Friday, March 18, 2011

How to reduce harm from radiation exposure

I know many of you are worried about radiation exposure.  It will be important to avoid dairy products that come from areas that have been exposed to radiation, or dairy of unknown origin. Good time to be doing a detox anyway.  I've included this informative article from one of my favorite health practitioners (she helped to cure me of my food allergies and intolerances).
Stay safe!
xx Annie

Reproduced with permission from Dr Louisa Williams of Marin Naturopathic Medicine:
As you already know, dangerous levels of radiation were reported yesterday to be leaking from the damaged Fukushima Japanese nuclear power plant. This is not only dangerous for the Japanese people, but something we need to be proactive about on the West Coast. Reports estimate that nuclear fallout can travel through the jet streams to the Western United States and Canada within a week to 10 days. It is impossible to estimate at this point how strong this dose will be to us, but some experts are predicting that it could be a significant amount of radiation.
 
Protect the Thyroid:
Potassium iodide (KI) is the gold standard for protecting against radiation to the sensitive thyroid gland. A person who is contaminated with radioactive iodine may experience thyroid cancer or growths later in life. KI protects the thyroid from absorbing this radioactive iodine. The CDC recommends 130 mg KI for adults, 65 mg for children between 3 and 18 (unless they are adult size and then they should take the adult dose), 32 mg for infants and children between 1 month and 3 years old, and 16 mg for newborns to 1 month old, for acute radiation poisoning. These dosages may need to be lowered for us on the West Coast however, since the radiation will probably be reduced by the time it reaches us.
 
Unfortunately, when I called around to various Whole Foods as well as Apothecure (holistic pharmacy in Dallas) today they were all out of it, and said they couldn’t seem to get more from their suppliers.
 
Herbal Formula with Iodine:
I have ordered from Eclectic Institute a supply of an herbal tincture called Red Clover/Burdock. This combination remedy based on the original detoxifying Hoxsey formula contains almost 140 mg of iodine per teaspoon.
 
Here’s the good news about this tincture: It’s an excellent time-tested blood purifier and enhances metabolic functioning through elimination, and it tests energetically better than potassium iodide alone which can cause stomach irritation and other side effects. So even if the radiation turns out to not be significant, this formula is a nice spring detoxifier that can be taken for a week to 10 days.
 
Caution with Pregnancy and Thyroid Disorders: 
Pregnant women cannot take this formula since it also contains Cascara sagrada, and herbal laxatives are contraindicated during pregnancy. (As well as for anyone with a strong diarrhea tendency.) Additionally, iodine aggravates Hashimoto’s disease. And since 90% of people with hypothyroidism actually suffer from this autoimmune thyroid dysfunction, these individuals should also avoid potassium iodide. Further, those with hyperthyroidism, or Grave’s disease, should also avoid KI because iodine aggravates both hyper-, as well as hypo-, disorders of the thyroid. Also, those with shellfish allergies may be allergic to the iodine itself, and shouldn’t take KI or this formula. Finally, since this is classically an anti-cancer and detoxifying herbal tincture used by adults, herbalists disagree on whether this tincture is appropriate for children.
 
Sulfur Crystals/MSM Provides Glutathione:
There are other measures one can take to protect against radiation. Glutathione, the most powerful antioxidant in the body, is used by the thyroid to protect itself against free radicals. One of the best ways to receive utilizable and absorbable glutathione in the body is through the Crystal Sulfur/MSM supplement, which many of you are familiar with and have in stock at home. Vitamin C is also an important antioxidant to protect against radiation damage.
 
Medical Baths for Radiation Exposure:
Additionally, the late great Hazel Parcells always recommended for any radiation exposure (e.g., after spinal or dental x-rays, mammograms, Cat scans, etc.), a therapeutic bath of non-iodized (Kosher) salt and one pound of baking soda in a tub of water – as hot as you can stand it – and to stay in this water until it cools. Then wait at least 4 hours before showering. (Again, not recommended for pregnant women or anyone so weak that this could potentially enervate them.) An alternative bath is magnesium salts (Epsom salts, Dead Sea salts, or magnesium chloride bath flakes) and baking soda, in the same amounts (e.g., 1 to 5 pounds each). Baking soda, sodium bicarbonate, binds with uranium and helps protect the kidneys from uranium and cesium radiation exposure. Oral administration of baking soda in water can also be employed to protect against uranium damage and help alkalinize acidic inflamed tissues.
 
Diet:
Miso soup has been a time-tested radiation detoxifier. Additionally, kelp and other seaweeds provide small amounts of iodine as well as other nutrients that protect from nuclear radiation. Unfortunately, according to an adviser at Eclectic Institute, Fucus vesiculosus, (kelp or bladderwrack), has been significantly contaminated (along with much of our seafood, sadly) with arsenic and other heavy metals, so these are not recommended in supplement form at this time. Spirulina and chlorella vary in quality, so these should be tested out on a case-by-case situation, since many brands also contain heavy metals.
 
Plan: 
Iodine only stays in your body for 24 to 72 hours. So don’t begin taking KI or Red Clover/Burdock tincture now. Wait until we receive news that the radiation is imminent. Meterologists estimate that it will take about 10 days to reach the West Coast after significant radiation is released from Japan. So that gives us some time now to boost our immune systems.
 
(Very) General Suggestions Now:
Continue taking your supplements diligently daily. Perhaps increase the dosage slightly. (EG, From 2 to 3 capsules a day of Pure Radiance C, or from ½ to 1 tsp. of Crystal Sulfur/MSM, 2 times a day, etc.)
 
