Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Vinegar of The Four Thieves recipe

Inspired by Better Basics for the Home, by Annie B. Bond (Three Rivers Press, 1999).

During the time of the Black Plague a family of perfumers robbed the dead. As perfumers they knew well the antiseptic essential oils, and they infused them in vinegar and rubbed them on their bodies; by doing so they protected themselves from certain death. The doctors of the time used the same herbs and essential oils to to protect themselves while tending so many who were contagious. They wore big cloaks over their heads that reached down well below their shoulders. Attached to the cloak over the nose and mouth was a 10” long canoe-like shaped beak full of antiseptic herbs and essential oils.

Place a small handful each of dried lavender, rosemary, sage, rue and mint in a large jar, and cover completely with organic apple cider vinegar. Cover tightly and set for six weeks. Strain into a spray bottle. Whereas no home
can be made to be sterile, spray the powerfully antiseptic Vinegar of Four Thieves recipe in areas of concern, such as on cutting boards and door knobs, always making sure to avoid your eyes.

Cleaning and Storing Wool

Clean woolen items before storing.

To wet clean wool: The key to not shrinking wool is to never twist it, agitate it, or wring it out. Gently swirl the wool in the water, then rinse and press the water out. Wool is an acidic material, so use a shampoo with its acidic pH. Or an acideic detergent. Any soap or detergent with a pH above 8 will harm wool. To lower the pH of a soap or detergent, add 1 tablespoon of white distilled vinegar or lemon juice before washing. Water temperature when washing wool should be around 100 F. Block wool -- lay it flat and shape it -- before drying.

Natural Moth Balls (Repellent Sachets): These sachets are lovely to tuck into sweater drawers and hang in closets. Most health food stores sell bulk dried herbs.

2 ounces each of dried rosemary and mint
1 ounce each of dried thyme and ginseng
8 ounces of whole cloves

Combine the ingredients in a large bowl. Blend. Make sachets by choosing a 4 x 4 inch piece of natural fiber with a tight weave, such as silk. Sew three sides together, then fill with the herbs and sew the fourth side shut. You can adapt this pattern to any size you want (2 x 2 is the traditional size for the undergarments drawer, for example). A good idea for small sachets is to fill cotton teabags sold for making your own tea (these are often sold in health food stores). If you are really in a rush, just tie the herbs up in a cotton bandana or handkerchief; place the herbs in the middle, gather the edges together, and tie with a ribbon.

Variation: Other herbs that are good for repelling moths include lavender, lemon, sweet woodruff, and tansy.

4. Completely seal clean woolen items in bags, boxes, and chests. Cedar chests help repel moths, but they must be sealed.

5. If you see moths, freeze the item of clothing for two days in the freezer.

Wool Moth Spray
If you have wool moths already, the best spray is to make one of neem oil, adding 1/4 cup of neem oil to 1/2 gallon water, with a dab of liquid castile soap, in a spray bottle.

Annie Berthold-Bond

Drugs and Grapefruit Juice

You've probably heard that grapefruit juice shouldn't be taken with medications because a chemical quirk in the juice boosts the potency of certain drugs, increasing the risk of a dangerous overdose.

It appears that grapefruit juice impedes an enzyme that plays a key role in metabolizing some drugs. When the effect of the enzyme is derailed, more of a drug's active ingredient reaches the bloodstream.

The enzyme - known as CYP 3A4 - may also be affected by apple juice, lime juice and orange juice made from Seville oranges. These juices should also be avoided with cholesterol lowering statin drugs (such as Lipitor), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (such as Prozac) and, as mentioned above, drugs that manage blood pressure.

Researchers note that the effect grapefruit juice has on specific drugs may vary from patient to patient.
( taken from HSI)


--Researchers have found that the cerebral spinal fluid of suicide victims have low levels of magnesium. Clinicians find that most of their depressed patients are low in magnesium.

-- Low zinc is associated with depression.

--Go to this site to read about people who were on antidepressants and/or were switching their doses and the effect it had on them.

