Transluscence rising – Gut Flora

My wish for 2014 was that things we know, will gradually be accepted in the Mainstream, as things we know!

Much knowledge has been trashed by “experts” as being pseudoscience, or myth. I remember reading an article on The Gaps Diet by a “scientist” saying it was all a load of **** – well not in such words, but it was dismissed out of hand as rubbish.

The Gaps Diet is about re-populating the gut with missing microbes. And in the beginning, it’s quite difficult to do. But it is primarily for people who cannot get rid of serious conditions.

But the Full Gaps Diet  is not dissimilar to the Paleolithic diet, (general Google collection) which, I know, from personal experience sorts out all sorts of health problems people have. And people practising most forms of alternative medicine, have been on about anti biotics and gut flora for many many years.

Gradually, it has dripped, dripped, dripped into the medical mind that maybe there is something in having or not having the correct gut flora after all.

It’s a pity science phoo phoo’s first, and takes so long to “prove” what to others, is so blatantly the truth.

Recently, I have noticed several, if not many, articles in Mainstream Media about the importance of gut flora.

I am posting the whole article from The New York Times yesterday here, before it disappears behind a pay-wall….it’s reviewing a new book, and is somewhat thought provoking. 

We Kill Germs at Our Peril
‘Missing Microbes’: How Antibiotics Can Do Harm

Quote –

“You never get something for nothing, especially not in health care. Every test, every incision, every little pill brings benefits and risks.

Nowhere is that balance tilting more ominously in the wrong direction than in the once halcyon realm of infectious diseases, that big success story of the 20th century. We have had antibiotics since the mid-1940s — just about as long as we have had the atomic bomb, as Dr. Martin J. Blaser points out — and our big mistake was failing long ago to appreciate the parallels between the two.

Antibiotics have cowed many of our old bacterial enemies into submission: We aimed to blast them off the planet, and we dosed accordingly. Now we are beginning to reap the consequences. It turns out that not all germs are bad — and even some bad germs are not all bad. In “Missing Microbes,” Dr. Blaser, a professor of medicine and infectious diseases at New York University, presents the daunting array of reasons we have to rethink the enthusiastic destruction of years past.

Audio Listen at 7 minutes to 16:60 minutes  – Podcast:  an Antibiotic Overload

First and foremost, the war has escalated. Imprudent antibiotic use has resulted in widespread resistance among microbes; infectious disease doctors (I am one, as well as a casual acquaintance of Dr. Blaser’s) now operate in a state of permanent near panic as common infections demand increasingly powerful drugs for control.

Second, as always, it is the hapless bystanders who have suffered the most — not human beings, mind you, but the gazillions of benevolent, hardworking bacteria colonizing our skin and the inner linings of our gastrointestinal tracts. We need these good little creatures to survive, but even a short course of antibiotics can destroy their universe, with incalculable casualties and a devastated landscape. Sometimes neither the citizenry nor the habitat ever recovers.

And finally, there is the accumulation of disheartening evidence that the war against the old plagues is simply leading to worse wars against a whole series of new ones.

Parts of Dr. Blaser’s argument are familiar, such as the story of Clostridium difficile colitis, an increasingly common cause of diarrhea. This condition arises most often when a course of antibiotics skews the normal microbial population of the gut to favor a single toxin-producing organism. Sometimes yet more antibiotics will restore normal intestinal function. But sometimes no treatment works — nothing but infusing feces full of normal bacteria into the ailing intestines, a last-ditch strategy that has proved stunningly successful. Without it, otherwise perfectly healthy people can die.

Less familiar is the paradox posed by the little comma-shaped organism Helicobacter pylori, a denizen of the human stomach. Dr. Blaser is one of the world’s experts in these “ulcer bacteria,” which are associated not just with ulcers but also with stomach cancer. We have been slowly eradicating H. pylori with antibiotics — the organisms have become quite uncommon in developed countries.

But as they vanish, Dr. Blaser notes, a small epidemic of esophageal disease follows, with inflammation causing heartburn and even cancer. It turns out that this bad germ is also good, instrumental in protecting the human esophagus from trouble.

And that’s not all, folks, far from it.

We know that giving antibiotics to young chickens, cows and pigs means bigger, fatter animals brought to market. But we are doing pretty much the same thing to our own young, repeatedly dosing them up against all the infections of childhood (many of which do not require antibiotics to resolve). The results of an interconnected series of experiments in Dr. Blaser’s lab, with infant mice fed a variety of antibiotic regimens, lend strong support to the theory that exposure to antibiotics early in life has long-term effects on metabolism, and may contribute to our epidemic of childhood and adult obesity.

