Pursing a pro-biological lifestyle

Dandelion May 3, 2014

Filed under: Biological Lifestyle,Books and Sources — Krystyna @ 7:28 pm

ImageDandelion is abundantly infesting my lawn (maybe yours, too).  This is no reason to dispair, since dandelion is and has been a prized medicinal plant throughout human history for its many healing properties of gastric complaints, spleen and liver issues, hepatitis, even anorexia.

There is no way  with my ecological and health sensibilities that I  would use herbicides like Roundup,  which are linked to  fatal kidney disease in many countries, one of the most toxic herbicides and pesticides,125x more toxic than the isolated glyphosate.  Glyphosate is bad enough with its endocine disruption effects, damaging the metabolism and respiration of our cells, but Round up has a surfactant named polyoxyethyleneamine which makes the glyphosate more penetrable to  our cells and DNA, causing much cellular damage and carcinogenic effects.  Polyethoxylated tallowamine (POEA),  an ingredient declared to be inactive previously, was shown to be more fatal to human embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells than glyphosate, the  “active” ingredient.”  Enough of the bad stuff – this post is to commend one of the greatest weeds out there.


Dandelion’s Latin name Taraxacum officinales means „Official Remedy of Disorders,”  and it is a well deserved name.  High in  vitamins A, B, C, and D, and minerals like iron, potassium, and zinc, dandelion also has a stimulatory effect on the salivary glands, kidneys (dandelion leaves), and liver (mainly the root), has potent antioxidant and anticarcinogenic (provoking the production of antibodies) properties, works to thin the blood and lower blood sugar.  No wonder the Puritans and other European settlers brought over this „weed”  to the Americas.


Dandelions grow in many places, and are associated with many plants like sagebrish and blueberries.  Bees gather dandelion pollen for honey, birds and other small animals can feed off them,  as well as poltury and pigs.   The only problem is that they an be  a bit invasive,  with their strong taproots growing up to 10 feet deep,  but  the taproot can be used in so many ways – like tea.


As a digression, there was an episode of Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman where Dr. Quinn cured (and accurately diagnosed) her mother of hepatitis after the Boston doctors declared her incurable with daily infusions of dandelion root tea (yes I know it’s fiction,  but the writers  could’ve based the story on  some truth).

Dr. Quinn – wasn’t she the greatest? She was inspirational in so many ways.

The leaves and shoots can also be eaten ( blanching them makes them tastier,  less bitter).  Flowers  can be gathered for a delicious wine or an elixir for respiratory tract infections due to a substance called mucilage (which works as a wonderful cough expectorant).


 The procedure is quite easy, if not a bit of a workout.  The main work is  pulling the dandelion plant  with a maximally intact root (since intact taproots  will regrow, and as  much as I love dandelion,  no need for an infestation).  Using  a sturdy pitchfork or a  garden screwdriver  (I’m  not  sure if it’s actually called that, but it does the trick), the job can be done.

To get roots for dandelion tea or coffee, you  have to cut off the roots,  wash them in a bucket of water or the sink about 2-3 times (until they are maximally free of  mud/debris), lay them out to dry.  After  they  are decently dry,  cut them on a cutting board and set aside to further dry – depending on weather and conditions it can take about 1-2 weeks.  For tea, just store and add boiling water to infuse.  It’s good to mix a tablespoon of  dandelion root,  with a teaspoon of chamomile, linden flower, and mint.  Most aromatic herbal leaf or flower combinations work well.Image


For coffee,  the excess drying is not necessary.  Blend them in a food processor until they are coursely  ground, and them  either heat then in a cast iron pan or pot until they are evently  cinnamon brown (about 7-10 minutes, depending on heat),  or roast them on a sheet in the oven, 250 F (120 C) for about an hour and a half,  mixing them every 30 minutes.  The leaves can be dried alongside the roots, or frozen for later.


Image The  flowers can be gathered for wine,  or for a cough expectorant elixir,  which I can vouch for.    You need about  100-120 flower heads (it’s actually not that hard to gather on a lawn).  A quart  or liter glass jar will  be the incubator.  Take a few heads, pour a little brown sugar or  honey on    them  and  mash,  doing  half inch (1 cm) layers of  flowers, adding the sugar or honey,  and repeat   until the  jar takes in all the flowers.  Put in a cool dark  place for a few days  until all the juices let  out.  Drain the  elixir in a bottle and store.

After that I add some more honey (about 2 tablespoons), pour over with spirits,  and let the  flowers infuse their full potential into the spirits (ethylene alcohol – 90% is good 😉 ).  After about  2-3 weeks, the flowers will appear drained.  Store in  cool dark place as well.  Here’s to that – cheers and good health!


