Warning Tips

If you employ someone to work around the yard or home, then it is a must to take out this cover:  https://www.worksafe.qld.gov.au/insurance/apply-for-workcover-policy-onl... Around $25.00 per year.

Akee   Don’t believe everything people tell you about rare fruits. On a recent trip to a well-known fruit tree nursery, I was told by the proprietor that the seeds (nuts) inside the fruit of the Akee tree were the edible part. Having spent some time in Jamaica as a child, I knew this was incorrect and that the nut is in fact very toxic. I told the proprietor this but he insisted that he was correct. Upon reaching home I found some information on the Internet, which stated that the unripe arils and the seeds are toxic, and I quote:  “…Akee poisoning in humans is evidenced by acute vomiting, followed by drowsiness, convulsions, coma, and too often, death.”     I’m glad I didn’t believe him, but what if others do?!   Ref:  Jenny Awbery - RFC Brisbane Branch newsletter June 2001

Glyphosate  Note in the Capricorn Edible Plants newsletter from Tony Welsh that he recently removed several rows of mango trees by chain sawing them near ground level and painting the cut stump with undiluted roundup (glyphosate). He had kept two of the mango trees so that their budwood could be grafted onto other trees in the spring. In the ensuing month, the glyphosate treatment killed one of the trees he was keeping and severely affected the other obviously because the roots of the trees had intertwined even though the trees were 5-6 metres apart.

Banana Bell   On commercial banana farms chemicals are routinely injected into the bell.  If you are using a recipe that uses a banana bell, you must only use flower/bells from a chemical-free source.

Food and Drug Interactions  Carambola and Grapefruit.  Like the grapefruit, carambola is considered to be a potent inhibitor of seven cytochrome P450 isoforms. These enzymes are significant in the first-pass elimination of many medicines, and, thus, the consumption of carambola or its juice in combination with certain medications can significantly increase their effective dosage within the body. Research into grapefruit juice has identified a number of common medications affected, including statins, which are commonly used to treat cardiovascular illness and benzodiazepines (a tranquilizer family including diazepam).  Ref: Wikipedia

Pummelo  The pummelo (also called shaddock, pumelo, pommelo, and Chinese grapefruit) is the largest citrus fruit, ranging from the size of a cantaloupe to that of a large watermelon. Botanists believe that crosses between pummelo and wild orange created grapefruit. Pummelo mixes the sweet taste of orange with the tang of lemon. Its lineage means that pummelo contains many of the same compounds as grapefruit. One or more substances in grapefruit and grapefruit juice block the action of an enzyme called cytochrome P-450 3A4 (CYP3A4). This enzyme breaks down a wide array of medications, including atorvastatin (Lipitor). (For an extensive list of drugs affected by grapefruit juice, visit health.harvard.edu/165.) Knocking CYP3A4 out of action means higher blood levels of these medications. One glass of grapefruit juice, or eating half a grapefruit, is enough to suppress CYP3A4 activity by half, and the effect lasts up to 24 hours. The accumulation of active statin in the bloodstream could cause muscle or liver problems. From the handful of studies on the effects of pummelo on drug metabolism, it looks like pummelo and pummelo juice act much like grapefruit and grapefruit juice. Grapefruit and pummelo aren't the only fruits that affect drug metabolism. Lab studies suggest that black mulberry juice, wild grape juice, pomegranate juice, and black raspberry juice also interfere with CYP3A4. You have two basic options. One is to avoid eating pummelo and drinking pummelo juice. The other is to keep enjoying pummelo but talk with your doctor about switching to a statin that isn't affected by grapefruit, such as fluvastatin (Lescol), pravastatin (Pravachol), or rosuvastatin (Crestor). Ref: Thomas Lee, M.D. Editor in Chief Harvard Heart Letter.

Carambola   To process, top and tail then just take off a thin sliver off all the edges which have the toxin.

Consuming pomegranate as a food, juice or extract in herbal medicines can interfere with the body's uptake of pharmaceutical drugs. Consuming the exotic fruit as a food, juice or extract in herbal medicines can interfere with the body's uptake of pharmaceutical drugs, an Australian study has found. The finding underscores the complex relationship between pharmaceutical drugs and food, says co-author Dr Fanfan Zhou, from the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Sydney. And it highlights the need for further research into the interactions between drugs and foods, she believes. The study, published in the journal, Pharmaceutical Biology, looks at how the three major active components in pomegranate interfere with the delivery of drugs via proteins known as solute carrier transporters.Solute carrier transporters play a key role in helping substances or molecules such as hormones move across biological membranes and are known to play key roles in drug absorption and distribution, says Zhou. They also play vital roles in the elimination of toxic molecules by helping transport toxins to the liver and kidney where they can be eliminated from the body. Zhou says the research team focused on the impact of pomegranate on drug transport as it contains three components -- oleanolic acid, ursolic acid, and gallic acid -- that are commonly found in other foods. Oleanolic and ursolic acid are widely found in plants; while gallic acid is found abundantly in tea, grapes, different berries, fruits, as well as wine. Pomegranate is also widely consumed in herbal medicines as it is known to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.More recently scientific studies have also shown pomegranate to have potential antidiabetic properties. However, co-administration of these three compounds with other drugs have been reported to be problematic possibly due to drug and food interactions, which lead to altered performance of the drugs in body. "Our study confirms the three pomegranate components can impact on these transporters, which means if there are other drug molecules going into the cells through these transporters, then the presence of those pomegranate components is going to interfere with the drugs," says Zhou. The most likely impact is that it will inhibit the drug molecules from going into the cells as they are competing with the pomegranate components for the same transporters, she adds. Zhou says a wide range of drugs are transported into the body by solute carrier transporters. These include a number of statins used to treat heart disease and anti-cancer drugs such as paclitaxel and methotrexate.
Food and drug interactions
Zhou says it is the first study of its kind to widely show the interactions of the pomegranate components with the set of solute carrier transporters and will have a significant impact on drugs used together with certain foods or herbs, such as natural medicines and Chinese herbal medicines. "It doesn't matter if you drink the juice or eat the real fruit, these three components stay the same. "So our study will have a wider application than just herbal medicines made from pomegranate," says Zhou. The research also suggests that any food or herb extract -- not just pomegranate --that contains those compounds could be an issue. "We want to warn people that when they are taking particular drugs they need to find out if this drug will be affected by other foods or medicines consumed at the same time." Zhou says users of Chinese medicines in particular need to be aware that traditional medicines can impact on pharmaceutical medicines. "In Asian countries people do like taking prescription medicines with herbal medicines. And they don't even know there is a potential risk in co-administration of drugs," she says.