For other increasingly common conditions such as asthma, inflammatory bowel syndrome and celiac disease, Dr. Blaser offers an inversion of the so-called hygiene hypothesis, which holds that by removing us from contact with outdoor microbes, sanitized modern life has allowed the immune system to spiral out of control. Instead, he suggests, blame rests on the distortion of our internal microbial world.

Antibiotics are partly responsible, but so are other medical habits, such as our increasing use of cesarean sections. These aseptic procedures prevent newborns from acquiring their mothers’ organisms through the birth canal, possibly setting them up for a lifetime of trouble, with higher than normal risks of a range of immune-related problems.

Dr. Blaser presents this all at a rapid clip, not stinting on the technical language but infusing enough human interest to make his argument and data reasonably accessible. (He had writing help from Sandra Blakeslee, a veteran science journalist and a frequent contributor to Science Times.)

The discerning reader should not forget that the research he discusses is largely his own; we hear no dissenting voices or contradictory evidence, although much of the narrative remains scientifically hypothetical.

That said, however, the weight of evidence behind Dr. Blaser’s cautions about antibiotics is overwhelming. They are certainly lifesaving drugs — they saved his own life when he had typhoid fever, and he testified in Congress recently on the urgent need to develop better and stronger ones. But they are also immensely dangerous, both to individuals and to the firmly linked communities of microbes and men.” end quote

The wonderful Stinging Nettle

A year ago, I wrecked my shoulder metal detecting. In the beginning, my husband worked the machine and did heavy digging. I could work the probe! But then he had, first, a mini stroke and then a heart attack, So we put ourselves out to pasture!

The first month of my wrecked shoulder, I SUFFERED! Then I went to the doctor. His prescription of Inflammation Reducing Pills (NSAIDs), were so savage on peoples’ stomachs, that he also had to prescribe more pills to protect my stomach from destruction. It frightened me. I am not a pill person.

But serendipity intervened, On the Internet, I happened to find this article. Dr Christopher’s Herbal Legacy

The bit that jumped out at me was quote “The leaves of the fresh nettle plant are stimulating, thus making it a powerful rubefacient. Arthritis, bursitis, rheumatism, gout, and tendonitis have all been treated successfully with urtification. In a group of eighteen patients with joint pain treated with the topical use of the nettle sting, all except one respondent were sure that the therapy had been very helpful, and several considered themselves cured”

I had never heard of a Rubefacient or urtification – quote – from History of Stinging Nettles A standard practice of flogging oneself with the fresh nettle plant, called urtification, was prescribed to treat such illnesses as chronic rheumatism, lethargy, coma, paralysis, and even typhus, and cholera. This practice of urtification is known to many cultures and has been used for thousands of years. The Roman soldiers are said to have brought their own nettle to the British Isles to treat their tired, painful legs on long marches in the cold and wet climate by urtification, thus stimulating the circulation. Documentation or anecdotal reports of its use in this way have been found among the Ecuador Indians, ancient Romans, and Canadian and American native tribes.”

I went out and collected some stinging nettles and used the on my shoulder and arm. The result was astonishing. They sorted my shoulder more efficiently than the doctor’s pills.

I used them twice a day for about five days I think. But just in case the pain might return through the winter when nettles are not available, I potted a beauty and it grew all winter in the sunlight on the bathroom windowsill. I simply had to warn our guests of its presence.

As my nettle plant and me became friends, I used it even if I felt a faint twinge in my arm or shoulder, and also I found other uses for it. For cuts, bruises or under skin bleeds on my hands from bumping them as happens to older people, sticking it into my friendly nettle, accelerated healing.

The scientific explanation is that the body responds to the sting by rushing naturally produced hormones and anti inflammatory chemicals to the site. The site happens to be your wound, or pain which gets sorted out as well. Simples! And it works!

But there is more!

I am a peripheral diabetic – Type11 threatening but not actually. For a year I have controlled my blood sugar with diet. The Paleolithic Diet actually. The Diabetic nurse is quite impressed! But I now also have another secret – Stinging Nettle Tea.

I discovered Nettle Tea reduces blood sugar – and it does. I am going for my 6 monthly HBA1c soon. Cant wait! It’s going to be good. I will feel proud that I have done it without their horrid pills!

Warning! If you ARE on medication –

Nettle Tea can decrease blood sugar levels. It might increase the chance of low blood sugar in people being treated for diabetes. Monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use stinging nettle.

