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Aug
02

Making Herbal Medicines, My New Hobby

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 "I'm in the basement mixing up the medicine..." - Bob Dylan  Plant medicines in the form of herbal tinctures have gradually become an important part of my naturopathic practice that always and still centres on homeopathy. It is truly incredible the amount of scientific research into plant medicines in the last thirty years. Researching and applying this I've created a variety of formulations that have great clinical value. Generally, I buy the tinctures from several Canadian manufacturers, but my studies to improve the formulations has began turning up plants that I couldn't find in tincture form. Searching here and there I was able to source a number of these in certified organic dry form and began creating my own tinctures late last year. Some come from a grower in Thailand, some from suppliers out east or in the States. Recently, I began to expand the project to include some of the...

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Aug
15

My Berry Confession

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I am, among other things, a rabid lover of berries and my walking companions can find it a little annoying when I’m suddenly distracted by a stand of one species or another.  Of course, I am not above picking all manner of fruit when they present themselves along a lane or pathway. This particularly refers to the fig trees in the neighbourhood and the yellow plum tree on the street nearby.  However, it’s really the berries that excite me above all.  I think about how hunter’s and fisherman have to wait and wait.  Perhaps it was different in the days when fish and some species of birds and animals were abundant.  The natives of the prairies probably had jokes about the guy who couldn’t hit a buffalo in a herd. (Perhaps that’s why in this incarnation I stick to berries!) In the meantime, we berry pickers revel in abundance…at least for...

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Aug
16

The Quality of Natural Products

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In the U.S., reports emerge periodically indicating that herbal products are not to be trusted. When products have been tested from American chain drug stores, such as CVS, they are sometimes found to contain far less, if any of the labelled ingredients. These reports tend to cast a rather cynical shadow across the industry as a whole, but this is altogether mistaken. There are many companies in the natural products sector competing for market share and industry respect.  One way this is done is by incorporating advanced technologies and methods to ensure the quality and character of their end product. Ingredients that are particularly hot in the marketplace, such as curcumin (derived from turmeric), have companies virtually tumbling over each other to create ever more absorbable forms or cutting-edge formulations. In the last few years, I’ve had the opportunity to visit two herbal/natural product research laboratories and several natural product manufacturing...

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Jul
31

Choice, Fate and Aging

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It’s a wry fact that many of those who have been most vocal about best health practices have suffered the indignity of a relatively early death from seemingly preventable causes, sometimes the very diseases they said you could prevent by following their approach. It’s an interesting study and a little spooky for the fact that we’re reminded that the matter of health is not so simple as eating a great diet, the best supplements, exercise, etc.   Health Gurus who had untimely deaths: https://www.mnn.com/food/healthy-eating/stories/7-diet-gurus-who-died-of-poor-health https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/09/opinion/sunday/longevity-pritikin-atkins.html https://www.healthline.com/health/food-nutrition/deaths-of-fitness-diet-gurus#gypsy-boots) George Ohsawa, the founder of macrobiotics died of a heart attack at 74.  Jim Fixx, one of the foremost writers and exponents of the health and longevity benefits of running, died of a heart attack at 52, while running. Then there are those who are simply taken by ill-fate. Arnold Ehret, the famous founder of the Grape Diet and the Mucusless Healing System in the early...

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