Which fat is heart healthy fat? April 10, 2014

Filed under: Books and Sources — Krystyna @ 7:37 pm

A new study from the University of Cambridge reviewed saturated fat restricted high polyunsaturated fat diets and came to the conclusion that lowering saturated fat does not correlate with a lower risk of heart disease.  The researchers  also didn’t find  evidence for a high polyunsaturated ( omega 3, omega -6) fat consumption.  Even  different  types of omega 3 fatty acids had different rates of heart disease risk factors.  In the 72 studies analyzed, the group found that long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids were differently linked to heart disease.  Palmitic (palm)  and stearic (saturated animal fat) acid were linked to slightly higher increases, while margaric (dairy)  fat  reduces  heart disease risk.


Additionally, the study shows that the cardiovascular risks posed by red meat originate in the substance L-carnitine, and not in the saturated fat content.


The food download

Fatty aged cheese (like Gouda, Brie, Jarslberg) are high not only in dairy saturated fatty acids,  but also have a high  Vitamin K2 content.  Liver, eggs, butterfat, and  natto as well as sauerkraut (the last two the exceptions here)  are all good sources of Vitamin K2.  Vitamin K2 is necessary in the utilization of Vitamin D and ultimately calcium.  Low levels of Vitamin K2 are a  huge reason why so many people taking their calcium and Vitamin  D  have osteoporosis,  vascular calcification, i.e. linked to heart disease.  Vitamin K2 has other functions such as proper fetal bone development, decreased inflammmation in diseases like Rheumatoid Arthritis, possibly treat leukemia and even prevent wrinkles.

Short chain fatty acids  butyrate (found in milkfat) are a quick  energy source for colon cells, acetate  is a direct energy source for the  cells of our body,  and many of the short chain fatty acids have cancer preventing activity.

Medium chain fatty acids like lauric acid and  capric acid ( in coconut oil) have documented antimicrobial and antifungal effects effects, regulate metabolism  and weight management, are used to prevent and treat  neurological diseases like Alzhimer’s, ALS, epilepsy, as well as for parenteral nutrition.  The list goes on about the activity of these fatty acids.


End choice

Well for me personally, I’m going to continue to eat generous amounts of butter, coconut oil, leaf lard (great for baking), and goose szmalec.  Like this offshoot article states, I will  eat like my granny  and my ancestors did before that.  My poor mother didn’t – she avoided eggs, ate low fat dairy,  cooked with vegetable oil and  had  two heart  attacks and coronary bypass surgery before age 55.  Now with diet (plenty of butter,  goat milk,  broth and veggies)  actually has reversal of  her post-MI ECG changes – a visible sign of heart function improvement – the doctor couldn’t believe it!

There is a growing number of doctors and researchers that are digging up the data  and questioning the low fat, “modern” diet,  since it’s just not bringing in the results.   Saying that saturated fat currently overtaking our food is a fallacy.  Most restaurants, most processed food producers make food like substances or cook with polyunsaturated vegetable oils and trans fats, which are causing our modern day problems of cancer, obesityheart disease, even infertility, and not the maligned lard and tallow that Julia Child reminisced about, remembering fries back in the day.


Many types of saturated fats are out there, and  they  have been  used for millenia.   In any case,  I’d like to live as close to 90  as possible, like my maternal dziadek (grandpa) did, eating his bacon and eggs,  sourdough bread with  szmalec.  That, and I love to eat my freshly made raw butter – yum!









Another take on saturated fat December 9, 2013

Filed under: Books and Sources — Krystyna @ 7:46 am

eggs-butter In the 22 October 2013 edition of the British Medical Journal , Dr. Aseem Malhotra ,  interventionist cardiology  specialist from Croydon University Hospital in London, wrote an  article entitled “Saturated fat is not the main issue – let’s bust the myth of  it’s role in heart disease.” He starts the article stating that scientists accept the fact that trans fats  found in  processed foods (such as sweets, cakes, cookies, chips, etc ) and margarine increase the  risk of heart disease by  inflammatory processes. He continues with denouncing the wrong  information about the saturated fat that have  misinformed the public for many decades.

 Dr. Malhotra states that saturated fats do not raise the portion of LDL cholesterol which contributes to heart disease. The fatty acids from animal fats lower triglycerides and CRP , an inflammatory marker , and the level of insulin resistance, therefore, the risk of type II diabetes. He cites new study that shows that the low- fat diet reduces the most energy resources, causing an unhealthy lipid profile, and insulin resistance (primary cause of type II diabetes), compared with a diet with a lower glycemic index ( the level of glucose in the blood 2-3 hours after eating, especially related to simple carbohydrates for example sugar, sweets, sugary drinks ). In recent decades in the U.S. the proportion of fat consupmtion in the diet decreased, but obesity has skyrocketed.

Dr. Malhotra also provides information that 75 % percent of patients admitted with acute myocardial infarction have normal cholesterol levels. The Framingham Study immortalized cholesterol as a risk factor for heart attack , helping to spread the use of statins, drugs that lower cholesterol, for hundreds of millions of patients. However, new research shows that lower cholesterol contributes to deaths from cardiac and non-cardiac reasons. Cholesterol levels do not contribute to the risk of death.

