Thursday, April 26, 2012


From Spirit of Ilithyia's Blog
"In order to understand how we’ve arrived at the state of maternity care today, it’s important learn a bit about birth history.

In the U.S. in 1900 less than 5% of births took place in hospitals, yet the shift was already in place to make birth a medical condition rather than a physiological process. By 1900 nearly half of the nation’s births were attended by physicians, and only the poor continued to have care provided by midwives.

By 1915, “twilight sleep” was being used as a means to manage labor. Twilight sleep was characterized by large doses of narcotics for pain relief, and scopolomine, an amnesiac. The results of twilight sleep were insidious. Women were socially isolated upon admittance to the hospital; heavily drugged, women were strapped down to the beds in order to keep from hurting themselves as they thrashed around uncontrollably during labor.

Around that same time, a prominent obstetrician named Dr. Joseph DeLee began discussing birth as a “pathological” process. He viewed birth about as “normal” as a mother “falling on a pitchfork,” and was a staunch proponent of the eradication of the midwifery profession, and of the hospitalization and sedation of all laboring women. He advocated for twilight sleep and forceps delivery. As a result, a study of births between 1915 and 1929 confirmed a drastic increase – 41% – in infant mortality due to birth injuries resulting from obstetrical interference with birth. (White House Conference on Child Health and Protection 1933.)

Take a listen to the following accounts of these types of births.

Her account is from the 1960′s, and so you can see how long these types of experiences held on in this country. And did you catch “The Husband Stitch?” Not only were women stripped of all autonomy, power, and dignity during birth, the objectification persisted in the mutilation of their bodies for the pleasure and satisfaction of men. Women were reduced, effectively, to machines and playthings to be strictly monitored, repaired and enhanced along the assembly line.

Now check out a black woman’s experience in the same hospital:

We’ve come a long way from the era of of knock-’em-out-drag-’em-out births, but we still have a long way to go. Today more than 60% of women receive epidural anesthesia in labor; only a scant 1% of women are birthing at home; and the U.S. still stands near the bottom of the list of infant mortality rates when compared to other industrialized countries. (See my prior post on infant mortality here.) The fact is, women still rarely have autonomy and power as a rule in birth. And the majority of women harbor heaps of anxiety as they approach labor and birth – a result of more than a century’s worth of paternalistic practices eroding a woman’s confidence in her body’s ability to give birth.

Let me tell you a well-kept secret: Women are not only capable, but are at their most powerful when they innately birth their babies.

A strong and systematic misogynistic movement stole a precious commodity from women at a time when women had very few rights and little respect. But I’ll tell you that there is presently an equally strong uprising of women who are fed up with the limitations placed on them inside of institutionalized birth. And it will be women who will make the long overdue reclamation of birth.

“Well-behaved women seldom make history.”
- Laurel Thatcher Ulrich
How Birth One Hundred Years Ago Impacts Birth Today


What do you think has to happen before people decide to stop using this stuff? Apparently, it's not enough to know that this toxic weed-killer is destroying all of life and is being shown to cause cancer, infertility, birth defects, umbilical and placental deformities in humans, the destruction of testosterone, the alteration of human kidney cells, and human, animal and plant DNA, massive bee deaths, and much more.

Seriously folks. What's it gonna take to get you to stop using this poison?
"Alarming new research published in the journal Neurotoxicology and Teratology supports the emerging connection between glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup herbicide, and neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and Parkinsonian disorders.

Published this month (April, 2012), the new study entitled "Glyphosate induced cell death through apoptotic and authophagic mechanisms," investigated the potential brain-damaging effects of herbicides, which the authors stated "have been recognized as the main environmental factor associated with neurodegenerative disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease."

They found that glyphosate inhibited the viability of differentiated test cells (PC12, adrenal medula derived), in both dose-and-time dependent manners. The researchers also found that "glyphosate induced cell death via authophagy pathways in addition to activating apoptotic pathways."

Roundup herbicide is now a ubiquitous contaminant in our air, rain, groundwater, and food, making complete avoidance near impossible. A growing body of experimental evidence now indicates that it in addition to its neurotoxicity it also has the following.

Modes of Toxicity

Endocrine Disruptor
Aromatase Disruptor
Glutathione Down-regulator
Malondialdehyde Up-regulator

Once marketed as "safe as table salt" by Monsanto, the original patent holder and manufacturer of this glyphosate-based herbicide, evidence now indicates it is toxic to human DNA at concentrations diluted 450-fold lower than used in agricultural applications.

This study only adds to human case reports of glyphosate-poisoning and/or occupational exposure where neurological damage was a direct consequence. A 2011 case study published in the journal Parkinsonism Related Disorders, entitled "Parkinsonism after chronic occupational exposure to glyphosate," reported the following incident:

Here we report a patient with parkinsonism following chronic occupational exposure to glyphosate. A previously healthy 44- year-old woman presented with rigidity, slowness and resting tremor in all four limbs with no impairment of short-term memory, after sustaining long term chemical exposure to glyphosate for 3 years as a worker in a chemical factory. The chemical plant produced a range of herbicides including: glyphosate, gibberellins, and dimethyl hydrogen phosphite; however, the patient worked exclusively in the glyphosate production division. She only wore basic protection such as gloves or a face mask for 50 h each week in the plant where glyphosate vapor was generated. She frequently felt weak. Two months before she came to our clinic, she had expe- rienced severe dizziness and blurred vision.

Another case study published in 2003 reported a case of parkinsonism subsequent to glyphosate exposure.

These case studies are also backed up by animal research. In the roundworm model of glyphosate exposure the chemical results in neurodegeneration directly associated with damage to the dopamine and GABA producing neurons. In the rat model, glyphosate exposure results in oxidative brain damage, particularly the substantia nigra, where the highest concentration of dopamine-producing cells reside, and which is the primary locus of neurological damage in Parkinson’s disease.

This article first appeared at GreenMedInfo. Please visit to access their vast database of articles and the latest information in natural health."
Roundup Herbicide Linked To Parkinson's-Related Brain Damage


Friday, April 20, 2012


Does anyone else feel a deep sense of grief about what humans are doing to our planet and all these innocent animals? My God! Our way of life is destroying all things! It must end.
"An orangutan, now called Pelangsi, is lucky to be alive. The young male was close to death when a team from International Animal Rescue cut him loose from a snare that kept him a prisoner without food or water for 10 days. Pelangsi is the latest victim of the palm oil industry in Indonesia.

The IAR team, headed by veterinary director Karmele Llano Sanchez, sedated the orangutan, gave him fluids for severe hydration and carried him back to their clinic in Ketapang, West Kalimantan, Indonesia.

He was in critical condition for the first 48 hours with an infection called septicemia, as a result of injuries to the animal’s right hand. The snare had caught hold of Pelangsi’s hand and he gnawed on it during the ordeal, trying to set himself free.

“Pelangsi’s story is a graphic illustration of the fate of countless orangutans that are left homeless and hungry when the forest is cut down. Our rescue centre is now caring for 50 orangutans and that number will continue to rise rapidly until drastic measures are taken by the palm oil companies to protect orangutans and other wildlife from the devastating effects of their industry,” said Sanchez.

Palm oil companies are cutting down the forest and destroying the habitat of the orangutan to make room for more crops to grow. The land where Pelangsi was trapped is home to a new palm oil plantation owned by PT KAL (Kayung Agro Lestari) from Austindo Nusantara Jaya Group, according to IAR.

The company is a member of the RSPO (Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil), an association set up to promote the sustainable production and use of palm oil. IAR says, “…in spite of PT KAL’s apparent concern about the social and environmental impact of its industry, they are responsible for large numbers of orangutan deaths in the area.”

Palm oil is used to produce many food products and personal care products. A list of manufacturers can be found at Palm Oil Product List-Angelfire.

Alan Knight OBE, IAR’s Chief Executive says his team is working hard to save Pelangsi’s life. They hope he will soon be stable enough to undergo surgery on his injured and infected hand. The team expects that some of his arm will have to be amputated. Afterward the goal is to have him live out his days at the IAR rescue center."
Miracle Rescue of Orangutan Caught in Snare

Via Occupy the Environment, Facebook

"Orangutans are being wiped out today, right now. Why pretend Palm Oil is sustainable? This is their earth and our earth, not a private backyard owned by a handful of monolithic corporations that stuff our supermarket shelves with processed foods, candy, body products...backed by slick, alluring TV commercials which goad us on to consume. Consumers must flex their muscle through knowledge ... and their hearts.

If we don't speak for the Orangutans being burnt, shot and hacked to death, with infants torn away from the mothers' dead bodies to be sold off as pets...who will?


