’, the Bolivarian leader underlined then.

The 1999 Constitution gave way to the establishment of a system of equality and social justice to vindicate a historically forgotten people.

Among its main achievements, it included the recognition of native peoples, and ratified the supreme goal of re-founding the Republic to establish a democratic, participatory and protagonist society, in a State that ensures the right to life, work, culture, to education, social justice and equality.

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Social Democracy vs. Socialism

Politics & Laws

The word “Socialism” has been widely used by people of quite different political persuasions. In its most basic and most universally understood form, the term denotes a political and economic system in which private property has disappeared in favor of communal property, where ownership of all value has become socialized instead of remaining privatized.

Karl Marx and his collaborator Friedrich Engels appropriated this term and agreed that socialism was to be a system in which there would be no private property which to Marx and Engels — just like to the aforementioned — was the origin of all inequality, injustice, and evil. But in contrast to the previous users of the term socialism, whom Marx and Engels derisively called “Utopian Socialists,” Marx and Engels believed that their much more sophisticated analysis of history as well as social and political developments — buttressed in their detailed knowledge of the writings of German, especially Hegelian, philosophy, and British political economy — warranted the self-serving sobriquet “scientific” meaning that their concept of socialism (as opposed to anybody else’s) would actually happen and be the result of actual politics implemented by real people and their daily struggles and not be the result of wishful thinking and lofty philanthropy.

Marx and Engels used the words “socialism” and “communism” completely interchangeably, denoting a system that would follow capitalism and be nirvana on earth. As they so beautifully termed it: It would lead from the world of each according to her/his abilities (which is the essence of modern achievement-based capitalism as opposed to ascriptive feudalism) to each according to her/his needs which is the essence of communism/socialism. Marx and Engels, of course, never really told us how one would get there, how one would transform capitalism and arrive at socialism. Thus, developed a major debate following their death (Marx in 1883; Engels in 1895) as to how one could and should arrive at this nirvana.

In Western and Central Europe, most notably in Germany, Austria, the Scandinavian countries, even Britain (and to a much lesser degree in the United States) there emerged a huge movement anchored in the male industrial working class which called itself Social Democratic and which believed — and acted upon — a framework that was to transcend capitalism in a gradual manner, meaning with no revolution and with no violence. This transition was to happen via the accepted legislative process in which these new social democratic parties would win elections, form the government, and install policies that would tame capitalism, improve the human condition, and thus gradually move its way to socialism. Opposed to this were those who viewed this approach as far too lame and thus open to cooptation by powerful capitalism and who therefore opted for a violent overthrow of the existing system rejecting any accommodation with it and spurning any gradualism. The most powerful and influential advocates of this option were the Bolsheviks led by Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov better known as Lenin. These two different paths to socialism became bitter enemies and remained so until the late 1960s, beyond.

Socialism has failed to demonstrate its economic effectiveness, in the other hand Social Democracy has showed that the free-market society can be altered to provide social justice, diversity and inclusion.

The Socialist International is the worldwide organization of social democratic, socialist and labour parties. It currently brings together 135 political parties and organizations from all continents. (List of members in full)

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Green News

Caracas, Dec 29 (Prensa Latina) Dr. Juan Carlos Dupuy, founding member of Cuba’s Henry Reeve Medical Contingent, considered on Tuesday that the nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021 will recognize the altruistic work of those healthcare professionals.

Dupuy’s extensive internationalist résumé attests to his deeds as a founding member of the medical Contingent specialized in situations of natural disasters and serious epidemics.

Guatemala, Peru, Pakistan, and Liberia are included in the physician’s CV, who currently serves in Venezuela as head of the Salvador Allende Comprehensive Healthcare Center, the flagship institution of Cuba’s medical mission in Venezuela.

A native from the central Cuban province of Villa Clara, Dupuy has also served in missions in Nigeria and Eritrea, but the founding of the Henry Reeve Internationalist Medical Contingent has left a special imprint on him. He keeps every detail of the founding moment of the contingent formed in 2005, aimed at assisting the victims of Hurricane Katrina in the affected territories of the southern United States.

‘Some 1,500 professionals from all provinces were brought together at the Latin American School of Medicine in Havana, where we received integral preparation on how to fight disasters and serious epidemics, in addition to reinforcing our knowledge of the English language,’ the doctor noted.

On September 19, 2005, the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro (1926-2016), inaugurated the Henry Reeve Internationalist Medical Contingent, as a tribute to Reeve. a young US paradigm of internationalist aid and solidarity.

A graduate in clinical laboratory, Dupuy was given the responsibility of leading his partners from the beginning, and he felt then the pride of continuing the imprint of his father Berman Miguel Dupuy, to mitigate the pain of others from medicine.

In view of the refusal of the US government to receive the help offered by Cuba, this group had then as first destination Guatemala, a nation affected in almost all its territory by the tropical storm Stan in October of the same year.

‘In Guatemala, we assisted the population affected by the floods for 15 days, and from there I was called to go as head of the Cuban medical brigade to Pakistan, which was hit by an earthquake,’ the specialist recalls.