--Omega 3 and B vitamins are very important for mental health.

--Finding Omega-3 supplements: preferred cod liver oil is from Nordic Naturals. [I'm not sure what the best Cod liver oil is]. If the thought of cod liver oil or fish oil makes you gag, look for a gel cap form. Dr Andrew Stoll recommends about 4 grams of EPA for depression.

--Finding B-vitamin supplements: Brewer’s Yeast enriched with B-vitamins is a very good B-vitamin supplement. You might take about double the recommended levels for a couple of weeks. If you find yourself reorganizing the cupboards at midnight, you’ve taken too much. Brewer’s Yeast can give you some energy, but you need your sleep more than your cupboards need reorganizing. Ask someone at your local independent health food store for their recommendation on a B-complex vitamin for you. [The best source of B-vitamin is actually liver. You can buy desiccated Liver tablets if you don't like liver.] I mentioned the Brewer’s Yeast above because that is the most palatable choice for most people. Another path to B-vitamins is through eating liver. When I eat liver about three times a week, I have a great boost of energy, I am able to handle stress, and the many life stresses do not upset me as much as they normally would. [Liver from pastured animals is best.]

---This information was taken from many sources, unfortunately I don’t remember where from.

Autism, Raw Milk, etc.

The major reason why autistic children need to avoid milk is because it is pasteurized. The pasteurization process turns casein into a very dangerous molecule that can further precipitate the brain injury. If the children are fed real raw milk this will not occur.
Even heating milk above 100 degrees to make yogurt causes protein cross-linking where amino acids become fused together. Poor lysine really goes through a beating!

It is commonly known that raw milk will sour, but pasteurized milk will putrefy. The idea that putrefaction of the stools causes disease (i.e. intestinal autointoxication) originated with physicians in ancient Egypt (Chen and Chen 1989). The toxic process, however, was reversed by the consumption of lactic acid-producing bacteria that changed the colonic microflora and prevented proteolysis (Chen and Chen 1989).

Autointoxication is an ancient theory based on the belief that intestinal waste products can poison the body and are a major contributor to many, if not all, diseases (Ernst 1997). By ancient tradition, lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are involved in the production of fermented foods. German scientists found that foods rich in LAB constitute one quarter of the German diet and are characterized by a safe history, certain beneficial health effects, and an extended shelf life when compared with raw materials (Hammes and Tichaczek 1994).

--I'm not sure where I got this information, possibly HSI or Body Ecology.


The Amazing Health Benefits of Parsley, or, "Hey, I Shouldn't Be Just a Table Garnish!"
excerpted from:

Parsley is an easy-to-use, incredibly flavorful, nutrition powerhouse, yet, unfortunately, it often gets regarded as a "throw-away" garnish on dinner plates. Derived from the Greek word meaning "rock celery" (because it's related to celery), parsley has been cultivated for 2,000 years, and was used medicinally long before that.

Aside from adding a burst of fresh flavor to soups, vegetables, meats and a host of other dishes, parsley is full of valuable nutrients that have proven health benefits.

Parsley's Many Health-Giving Properties

Parsley contains three times as much vitamin C as oranges, and twice as much iron as spinach. It's an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A and folate, as well. But parsley's nutrition advantages do not end there.

For a quick look at parley's major nutrients (based on two tablespoons, which has only 2.7 calories!), check out the chart below, then keep reading to find out about more of parsley's healthy benefits.

Nutrient Amount % Daily Value Rating*
Vitamin K 123.00 mcg 153.8 Excellent
Vitamin C 9.97 mg 16.6 Excellent
Vitamin A 631.80 IU 12.6 Excellent
Folate (folic acid) 11.40 mcg 2.9 Good
Iron 0.46 mg 2.6 Good

* Based on nutrient density and daily value.

Fights cancer. Parsley contains volatile oils that have been found to inhibit tumor formation in animal studies, particularly those in the lungs. The oils are not only cancer-fighting, they're also known to neutralize carcinogens including those found in cigarette smoke and charcoal grill smoke. Parsley also contains folic acid, which has been found to help prevent colon and cervical cancers.