Products that use palm oil


Problem with Palm Oil - RAN factsheet"


How bloody condescending and arrogant! NYU Hospital is going to ALLOW mothers to have their baby's placenta? WHO DO THESE PEOPLE THINK THEY ARE?

"...But the new “lenient” policy, which is still in the process of being drafted, will allow mothers to be the direct recipient of their own placentas..."

This is infuriating! How did we ever get to the place where we believe these people have a right to our children's blood and body parts? This is fucking insane!!!

As a side note it is extremely important to understand that THE PLACENTA BELONGS TO THE BABY! Despite all the rhetoric about mother's taking home "their" placentas, in fact, the placenta exists for the express purpose of nourishing and protecting the baby. Although mother's help to create the placenta, it is not "theirs" for the taking, but rather should only be consumed if absolutely necessary.

Parents bear the responsibility for protecting their baby's placenta and not allowing it to end up in the hands of the wrong people -- which can negatively influence the child's life. If this means women do not give birth in hospitals because hospitals are in the business of thefting and selling off placental tissue, then that is what needs to be done.

NYU Hospital’s New Placenta Policy Will Save New Mothers A Trip To The Morgue

"New mothers who want to consume their placentas are running into more problems than the gag reflexes of the people they tell about it. Placenta consumption has become a serious trend, with everyone from crunchy Brooklyn mothers all the way to Hollywood’s starlets eating their afterbirth and raving about it. But some hospitals aren’t making it easy.

In particular, NYU Langone Medical Center has gotten negative attention lately for its current policy, which forces mothers looking to procure their placenta to head down to the hospital morgue. But the outcry has paid off — Langone will soon be changing the way it handles those placenta transactions.

As The Wall Street Journal reported not too long ago, the medical facility currently regards placenta as medical waste. And even though the organ quite literally just fell out of you, getting it back requires more than a few pushes and stitches. Mothers have to collect their placenta through a funeral director.

But the new “lenient” policy, which is still in the process of being drafted, will allow mothers to be the direct recipient of their own placentas.

Flavia Contratti, senior nurse clinician at the maternity ward, informs Mommyish that new mothers looking to encapsulate that placenta or perhaps just have a placenta facial, must at present head down to the morgue for pickup. She says that although a birthing center can simply hand over the placenta in a Tupperware, NYU’s current policy requires that mommies consider a list of funeral directors, provided after birth, to collect their own bodily matter — a service which will also set them back an additional couple $100 or so.

The push back from ladies eager to consume that placenta manifested in a petition that demanded NYU to draft a new, more relaxed policy. Josephine Gale, a former patient at Langone, commented on the petition that her struggle to collect her placenta was hardly simple, even with NYU’s assistance:

“It took me and my husband 10 days to find a licensed funeral director who knew what we wanted and was willing to pick up the placenta for us. We called all the recommendations given by NYU and none of them were able to help. We called about 7 funeral homes to eventually find 1 who would do it.”

Elizabeth Maher, a new aunt, wrote that the “time consuming” process seemed far from what a new mother needs to be saddled with, writing:

“My sister in law just went through this process at NYU and it seemed needlessly frustrating and time consuming for her, especially a day after giving birth.”

The petition letter, entitled “Women do not need an Undertaker for their Afterbirth!” states that women need those first few days for baby bonding, not for hanging on telephone lines:

Many women are choosing NYU because of their progressive Baby Friendly status; let’s help mothers bond with their newborns and spend those early hours breastfeeding – not making phone calls and paying for an unnecessary service. Remind NYU that New York State allows hospitals to release healthy placentas that are wanted for religious or cultural purposes.

Contratti maintains that a mother’s placenta is very easily obtained at the hospital, adding “No patient has ever been denied their placenta.” But the stringent policy has resulted in some bizarre stories, specifically regarding stolen placentas, according to Contratti. The nurse says that one was lifted a couple of years ago when a doula snuck the organ into a bucket and exited the premises. She shudders over the phone as she considers the health risks for such a stunt, including HIV, hepatitis, as well as the wealth of bacteria that might climb in from one single subway ride.

But the NYU staff has heard the dissatisfied voices of their patients and is responding accordingly. The new policy, which she says is still being legally sorted out, will allow the placenta to be released directly to the patient. Ladies will have to sign a release and after the placenta has been through medical testing, mothers can take the afterbirth home for oral consumption or religious practices.

Marianne J. Harkin, senior director of Professional Practice and Obstetric Services at NYU, confirms that the new placenta policy will be more “lenient” and that she and her team are “still working out the details.”

Neither party would comment on a deadline to introduce the new policy or when mothers can expect to take their placenta home in doggy bags along with “It’s A Girl!” balloons. But with metropolitan hospitals like NYU Langone Medical Center updating their rules to accommodate this swanky placenta trend, the metaphoric door has officially been left wide open for a wealth of new hospital accessories or “must haves.” How long before mommies packing for the hospital check off not only an outfit for baby to come home in, but also brand name containers in which to carry home their placenta?"


"By Dr. Mercola

In 2010, the largest outbreak of whooping cough in over 50 years reportedly occurred in California.

Around that same time, a scare campaign was launched in the California by Pharma-funded medical trade associations, state health officials and national media targeting people opting out of using pertussis vaccine, falsely accusing them of causing the then-current whooping cough outbreak.

But new research released last month paints a very different picture than the one being spread by the media.

In fact, the study showed that 81 percent of 2010 California whooping cough cases in people under the age of 18 occurred in those who were fully up to date on the whooping cough vaccine.

81 Percent of Whooping Cough Cases Occurred in People Who Were Fully Vaccinated

CDC data shows 84 percent of children under the age of 3 have received at least FOUR DTaP shots—which is the acellular pertussis vaccine that was approved in the United States in 1996—yet, despite this high vaccination rate, whooping cough still keeps circulating among both the vaccinated and unvaccinated.

More likely than not, the vaccine provides very little if any protection, and this was evidenced very clearly in a study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.i

Researchers reviewed data on every patient who tested positive for pertussis between March and October 2010 at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in San Rafael, California.

Out of these 132 patients:

81 percent were fully up to date on the whooping cough vaccine
8 percent had never been vaccinated
11 percent had received at least one shot, but not the entire recommended series

What’s wrong with this picture? Could it be that children and adults, who have received all the government-recommended pertussis shots, can still get the disease? Yes, of course. And this study suggests they may in fact be more likely to get the diseases than unvaccinated populations. Researchers noted:

“Despite widespread childhood vaccination against Bordetella pertussis, disease remains prevalent. It has been suggested that acellular vaccine may be less effective than previously believed. Our data suggests that the current schedule of acellular pertussis vaccine doses is insufficient to prevent outbreaks of pertussis.”

That is clearly stating the obvious, as B. pertussis whooping cough is a cyclical disease and natural increases tend to occur every 4-5 years no matter how high the vaccination rates in a population using DPT or DTaP vaccines on a widespread basis. Whole cell DPT vaccines used in the U.S. from the 1950’s until the late 1990’s were estimated to be 63 to 94 percent effective and studies showed that vaccine-acquired immunity fell to about 40 percent after seven years.

In the recent DTaP vaccine study, researchers noted the vaccine’s effectiveness was only 41 percent among 2- to 7-year-olds and a dismal 24 percent among those aged 8-12. With this shockingly low rate of DTaP vaccine effectiveness, the questionable solution that public health officials have come up with is to declare that everybody has to get three primary shots and three follow-up booster shots just to get the vaccine to give long-lasting protection—if any protection is provided at all.ii

Whooping Cough Vaccine Protection Fades in Three Years

The featured study also suggests that the acellular pertussis vaccine loses much of its effectiveness after just three years. This is much faster than previously believed, and could also help explain the recent whooping cough outbreaks in the U.S.

Unfortunately, stacking on additional booster shots is likely to make matters worse rather than better, especially in light of the fact that the mass use of existing pertussis vaccines has already led to vaccine-resistant strains that are still evolving and could become much more virulent.

The new mutation, which some researchers are calling "P3," is a strain that produces more pertussis toxin (PT).iii

Pertussis toxin is the part of B. pertussis bacteria that is most responsible for the neurological complications of both pertussis disease and DPT and DtaP pertussis vaccines, and is also most responsible for stimulating an immune response. The acellular pertussis vaccines, which were developed and tested in the late 1980's and early 1990's, do not include the mutated strain.

Another reason why whooping cough cannot be entirely eradicated is the fact that there's another Bordetella organism – parapertussis – that can also cause whooping cough. The symptoms of B. parapertussis, while often milder, can look exactly like B. pertussis, but doctors rarely recognize or test for parapertussis. And, there is NO vaccine for it.

