Monday, November 9, 2015

The End of Pollution

Imagine putting a little devise on the tail pipe of your car or the smoke stack of coal burning plant  or gas vents used in refineries and all the pollutants are broken down into their atomic elements of Carbon, oxygen etc.  This would be a game changer on the face of planet earth.  

A gentleman named David G Yurth has created such a device and it is in the patenting process currently. His company is in the process of testing this device in its prototype form. The device is called a "Corona Discharge CO2 Gas Plasma Dissociation Module". You can see a photo of it at his webiste. I listened to him speak for a couple hours on this device and other inventions of his. The guy has an amazing mind and it sounds like he really may have come up with an answer to much of our pollutants. 

This proprietary plasma generating device has high speed switching units that create a fracturing field inside a pulsating chamber located within the exhaust system. The fracturing field dissociates carbon dioxide and other pollutants inside the device. The pollution never leaves the automobile or the building.

 He says this device can be fitted to every internal combustion engine and adopted to many other uses. His current testing is on automobiles and equipment with combustion engines.

As he was talking, I realized this was a big game changer and there are many companies and governments making money on the the new carbon credit/tax system implemented on the planet.  I had to wonder if folks making money on pollution will be fighting this guy. Sounds crazy right, but big business does not like you to stop them in their tracks. Any time a radical new invention comes out, it shuts down whole sectors of industry and those sectors do not go down without a fight. Some inventors have even been known to disappear or end up dead even. The interviewer brought up these questions of the David. David said he knows he is upsetting the apple cart.  He said he realized he and his company would be making some powerful enemies and has went about this process slowly and methodically. He thinks he has protected himself and the invention to some degree by his well thought out activities and connections in various industries. He feels this project will go forward. 

There is a good write-up on this subject at NewsWire.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Gut Flora, What Do We Really Need to Know?

By now we all know that the genome studies identified 90% of the DNA that makes up our bodies is not ours and actually belongs to bacteria, viruses, fungus, and unknowns. This has lead to an amazing amount of research on the microbes in and on our body over the last several years. 

When I was a fledgling Naturopathic student learning about gut microbes back in the late 80's no one paid any attention to them but us. We were ridiculed in fact by main-stream medicine. Over the years, many people started using live cultured yogurt and other fermented products. You knew it had went mainstream when a lot of companies jumped on the band-wagon and started selling pretend yogurt with no live cultures. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of those. (If you want to see if you are buying live yogurt, simply try to make your own yogurt with it as a culture starter and see if it grows.) Anyway, yogurt was just a beginning as there has been a whole fermented food movement going on for many years. Finally, research and main-stream medicine has caught up with the rest of us hard-core food fermenters. They are finding out that supporting good digestive flora supports general health and protects you from disease.

The really funny thing is that just a couple of generations ago, everyone fermented food. It was just what you did. My Dad remembers when he was a kid, they fermented both vegetables and meat in his household. He said the meat did not taste so great, but it got them through some hard winters. He remembers loving the home made sauerkraut. We traded fermented food in for canned food and we really made a mistake when we did that. We lost the food nutrients to high temperatures and lost all the good gut flora.

Research is proving that having a large amount of gut flora and a great variety of  "good" gut flora helps not only keep the "bad" gut flora at bay, but it also keeps you healthy in general. Gut flora are being researched for everything from depression to healthy skin. 

Let  me make this whole avalanche of research easy for you. We can skip  reading all of it and simply support our digestion by eating live fermented foods/drinks every day. Eat and drink a variety of them. This could be yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, cheese, kvass, kombucha, kefir, or many other types of fermented foods and drink. You can make them yourselves easily or find them at a health food store. If you buy them, just make sure it has LIVE BUGS in it. Make sure it is not sterilized in any way or the microbes will be dead. If you do this, you will be supporting not just great digestive capacity but also your entire body that depends on your digestion for its nourishment. Additionally, when your gut microbes are happy and healthy, for some reason the microbes in the rest of your body play nicer with everyone and you feel better overall.  

By the way, you can feed them to your animals too. I have fed goats, chickens, dogs and cats live cultured foods. My dog eats live cultured food once or twice each day.

