Archive for June, 2012

Making Tinctures, Pig Rescue & New Cancer Info

June 28, 2012

Now here is a grab bag of topics!

Today I played kitchen apothecary and made several fresh herbal tinctures: chickweed, nettles, alfalfa and horsetail. For herbs that are 80 to 90 % water, these are remarkably tough plants (well, the chickweed is from my greenhouse and is rather delicate). I use a Cuisinart to chop up the herbs, and then add certified organic grain alcohol, distilled water and natural source vegetable glycerin to make the “menstruum” or the liquid that sits (or macerates) for weeks or months, and is finally strained to become a fresh herb tincture. What I have learned over 2 dozen years of this process is that each plant has a preferred (so to speak) ratio of herb to liquid, and alcohol percentage so that the tincture has optimal healing properties…..the only problem being that the “experts” (including naturopaths, herbalists and chemists) differ (sometimes greatly) in their opinions of what those numbers should be. Enter art, intuition, and whose theory makes the most sense…

The other day my renter rescued a pig. Yup, a wee pig was loose in Questa, and suffering from sunburn. So she’s now under the trees in a double dog crate healing before heading south to a farm where she will live (and NOT become food). I fed her watermelon rinds, and pigs really do grunt (rather sweetly) as they eat (which they do rather delicately).

And did you ever wonder why so many cancers that are treated with chemo and radiation come back so fiercely? Turns out there are cancer stem cells, that are usually not killed by those two treatments.

Following on the heels of recent revelations that x-ray mammography may be contributing to an epidemic of future radiation-induced breast cancers, in a new article titled, “Radiation Treatment Generates Therapy Resistant Cancer Stem Cells From Aggressive Breast Cancer Cells,” published in the journal Cancer July 1st, 2012, researchers from the Department of Radiation Oncology at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center report that radiation treatment actually drives breast cancer cells into greater malignancy.

To read the entire article, go HERE. It is not for the faint of heart…..

My Glorious Vacation

June 18, 2012

I decided to take the experts’ advice, and not “tell the world” I was out-of-town for 3 weeks, which is also why I “missed”doing a couple of blogs. This particular vacation was a “pilgrimage” where I drove my mother to New York City (where she grew up in Queens) to attend the 350th anniversary of the church where she was baptised, confirmed, and then joined. She also hadn’t been back to NYC in 30 years (ditto for me), and wanted to see and experience a few places for the last time.

We were blessed: good weather, great visits with friends and family, excellent visits to churches, museums, and the 911 Memorial, not to mention memorable food, and yours truly driving in all 5 boroughs of NYC without any damage! The service people of NYC are spectacular, and helped in several instances of “how do I get to the other side of the river?; I seem to have gotten on a bridge I didn’t want to.”

Now I am back home and happy to be so. The Midwest and Eastern seaboard are so different, and the culture “shock” was fun and instructive….

Happy Summer Solstice

The Demise of the Measuring Cup

June 1, 2012

This title has rattled around in my head for days. It’s not entirely accurate: any supermarket will have glass or plastic measuring cups for sale…but what they won’t have, and neither will anyone else (at least the last time I checked) is an 8 oz., 16 oz. or a 32 oz. glass measuring “cup” with all of the ounces marked on the side. Look carefully at your measuring cup: unless it is an older model, the individual ounces are no longer printed on the side, but rather delineations of 1/4th cup, 1/3rd cup, 1/2 cup, etc.

I could launch into why’s or lamentations, and nothing would change, So. I’m putting out the word: I need some old-time type glass measuring cups in the cup, pint and quart sizes, and am willing to pay for them, including shipping. They are incredibly useful in my work; I’ve broken several over 30 years of business; and the new-fangled, simplified models are useless. So if you have an older model (I especially like the “Fire King” brand, but “Oven Basics” and “Pyrex” are also fine), or know of someone who does, and you aren’t using it any more, please get it touch! My toll-fee number is 877-286-2970. Thank you.