‘That was our litmus test, of strength and of conviction representing the contingent; we faced first many physical traumas suffered by the people during the catastrophe, and then the conditions generated by the hygienic sanitary situation,’ he highlighted.

Each internationalist mission brought satisfactory or heartbreaking experiences in the task of saving lives; however, in 2014, Liberia reserved for Juan Carlos Dupuy the most dangerous and challenging scenario in his life.

The Ebola epidemic -an infectious hemorrhagic disease caused by the virus of the same name- demanded the participation of them in three West African countries, Sierra Leone, Guinea Conakry and Liberia.

‘We arrived in the Liberian capital of Monrovia in the middle of a very dark night, with the city in darkness and a total absence of people in the streets due to the curfew; we felt the natural fear of human beings, but we were prepared to enter the so-called red zone,’ Dupuy describes.

‘The first months were stressful, we saw entire families disappear, everyone was afraid of the invisible enemy, as we Cubans called it, but with the constancy of our medical brigades and international support, we managed to corner the problem,’ he assures.

After assuming dissimilar responsibilities in the face of natural disasters and serious epidemics, the specialist currently leads a prestigious team of colleagues in Venezuela, where the Cuban medical mission occupies one of the main front lines of containment of the Covid-19 pandemic.

With humility and pleasure, Dupuy received the news of the nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize from the Henry Reeve International Medical Contingent, of which he feels proud to be part as the founding coordinator.

‘It represents a prize to the altruism and detachment of all the members who save lives in a selfless way, from the respect to the idiosyncrasy of each people, but even more to the commitment as Cubans to assist any country in need,’ he noted.

The Green News

Chilean left and social movement to consolidate unity

Politics & Laws

Santiago de Chile, Dec 27 (Prensa Latina) Representatives of Left forces and the vast social movement of Chile agreed on the need to seek a large majority towards the Constitutional Convention that will draft a new Magna Carta.

This was agreed in a meeting held the day before between directors of the Chile Digno Verde y Soberano conglomerates, Frente Amplio and the coordination of Social Unity blocks, which represent more than 120 organizations and social movements.

In a statement, at the end of the meeting, they indicated that the objective was to evaluate conditions to advance the unity between social organizations and anti-neoliberal political coalitions.

On the other hand, they pointed out that they also self-critically analyzed the dispersion and fragmentation, which endangers the triumph over the forces that support the neoliberal model.

Participants agreed to work for the convergence between social and political forces, as a fundamental axis to build a new constitution for Chile, which breaks with the institutional bases of the neoliberal model and restricted democracy, and to extend this unitary effort to more social and political organizations.

They will constitute a liaison commission between Unidad Social and the Frente Amplio-Chile Digno Verde y Soberano list, to evaluate the best candidates that express the wishes of the October 18, 2019 movement and the social and political leaderships to allow obtaining an overwhelming majority at the Convention.

They will also generate a working group to agree on the main programmatic points of the candidacies that go as independent in the Chile Worthy Green and Sovereign-Frente Amplio List, and to propose regulatory norms to the Convention that allow popular participation in the gestation of a new institutionality.

Finally, the participants called for building a large majority that would allow the triumph of those who have fought to transform the country.

‘We know that time is short, we are clear that a longer-term unitary effort is required and not only electoral, that allows us to open the way to a new post-neoliberal, just, democratic society and that guarantees the rights of all and for all,’ the statement concludes .

The Green Orbit

Covid: Trump fails to sign economic relief bill into law

Green News

Millions of Americans have temporarily lost their unemployment benefits after President Donald Trump failed to sign the Covid relief bill into law.

US President-elect Joe Biden had warned of “devastating consequences” if Mr Trump continued to delay signing but the Saturday deadline has now passed.

Unemployment benefits and a ban on evictions will be affected.

The package worth $900bn (£665bn) was approved by Congress after months of difficult negotiations and compromises.

Mr Trump says he wants to give people bigger one-off payments.

The bill includes the payment of $600 to Americans earning less than $75,000 a year. Mr Trump says he wants Americans to receive $2,000 but Republicans in Congress refused to agree to the change.

In a tweet late on Saturday evening local time, Mr Trump again defended his position on the issue, blaming China for the coronavirus outbreak.

The coronavirus economic relief comes with a $1.4tn federal budget attached. A partial government shutdown will begin on Tuesday unless legislators pass a stopgap bill before then – but this would not include coronavirus aid and Mr Trump would still have to sign it.

About 14 million Americans would be affected by a lapse in unemployment benefit payments and new stimulus cheques.

What did Biden say?

In a strongly worded statement published on the transition website on Saturday, Mr Biden described Mr Trump’s refusal to sign the bill as an “abdication of responsibility”.

“It is the day after Christmas, and millions of families don’t know if they’ll be able to make ends meet because of President Donald Trump’s refusal to sign an economic relief bill approved by Congress with an overwhelming and bipartisan majority,” Mr Biden said.