One difference between recovering from B. pertussis whooping cough and getting the vaccine is that recovery from whooping cough confers a naturally-acquired immunity that is stronger and longer lasting than the artificial immunity induced by the vaccine. Vaccination requires more and more booster doses to try to extend the artificial vaccine immunity.

Many Doctors Now Pushing Ineffective “Cocooning” Whooping Cough Vaccines

The Tdap vaccine, which is recommended for children aged 7 years and older, as well as adults, is also a combination vaccine that is supposed to protect against tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough (pertussis). The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is now directing all physicians, particularly pediatricians, to offer Tdap vaccine to parents and close family members of babies under age 2 months, who are too young to receive a pertussis-containing vaccine themselves. (The other vaccine being promoted to parents and close contacts of babies is the flu vaccine).

Known as "cocooning," this controversial practice is being promoted by the AAP and government health officials as a way of protecting babies from whooping cough and other infectious diseases like influenza by vaccinating their parents and other adult caregivers. However, there is little evidence to show that this works! In fact, research from Canada showed just the opposite.

The Canadian study investigated how many parents would need to be vaccinated in order to prevent infant hospitalizations and deaths from pertussis using the cocoon strategy, and the results were dismal. They found the number needed to vaccinate (NNV) for parental immunization was at least 1 million to prevent 1 infant death, approximately 100,000 for ICU admission, and >10,000 for hospitalization.iv Researchers concluded:

"... the parental cocoon program is inefficient and resource intensive for the prevention of serious outcomes in early infancy."

There are Risks Attached to the Whooping Cough Vaccine

Whooping cough can be serious, especially for newborns and babies, whose tiny airways can become clogged with the sticky mucus produced by the toxins in B. pertussis bacteria. These babies can suffer life-threatening breathing problems that require hospitalization and use of suctioning and re-hydration therapies. However, the vast majority of children and adults get through a bout with whooping cough without complications and it is important for them to get proper nutrition, hydration and rest to support the healing process.

Similarly, while some children and adults get pertussis-containing vaccines and experience no complications, others do suffer serious reactions, injuries, or have died after getting vaccinated. According to Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder of the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC):v

"Of all the vaccines which have been routinely used by children in the past century, the brain damaging effects of the pertussis (whooping cough) portion of DPT vaccine is among the most well documented in the scientific literature.

Created in 1912, the crude pertussis vaccine basically consisted of B. pertussis bacteria killed with heat, preserved with formaldehyde, and injected into children. In the early 1940's, aluminum was added as an adjuvant and later the mercury preservative, thimerosal, was added when pertussis was combined with diphtheria and tetanus vaccines to create DPT. Pertussis vaccine was never studied in large clinical trials before being given to children in the first half of the 20th century or after it was combined into DPT and recommended for mass use by the American Academy of Pediatrics in 1947."

Children who are particularly high-risk for brain injury or death after getting a pertussis-containing vaccine (DPT, DTaP or Tdap) include those who have suffered previous vaccine reactions, such as:

High fever
High pitched screaming or persistent crying
Convulsions (with or without fever)
Collapse/shock (also known as hypo-tonic/hypo-responsive episodes)
Brain inflammation and encephalopathy

Most of the adverse effects are believed to occur from the effects of the pertussis toxin itself, which is one of the most lethal toxins in nature. It's a well-known neurotoxin that is so reliable for inducing brain inflammation and brain damage that it's used to deliberately induce experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in lab animals.

In the video profile of pertussis vaccine injury below, Barbara Loe Fisher interviews a Houston family with a history of vaccine reactions that spans three generations. Now, a 12-year-old child in the family has become permanently disabled from a reaction to the DTaP vaccine that was given to her, along with 6 other vaccines, at age 15 months.

Either way, getting whooping cough or getting a pertussis vaccination entails a risk. But, remember, the vaccine carries with it two risks: the risk of a serious side effect AND the risk that the vaccine won't work at all or will only work for a short period of time. What happened to this family is a potent reminder of just how important it is to make well-informed decisions about vaccinations.

What You Can Do to Make a Difference

While it seems "old-fashioned," the only truly effective actions you can take to protect the right to informed consent to vaccination and expand your rights under the law to make voluntary vaccine choices, is to get personally involved with your state legislators and the leaders in your community.


Mass vaccination policies are made at the federal level but vaccine laws are made at the state level, and it is at the state level where your action to protect your vaccine choice rights will have the greatest impact.

Signing up to be a user of NVIC's free online Advocacy Portal at gives you access to practical, useful information to help you become an effective vaccine choice advocate in your own community. You will get real-time Action Alerts about what you can do if there are threats to vaccine exemptions in your state. With the click of a mouse or one touch on a Smartphone screen you will be put in touch with YOUR elected representatives so you can let them know how you feel and what you want them to do. Plus, when national vaccine issues come up, you will have all the information you need to make sure your voice is heard.

NVIC is using the Advocacy Portal to warn citizens about legislative threats to strip vaccine exemptions from state vaccine laws. NVIC staff and volunteers are on the ground in Vermont, California, Arizona and other states training activists to fight the wealthy and powerful Pharma/Medical Trade lobby that is trying to eliminate the religious and conscientious or philosophical belief exemption to vaccination in America.

Watch a Public Service Message about a bill now threatening the personal belief exemption to vaccination in California.

So please, as your first step, sign up for the NVIC Advocacy Portal.

Contact Your Elected Officials

It is so important for you to reach out and make sure your concerns get on the radar screen of the leaders and opinion makers in your community, especially the politicians you elect and are directly involved in making vaccine laws in your state. These are your elected representatives, so you have a right and a responsibility to let them know what's really happening in your life and the lives of people you know when it comes to vaccine mandates. Be sure to share the "real life" experiences that you or people you know have had with vaccination.

Internet Resources

I also encourage you to visit the following web pages on the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) website at

NVIC Memorial for Vaccine Victims: View descriptions and photos of children and adults, who have suffered vaccine reactions, injuries and deaths. If you or your child experiences an adverse vaccine event, please consider posting and sharing your story here.
If You Vaccinate, Ask 8 Questions: Learn how to recognize vaccine reaction symptoms and prevent vaccine injuries.

Vaccine Freedom Wall: View or post descriptions of harassment by doctors or state officials for making independent vaccine choices.

Find a Doctor Who will Listen to Your Concerns

If your pediatrician or doctor refuses to provide medical care to you or your child unless you agree to get vaccines you don't want, I strongly encourage you to have the courage to find another doctor. Harassment, intimidation, and refusal of medical care is becoming the modus operandi of the medical establishment in an effort to punish those patients and parents, who become truly educated about health and vaccination and want to make vaccine choices instead of being forced to follow risky one-size-fits-all vaccine policies.

If you are treated with disrespect or are harassed in any way by a doctor (or government official), do not engage in an unproductive argument. You may want to contact an attorney, your elected state representatives or local media if you or your child are threatened.

However, there is hope.

At least 15 percent of young doctors recently polled admit that they're starting to adopt a more individualized approach to vaccinations in direct response to the vaccine safety concerns of parents. It is good news that there is a growing number of smart young doctors, who prefer to work as partners with parents in making personalized vaccine decisions for children, including delaying vaccinations or giving children fewer vaccines on the same day or continuing to provide medical care for those families, who decline use of one or more vaccines.

So take the time to locate and connect with a doctor, who treats you with compassion and respect and is willing to work with you to do what is right for your child."
Big Surprise - Whooping Cough Spreads Mainly through Vaccinated Populations

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Enough said. Let's remember that when the navy blasts sound frequencies into the ocean, dolphins and whales beach themselves with brain hemorrhages. What do we think is happening to our babies in the womb when they are blasted with sound frequencies?

"...One study found brain hemorrhages in mouse pups exposed in the womb to pulsed ultrasound at doses similar to those used on human babies.

Another study found exposing adult mice to dosages typical of obstetric ultrasound caused a 22 percent reduction in rate of cell division and a doubling of the rate of apoptosis of cells in small intestine.

Other research has found that ultrasound induces bleeding in the lungs among other mammals, including newborns and young animals..."

Read the full article here:

Ultrasound not as safe as commonly thought


This is an awesome article, with links below to several more awesome articles about the benefits of homebirth and the dangers of hospital birth.


"In this series we’re going to explore natural childbirth (home birth) as an alternative to industrialized childbirth. Industrialized childbirth could also be called “disturbed birth”, which Australian family physician Sarah J. Buckley, MD defines as follows:

Anything that disturbs a laboring woman’s sense of safety and privacy will disrupt the birth process. This definition covers most of modern obstetrics, which has created an entire industry around the observation and monitoring of pregnant and birthing women. Some of the techniques used are painful or uncomfortable, most involve some some transgression of bodily or social boundaries, and almost all techniques are performed by people who are essentially strangers to the woman herself. All of these factors are as disruptive to pregnant and birthing women as they would be to any other laboring mammal – with whom we share the majority of our hormonal orchestration in labor and birth.1

Buckley embraces an evolutionary perspective on pregnancy and childbirth. Such a perspective affirms the natural process of gestation and birth and recognizes a woman’s genetically inherited capacity to give birth without medical intervention.