Don’t confuse stinging nettle (Uritica dioica) with white dead nettle (Lamium album).

Currently, I am picking and drying nettles. They crumble easily into a sort of tea leaf consistency (use gloves to crumble) and in a caddy, they will last me till next year. They are much stronger than a single fresh leaf in a cup of boiling water that I usually have. And I put half a teaspoonful of dried in a tiny muslin bag which does several concoctions over a few days, drying again in between. And like all things, I don’t overdo drinking it. It’s powerful stuff.

Drying nettles in the fan oven at about 100 deg – not ready yet!

And made into tea in my Caddy with little muslin bag to serve.

Nettle Tea Benefits
Nettle stimulates the lymph system to boost immunity
Nettle relieves arthritis symptoms
Nettle promotes a release from uric acid from joints
Helps to support the adrenals
It helps with diabetes mellitus
Strengthens the fetus in pregnant women
Promotes milk production in lactating women
Relieves menopausal symptoms
Helps with menstrual cramps and bloating
Helps break down kidney stones
Reduces hypertension
Helps with respiratory tract disease
Supports the kidneys
Helps asthma sufferers
Stops bleeding
Reduces inflammation
Reduces incident of prostate cancer
Minimizes skin problems
Eliminates allergic rhinitis
Lessens nausea
Cures the common cold
Helps with osteoarthritis
Alleviates diarrhea
Helps with gastrointestinal disease, IBS, and constipation
Reduces gingivitis and prevents plaque when used as a mouth wash.
Has been shown to be helpful to in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease
Relieves neurological disorders like MS, ALS and sciatica
Destroys intestinal worms or parasites
Supports the endocrine health by helping the thyroid, spleen and pancreas

Stinging Nettle

Knock yourself out you crazy bird

It’s spring – that means garden. Lots of weeds to discipline. Surprises everywhere. Little plants re-introducing themselves. Old ones being aggressive and overwhelming.

I like plants. I like gardening. I like animals. There is no deceit in them.

There is a Robin who has become my friend. He shows almost no fear and will land next to me only inches away from my hand. I know what he’s looking for. WORMS! He’s a greedy chap as he fills his beak with as many as he can find until he looks like a mini Madeusa. I thought he was collecting for his children. But no – he gobbles the lot. I know why he’s my friend. I’m the worm exposer. We have a crystal clear relationship. I like that.

But this year we have a crazy bird – a hedge sparrow, dull brown, who is sitting on the bench outside our garden window. Constantly he leaps down and hurls himself at the glass with a thud. Sometimes he does this for several hours or so. The dog’s nerves are shot and I’m feeling jumpy too. Crazy bird. What IS he doing?

When I was a young woman, a silly person told me that birds at the window were carrying the message of death. That thought-implant/nocebo has followed me around all my life. So this cazy bird is not nice. I don’t know his motive. It is not clear. My husband says he thinks the sparrow mistakes his reflection as his competition and is attacking it. I hope he’s right.

I think little seeds of fear grow into huge trees. I disapprove of Plain Packaging for cigarettes for the reason that the medical porn images MUST have a terrible effect on the health of society for everyone who sees them. Smokers and their families should be more affected by smoking and get sicker quicker than ever before. Smoking will become more harmful, as it has already, and not less so.

The little messages of smoking harms have hurled themselves against our windows for so long, everyone knows it’s not healthy. The best thing Public health could do, is NOT introduce Plain Packs and if they do, I hope they knock themselves out against the glass of their own foolishness and irresponsibility.


On Rape – and silly people.

This poor woman has copped it –

Tory councillor sparks outrage by saying ‘when rape is inevitable, just lie back and enjoy it’ during public meeting

Now I have heard this saying in two different forms “When rape is inevitable, just lie back and take it”  or as it was used  “When rape is inevitable, just lie back and enjoy it”

It is a saying in the English language. Rape is about overcoming. It’s about power. That is the context she used it in. For the victim, it is also about acceptance of the inevitable. It is a metaphor surely? To take it literally from a woman of 77 shows deep ignorance. But if we do not see it as metaphor, how else can we see it?

Our modern culture has moved away from the rape culture that I grew up in which was still tainted by Victorianism.  It is liberated now in allowing women to enjoy sex. It wasn’t long ago when that was not generally accepted, hence the other saying “think of England” whilst having to engage in marital sex. Sex was a chore that women endured rather than enjoyed. Enjoyment was not something easily admitted.

