I have always wanted to visit an indigenous culture or at least a place that used to be home to an indigenous culture. What I mean by that it is
a place that was isolated and lived by its own rules. A place that had a specialized diet.
As you know I’m a fan of the teachings of Weston price, and most of his studies were done in Eastern Europe. As I’ve grown older I haven’t been able to travel as much as I used to. My age coupled with planning a whole itinerary makes always makes me put my travel plans off indefinitely. Luckily, there are many small group tour companies out there that will package an entire trip for you so you don’t have to do any of the hard work and research. Personally, my go to company is Original World, since they offer small group tours and are very affordable. I’ve always been wary of tour companies but this one seems to be highly specialized towards older travelers.
Original World offers tours to many eastern European countries, but most of them are somewhat out of the way. Since I was interested in the culture, I felt that this would be a great company to book a tour with since they seem to target a more niche audience. In any case I signed up for one of their Caucasus tours, and I was not disappointed.
The the highlights of the tour was the mixed ethnicity in the locals. This region has been invaded and conquered so many times over the years and it has many different cultures residing in it. This is great because that means the region has a rich history, especially in terms of diet. I was doing a lot of research on ancestral plants before I won on this tour, and it was great to see the actual places and me to ancestors of the people who once lived there. To to give you an idea: the region is home to many ethnic groups, like Persians, Arabs, Huns, and Russians.
This place was right up my alley. In ancient times, the culture here was highly isolated and had a unique diet – high in things like butter and raw milk. They also consumed many organ meats and were free of tooth decay. This is one of the cultures Western Price studying in his book and was fascinating to see this culture up close. I feel like I could go on all day about this tour, but I will stop there. If you haven’t quite been sold on traveling at, checkout a tour company like Original World. They have many different tours to fascinating places. This is especially true if you’re in herbalism, health, and ancient cultures.
When I was a kid I used to hate going to the dentist. I’m sure there are not many people, young or old, who like going to the dentist. But Iwas always under the impression that if you wanted to keep all of your teeth intact you should avoid the dentist. I did my best to avoid it in my adult years and i never had braces, and as it turns out, I probably did the right thing. Once I started learning about nutrition I realized that cavities are pretty much preventable. I started to follow a pretty simple protocol: try to eat how my ancestors ate and avoid certain foods that cause mineral imbalances. I try to modal my diet off of the writings of Weston Price, a dentist from the 1930s. Price conducted studies on tribal and indigenous societies throughout the world. He discovered that the real cause behind tooth decay was: 1. a lack of fat soluble vitamins and minerals in the diet, and 2. large amounts of certain foods that irritate the body and cause a mineral imbalance. His main area of focus was on comparing different diet protocols and studying the results. In his book, Nutrition & Physical Degeneration, Price compares the traditional diets of the Gaelics in the outer Hebrides to the more modernized Gaelics of that era. Take a look at this picture of 2 brothers who were from the same town but ate completely different things:
“The brother on the left had excellent teeth and the one on the right rampant caries. These boys were brothers eating at the same table. The older boy, with excellent teeth, was still enjoying primitive food of oatmeal and oatcake and sea foods with some limited dairy products. The younger boy, seen to the left, had extensive tooth decay. Many teeth were missing including two in the front. He insisted on having white bread, jam, highly sweetened coffee and also sweet chocolates. His father told me with deep concern how difficult it was for this boy to get up in the morning and go to work.”
While it it obvious that the one eating the sweets has bad teeth, the real reason why is not so clear. As it turns out, eating certain foods that are high in phytic acid actually winds up causing your body to pull minerals from your teeth, resulting in tooth decay. Wheat and most wheat products all contain high amounts of phytic acid and generally that’s what I try to avoid. The tricky part is avoiding all the sugary stuff and sticking to a specific food routine. I mostly eat meat/dairy, with a lot of vegetables and foods that have no phytic acid, like white rice. Additionally, I make sure im getting my fat soluble vitamins in the form of fatty fish oils. This helps to re-mineralize your body so your teeth will stop decaying. Cod liver oil is a supposed to be really helpful for preventing cavities. Usually I am not a big fan of supplements, but I am even less of a fan of the dentists drill. If your lazy like me and don’t want to do in depth research you can find a good comparison table here.
So that’s it. A surefire way of preventing your teeth from being damaged by a (dentists) drill. Hopefully one day my teeth will look closer to the brother on the left!
I’m sitting here drinking some raw milk, which is one of my favorite fermented foods. To clarify: yep that’s unpasteurized milk. This is the way humans drank milk before pasteurization was invented. Pasteurization was invented in 1886 to control the outbreak of dangerous bacteria that scientists believed would be transmittable to humans. It eventually discovered that the most common bovine related diseases cannot be contracted by humans drinking raw milk. However, there is still risk of human based contamination such as e coli and salmonella. That is why we still have mostly pasteurized milk in stores today.