In the same way that we evolved to eat a species-appropriate diet (i.e. paleo), we evolved to give birth in an undisturbed environment.

This innate system of birth has been refined over 100,000 generations. It involves a complex, finely tuned orchestration of hormones that prepare both the mother and baby for a successful birth and catalyze profound neurological changes that promote the bond between a mother and her new baby.

And just as we experience health problems when we stray from the evolutionary dietary template, women are more likely to experience complications and difficulty in labor when they stray from the evolutionary template of “undisturbed birth”.

Natural childbirth is in our genes

Throughout the vast majority of human history, women have always given birth in a familiar place, with family members or other trusted companions.

Even now, babies are still born at home in most places around the world. And although the move from birth at home to the hospital began in the 18th century, home birth was the norm even in westernized countries until the 1950s.

Think of it this way: humans have been giving birth at home for 999,998 generations, and it’s only in the last 2 generations that hospital birth has become common.

This means that women have given birth at home for 99.998% of human history.

Yet in the U.S. today, fewer than 1 percent of births happen in the home. This abrupt and almost complete transition from natural childbirth toward industrialized childbirth has had profound repercussions on mothers, babies and the culture at large.

My wife Elanne and I have chosen to have a home birth with our first child (who is, as of this writing, due in about 2 weeks!) It has been fascinating to watch people’s reactions – outside of our close friends, who have almost all had home births – when we tell them this.

Some come right out and say “that’s brave!” Others are more suspect, using words like “interesting” or maybe even wondering out loud if it wouldn’t be a better idea to use a hospital midwife. Still others are more direct in their opposition to our choice.

This is evidence that the medical establishment has done a fantastic job convincing people that hospital birth is “normal”, in spite of the fact that home birth has been the default choice for 99.998% of human history.

Doctors and the medial have also managed to convince most people that hospital birth is safer than home birth. But is that really true?

Another myth bites the dust: hospital birth is not safer than home birth

In the Netherlands, where 1/3 of babies born at home under care of midwife, outcomes for first babies are equivalent to those of babies born to low-risk women in the hospital, and outcomes of second or subsequent babies are even better.

A UK analysis found that birth at home or in small family practice units is safer than birth in an obstetric hospital for mothers and babies in all categories of risk.

Other studies have shown that modern obstetric interventions have made birth more dangerous, not safer.

In fact, in terms of outcomes for mothers & babies, studies show that planned home birth has perinatal mortality levels (the numbers of babies dying around the time of birth) at least as good as – and often better than – hospital figures, with lower rates of complications and interventions.

A landmark study by Johnson and Daviss in 2005 examined over 5,000 U.S. and Canadian women intending to deliver at home under midwife. They found equivalent perinatal mortality to hospital birth, but with rates of intervention that were up to ten times lower, compared with low-risk women birthing in a hospital. The rates of induction, IV drip, episiotomy, and forceps were each less than 10% at home, and only 3.7% of women required a cesarean (c-section).

Other studies have shown that women who plan home birth have around a 70-80% chance of giving birth without intervention. And because of low use of drugs, home-born babies are more alert and in better condition than those born in the hospital.

Contrast this with the 2002 and 2006 Listening to Mothers surveys which examined 3,000 births in conventional settings. They found “virtually no natural childbirth” in either survey.

In the 2006 survey, around 50% of women were artificially induced; almost 75% had an epidural; and 33% gave birth by c-section.

Finally, in a review of the safety of home birth by the esteemed Cochrane collaboration, the study author states:

There is no strong evidence to favour either home or hospital birth for selected low-risk pregnant women. In countries where it is possible to establish a home birth service backed up by a modern hospital system, all low-risk women should be offered the possibility of considering a planned home birth…

I agree with the author’s conclusion that hospital birth is no safer than home birth. But if you consider the statistics above which suggest that having a natural, undisturbed birth in a hospital setting is exceedingly difficult, I would argue that there is strong evidence to favor a home birth.

Birth complications are more likely to occur in a hospital environment

A common defense of hospital birth by medical professionals and laypeople is the assertion that it’s necessary to be in a hospital during birth in case something goes wrong.

While it is certainly true that complications may arise during labor that require medical intervention, what is often ignored by proponents of hospital birth is the fact that such complications are more likely to occur in the hospital environment.

In other words, the distortion of the process of birth – what Buckley calls “disturbed birth” – has come to be what women expect when they have a baby and in a way has become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

As Buckley states:

Under this model women are almost certain to need the interventions that the medical model provides, and to come away grateful to be saved no matter how difficult or traumatic their experience.2

TV shows almost always depict birth as some kind of medical emergency, with the woman being rushed down the hallway on a gurney or connected to machines and wires in the delivery room surrounded by medical personnel. Since most people have never witnessed a home birth (or any other birth) before giving having a child themselves, their impression of what labor is like comes almost entirely from television.

It’s easy, then, to understand why people are afraid of birth and feel the need to be in a hospital setting in case something goes wrong. But that doesn’t mean giving birth in a hospital is safer. The studies I’ve presented in this article demonstrate that it’s not.

I want to be clear: no matter where birth takes place, complications may arise that require medical intervention and I am 100% in support of it in these cases.

When the mother or baby’s life is at risk, we are fortunate to have access to surgical techniques that can save lives or prevent serious complications.

The point I am making in this article, and will make in more detail in the articles to follow, is that the scale of medical intervention in birth today is not only far beyond what is necessary, but is contributing to the very of the problems it attempts to solve.

If you’re interested in learning more about natural childbirth, I highly recommend Buckley’s book Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering. I’d also suggest checking out her free eBook called Ecstatic Birth and her eBook/audio package Giving Birth At Home.

Note: this series will very likely be interrupted by the home birth of my own child. Elanne is due on the 17th of July, so the baby could be coming anytime. When that happens, I’ll be taking some time off to spend time with my new family. I’ll pick this up again when I return from paternity leave.

Articles in this series:

Natural childbirth I: is homebirth more dangerous than hospital birth?

Natural childbirth IIa: is ultrasound necessary and effective during pregnancy?

Natural childbirth IIb: ultrasound not as safe as commonly thought

Natural childbirth III: why undisturbed birth?

Natural childbirth IV: the hormones of birth

Natural childbirth V: epidural side effects and risks

Natural childbirth VI: Pitocin side effects and risks

Natural childbirth VII: Cesarean risks and complications

Buckley, Sarah J. Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering: A Doctor’s Guide to Natural Childbirth and Gentle Early Parenting Choices. Celestial Arts, 2009. pp. 96 ↩
Buckley, Sarah J. Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering: A Doctor’s Guide to Natural Childbirth and Gentle Early Parenting Choices. Celestial Arts, 2009. pp. 96 ↩"


"By Dr. Mercola

A major part of achieving optimal health is living in partnership with nature.

Growing your own food is a great way to rekindle this connection with nature.

But have you thought about eating plants that grow wild—perhaps in your own backyard?

Some "weeds" can be delicious if prepared properly, and they are absolutely free.

In an article published earlier this summer, Live Science collected some easy-to-identify healthful weeds, including:

Dandelion: The entire plant is edible, and the leaves contain vitamins A, C and K, along with calcium, iron, manganese, and potassium.

Purslane: Purslane tops the list of plants with omega-3 fats.

Lamb's-quarters: Lamb's-quarters are like spinach, except healthier, tastier and easier to grow.

Plantain: Not the better-known banana-like plant with the same name. It has a nutritional profile similar to dandelion.

Stinging Nettles: If you handle them so that you don't get a painful rash from the tiny, acid-filled needles, these are delicious and nutritious cooked or prepared as a tea.

This is of course how our ancestors ate. They hunted and gathered, and ALL of it was wild. And by all accounts, they were far healthier than we are.

Of course, like anything else, identification and use of wild plants requires spending some time educating yourself, lest you eat something inedible or even poisonous. But with some attention to learning what to look for, you can avail yourself of some of the most highly nutritious, health-promoting plants for FREE—and have a lot of fun doing it. With the availability of the Internet, in addition to a number of excellent printed books and even wild-food foraging classes, this information is now easy to access.

So, grab your favorite weeding tool and a basket, and step outside to see what little gems you can find in your own backyard!