The newer credible study from 2013 shows that 20% of patients treated with statins reported unacceptable side effects – muscle pain, digestive problems, problems with sleep and memory, and sexual dysfunction – a much higher level than what the companies that manufacture these drugs showed.  Another cited study shows that the Mediterranean diet – a diet rich in fish, moderate amounts of dairy, and high fiber carbohydrates like cereals, whole grains and vegetables – a diet that permits the use of butter and lard – has a 30 % better outcome than a low-fat diet for cardiovascular disease.


Securing your lifestyle against cancer March 15, 2013

Anti-Cancer: A New Way of Life review part. I

In many countries, especially in so-called “developed” countries, cancer has become a social disease, and the practiced medicine, in addition to the exorbitant cost of treatment, has not shown the best results in the fight against cancer. This situation is an inspiration and calling for many scientists, who conduct their own research to effectively fight cancer and to prevent cancer formation. The results of much of this research are much more effective in combating the disease than those used in official medical practice.

One of these pioneers in finding ways to effectively combat cancer was Dr. David Servan-Schreiber, a neuropsychiatrist and scientist. At 31 years old he discovered that he had a brain tumor. After a successful operation to remove a tumor in the brain, the oncologist could give him a little advice on how to guard against recurrence of cancer. Then Dr. Servan-Schreiber began to search diligently  through scientific publications on cancer, whose nuumbers were increasing at an alarming rate. In this, he gained a lot of valuable information and insights into his own health, which he shared in his book “Anti-Cancer: A New Way of Life.”

The author came to an important general conclusion, that every person has some cancer cells in his or her body. He went further to discover that in countries that do not yet assimilated the „western lifestyle” (mainly polluted with chemicals and processed food), many of those people have tiny micro-tumors in their body that do not grow and do not cause the development of cancer.

Another interesting finding is the fact that the development of cancer is preceded by inflammation in the body and a weakened immune system, which creates conditions for the development of cancerous tumors and their metastases.

Pre-cancerous inflammation and weakening of the immune system

According to research results, pre-cancerous inflammation is the result in a large part to the radical change in the Western diet since the 1940’s, resulting in a rapid increase in the incidence of cancer. The most common harmful ingredients in the new diet are bleached sugar and bleached flour in place of various grits, whole grains, sourdough bread and other high-fiber, highly nutricious carbohydrates. In addition, harmful modified vegetable fats, such as margarine, soy and corn oils and meat from animals fed with feed with corn, soy, raising the omega-6 fatty acid content in their meat and products.

Omega -6 fatty acids are very pro-inflammtory, causing a predisposition to centralized fat redistribution ( the common unhealthy obesity). Fatty acids are also factors in the development of coronary heart disease, but they are inexpensive to manufacture and can be stored longer, now that they are further changed into trans fatty acids. Stress, lack of physical activity and environmental pollution also contribute to precancerous inflammation.

In addition to inflammation, the weakening of the immune system causes the existing cancer cells become activated and attack the weakest parts of the body. NF-kappa-B cells immediately fight cancer cells, but the excessively weakened immune system fails to prevent destruction of the cancer cells. Prof. Albert Baldwin of the University of North Carolina published an article in “Science,” which shows that substances found in green tea and red wine (from grape skins and grape seeds) -epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) and resveratrol, respectively – are potent cancer-fighting ingredients. The pharmaceutical industry is working to produce synthetic substances to combat cancer, ninstead of using those already found in nature.

There are specific substances, resulting in the formation of the blood vessels which promote the development of a tumor. Dr. Servan-Schreiber states that drugs used to inhibit the growth of cancer, such as Avastin, are ineffective without activiating supplements. Other active substances are also found in mushrooms, green tea, certain vegetables and fruit, and cetain herbs.

The gene myth, Insulin-like Growth Factor (IGF) and cancer growth

The official news very frequently explain that the main source of cancer are inherited through genes. These assertions are contrary to many proven scientific facts. In Denmark, where an accurate record of the impact of genes on disease emergence is run, records found that the effects of illness in children caused by the genes are very minimal, if the biological parents died before the 50-year of life.  A surprising finding was that the influence of genes on the formation of cancer in children adopted is somewhat larger, if the adoptive parents die before the age of 50, favoring the idea of a greater enviromental impact on cancer formation.

An important source for the formation of cancer is Insulin-like Growth Factor (IGF), which in turn has many of it’s signals and actions from refined sugars, which recently located in the vast majority of modern food products.  IGF causes the growth of cancer cells, helping them to promate tissue penetration and fueling inflammation. In a study conducted at Harvard Medical School the reults showed that women with high levels of IGF, there is a 7-fold higher incidence of breast cancer than women with low levels of IGF. Similarly, research conducted at the University of California in San Franicisco showed that in men with very high levels of IGF incidence of prostate cancer is a 9-fold higher than men with normal levels of IGF.

A abnormal increase in IGF has its origin in improprly fed animals. In the U.S. rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone) stimulates milk production in cows, but also increases the production of fat cells and cancer cells.


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