Antioxidant-rich. Parsley contains beneficial antioxidant compounds called flavonoids. These compounds combine with oxygen-containing molecules and help prevent oxygen-based damage to cells. Parsley extracts have also been found to increase the antioxidant capacity of the blood in animal studies.

Good for the heart. The folic acid in parsley is a critical nutrient in cardiovascular health. Specifically, folic acid helps convert potentially dangerous homocysteine into harmless molecules, a process that protects blood vessels and reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Protects against rheumatoid arthritis. A study published in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases found that people who ate the least amount of vitamin-C-rich foods (like parsley) had a three times greater chance of developing rheumatoid arthritis than those who ate the most.

How to Use Parsley

As you can see from the chart above, it only takes two tablespoons of parsley to yield a host of health benefits (but you can use as much as you like!). Fresh parsley is always more flavorful than the dried variety, so if you can get it, always use fresh. Generally, the flat version tends to have a more intense flavor than the curly-leaf variety, but pick the type that appeals to you the most.

Simply wash the parsley, chop it up and sprinkle it into your favorite dishes, from soups and salads to fish and meat dishes. Or, check out the tasty recipe below for a parsley sauce that works great on lamb, fish and chicken.

Garlic, Lemon & Parsley Dressing


  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped or pressed
  • 6 tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 6 tbsp. fresh breadcrumbs
  • 6 tbsp. softened butter
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper


  1. Make a smooth paste of the garlic, parsley, breadcrumbs, butter and lemon juice
  2. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Spread the sauce on the desired entrée near the end of the cooking time (in the last hour for meat) and return to oven.


The World's Healthiest Foods

High Fructose Corn Syrup

"I will remind you all, Snapple also claims to 'have the best stuff on Earth' in their brand ... If the 'best stuff' includes harmful high intensity sweeteners, High Fructose Corn Syrup, that is NOT fruit sugar, or sugars, nor metabolized as such, and is a leading ingredient linked to cardio vascular disease, diabetes, hypoglycemia, some forms of cancer, and obesity, then 'best' has a whole knew meaning I was never taught."

--comment on a site

How Not to Blow Yourself up at the Gas Station

In the past, you may have heard about cars blowing up at gas stations, allegedly because the consumers pumping gas were using their cellular phones.

For once, however, mobiles probably aren't the real cause of at least 150 fires at gas stations, according to the American Petroleum Institute.

The real culprit: Static electricity that builds up in the body, especially when a person leaves the gas pump and returns to their warm car while waiting for the pump to finish fueling their car.

After returning to the pump, that built-up static electricity on your body, created from rubbing against cloth seats and carpeting, may discharge when you touch it, creating a flash fire from gasoline refueling vapors.

But with sub-zero temperatures still a problem in the Northern Hemisphere, you probably don't want to stand in the cold waiting for your gas tank to fill up either. Some common sense tips from the American Society of Safety Engineers to protect you and your car from static electricity:

  • Turn off your car's engine while refueling it.
  • Don't "top off" your gas tank, as that will cause spillage.
  • When filling a safe gas container, place it on the ground.
  • If you must return to your car while filling the gas tank, always be sure to touch a metal part of your car away from the tank (reducing the buildup of static electricity) before coming back to the refueling area.
--Valvoline Car Care

"Interviewing" Your Surgeon

So take your time "interviewing" your surgeon with the following top questions so you feel certain that the procedure and the surgeon are right for you.

  1. How will the surgery be performed? (Ask him or her to draw you a diagram, if you like.)

  2. Is there more than one way of performing the procedure?

  3. Are there alternatives to the surgical procedure?

  4. What are the benefits of the surgery?

  5. What are the risks of the surgery?

  6. If I opt NOT to have the procedure, what are the risks/benefits?

  7. What is the expected outcome of the surgery?

  8. How many of this (or similar) surgery do you perform each year? (A good indicator of experience and ability)

  9. What kind of anesthesia will be used? (And what are the risks/benefits of it?)

  10. Will I meet with an anesthesiologist before surgery?

  11. Will my heart rate and breathing be monitored during the surgery (and is anything else monitored)?

  1. At which hospital will the surgery be performed?

  2. How often is this procedure performed at that hospital, and what is the success rate? (Studies show that patients do better in hospitals that have experience with the procedure.)