Now one more thing you can do besides supplying "good" flora to your gut, is to support the flora already there. This can be done by increasing your intake of prebiotics which are basically different types of fiber. Water soluble fiber is best. You can spend a lot of money at the store on things like inulin and pectin in capsules or simply make sure you are getting pectin in the form of fruit such as an apple with the skin on. (Not all fruit has a lot of pectin in it.) Rather than buying the gut prebiotic inulin that is in most prebiotics, just dig up a dandelion root, jerusalem artichoke root or burdock and eat the root. Some other examples of water soluble fiber are flax seeds, funugreek seeds, marshmallow root, and psyllium seed (use seed, not husk). Don't over do it. A little is enough and make sure you drink plenty of water with that water soluble fiber. They will act to soften your bowel movements if you drink them with water. However, if you don't get enough water with it, you can get the opposite effect and end up with constipation.

A lot less people would be going to see their doctor if they simply ate fermented food with all their meals and tossed out their packaged, prepared foods.

Now I have to admit, I am still going to read the gut flora research as I am fascinated by it, but in reality it is just mental masturbation. I am really not going to learn to do anything differently than our ancestors have done through-out antiquity. I may share some of the really interesting research with you just for fun.

If you have any questions about supporting gut flora or comments, let me know.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Seriously Learning About Herbs

I have so many people ask me where they can get a serious education about herbal medicine. There are many people such as myself who offer classes from time to time, but for a long term commitment at a certified school,  Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism  is the place I send folks to.

A friend my mine, named Paul Bergner established this learning center back in 2003. In 2012, Lisa Ganora took over its leadership. The name has changed over the years which has been confusing for people. When Paul owned it, the name was North American Institute of Medical Herbalism. Now it is called The Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism. The one thing that has not changed over the years, is the schools dedication to training new herbalists. The students leave the school with a good basic education in medical herbalism.

The  Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism offers introductory, advanced and clinical training in western herbalism and integrated nutrition in the Vitalist tradition. Their certificate programs include
Fundamentals of Medical Herbalism, Advanced Herbalism, Clinical Herbalism, Nutrition and Flower Essences.

The school's clinic serves the community while training new herbalists to use the knowledge they have learned in a real life situation. Each certified herbalist at Evergreen Center Clinic has had at least 870 classroom hours by the time they reach the clinic.

If you are seeking a serious herbal education, I whole heartedly recommend you visit this school.

Purveyors of fine herbal products

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Why Mosquitoes Like Some People Better Than Others

Do You Smell Good to A Mosquito?
We have known for some time that mosquitoes are attracted to the CO2 we breath out. However, more recently studies have been examining the mosquitoes attraction to how we smelll. It turns out mosquitoes think some folks smell better than others.

None of us like getting bitten by mosquitoes. However, it becomes really important if you live in an area with malaria. So, researchers are trying to figure out how to make people smell bad to a mosquito.

HLA Genes
It turns out that human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genes are involved in regulation of human body odor. So, HLA genes were studied and it was discovered that those with HLA gene Cw.07 are more attractive to mosquitoes. The same research looking at the genes also looked at the scents that were associated with these people and found out that limonene, 2-phenylethanol and 2-ethyl-1-hexanol were associated with individuals that were not very attractive to the mosquitoes while  lactic acid, 2-methylbutanoic acid, tetradecanoic acid and octanal was very attractive to the mosquitoes. 

The fact that the people repelling the mosquitoes had a limonene component in their scent is no surprise since limonene containing essential oils are used as mosquito repellants. There are various research experiments showing limonene containing herbs as effective for use as  insect repellents.

The Skin Microflora Changes How Mosquitoes React to You
Now where it became really interesting to me as a person fascinated with all the bugs that live on and in our body, is the research looking at human skin microbiota and how the scent from the microflora on our skin is more or less attractive to the mosquitoes

It turns out that the people most attractive to the mosquitoes are the people with a high number of skin bacteria but lower diversity of bacteria on the skin. Those with more microbial diversity were less attractive. 

They even looked at which bacteria were more or less attractive to the mosquitoes. The mosquitoes seemed to like the smell of Staphylococcus epidermidis. People with a higher amount of Pseudomonas spp. or Variovorax spp. and had greater overall diversity were less attractive to mosquitoes.

This means in the not so distant future, you might be spraying bacteria over your skin when in a mosquito infested area. There is already bacteria skin (Nitrosomonas eutropha) spray that is being used to decrease body odor. Soon, there will be one to repel mosquitoes.