Major Groupings of Wild Edible Plants

Plants are classified into groups based on their botanical family, and there are hundreds of families within the plant kingdom. For the purpose of this article, we will focus on a few select members of the following five families:

Purslane family (Portulacaceae), includes miner's lettuce, red maids, rose moss and purslane
Sunflower family (Asteraceae), includes dandelions, daisies, and thistle (largest plant family with more than 22,000 species)
Goosefoot family (Chenopodiaceae), includes spinach, Swiss chard, beets, quinoa, and lamb's quarter
Plantain family (Plantaginaceae), includes common plantain, water plantain, and Northern plantain
Nettle family (Urticaceae), includes stinging nettle, wood nettle, and clearweed


First, let's take a look at the rock star of wild edibles: purslane—from the Purslane family, of course.

Purslane, or Portulaca oleracea (also called duckweed, fatweed, pigweed, pusley, verdolaga, ma chi xian in Chinese, munyeroo, or wild portulaca) is the omega-3 powerhouse of the vegetation kingdom, and there's a high probability it's growing in your yard right now. According to Mother Earth News, it's the most reported "weed" species in the world.

Purslane looks very much like a miniature jade plant, with fleshy succulent leaves and reddish stems. The stems grow flat to the ground and radiate outward from a single taproot, sometimes forming large, flat circular mats up to 16 inches across. In about mid-July, purslane develops tiny yellow flowers about one quarter inch in diameter. Seeds of purslane are extremely tough, some remaining viable in the soil for 40 years. A single purslane plant can produce up to 200,000 seeds! And purslane can grow in almost anything, from fertile garden loam to the most arid desert soil, and even in your rock driveway.

Be careful not to confuse purslane with spurge, because they can look similar, and spurge will make you sick. This video shows you how to tell them apart. In the plant kingdom, similar appearing plants often grow next to each other—and often one is poisonous! Purslane has a stellar omega-3 fatty acid profile, compared to other vegetables. As you can see from the chart below, purslane beats all of the other veggies for omega-3s.

Omega-3 Levels in Common Foods

Romaine lettuce, 1 cup, 53 mg
Purslane, 1 cup, 300-400 mg
Flaxseed oil, 1 Tbsp., 7196 mg
Broccoli, raw, 1 stalk, 147 mg
Chia seeds, 1 ounce, 4915 mg
Cauliflower, ½ cup, 104 mg
Walnuts, 1 ounce, 2542 mg
Spinach, 1 cup, 41 mg
Walnut Oil, 1 Tbsp., 1404 mg

In addition to its bounty of omega-3 fatty acids, purslane has other nutritional benefits:

- SIX times more vitamin E than spinach
- SEVEN times more beta carotene than carrots, providing 1320 IU/100g of vitamin A (44 percent of the RDA), which is one of the highest among green leafy vegetables
- 25 mg of vitamin C per cup (20 percent of the RDA)
- Rich in magnesium, calcium, iron, riboflavin, potassium, phosphorous and manganese

Purslane is reportedly beneficial if you have urinary or digestive problems, and has antifungal and antimicrobial effects. It has also been found useful for skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, and sunburn. Some people compare purslane's taste to spinach or watercress, with a "crunchy lemony" flavor. Look for tender young leaves and stems, which are good in salads or sandwiches. Purslane is also rich in pectin, so it can be used to thicken soups and stews. According to Weston A. Price Foundation, the ancient Greeks made a bread flour from Purslane seeds and pickled its fleshy stems; the Mexicans enjoy it with eggs and pork, and the Chinese toss it with noodles.

If you need a little culinary advice, there are quite a few purslane recipes out there—check out Prairieland CSA, Weston A. Price, Sunset Part CSA, and Epicurious.


You are probably already familiar with dandelions. There isn't a yard in America that hasn't sprouted a dandelion or two, usually greeted with vitriol by gardeners everywhere. But, in the words of The Daily Green,

"If you can't beat 'em, eat 'em!"

Every part of the dandelion is edible and full of nutrition. Dandelion, or Taraxacum officinale, is part of the Sunflower Family (Asteraceae). It also goes by other common names, including priest's crown, Irish daisy, monk's head, blowball and lion's tooth. Dandelions have antioxidant properties and contain bitter crystalline compounds called Taraxacin and Taracerin, along with inulin and levulin, compounds thought to explain some of its therapeutic properties. Dandelions offer you a wealth of nutrition!

They contain:

- One of the richest sources of beta carotene of all herbs (10161 IU per 100g, which is 338 percent of the RDA)
- Numerous flavonoids, including FOUR times the beta carotene of broccoli; also lutein, cryptoxanthin and zeaxanthin
- Possibly the HIGHEST herbal source of vitamin K 1, providing 650 percent of the RDA
- Vitamins, including folic acid, riboflavin, pyroxidine, niacin, and vitamins E and C
- Great source of minerals, including magnesium, calcium, potassium, manganese, and iron
- Leaves rich in dietary fiber, as well as a good laxative

Dandelions are found abundantly in fields, lawns and meadows. They have a long, stout taproot from which long, jagged dark green leaves radiate. The yellow flower rises straight up from the root, which matures into the fluffy white puffball you remember blowing away as a child. All parts of the plant exude a milky white "latex" fluid, if broken. The root is filled with a somewhat "yam-like" white pulp and can be harvested in summer for medicinal purposes. The Japanese actually use the root in cooking. dandelion

Dandelion leaves can be used in salads, soups, juiced, cooked the same way as spinach, or dried (with flowers) to make dandelion tea. The root can be dried and roasted and used as a coffee substitute, and the flowers can be used to make dandelion wine.

Dandelions are known for the following therapeutic properties:

Laxative and diuretic; useful for premenstrual bloating and edema
Normalizing blood sugar and cholesterol (dandelion root)
Tonic; appetite stimulant and a good general stomach remedy
Liver cleanser; remedy for liver and gall bladder problems
Agent for treating burns and stings (inside surface of flower stems)

Dandelions also have antiviral effects so may be useful in combating herpes and AIDS. For more information on the nutritional and medicinal properties of dandelions, go to this article by Leaf Lady. Be careful not to confuse dandelion plants with Hawksbeard, which can look very similar. Hawksbeard won't kill you, but it certainly doesn't offer the great nutritional benefits of dandelion. Here is a video showing how to tell them apart.

Lamb's Quarter

The third weed-gem is called Lamb's quarter (or Chenopodium album), also called goosefoot, wild spinach, pigsweed or fat-hen. Lamb's quarter is a European relative of spinach and beets. It can be found along roadsides, in overgrown fields, on vacant lots, in disturbed soil, and is probably growing in your own backyard. The plants get to be quite tall, reaching up to 6 feet or even taller. But after flowering, they are usually found lying down if not supported by neighboring plants.

Lamb's quarter has diamond shaped leaves with shallow "teeth" and a telltale white, waxy powder on the undersides of its leaves, which makes identification relatively easy. This powdery substance gives it a dusty appearance at a distance, which is why lamb's quarter is sometimes called "white goosefoot."

Lamb's quarter contains:

- A whopping 11,600 IU of beta carotene per half cup (compared to 6500mg for Swiss chard, and 8100mg for spinach)
- 300mg calcium per half cup (compared to 88mg for Swiss chard, and 93mg for spinach)
- More than 4 percent protein

Lamb's quarter is also rich in vitamin C, riboflavin, folate, magnesium, potassium, vitamin E, B6 and thiamine. Wild spinach is much more nutrient rich than its cultivated cousin and tastes very similar. You can prepare lamb's quarter in the same ways as you fix regular spinach. Make sure your specimen is CLEAN because lamb's quarter is a "purifier herb" that pulls pollutants out of the soil, concentrating them in the leaves.

For a few recipes, click here and here.

According to Wildman Steve Brill, lamb's quarter, which is odorless, looks much like a mildly poisonous plant called epazote, which smells resinous—so become familiar with both so you don't confuse the two. Here is Steve's video tutorial on lamb's quarter, with lots of visuals to help you learn to identify it.


Plantains, or Plantago major, have a family all their own—the Plantain family (Plantaginaceae). It goes by many names, including common plantain, broadleaf plantain, ripple grass, waybread, snakeweed, Cuckoo's bread, Englishman's foot and White Man's foot, because it was said to grow wherever your feet touch the ground. By the way, this is not at all related to the banana-like fruit called "plantain," which is part of the Banana family (Musaceae).

This cool season perennial herb loves damp, infertile soil and fertile lawns, and has broad oval leaves (up to 10 inches long) with fibrous roots that spread out in a rosette. The plants produce numerous, small flowers along the ends of a long stalk, between 8 and 20 inches tall.

