Today’s Herb: Dandelion

Medicinal Uses: Acne, alcoholism, UTI, bronchitis, osteoporosis, warts, pregnancy, liver issues, digestion, cholesterol, diabetes, and detoxification.

Dandelion can rid the body of excess hormones and unwanted bacteria. The main benefit of dandelion is to the liver, and it’s also rich in potassium.

The magical uses of Dandelion have been used to enhance psychic powers, and it has been linked to the goddess Aphrodite for her connection to bees. The roots and leaves are good to use for divination. The flowers are best when put into a red bag and worn for wishes to come true.  

The secret to the “French Paradox”? Perhaps it’s the fromage. Via 

Cheese could be the reason why the French eat more fat but don’t get heart disease
The French are a perplexing bunch for scientists who study diet and nutrition — and for cheese lovers who want to stay healthy. On average, the French eat more saturated fat than the World Health Organization says is good for them. They also ate more cheese, which can be high in saturated fat, than any other country in the world in 2014.

Since higher saturated fat intake usually correlates with greater death rates from coronary heart disease, the numbers predict the French should die from coronary heart disease more often then they do. In reality, France has low rates of death from coronary heart disease, a phenomenon known as “the French paradox.” It basically looks like the French can munch on fatty and salty cheese all they want without negative health impacts.

The French propensity to enjoy wine frequently is a popular explanation of this apparent contradiction. But a new paper in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry suggests another aspect of the French diet that may play a role in the paradox: all that cheese.

The scientists behind this paper analyzed data from a small study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2014. That study found that people who ate a diet for two weeks containing saturated fats from milk and cheese didn’t have as high blood cholesterol as those who ate the same amount of saturated fats from butter instead of cheese. (High blood cholesterol is linked to heart disease, so is used to approximate risk of heart disease in short-term studies.)

Read the full post.

(Photo ©2015


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Seriously, Gaston? THIS MANY EGGS every goddamn MORNING? How the FUCK did you not die?

Granted, eggs in 18th century France were probably not as big as our current Grade AA large ones. And he was easily 6 ft, 250lbs. But still, that is a shit-ton of eggs.

Also, I have a theory that Gaston was single-handedly resposible for the development of mass chicken farming in that region. If he was decent and paid for all those eggs, he would have made a significant economic contribution to the agricultural community. My brother refers to the alternative of not paying as “fascist consumerism.”

The diet-heart hypothesis [that suggests that high intake of saturated fat and cholesterol causes heart disease] has been repeatedly shown to be wrong, and yet, for complicated reasons of pride, profit and prejudice, the hypothesis continues to be exploited by scientists, fund-raising enterprises, food companies and even governmental agencies.

The public is being deceived by the greatest health scam of the century.

—  Dr. George V. Mann, participating researcher in the Framingham study and author of CORONARY HEART DISEASE: THE DIETARY SENSE AND NONSENSE, Janus Publishing 1993.
So much for government science; Cholesterol, fat and salt aren't all that bad for you

A recent article in the New York times admitted something that I never thought it would admit: The government doesn’t know what’s best for you (at least where food is concerned). The article didn’t go as far as I would have liked in its call to view government with a healthy dose of skepticism, but hey, it’s a start. The article came on the heels of a series of announcements by various federal agencies that several foods that for decades the feds said were bad for us, aren’t so bad after all.

From the NYT:

FOR two generations, Americans ate fewer eggs and other animal products because policy makers told them that fat and cholesterol were bad for their health. Now both dogmas have been debunked in quick succession.
First, last fall, experts on the committee that develops the country’s dietary guidelines acknowledged that they had ditched the low-fat diet. On Thursday, that committee’s report was released, with an even bigger change: It lifted the longstanding caps on dietary cholesterol, saying there was “no appreciable relationship” between dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol.

…How did experts get it so wrong? Certainly, the food industry has muddied the waters through its lobbying. But the primary problem is that nutrition policy has long relied on a very weak kind of science: epidemiological, or “observational,” studies in which researchers follow large groups of people over many years. But even the most rigorous epidemiological studies suffer from a fundamental limitation. At best they can show only association, not causation. Epidemiological data can be used to suggest hypotheses but not to prove them.

Instead of accepting that this evidence was inadequate to give sound advice, strong-willed scientists overstated the significance of their studies.

…Since the very first nutritional guidelines to restrict saturated fat and cholesterol were released by the American Heart Association in 1961, Americans have been the subjects of a vast, uncontrolled diet experiment with disastrous consequences. We have to start looking more skeptically at epidemiological studies and rethinking nutrition policy from the ground up.

Read the Rest

I found the three bold sections particularly interesting (which is why I made them bold). Let’s sum them up:

  1. The government gave us incorrect scientific data because of lobbyists in Washington (AKA: Crony Capitalism).
  2. At their absolute best, the available data can only suggest hypotheses, not prove them.
  3. Stubborn scientists (which are, by definition, not scientists) perpetuated false information because they didn’t want their own studies and research debunked.

Do these things sound familiar? Can you think of anything going on in our current political climate (pun intended) that this might parallel?

As I stated earlier, it was refreshing to see this article in the New York Times. But something tells me that very few of the readers will ever ask the honest question: “If the government can be fallible in this area, can’t it also be fallible in another?” And that is a shame. I’m not sure why millions and millions of Americans instinctively trust a government that is habitually wrong but I remain optimistic that one day, we’ll wise up.