A Doctor’s Insight Into Immunity

January 18, 2016

After getting sick for the first time in years (a sinus infection that I helped “manage” with large amounts of herbs, vitamin C and rest), I am reminded of how complex our immune system is, and how much more we are learning about it. This link to Kelly Brogan, MD is a good intro to this doctor and her world view, with an emphasis on the intricacies  of immunity. The comments were also interesting.

http://kellybroganmd.com/immunity-emerging-truth/?utm_source=Kelly+Brogan+MD+Newsletter&utm_campaign=172406576b-Immunity+The+Emerging+Truth&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_d0f977a8c5-172406576b-121829793

For the 3 weeks I was fighting the infection I refrained from eating any added sugars (I was about 98% compliant). Just before I got sick I ate more sugar than I usually do (which is very little since it seems that genetically I am prone to blood sugar imbalances) because it was the holidays. Just a reminder to self that sugar reduces the body’s immune response. An excellent explanation of this is found in this link:

http://alternativehealthatlanta.com/immune-system/sugar-and-your-immune-system/

Even though I cannot remember where I read this research, it seems that the body does not do as well with single large amounts of oral Vitamin C as smaller amounts spread out evenly throughout the day. To get your blood titer up and constant seems to be the best strategy, and to do that, you want to take about 200 mg. of Vitamin C per hour. When I was sick I used a powdered vitamin C (with bioflavonoids, which help potentiate the C) and lemon juice.

May the rest of this winter be a healthy one for you and your loved ones.

Making a Cup of Tea

January 10, 2016

I have been procrastinating about making my jun (a kombucha variant using green tea instead of black, and honey instead of sugar), mainly because it involves heating up 2 quarts of water, steeping the tea for 10 minutes and the herbs with it for 20 minutes, then letting it cool so the raw honey won’t be cooked…lots of steps and I’m tired.

Well, I was perusing Yahoo news, and an article popped up about making tea. After reading it I realized that how I made tea was based upon what I heard decades ago, and here was info based upon some studies of what actually happens using various temperatures and times to steep the leaves. There is also some good info on the differences among the various types of tea (black, green and white) and that ideally we’d make a cup of each one of those teas using the best temperature and amount of time. Who knew?!

So here you go: https://www.yahoo.com/health/you-39-re-making-tea-all-1332462315626550.html

For those of you concerned about fluoride in tea (as well as the beneficial health aspects), here is a site with impeccable credentials and fascinating information: http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/food-beverages/tea

And meanwhile I’m going to try making a batch of jun doing cold steeping, thus bypassing a few steps and making the whole job easier.

Happy Solstice (and all the holy days you celebrate)

December 22, 2015

For an incredible read about the feminine roots of the winter holidays, please go to: http://gathervictoria.com/2014/12/04/doe-a-deer-a-female-deer-the-spirit-of-mother-christmas/   Whatever you choose to celebrate, may this “dark time” be full of interior light. Iris Herbal wishes you all peace, health and happiness in the New Year.

New Organic Egg Scorecard

December 20, 2015

Once the Farmers’ Market closes down for the season, and the local chickens take their (well-earned) winter  rest, one has to buy eggs at the grocery store. How do you tell which organic eggs to buy when most of them advertise free-range, and humanely raised? How can we get beyond the hype? Cornucopia’s Scorecard to the rescue! http://www.cornucopia.org/organic-egg-scorecard/

 

Passive Solar Greenhouse Pecha Kucha Video

November 12, 2015

This summer I was invited to present my Passive Solar Greenhouse project at a local, outdoor  Pecha Kucha event. The theme of the event was “Luz es Vida – Light is Life,” so you will see this concept woven in to the following video.

Pecha Kucha is Japanese for “chit chat” and was developed as a succinct presentation format: 20 slides with 20 seconds of presentation time per slide with total time just 6 minutes 40 seconds. Enjoy!

Cathy Hope Pecha Kucha Night Taos Volume 17 from pechakuchataos on Vimeo.

In Praise of the Overlooked

July 7, 2015
Title Image
Because of my car accident I’ve not been able to drive (and don’t have a car even if I could) and therefore have found it difficult to get to my favorite hiking trails in the Carson National Forest.
 I live along a highway and have lamented that there’s nowhere beautiful to walk from my house. I proved myself misinformed when I took my camera (a Canon set on auto) out at dusk and dawn at the time of the Summer Solstice. I focused upon what most of us tend to overlook as we travel–the highway right of way.
So here are some photos of various “weeds” and interesting “objects” literally at my feet, as well as the rather unassuming aspect of my walk when looked at from head-height. Beauty may not just be “in the eye of the beholder” but also in what perspective we choose to use.

Why haven’t you heard from me in awhile?

July 7, 2015

Back in the beginning of this year I had decided to start-up my blog again because four projects were incubating.

Well. What actually happened was a bad auto accidents on March 23rd in which a semi hit my little Honda on I 25. My car was spun across three lanes of traffic and ended up jammed into an embankment. The subsequent whiplash (yes I was wearing my seatbelt) broke my neck and sternum and bruised all my right side ribs.