The young leaves of plantains are edible raw or cooked and are rich in vitamin B1 and riboflavin. This herb has a long history of medicinal use, dating back to ancient times. It truly seems to be a panacea for everything, as the list of its uses is extensive. One American Indian name for plantain translates as "life medicine," which says it all.

Part of plantain's nutritional power comes from a remarkable glycoside called Aucubin, which is reported in the Journal of Toxicology to be a potent anti-toxin. In fact, this "weed" is full of effective agents, including ascorbic acid, apigenin (a phytonutrient with strong antioxidant properties), benzoic acid, oleanolic acid, and salicylic acid, among others, which give the plant a wide range of uses as an antiseptic, poison antidote, anti-inflammatory, antitussive, diuretic, hemostatic, and even a heart remedy.

There is medical evidence that plantain can help with a variety of health problems, including:

Asthma, coughing, sinusitis, bronchitis tuberculosis and emphysema
Bladder problems, cystitis
Blood sugar control
Diarrhea, dysentery, gastritis, peptic ulcer, Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), hemorrhoids and constipation Allergies and hay fever
Providing a natural aversion to tobacco
Stopping bleeding
Skin inflammation, wounds, stings, and malignant ulcers
Rattlesnake bites

Stinging Nettles

Last but not least is the wickedly fascinating stinging nettle, a member of the Nettle family, Urtica dioica. This nettle's nasty sting is well concealed behind its beautiful lacey leaves, which can shoot little poison darts into you if you aren't paying attention.

The leaves look a great deal like mint… but they certainly don't behave like it!

The nettle's sting comes from tiny hollow hairs on its stems and on the underside of its leaves. Inside these hairs is a mixture of chemicals, including histamine, acetylcholine, serotonin, and formic acid. Whey you touch the hairs, they break, exposing sharp points that inject your skin with the toxin. Ouch!

The sting of the stinging nettle is a pretty good way to positively identify it. But there is another stinging plant, the Cnidoscolus stimulosus (or spurge nettle, which isn't actually part of the Nettle family) that you could confuse it with. Spurge nettle has palm shaped or hand shaped leaves, as contrasted to the stinging nettle's hock shaped or lance shaped leaves. You can learn more about stinging nettle in this short video tutorial by Green Deane.

David Wolfe shows you how to pick stinging nettles without getting stung in this video. If you do get stung, applying a paste of baking soda and water is said to effectively soothe local pain and inflammation.

Nettles are high in iron, potassium, manganese, calcium and vitamins A, C, D and K. Each cup of nettles supplies you with a whopping 1,790 IU of vitamin A, which is three days' RDA. The parts of the nettle most commonly consumed are the leaves and roots, as the stems are quite tough on a mature plant.

Stinging nettle has the following medicinal uses:

- Treating anemia and fatigue, due to its high iron and chlorophyll content
- Relief of arthritis, joint pain, and gout (internally and externally), by promoting elimination of uric acid from your joints
- Nettle root is reported to be helpful for enlarged prostate (Benign Prostate Hyperplasia, or BPH)
- As a styptic (an arrestor of local bleeding)
- Urinary tract infections
- Breaking down urinary stones
- Relief from hay fever and seasonal allergies
- Treatment for hives, rashes, and other skin irritations (especially reactions to shellfish) by virtue of its antihistamine properties
- Diuretic
- Stinging nettle is even rumored to be an aphrodisiac

Most people cook stinging nettles because cooking neutralizes the sting, although there are some uber-hard core foodies who eat them raw. Soaking them also reportedly helps remove the stinging chemicals, so do that first if you want to try them in a salad. For some great sounding nettle recipes, see this article by

There are certainly more good wild edibles out there. Prickly lettuce, chickweed, sow thistle, red clover, burdock, cattails, Japanese knotweed, and sheep sorrel all deserve attention but are beyond the scope of one article. As you expand your wild palate, you can gradually learn about some of the other wild edibles just waiting for your discovery.

Safety Tips for the Frolicking Forager

Before foraging out your new wild-edible adventure, there are some precautions to take, since not all wild plants are safe to eat.

You should never eat a plant unless you are entirely sure it is not poisonous.

According to raw food and wild plant expert Sergei Boutenko:

"When you harvest wild plants for food, there is a high guarantee that edible plants will be sharing their living space with non-edibles. These non-edibles may range in toxicity from mild to extreme. If you are anything like me, then you too prefer to avoid any form of poisoning whether it is mild or severe. For this reason it is a good idea to first learn how to positively identify wild plants and then exercise caution when gathering them for food.

Fortunately, there are far more edible plants than poisonous ones. Boutenko claims there are thousands of safe, edible plants growing wild in North America, but there are only 150 listed by the American Association of Poison Control as poisonous. Of those 150, only about 50 are considered to be "highly poisonous" (i.e., can be fatal), and the rest are classified as "mildly poisonous," which means they may cause nausea, diarrhea, or headache, but probably not kill you.

Boutenko argues that it isn't too difficult to learn what you need to know to avoid the 50 dangerous plants, and once you're familiar with those, your chances of getting poisoned are almost nil. Some communities even offer classes that teach you how to identify safe, edible plants, so you might want to investigate the possibility of a "foraging," "grazing" or "wildcrafting" workshop in your area. And purchasing a good field guide will get you off to a good start.

Some of the most common poisonous plants you will need to familiarize yourself with are listed in the table that follows. Please understand, this is NOT a comprehensive list, but just a sampling.

Rosary Pea,
Castor Bean
Water Hemlock and Poison Hemlock
Jimson Weed (Thorn Apple)

According to Wilderness Survival, if you see a wild plant you can't identify, the characteristics that you should regard as "red flags" for toxicity include:

Milky or discolored sap
Beans, bulbs, or seeds in pods
Bitter or soapy taste
Spines, fine hairs or thorns
Dill, carrot, parsnip, or parsley like foliage
"Almond" scent in woody parts or leaves
Grain heads with pink, purple, or black spurs
Three-leaved growth pattern

The fact that a plant has some of these characteristics doesn't necessarily mean it's poisonous, but if you can't positively identify it, you're better off not adding it to your salad. And remember to NEVER harvest plants that have been exposed to herbicides or pesticides, road salt, asphalt runoff, paint or pet waste. Here is one helpful site that includes pictures of poisonous look-alikes, side by side with the edibles.

One last word of caution: Introduce new wild foods to your body gradually.

Even a high-quality, nutritious wild plant or herb can cause an unexpected reaction in some people. Try them one at a time and in SMALL amounts to see how your body is going to react. If you feel good, have at it! But don't consume a big bowl of wild greens all at once that you've never eaten before, because if you DO have a bad reaction to one of them, you won't know WHICH one.

Additional Resources

Edible wild plant expert John Kallas recommends that, if you want to begin a foraging lifestyle, you should have a "starting library" that consists of the following:

Three books about edible wild plants
Three books about plant identification
Three books about poisonous plants

He also makes suggestions about what books to choose in each category.

The following are a few book suggestions, to get you started:

Edible Wild Plants - Wild Foods from Dirt to Plate Volume 1 by John Kallas
The Forager's Harvest: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants by Samuel Thayer
Nature's Garden: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants by Samuel Thayer
Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild (and Not So Wild) Places by Steve Brill
The Wild Table: Seasonal Foraged Food and Recipes by Connie Green and Sarah Scott

If you prefer to learn by video, you might want to take a look at Green Deane's video series about edible plants. He has 125 videos on YouTube, most of them about foraging.

Lastly, Sergei Boutenko has released an iPhone app called "Wild Edibles" for those of you who want a field guide right inside your smart phone.

Happy foraging!"

The Hidden Food in Your Yard - You May Walk by It Every Day...

Saturday, April 14, 2012


Via Raising Natural Kids Blog
"When I had my daughter, I made sure that the hospital staff did not give her a bath. I had done my research and learned that the vernix offers so many benefits and protection to a newborn, thus, why the baby is born covered in it to begin with. The vernix needs time to be absorbed into the baby’s skin; it is the best form of moisturizer that, unfortunately, money can’t buy! This combined with the fact that a newborn is not born dirty (contrary to popular belief) and the fact that he/she doesn’t need any type of chemical/additives that may be in what the hospital uses to bathe him/her are the reasons I wanted to wait and bathe my daughter at home. If you doubt my claim that babies are being washed with harsher soaps, please note that many hospitals use regular soap, and others use the wipes found through this link – I have not been able to find the ingredients to these, but, based on what I have found, they don’t look to be what I consider non-toxic by any means! Sage Cleansing Washcloths and one hospital’s take on bath wash: Parkland Memorial.