  3. How long will I be in the hospital?

  4. Is there a 24-hour recovery room in the hospital (or, where will I recover in the hospital)?

  5. What are the qualifications of the staff in the recovery room?

  6. What are my options for pain control after the surgery?

  7. How long will it take me to recover?

  8. What will the procedure cost, and is it covered by my insurance?

  9. What about a second opinion? (Getting a second opinion is fairly common before an elective surgical procedure is performed.)

  10. Will you please mark the location of the surgery on my body ahead of time? (This helps to ensure that the wrong site is not operated on, which does, fairly rarely, sometimes happen.)

--I think this is from six-wise

Seven Nutrients Many Americans are Lacking


1. Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects your cells from damaging free radicals, may protect against cancer and Alzheimer's disease, helps your cells to communicate effectively and helps to boost your immune system. However, up to 93 percent of Americans are not getting enough.

  • Excellent Food Sources: Mustard greens, Swiss chard, sunflower seeds (raw, preferably), turnip greens, almonds, spinach, papaya and olives

2. Vitamin C

Over 30 percent of Americans are not getting enough vitamin C, which is crucial for boosting your immune system, helping wounds heal, protecting against cancer and fighting against free radical damage.

  • Excellent Food Sources: Red bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, parsley, lemon juice, strawberries, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cantaloupe, and grapefruit

3. Fiber

Fiber helps to support bowel regularity, maintain normal cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and may help you maintain a healthy weight by staving off hunger. However, upwards of 96 percent of Americans are not getting enough.

  • How Much You Should be Getting Daily: For Americans aged 19-50, 38 g for men, 25 g for women

  • Excellent Food Sources: Turnip greens, raspberries, broccoli, Swiss chard, raw celery, kidney and pinto beans, squash, strawberries and asparagus

4. Magnesium

About 56 percent of Americans are lacking in magnesium, a nutrient that is essential to build and strengthen your bones, keep your blood circulating smoothly, support your heart health and help your nerves and muscles to relax.

  • How Much You Should be Getting Daily: For Americans aged 31 years and up, 420 mg for men, 320 mg for women

  • Excellent Food Sources: Swiss chard, spinach, squash, pumpkin seeds, cucumbers, sunflower seeds, black beans and navy beans

5. Vitamin A

Vitamin A helps to preserve and improve your eyesight, promotes healthy skin and boosts your immune function, but about 44 percent of Americans aren't getting enough.

  • Excellent Food Sources: Raw carrots(some of these are not vit.A), calf's liver, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, apricots, red bell peppers, cod liver oil [you can only get true vitamin A from animal/fish sources]

6. Calcium

About 70 percent of Americans don't get enough calcium, which helps maintain strong bones, supports nerve and muscle function, and may help maintain normal blood pressure.

  • How Much You Should be Getting Daily: Americans aged 19-50, 1,000 mg. Those over 50, 1,200 mg

  • Excellent Food Sources: Yogurt, sesame seeds, milk, spinach, greens (mustard, turnip and collard), broccoli, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, asparagus, oranges

7. Potassium

Potassium helps your nerves and muscles function properly, maintains normal blood pressure and helps regulate body fluids, yet 97 percent of Americans aren't getting enough.