There is another obvious commercial benefit to pasteurization: shelf life. I read an article recently that says there is an over abundance of milk being produced in the US and not enough people drinking it. This is because since the advent of pasteurization, milk production has become big business and most of the large agriculture companies produce many more gallons a year than they can sell.
Pasteurized milk is essentially milk with no bacteria in it. But the problem with this is that there is beneficial bacteria in raw milk as well as bad bacteria. They together hand in hand. The beneficial bacteria in raw milk can help boost you immune system and provides a probiotic effect that improves digestion. The obvious thing here is that the milk must be created in very clean conditions using healthy animals. The cows should be fed grass and not grains. As grass is a cows natarual diet, it will produce milk that is high in nutrients and low in bad bacteria. Grass fed cows also have a higher adundance of CLA in there milk. CLA or conjugated linoleic acid is a good fat that is helpful in muscle growth and improves weight loss. Unfortunately, pasteurized milk is produced using cows that are raised solely on a grain diet. The reason for this is that grain fed cows produce much more milk than grass fed ones. Grain fed cows are also given RBST hormone injections to further increase there milk output. The milk from RBST treated cows actually contains compounds that decease the body’s defenses against the formation of cancer cells – yikes!
With all that scary stuff in mind – who wouldn’t want to “make the switch?” I know i would. Besides.. pasteurized milk doesn’t even taste very good. this stuff tastes great! No Debate here. There is however a big debate in our country:
It seems like a back and forth between big agriculture and the small farms, like usual. A small farmer this, CDC that, you know the usual stuff. See for yourselves. But be careful though… in some states raw milk is illegal! Yep many farms caught selling it are regularly raided.
P.S: One thing i forgot to mention is that I’m a big fan of fermented foods because of how much easier they are to digest. Yes raw milk is considered a fermented food. Think yogurt, kefir etc.. all good stuff. One thing to note is that pasteurized milk has somewhat of a denatured quality to it. Some believe this is what causes lactose intolerance. This would seem to be true, to some extent, as there are many cases of people switching to raw milk and there symptoms of intolerance clear up immediately. Just some more “food” for thought.
Hello all, this is my blog about health, wellness, and alternative medicine. In it i write about my random thoughts and try practice what i have learned about various remedies and treating illnesses. I will give you all advice so you can avoid contracting degenerative diseases and paying for expensive prescription drugs. As this is my first post and i cant think of anything to write about, i thought i would just talk about one of my passions: herbalism. What is herbalism you ask? Well its quite simple: the use of plants as medicine. This form of alternative medicine has been around since the stone age and it still widely practiced today. about 30% of prescription medications use herbs in them as their base ingredient. For example: over the counter aspirin is made from salicylic acid which comes from willow tree bark. Although herbalism isn’t very popular in the west, it is still widely used in Asia and other poor countries were people live below the poverty line and cannot afford expensive prescription drugs. It is most widely practiced in India, which actually has a governmental body that oversees the distribution and use of herbal medicine. The most well know practiioners of herbalism are the native americans. The various tribes together had knowledge of over 3000 different species of plants. The tribal healer was known as a shaman who had special powers. The medicine that the shamans provided were said to have specials powers to heal the spirit.
The most common way herbal remedies are administered is by the use of tisane teas. The herb is boiled and sometimes has to be diluted to a certain extent. These tisanes are made using various methods, such as: infusion, steeping, decoction, and maceration.
The more powerful type of herbal remedies are called tinctures. Tinctures are basically ethanol and the plant mixed together. Tinctures can prepared as liquid or dry type extracts. Some modern day herbalist use other things like maple syrup instead of ethanol as a base. The type of base liquid used is important because it has an effect on the herbal extraction.
Topical herbs are less commons but still useful. These are called “essential” because they carry the scent of the plant inside them. Essential oils are made by steam distillation, expression, or a solvent extraction.
Many people who are staunch believers in prescription drugs consider herbal remedies to be “hogwash”. Unfortunately there has been little research on the effectiveness of plants as a source of medicine. The cancer research center states that there is currently “no evidence of herbal remedies providing relief to cancer patients”. There have been few clinical trials related to using herbs to treat cancer. The most well known remedy would be the magnolia, which was discovered by the Chinese and is used to treat things like dementia, heart disease, and tuberculosis.
There is a great deal more to herbalism than just this of course, and the above paragraph just barely scratches the surface. If you want to learn more about herbalim than check out Mastering Herbalism by Paul Huson. This is a good book for someone who is just a beginner, but it is somewhat out of date. It was written in 1974 an is more of a general guide that covers Shakespearean era herbs only. The main thing i like about it is the practical recipes it contains, as these will show you how to get started with adding herbs to jams, soups and teas.