That being said, when I read Jennifer Azzariti’s article on about the importance of the vernix, I wanted to share it with you all. Both she and Eco18 graciously let me repost her article here! This is a shortened version. You can read her whole article on


A Guest post by Jennifer Azzariti

Have you ever watched a television show where a baby is born and laughed as they hand the new mom a clean, approximately 8-week old baby? Most people are well-aware that babies are born with a slimy mucus-like covering on them. For years I just assumed it was from being inside of the mom’s uterus—leftover amniotic fluid or something that surrounded the baby while in utero. Well, this stuff has a name—vernix. And by definition, it’s “a white cheeselike protective material that covers the skin of a fetus.” But, what is it, and why do babies have it?

Vernix is produced during the third trimester and it provides a temporary skin barrier for the watery environment babies live in while in utero. According to Cosmetics & Toiletries Sciences Applied, the prenatal functions of vernix include:” waterproofing, since due to the low surface energy, vernix caseosa is highly unwettable; the facilitation of the skin formation in utero; and protection of the fetus from acute or sub-acute chorioamnionitis (an inflammation of the outer (chorion) and inner (amnion) fetal membranes due to a bacterial infection). During delivery, vernix caseosa acts as a lubricant while postnatally, it exhibits antioxidant, skin cleansing, temperature-regulating and antibacterial properties.”
Proven to have such great benefits postnatally, it makes you wonder why we are in such a rush to give newborns their first bath—removing the vernix.

Modern science and Western Medicine recognizes the benefits of vernix. A study regarding the significance of vernix was published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 191 (6), 2090-2096, titled: Antimocrobial Properties of Amniotic Fluid and Vernix Caseosa are Similar to Those Found in Breast Milk. This study revealed that a number of immune substances were present in both amniotic fluid and vernix samples. Tests using antimicrobial growth inhibition essays show these substances are effective at deterring the growth of common perinatal pathogens— group B. Streptococcus, K. pneumoniae, L. monocytogenes, C. albicans and E. coli.

Results from this study brought into question the practices commonly used when treating newborns. The study suggests that baby’s first bath should be delayed until at least twenty-four hours after birth. The Department of Health in conjunction with the World Health Association has set-forth a protocol for newborns, and in the section regarding thorough immediate drying of the baby (0-3 minutes after birth), it says “Do not wipe off vernix,” and “Do not bathe the newborn.” The protocol later states that you should wait at least six hours to wash the baby.

When you have a baby, it’s important to discuss your wishes with not only your physician, but also your entire care staff at the hospital where you deliver your baby. Make sure your partner is aware of your wishes, because if you’re like I was, you will be so caught up in pushing out a baby and the excitement that goes along with it, that postponing the first bath could easily slip your mind. If I were to have another child, I would inquire as to what the hospital’s protocol is. Whatever you do, make sure your wishes are known by everyone who will come into contact with your little one.

So, the next time you have a baby, let the hospital staff know you’d like to “Keep the vernix now, clean the baby later!”


About the author: A once working mother of two young children, Jennifer had an ah-ha moment and put her professional career on hold shortly before the birth of her daughter. Shifting her focus to being a stay-at-home mom, Jennifer’s communication and research talents could not be suppressed. She has been successfully transforming her family’s lifestyle into a greener one and helping other moms take “green baby steps” too. Raised in Central New York, Jennifer now calls Long Island her home, but still holds true to many of the ideals instilled upon her growing up in a more rural area. You can contact her at

A side note from Dawn: When posting this I wanted to do a bit more digging and stumbled across this – a conversation of sorts between nurses questioning when the first bath should be given. I was surprised to see that baths are sometimes given at certain times based on the baby’s condition. For instance, if their temperature is of a certain range, they get a bath sooner than later. If not, they wait on the bath because of the danger it may pose to the baby. Not once in these conversations did I see mention of the importance of the vernix or the fact that it acts as a temperature regulator. From talking with nurses, it seems they aren’t taught about the vernix in school! This information made me think – another reason to delay the first bath! (I personally believe that a bath should not happen until the baby is at least a week old. The body needs its natural oils and a newborn’s skin is so delicate!) Timing of Newborn Bath

Another great resource – Benefits of Vernix – it’s amazing stuff (and here’s the scientific research to prove it)

Wait! Don’t Wash That Newborn!

Wait! Don’t Wash That Newborn!


From Birth Without Fear Blog
"Identical Twins Attached to their Shared Placenta
by Mrs. BWF on April 14, 2012

Sera shared this with me and gave me permission to share it with you. It’s not everyday you see identical twins still attached to their placenta!

She says, “They were both vertex. It was very difficult keeping Isaiah attached while waiting for Elijah to come. There was some fancy maneuvering going on!”

It’s so great to be able to share birth images such as this. Normalizing all types of birth is a great ‘job’ to have."
Identical Twins Attached to their Shared Placenta


"Corporate Bullshit, In the News, Media Deception, Vaccine Lies

by Ana Bananarama

USA Today proudly reported that our teen pregnancy rate has fallen dramatically over the years. In fact, the teen pregnancy rate is the lowest it’s been since- get this- 1946!

But wait… There’s more!

The teen pregnancy rate is down 44% since 1991. This generation’s pregnancy rate has fallen dramatically since my generation was enjoying their teen years.

Now, abstinence is not increasing dramatically, so then, where shall we send our kuddos?

Wow, pat on the back to Planned Parenthood and sex ed classes right?

Give me a BREAK. Have you guys even SEEN this generation? Has anyone actually TALKED to the children of today? I had the pleasure of working side by side with a revolving door of teenagers from this generation in recent years. They are not any more responsible than my generation is. Actually, they are less responsible. You should hear the stories. Partner swapping, video taping, lack of condom use. The mere age at which they get started was astounding compared to the average age of deflowering for my generation. You name it. Sex is rampant, and responsibility is certainly not up. Sure, there are tons of girls on birth control, but it’s not like birth control is brand new this decade. It’s not like my generation was oblivious to birth control. It’s not like this generation is just super good at taking their pills on time. Girls I’ve talked to still throw their pills away hoping to snag their boyfriend for life and boys still are stupid enough to think that thirty seconds of skin is worth going condomless.

Now, what I’m about to write, it’s just my theory. So, don’t be leaving smack comments about how this is all just my own theory, because I’m flat out saying right now, as a disclaimer… this is just a theory. This is my post. And I just have to get this out.

I don’t buy this garbage about how great of a job we’re doing teaching kids to be responsible. I don’t buy it. Call me a conspiracy theorist if you must. I’ve been called one before, and I really don’t care. Just hear me out. Because I make sense.

What HAS happened to this generation that is totally brand new that could also cause the teen pregnancy rate to plummet?

Vaccine Use Skyrocketed

When I was getting my childhood vaccines, I was given less than half the number of vaccines that today’s teens were given. Go ahead and read the product info sheet directly from the vaccines manufacturers. They’re available online and they will say right in them in clear English that they have not been tested for potential impact on fertility. So, this new generation of sexually active kids have been given buttloads of vaccines that were never tested to see if they would impact fertility. These kids are the tests. Shall we now ignore the test’s findings?

GMO Foods Were Introduced Into Nearly Everything They Ate

When I was a child, foods were not genetically altered. Sure, plants were cross bred, just as they have always been, but the did not have their very DNA spliced apart and merged with the DNA of bacteria and other species when my generation was growing up. This generation now… this is the first generation of children that will have grown up eating genetically modified corn, sugar, and soybeans every single day of their lives. Every day… at every meal these kids eat this crap. And genetically modified foods are known from an ever growing number of laboratory tests and research studies to impair fertility and cause infertility and sterility.

So, America, now can we rethink patting ourselves on the back over these declining teen pregnancy rates, or shall we wait another five to ten years when these same men and women are suddenly TRYING to start a family, and then wonder cluelessly about why they surprisingly can’t get pregnant?

Further reading:

“Clinical profile and Toxicology Studies on Four Women Immunized with Pr-B-hCG-TT,” Contraception, February, 1976, pp. 253-268.

“Observations on the antigenicity and clinical effects of a candidate antipregnancy vaccine: B-subunit of human chorionic gonadotropin linked to tetanus toxoid,” Fertility and Sterility, October 1980, pp. 328-335."

Teen Pregnancy Rate Drops Dramatically Since 1991. “Yay?!” or “WTF?!”


Via Veganism Worldwide

"The recent rescues William and Harry

Meet William and Harry. They are four week old dairy calf orphans. William and Harry have a very sad story, but are luckier than they can ever imagine.

The dairy industry is one of mankind's cruelest industries.
Like humans, cows must bear young in order to produce milk; their gestation period mimics a humans as they carry their babies for nine months. Millions of cows need to give birth everyday to satisfy our appetite for milk.