So. After ten and a half weeks of being in a neck brace 24/7 I am now rebuilding mobility and strength and am launched upon this unexpected learning journey. Because I was in excellent health before the accident, my progress in the words of my neurosurgeon is “cautiously optimistic.” I have received a stupendous amount of help, food, prayers, support and love from numerous friends, neighbors and readers and I am deeply grateful to be alive. Who I was before the accident is not who I am becoming…the journey’s path unfolds before me…

Now about these four projects:

Two of them involving my greenhouse and garden are continuing in a very reduced  manner as I heal. Hopefully with excellent help, they will manifest sometime next year.

The other two are Iris Herbal Projects; one involves pain relief and the second is a set of oils that are based upon Chinese Five Element Theory. My hope is to manifest these in the next year or so as well. Because I experienced some mild to moderate traumatic brain injury from the accident, I am now more dependent upon others in running my business. Where before I had almost boundless energy and drive, I now experience the steep learning curve of patience, persistence and delight in small steps.

Free access to cancer info

July 6, 2015

Dear Friends,

Ever since the first free webinar series (which one could also purchase) about gluten sensitivity there have been multiple series about many pressing health problems. Much of the information has been pretty decent, and often collated from a good variety of alternative practitioners and sources. This one regarding cancer seems like another good bet to watch, with an interesting line up. I’ve earmarked 5 of the 9 episodes as having possibly new information for me, and I study this stuff as part of my business. It’s still tricky trying to process new information as I heal from my accident, but that’s what note taking is for!

So if you’d like free access (which lasts for approx. the time of the episode’s showing and then 23 hours afterwards) please sign up using this linkhttp://go.thetruthaboutcancer.com/?pid=293c9a6c-4cdc-4abf-8132-0e16676dc47b:

Too many of my friends and relatives have battled cancer, not always successfully. Let’s support one another in finding ways to prevent cancer, not just naively buying big medical’s hype about early detection. And not all alternative cancer treatments are wishful thinking and quackery: some really work well, even though they are demonized by big pharma.

 

 

My How Time Flies

October 23, 2014

Clichés are so often true, and somehow an entire season has passed since I last wrote…

I’ve been experimenting with a new way of gardening: a mix of Hugelkulture and permaculture. Once I get some help uploading photos, I’ll post more on that. Teaser: it works fabulously!

I also spent a ridiculous number of hours doing a renovation project. Completion is very close, and that means more time freed up for research and education. Maybe even more posts…

The teaching has continued all summer,  and we focused on nutrition after we spent weeks on the digestive system.  Now we’ve segued into diet. I cannot believe how contentious this subject is! Vegan, paleo, vegetarian, omnivore: the experts mostly put a finger in the air and say “my way is the best.” People are adamant that you and I are eating too much or too little fat, too much or too little carbs, too much or too little protein. Saturated fat is the devil incarnate; starchy carbs fog your brain; gluten is evil; eating meat gives you cancer; soy isn’t really food; I could go on and on. But here’s the single most important piece of diet info I can give you: if your great, great grandmother didn’t eat it, neither should you! To be more blunt: processed food is killing us. To be even more specific: sugar is terrifically addictive, is empty calories, and we eat a ridiculous amount of it every day which directly and adversely affects our health. The best research I’ve come across basically says that most people can safely consume 15 grams of non-GMO cane sugar a day as well as 25 grams of fructose in the form of whole fruits a day. Any more than that and you can begin the cascade to metabolic syndrome, feed the “bad guys” of our gut biome, and do damage to neurotransmitters, not to mention depressing your entire immune system. Worried about the flu/cancer/Ebola/whatever other scary disease is on your personal radar? Then stop eating so much white flour and sugar.

 

It’s Complicated (and Amazing)

June 19, 2014

It’s been a longish hiatus since I last wrote, and teaching and gardening are boiling away on the front burners.

So much of what we’ve been learning in our class on anatomy and physiology is the stupendously intricate complexity of the human body. And that science is still figuring us out. New hormones, proteins, enzymes, etc. are still being discovered. Ways everything interacts is still being parsed. Really intelligent people can read the same data and draw very different conclusions. Our own journey affects how we understand the concept of being a human…

In studying the digestive system and now adding nutrition, we are learning not just the basics, but the basics from a variety of viewpoints. The concept of a “calorie” turns out to be incredibly “loaded” with politics, belief systems and which scientists/studies you trust. Who knew!? And hardly anyone except “radical granola types” pay any attention to the primary basis of all health: the health of a country’s soil. And yet studies are showing up even in the mainstream that state that our food today is less nutritious that it was even 50 years ago. When we “mine” our soil, and don’t “put back” the minerals and organic matter and healthy microbes, then the plants don’t have the same nutritional content  in their cells, because the soil is deficient. Add the GMO, herbicide and pesticide issues, not to mention processing whole foods to death, plus artificial chemicals….well, it becomes tremendously difficult to find quality food in an average supermarket.

And that, dear reader is the crux: quality of food is the basis of health.


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