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King Felipe VI: “Ethical principles are above all other considerations, including personal or family ones”

Politics & Laws

During his traditional Christmas Eve speech, the Spanish monarch called for a “great national effort” to overcome the coronavirus pandemic, but avoided direct reference to the financial scandals involving his father, Juan Carlos I

Moral and ethical principles “are an obligation for everyone without exception” and “are above all other considerations, including personal or family ones.” Those were the words uttered by Spain’s King Felipe VI on Thursday night during his televised Christmas Eve speech, in a veiled reference to the allegations of financial wrongdoing that have been mounting against his father, former monarch Juan Carlos I. The king dedicated just 87 words to the issue from a total of 1,697, the longest Christmas speech so far of his reign. The majority of the text was aimed at transmitting encouragement to a society after the suffering caused this year by the coronavirus pandemic, with Felipe calling for a “great national effort” to overcome the consequences of the health crisis.

“In 2014, during my proclamation before parliament, I referred to the moral and ethical principles that citizens called for from our conduct,” the king stated during his speech. “Principles that are an obligation for everyone without exception; and that are above any consideration whatever their nature, including those that are personal or family ones,” he added.

The words that he used to refer to his father, without mentioning him specifically, were very measured. He did not say that “justice is equal for all,” as his father Juan Carlos I in 2011, in reference to his son-in-law Iñaki Urdangarin, who was involved in a corruption scandal known as the Nóos case and eventually ended up in prison, where he is still serving out a sentence. To make such a reference would have been to recognize that the emeritus king has problems with the justice system, and, for now, the Supreme Court prosecutor is yet to file charges against Juan Carlos I for the three allegations that are being investigated.

The king opted to speak about “ethical principles,” because, even if he were to be exonerated by the courts, Juan Carlos I has filed a proposal with the Spanish Tax Agency to regularize nearly €700,000, which is in itself a supposed admission of having committed tax fraud.

Since the Royal Household announced on March 15 that Felipe VI would be stripping his father of his official stipend, as well as renouncing any inheritance that he could be due from Juan Carlos I, the king has made no reference in public to the situation of the emeritus king, who has been living in Abu Dhabi since he left Spain on August 3. This had created expectations that he could do so during his traditional Christmas Eve speech.

In the end, the monarch opted to advocate the ethical principles that, he said, had guided him since he made his speech when he ascended to the throne on June 19, 2014, underlining that the crown “should observe upright, honest and transparent conduct.” He added that these principles are above any other consideration of a personal or familial type. “That is how I have always understood it, in line with my convictions, with my way of understanding my responsibilities as head of state and with the spirit of renewal that has inspired my reign since the first day,” he added. By linking “upright, honest and transparent conduct” with a “spirit of renewal,” it can be deduced that things were not always like this within the monarchy.

Compared to the euphemistic language he used to refer to his father’s situation, the king used a direct and emotional tone to discuss the effect that the coronavirus pandemic has had. He alluded to the health restrictions that have stopped many families from meeting this Christmas, to the “vacuum that cannot be filled” left behind by those who had died, and to those who are living through the “anguish of unemployment” or the sadness of having lost their business. “The year 2020 has been very hard,” he said, accepting that many will have fallen into states of “discouragement or mistrust.” Although “the situation is serious,” he continued, he called for Spaniards to face the future with determination. “Neither the virus nor the economic crisis are going to bring us down,” he said. “With effort, union and solidarity, Spain will move forward.”

After stating that the crisis will be overcome thanks to science, with vaccines – the first doses will be administrated in Spain on Sunday – and effective treatment, he stressed that “individual responsibility continues to be essential,” and called on people “not to drop their guard.”

The king warned of the risk that the economic crisis caused by Covid-19 “could result in a social crisis,” adding that young people “cannot be the losers” and calling for “protection for the most vulnerable and the fight against the inequalities that the pandemic has created or exacerbated.”

In the face of the “enormous but not insurmountable” challenges, the king called for a “huge collective effort […], a national effort” to overcome them. Spain, he said, “has felt more united than ever in its battle and resistance” against the pandemic, and while there are “aspects that need to be improved and strengthened,” it has shown itself to be a “strong society with a solid state,” as has been shown by the armed forces, the emergency services and other public services.

EU’s “firm commitment”
The king had words of praise for the European Union’s “firm commitment” to “economic sustainability and recovery” via a reconstruction program, which for Spain will mean funds of up to €170 billion, something that offers “an opportunity to advance and progress.”

He also reiterated his commitment to the Constitution, which, he said, “all of us must respect,” given that it is “the foundation of our social and political coexistence; and it represents the success of the democracy and freedom in our history.”

In the face of the deep-seated political polarization in Spain, Felipe VI pointed out that advances in recent years “are the result of the reuniting of and the pact between Spaniards after a long period of confrontation and division.” He continued saying that “democratic values, respect for plurality and differences, and the ability to dialogue and reach agreements are principles that never lose their validity. With efforts, union and solidarity, Spain will move forward. With all of you and for all of you. And, as king, I will be there with all of you and for all of you,” he stressed, making clear his determination to be king for all Spaniards and not just a section of society.