Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Spring Cleaning: how to avoid potentially deadly hantavirus infection

Thursday, April 13th, 2017

By Catherine Haug, April 13, 2017

Yesterday’s Daily Inter Lake had an interesting piece by Kathryn Houghton, titled “Spring Cleaning. Officials: Rats carrying hantavirus can be deadly.” (1) This caught my eye because it’s time to clean out my garage from all the salty dirt brought in on my car’s tires, and also to sort through my old moving boxes (after moving them from storage in Portland) for my enameled cookware.

You can read the complete article at reference (1) below, but here are the highlights.

  • Rodents (not just rats) carry the virus.
  • Montana has one of the highest rates of infection in the US. About 25% of Montana’s cases have resulted in death.
  • The virus is spread in dusty air; sweeping, vacuuming and other cleaning activities can stir up dust infected by saliva, urine or droppings from infected rodents.
  • Symptoms include: fatigue, fever, muscle aches early in the cycle. As the pulmonary disease progresses, symptoms will include coughing and extreme shortness of breath.
  • Precautions: see below.

(more…)

Roundup, Paraquat herbicides lead to liver disease and Parkinson’s

Tuesday, February 7th, 2017

By Catherine Haug, February 7, 2017

If you regularly eat processed foods (boxed, bagged, dried, fried, canned or frozen), or meats, dairy and eggs from livestock not raised Organically, you may have a risk for these diseases: (1)

  •  NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease), which can lead to cirrhosis and increases likelihood of diabetes, heart attacks and strokes (from exposure to Roundup, (13))
  • Parkinson’s disease (from exposure to Paraquat, (2)).

This is another reason to avoid GMO foods. Read on for more. (more…)

A healthy – and healthful – garden/landscape

Saturday, January 21st, 2017

Veggie Landscape Garden

By Catherine Haug, Jan 21, 2017 (photo, right, from Mercola (2))

I am viewing the online docu-series: The Truth About Cancer, by Ty Bollinger, and I’m picking up on a few of garden/landscape tips that yield healthy plants and a healthier you when you eat them.

One of the things I’ve learned from this series is that cancer cells have more insulin receptors (that initiate take-up of sugar from the blood) than normal cells, and that cancer cells get their energy (life) from only two sources: sugar and glutamine (amino acid). So if you want to protect yourself from cancer or slow tumor growth, avoid sugar.

However, that doesn’t mean to avoid whole-food sources of sugar such as fruits and vegetables, because in whole-food form, the sugar is part of a larger matrix of fiber, antioxidants, and other phytochemicals that protect you. (Caveat #1: fruit juices don’t provide this protection because the matrix is broken, so eat your fruits whole; caveat #2: those fruits and veggies should be organically grown for maximum benefit).

But I digress. The purpose of this posting is to collect gardening and landscaping tips. I will update this posting as I learn more. (more…)

What is a microbiome and why it is important

Monday, December 12th, 2016

Bars of Snowbunny Soap

by Catherine Haug, December 11, 2016 (Photo of handmade soap, right, by Kathy Mansfield from her ESP presentation, Making Soap at Home)

Often when I mention the microbiome in conversation, people ask me what it is. So I figure our readers might like to know more about it. It is an ecological community of microbes – microscopic species – that share climatic or environmental conditions in which they live; a sort-of mini-ecosystem. These species include bacteria, fungi and viruses. (1)

A  hot topic in health news these days is the human microbiome, which usually refers to the microbes in the gut, but all parts of our bodies each have their own microbiome, including our skin and our eyes. These communities include both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ microbes; even the ‘bad’ or pathogenic microbes have beneficial effects for our health, when kept in balance. (1)

The important take-away is that we, as humans, would not survive without our microbiome. They provide our initial immune response, make vital enzymes, play a role in our psychological health and so much more yet to be understood. (more…)

14 Uses for Castor Oil at Home

Saturday, October 8th, 2016
Scott & Bowne's 'Palatable Castor Oil' advertisement

Scott & Bowne’s ‘Palatable Castor Oil’ advertisement

By Catherine Haug, October 8, 2016 (image, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

In the 19th century, castor oil was a common remedy in American homes (see old advertisement, right), but its use has fallen out of favor, perhaps in part because people have become aware of the notorious killer, ricin (which comes from castor seeds but is not present in the pressed oil). The FDA has categorized the oil as  “generally recognized as safe and effective” (GRASE) for over-the-counter use as a laxative (4).

Mercola (1) suggests we all should keep a bottle of castor oil at home (1). Most uses of this oil are topical (on skin and hair), but it is also used internally to treat constipation. It is advisable to keep it out of reach of small children.

Carcinogenic chemical found in Flathead and Missoula Counties’ drinking water

Saturday, September 24th, 2016

By Catherine Haug, Sept 24, 2016

This is a critical issue, and I just learned about it from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) (1). See also their interactive map (2):

  • Counties in various shades of yellow, green, blue and black were found to be positive for the toxic chemical Chromium-6.* These include Flathead and Missoula counties.** A total of 1,370 U.S. counties had an average level of chromium-6 exceeding California’s non-binding public health goal of 1 ppb. (see below).
  • Counties in gray have not been tested.

If you saw the 2000 movie “Erin Brockovich” (played by Julia Roberts), then you know about chromium-6, because that is the deadly chemical she fought to expose. And Erin has not given up the fight; see EWG article (1). This carcinogen has been found in tap water of more than 200 million Americans.

If you wish to take action on this, sign the online petition to the EPA (5)

*NOTE: Chromium-6 is not the same as Chromium-3, which is considered by some to be an essential nutrient for humans.

** Flathead Co. testing was only Kalispell Municipal drinking water; Missoula Co. testing was only Mountain Water Company.  (However, our levels are below California’s limit goal of 1 ppb). (more…)