Radiation Imminent:
Begin Potassium iodide tablets or Red Clover/Burdock tincture (if not contraindicated for you).
Red Clover/Burdock tincture – Take a dosage of 1 tsp a day or less (EG, ½ tsp if the radiation levels are considered relatively low. I wish I could be more specific; please watch the news and keep up with the internet news. I will send out another newsletter if I have more information at some point.) This dosage should be taken for a week to 10 days, or less if the radiation exposure is of a briefer duration.
 
Increase the dosages of your supplements (EG, Take 6 capsules a day of Pure Radiance C, and move from 1 tsp. to 1 TBSP. of Crystal Sulfur/MSM, 2 times a day, etc.)
 
Baking Soda – ½ to 1 tsp. in ½ glass (4 oz) of water, or more, daily. (Don’t take larger dosages – e.g., 3 tsps or more daily for over a 2-week period.)
 
Medical Baths for Radiation Exposure – 1 x a day
 
Optimal organic diet with the addition of daily miso soup, as well as seaweed.
 
Increase the dosages of your supplements (EG, Take 6 capsules a day of Pure Radiance C, and move from 1 tsp. to 1 TBSP. of Crystal Sulfur/MSM, 2 times a day, Quinton mineral vials to 2 vials a day, etc.)
 
Conclusion and Caution:
Of course, no one really knows what’s going to happen at this point. But it’s better to be safe and proactive in case the radiation does reach us over here in significant amounts.
 
If you have any adverse reactions to the Red Clover/Burdock tincture or increasing the dosage of your nutritional supplements, please stop. The best way to protect yourself against radiation is through a healthy, strong body. So certainly don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about this general protocol or your own individual supplement protocol.
 
You can order the Red Clover/Burdock herbal tincture from Eclectic Institute or at this office: (415) 460-1968 or info@marinnaturopathicmedicine.com

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

These are a few of my favorite (baby) things...

We have been very blessed by our generous friends and family who have given us lots of wonderful and thoughtful gifts for our new baby.  While it has been three months already and I'm no where near organized enough to send out thank you cards yet, I wanted to do a quick post on what makes a great baby gift in my mind, such as:
-practical
-homemade
-eco-friendly
-hand-me downs
Of course just because something is practical, ethical and safe for baby and planet doesn't mean they can't be beautiful :-)  I am loving the Enchanted Woodland Mobile from cocoon couture that our friends Melinda and Gavin gave us.  It is hand-crafted from eco-friendly plantation timber and printed with non-toxic ink.  I've got it hanging above the change-table (which is in my home office!).  We also got a beautiful wooden vehicle-mobile from our friends Samantha and Paul, which is above the crib (which is in the living room, since we are still using an organic co-sleeper in our bedroom).

Another favorite is this organic cotton quilt, which was hand-made by my amazing step-mother Jan:

We also had lovely hand-made presents from my mother-in-law Eileen (a knitted [or maybe crocheted? I'm so ignorant about these crafty things] blanket), our dear friend Colleen (who took time out of her busy life as an orthopedic surgeon to knit an adorable woolen sweater and hat (aka jumper and beanie), and our lovely friend Carolyn who knitted (I'm pretty sure it's knitted!) a soft little bunny comforter thingy :-)  We're hoping the little bubba starts hanging onto Carolyn's bunny at night instead of pulling his own hair, which he does without realizing that it's attached to him and then he starts screaming because it hurts... one day he'll figure out that he has the power to stop the pain himself by letting go :-)

In addition to giving us a very sweet little organic cotton onesie from the Syracuse Cultural Workers, my mom is sewing an organic cotton duvet (aka doona) cover for us for our new organic cotton queen bed.

I'm also very grateful to my friend Simcha who gave us the organic cotton long-sleeved onesie that bubsie is wearing in the picture above, since it introduced me to Nature Baby from New Zealand, which I hadn't come across before, and is now my favorite one-stop shop for all things organic and baby-related (more on them soon).

People know me well by now and lots of friends gave us beautiful organic cotton clothing from purebaby and Pumpkin Patch (I hadn't even realized that they are doing organic now).

One of the best things people can do for you when you have babies is to not give you things you don't need.  One of my best friends knows me so well that she didn't get anything for the new baby, since really we already have everything we need and she got a small present for his big brother instead :-)

Finally, I love hand-me-downs and loans, such as this gorgeous Moses basket style bassinet that we borrowed from my friend Katie, who also has a fantastic kids book blog and online bookshop called We Heart Books, which is my favorite source for kids birthday presents :-)

We received lots of other lovely gifts and cards as well and if you're reading this, I promise the thank you cards will be coming... eventually!

Monday, March 14, 2011

The First Three Months...

I know it's a cliché but I can't believe how fast the last three months have gone.  I had three New Year's resolutions this year.  The first was that I would be more disciplined about doing the practice sessions and write-ups for the biodynamic craniosacral therapy course I'm studying.  I've been very good about this.  The second resolution was that I would floss my teeth every night.  I've been ok about this, especially since I finally found some truly organic dental floss.  My third resolution was that I would update my blog more regularly.  I don't think once every three months counts as regular, so I'm failing miserably at that one.  But I'm not going to beat myself up about it... I've had much more important things to do... like flossing my teeth, and hanging out with this guy:



But I do have some exciting things planned for the blog over the next few weeks.  I've got a review and giveaway of an organic cotton outfit from one of my favorite organic baby stores, Nature Baby, a review of a radiation shielding blanket and discount code from Belly Armor, and a review and comparison of organic cotton baby carriers from Mini Monkey and others.  If you don't want to miss out on these make sure to follow my blog through google and/or sign up to be emailed when I update.  I usually post on my facebook profile when I update the blog as well :-)