Dr. O’s note: This awesome post was written by my friend Marina P-K, who lives in a Permaculture paradise of her creation in the northern Sierra Nevadas. She works with beings of several kingdoms — plants, animals and microbes — and shares her copious knowledge freely. Reprinted with permission from her blog, Cultured, Aged, Brewed, (“A docu-sploration of what happens when we allow foods to sit around long enough to ‘go good.'”) this article considers serious infections, building and supporting a strong immune system, and giving the body appropriate microflora through the use of traditional fermented foods.
Warning, graphic pictures in today’s post. I think they’re amazing documentation of the body’s ability to heal, but if your stomach is easily turned I suggest scrolling down til the subject turns to garlic.
Today marks the fourth week in healing the holes my pig poked and tore in my legs. The puncture in my shin is growing smaller and remains predictable, but the cut on my thigh has become infected. I host a certain strain of staph bacteria. A neglected cut at age six resulted in a swollen foot and a course of antibiotics. The doctor explained to my mother that once staph enters our blood stream, it never really goes away. My immune system can surpress and restrain it, but when a large enough disturbance tests my biological defense systems, staph emerges. (more…)
Finnish researchers have uncovered grandpa’s secret: Turns out that rye bread is nature’s great answer to constipation. Writing in the Journal of Nutrition, the researcher found rye is not only more effective than laxative medications, it also helps make the gut healthier. Rye is rich in a compound called arabinoxylan, a favorite food of healthy bacteria in the colon. The bacteria ferment the compound to create short-chain fatty acids, which make the colon more acid, less friendly to pathogens and more active in moving wastes out. Constipation affects an estimated 27 percent of people in Western countries. Turns out grandpa had it right after all.
There’s big money in medications for depression, and drugs such as Prozac and Wellbutrin help many people who take them. But a growing body of research finds people getting sugar pills instead of meds also feel better —making some researchers wonder if the drugs are “nothing more than expensive Tic Tacs.” That was the conclusion of a January 2010 study (“Listening to Prozac but Hearing Placebo”) published in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association. The findings raise a moral dillemma: If patients feel better because they believe in the medications, is it right to tell them the improvement is all in their heads? Another question is whether drugs should be the starting point for depression, or a last resort if natural therapies like exercise, probiotics, fish oil and others don’t quite lift the dark clouds.
December 18, 2009
Photo by Nihan Aydin.
It’s the “most wonderful time of the year” — and depression is rampant. Between the darkness (if you live in the northern hemisphere), family drama and financial stresses, it’s a time when many people find their mood going in an unhappy direction. Here are some tangible tips for feeling better. (more…)
December 1, 2009
Natural advice for staying well this flu season
Originally published in Indian Country Today
By Terri Hansen, Environment, Science & Health Writer
Portland, Ore.—When naturopathic physician Dr. Orna Izakson looks at a plant she sees more than its stem, leaves or vibrant flower – she sees medicine. And naturally, she takes a natural approach to flu prevention and hastening a healthy recovery.
“Our bodies are trying to bring us toward health,” she says. “The responses we experience to outside stressors are our body’s intelligent response to that stressor. A fever is an intelligent response: It makes the body more responsive to invaders… and it makes us feel lousy so we slow down and go to bed so that our bodies can heal.” (more…)