  • How Much You Should be Getting Daily: For Americans aged 19 and up, 4,700 mg

  • Excellent Food Sources: Swiss chard, spinach, crimini mushrooms, lima beans, avocado, pinto beans, papaya, lentils, eggplant, beets, strawberries


Refined sugar is, of course, a poison and detected as a toxin within the body. This causes an autoimmune response and depletes the immune system. The rise in blood sugar levels causes the pancreas to release insulin and this stays in the blood stream long after blood sugar levels are normalised. The insulin prevents proper function of the spleen and release of growth hormone, both integral parts of the immune system. Refined sugar is, therefore, a double edged sword. Any naturally occurring sweetener would have to be a better choice and let's face it, not everybody has a perfect diet. --from a reader's comment on a Mercola article

Alternatives to refined (white) sugar:

raw honey
100% maple syrup
green stevia (this is an herb) and some say Zylitol
unsulferred blackstrap molasses
dates and raisins or fruit
never splenda, aspartame, high fructose corn syrup or any other fake sugar


(I can't remember where I found this)
teflon-coated aluminum contains perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA),

In animal studies, PFOA posed health hazards like:

  • Serious changes in organs including the brain, prostate, liver, thymus, and kidneys, showing toxicity.

  • Death of several rat pups that were exposed to PFOA.

  • Changes in the pituitary in female rats, at all doses. The pituitary controls growth, reproduction, and many metabolic functions. Changes in the size of the pituitary are considered an indication of toxicity.

  • PFOA has been associated with tumors in at least four different organs in animal tests, and has been implicated in an increase in prostate cancer in PFOA plant workers. 5


"I agree 100% that exercise is one piece to the healing and prevention puzzle. I have found as well that most of my clients that have breast cancer in their family, are worried or get it, are estrogen dominant. This can mean high levels, but as well normal levels of estrogens. Estrogen dominance means that one has low levels of progesterone in order to oppose estrogen.

"Estrogen caused cell proliferation and cell growth. Estrogen dominance in this day and age in my opinion comes from many places, but the most common are:

"1. Plastic water bottles and containers contain xenoestrogens.

"2. Stress causes the body to steal pregnenolone (precursor to progesterone) from the metabolic pathways in order to keep up with the production of cortisol. This leads to adrenal issues and low progesterone levels.

"3. Most hygiene products, perfumes, etc will cause estrogen levels to increase, as well as make a women's hormones go haywire.

"4. The pill causes most women's hormones to go haywire. Most have synthetic estrogens in them, which cause adrenal stress, as well as add to estrogen dominance.

"5. Soy, and this is a whole discussion topic in itself."

[6. Pesticides!]

--from a post on a forum(?)


From Body Ecology: we prefer milk kefir to yogurt because it is more potent.
Kefir has more live microflora and unlike yogurt, kefir has beneficial yeast.

Choose Milk Kefir if You Want:

  • Smoothies - thick and rich, you can add stevia and sour fruits, like blueberries or cranberries for a delicious morning smoothie.
  • To boost your mood - milk kefir is the 'feel good' drink because it boosts serotonin levels in your brain, which in turn boosts your mood!
  • A good source of biotin, vitamin B12, thiamine (B1), folic acid, calcium and phosphorous.
  • A source of dairy that is easier to digest.
  • To coat your intestinal lining, making it easier for benefical bacteria to thrive in your intestines.[Some say the kefir bacteria won't survive the stomach acid unless it is in a specially coated pill form. If this is the case a kefir enema (lukewarm water with some kefir in it)would be the best way to repopulate the gut--my comment]
  • To cool your body, especially if you have a fever or any condition resulting in body heat, like a herpes outbreak or AIDS.
  • Kefir is a very popular breakfast in Russia and Poland in the hot months of summer because it is a cooling beverage.

Anti-bacterial soaps

In 2004, Americans spent more than $540 million on anti-bacterial hand cleaners, soaps and detergents that contain chemicals such as triclosan to kill germs, even though a Food and Drug Administration panel found that they are no better than soap and water.

Triclosan mimics thyroid hormone, is commonly added to soaps, toothpaste, deodorant, dog shampoo, cutting boards, clothing, toys and other anti-bacterial products, and is turning up in fish, breast milk and wastewater. A recent study has shown it's enough to disrupt thyroid function in frogs. Equivalent data on humans isn't yet available.

By the way, anti-bacterial soaps don't prevent colds or flu, which are associated with viruses, not bacteria. (3)
News From Dr. Van Ness