The idea in rape culture dominant in most of our history, and only moved away from (if indeed we have!) in the recent past, was that men will be men and women just have to take it. For women brought up to believe enjoying sex should not be owned up to, “When rape is inevitable, just lie back and enjoy it” was giving them permission in a world where sex and rape seemed not much different, within or outside of marriage.

I don’t understand why the holier than thou’s  are running around being holier than thou with hardly one cell of intelligence or education in their brains. The world is populated with very silly people! While the sanctimonious call for the resignation of a really good councillor is trumpeted around in the press,  I ask whether the rape culture has been eradicated in our new righteous modern world?

No, it is alive and well and living in advertising, industry, the cultural psyche and especially it is active  in the porn industry that is now educating our new generation of men.

Where the hell are we going?

I have given this blog a new look! I’m behind the fence if you study the image. Or is it that I am outside of the fence and everyone else is behind it? I am by nature a recluse, a hermit, a prisoner to myself. So perhaps I am alone behind my fence.

I have been blogging on this blog for many years – although you won’t know it. I blogged about my life, a fascinating life on two continents in historical times. I have been such a lucky person. This blog was moved from the older blog a while back but most of the entries have gone. The “Life on an alien planet” title seemed appropriate for its new incarnation because it describes how I feel deep inside myself. It really often feels the planet changed during my life time, to be something unreconiseable to me – an alien place.

And indeed it has changed.

I am turning 70 this year. The transformation in the world has been as great as the one my grandmother saw between the 1890’s and the 1960’s when we landed on the moon! She lived to be a very old lady. I would like to, if I can remain healthy.

In the meantime, I look at some of the things happening today and simply despair. The problem with the planet is the people who live on it! And of the people who live on it, it is not you or me that are the problem, but THEM. THEM are those who guide us. They are the ones that know better. They are the ones who draw borders between countries in arbitrary places, who make wars, who legislate, who consult the experts who promote our laws “for our own good”, who ban pleasures, who brainwash the new generation with care so they will continue the myths promoted by THEM.

History was my major and I’ve always been interested in it. My mother had a doctorate in History and was a lecturer. I remember when one of her critics told me that History wasn’t science – just interpretation and opinion. So later, I also studied science to see how the scientific method differed. I loved it! And I have watched how THEM in the modern world, that plots and plans in statistics and evidence based facts, have chucked the baby out with the bathwater. Science is simply one way of knowing about physical things. In my old age, I wish THEM would plot and plan with the wisdom of History and Philosophy to guide them.

My grandmother lived through two world wars. But I haven’t. Yet. But I often wonder where the hell are we going. Have we not learned anything from History?

The shame of modern science

We have to have Gods! was a quickie post a while back pointing out that our old Gods have simply been replaced by new ones.

Our God is Science and the priests, scientists. The fashion in Government is to accept only this God. Every aspect of Governance is supposed to be supported by scientific evidence, figures and stats. Trouble is, science has become corrupted by the priests’ ambition to please in results they produce and support themselves in their industry. We are worshiping a false God.

Tufts University (world ranking here) has an interesting presentation called CORRUPTED SCIENCE . It is describing the USA. But much applies to most science in every country anywhere. It’s a quick read.

But this is longer – published last year.

I liked this blog (its a whole book actually) – Not Even Trying – The Corruption of Real Science.  Bruce G Charlton is Visiting Professor of Theoretical Medicine at the University of Buckingham and Reader in Evolutionary Psychiatry at Newcastle University. He has some interesting stuff on other topics too. Here is his Blog.

He summarises his book in this paragraph.

“Briefly, the argument of this book is that real science is dead, and the main reason is that professional researchers are not even trying to seek the truth and speak the truth; and the reason for this is that professional ‘scientists’ no longer believe in the truth – no longer believe that there is an eternal unchanging reality beyond human wishes and organization which they have a duty to seek and proclaim to the best of their (naturally limited) abilities. Hence the vast structures of personnel and resources that constitute modern ‘science’ are not real science but instead merely a professional research bureaucracy, thus fake or pseudo-science; regulated by peer review (that is, committee opinion) rather than the search-for and service-to reality. Among the consequences are that modern publications in the research literature must be assumed to be worthless or misleading and should always be ignored. In practice, this means that nearly all ‘science’ needs to be demolished (or allowed to collapse) and real science carefully rebuilt outside the professional research structure, from the ground up, by real scientists who regard truth-seeking as an imperative and truthfulness as an iron law.”

Sounds exactly what I have been thinking for a long time.

I’ll be away for a while, while I read this book!