So, what happens to all of those babies? The dairy farmers certainly cannot have the babies suckling the milk that was “meant for us humans"... so the babies are taken away from the moms at birth and they are placed into crates, one on top of the other, until they are four to eight weeks of age.

At that time they are sold at auctions for sometimes less that one dollar per calf to the veal distributors. All of these calves are very weak, sickly, hypothermic and injured.

They are tube fed by the auctioneers when they have time to get around to it, which barely keeps them alive until they are sold. More than half of them die of starvation and the elements before they reach auction.

Once they are auctioned off, they are slaughtered within three days and are on dinner plates shortly after that.

William and Harry were rescued right off of the veal truck. Yes, they were on there way to a veal farm with almost 100 others in one truck alone where they would have met their fate. Something happened and in an instant, two tiny, orphaned calves had a change of destiny.

With nowhere to go, we opened our doors and took them in.
Our veterinarian told us that the odds were they would die overnight. William, the whiter one, was so emaciated his ribs were protruding and the outline of his skull was easily seen.
Harry, the blacker one, was so terrified when a human approached him his eyes would become huge and he would start shivering out of fear that would send him into shock. Both babies were critically hypothermic and their diarrhea, which is called scours, was so severe they could not retain any moisture in their bodies.

The first night was very scary for all involved. We had to work efficiently and slowly. Both calves had IV’s placed inside their jugular veins where fluids, vitamins, antibiotics and medication for stress and shock was administered. These IV catheters remained throughout the night. In the early morning hours, when we were surprised to see both still alive, they were tube fed electrolytes and milk.

We are now 48 hours into this adventure and William stood up for the first time. We were so proud to see him standing -- we knew that he had a will to live! Harry lays his head in our volunteer's lap while he receives more fluids to assist with his critical diarrhea.

Amazingly, we have been able to secure a life-long forever home for these two very lucky and special boys. The home will consist of 600 acres where they will graze and live as every cow and calf would dream of. Now we just need to get them to that point! They will remain at the hospital for the next several days under the strict supervision of our doctor and volunteers. They will be taught to drink from a bottle and to love humans, not fear them. We are not out of the woods yet as these babies have had such a rough start that the odds are definitely working against them. This is an uphill battle but one that we are prepared to fight.

No matter whether you eat veal, consume dairy, are a vegetarian or a vegan, if you are simply human and looked into the eyes of these sad souls, you would agree that they deserve the same second chance as all of the other animals that come to us time and time again.

Interesting irony…one of the trucks that was seen in the auction vicinity filled with innocent calves and dairy cows for slaughter was the “Happy Cows California” truck. Talk about some misleading advertising! William and Harry are the truly lucky ones, and they will live out the rest of their lives as the Real Happy California Cows."


"(NaturalNews) For several years, NaturalNews has maintained that many vaccines actually cause the very infectious diseases they claim to prevent. Measles vaccines, for example, actually cause measles. And flu shot vaccines actually increase susceptibility to the flu. (See sources below.)

Now we have an open admission of precisely this point.

New research reported by Reuters reveals that whooping cough outbreaks are HIGHER among vaccinated children compared with unvaccinated children. This is based on a study led by Dr. David Witt, an infectious disease specialist at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in San Rafael, California.

As Reuters reports: (

In early 2010, a spike in cases appeared at Kaiser Permanente in San Rafael, and it was soon determined to be an outbreak of whooping cough -- the largest seen in California in more than 50 years. Witt had expected to see the illnesses center around unvaccinated kids, knowing they are more vulnerable to the disease. "We started dissecting the data. What was very surprising was the majority of cases were in fully vaccinated children. That's what started catching our attention."

This same article also admits that these vaccines have never been tested for long-term effectiveness:

"GSK has never studied the duration of the vaccine's protection after the shot given to four- to six-year-olds, the spokesperson said. Dr. Joel Ward at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute said it's still important for parents to get their kids immunized, even though it doesn't provide lasting protection from whooping cough."

Huh? So let me get this straight:

• Whooping cough infections are MORE common among children already vaccinated against whooping cough than unvaccinated children.

• The whooping cough vaccines have NEVER been tested for long-term efficacy.

• Doctors openly admit the vaccine "doesn't provide lasting protection" against the disease.

• But doctors and government authorities mindlessly push the vaccine anyway?!

That's essentially like saying, "We know these vaccines don't really work, but everybody should get vaccinated anyway."

Whooping cough outbreak? Demand everybody be vaccinated!

Despite the fact that the whooping cough vaccines actually cause an increase in the risk of being infected with whooping cough, every time a whooping cough outbreak occurs, there's a mad rush of everybody screaming, "Vaccinate! Vaccinate! Vaccinate!"

For example, this mindless article in The Seattle Times typifies the kind of brain-dead journalism observed across the mainstream media: "Whooping cough spreading fast in state; vaccinations urged." (

This mindless, irrational cry for vaccinations utterly contradicts scientific truth, but it get published over and over again with zero skepticism and no intelligent questioning by anyone in the (whored-out) mainstream media.

Whooping cough vaccines, it turns out, do nothing to reduce the rate of whooping cough infections. But they do accomplish something else that's even more important for Big Pharma. Care to guess what that is?

You guessed it: Whooping cough vaccines keep whooping cough in circulation! The vaccines cause the very disease they claim to treat, so the more kids get vaccinated, the more outbreaks occur! This then results in more people calling for more vaccines, which causes even more whooping cough outbreaks to occur, and this sick profiteering cycle of vaccine quackery repeats itself over and over until children are pumped full of useless vaccines while the drug companies bank on record profits and all the parents are living in fear.

The drug companies figured it out a long time ago, see? The best way to SELL a vaccine that claims to treat a disease is to make sure the vaccine contains the disease! Thus, the vaccination itself becomes the pathway to re-infection and repeat business!

Want to make money in the cancer industry? Put cancer viruses into the vaccines! Oops, Merck already did that, didn't they? Here's an admission by a Merck scientist of exactly this point:

How the media is trying to spin these shocking revelations about the failure of vaccines

The media is trying to spin this revelation, of course, claiming that the whooping cough vaccine merely "wears out" or "fades over time." While that alone is an admission of total vaccine failure, it's actually much worse: The findings show that vaccines make children MORE vulnerable to infection than the unvaccinated children.

Virtually nowhere in the lamestream media will you see any real admission that whooping cough vaccines are based entirely on scientific fraud because they simply don't work. That simple truth is just not allowed to be printed anywhere except places like NaturalNews, where we haven't sold out to Big Pharma's corporate interests. The fact that even a hint of this has appeared in Reuters is astonishing, and I suspect they will pull their story as quickly as possible before it starts getting too much attention.

If vaccines "fade out" then they don't work!

The bedrock of vaccination theory is that when your body is exposed to a weakened virus, it will build up its supply of antibodies that will forever recognize that virus and defend your body against it. Sound familiar? That's the fairy tale told to every parent and child by a vaccine-wielding brainwashed doctor.

The key element of the story is that your body is supposed to keep those antibodies forever, right? Just like if you get the chicken pox one time, you won't ever get it again because your body is immune to the chicken pox, right?

But wait: Now they're saying vaccines fade out over time. Somehow your body "forgets" the antibodies, they now admit, so you need a booster shot, what else? (Repeat sales, anyone?)

So then, vaccines don't really invoke lifetime antibodies at all, do they? And if that's the case, then the entire vaccine mythology crumbles. No lifetime antibodies means the vaccines aren't really working like real infections (such as the chicken pox). Something doesn't add up here, especially when you figure that vaccines make children MORE susceptible to future infections.

Healthy kids are not vaccinated kids

Want to find the healthiest children in America? Find families who follow these rules:

#1) They live on small farms and their children play in the dirt (they have contact with nature).

#2) Their children are all home schooled.

#3) None of their children are vaccinated.

#4) They drink raw milk and eat farm fresh foods.

As you will readily find, these are the healthiest, smartest kids in America! They don't have problems with autism, allergies, cancer or ADHD. They are bright, healthy, and easily capable of surviving an infection of chicken pox.

The least healthy children in America are vaccinated children who eat public school food (GMOs) and never spend time in nature. These are the asthmatics, the diabetics, the ADHD cases, the suicidal psych drug takers. They're vaccine damaged and nutritionally depleted, and they catch every cold every winter, it seems, you know what I mean?

Media lies about vaccine effectiveness (written by brain-dead journalists)

The media, you see, is so steeped in lies about vaccines that they are now utterly unable to recognize the truth. In the Seattle Times article mentioned above, for example, you'll find this mysterious sentence in the story: "Pertussis vaccines are about 85 percent effective overall..."

And yet I'll bet you twenty bucks there's not a single journalist on the entire Seattle Times staff who even understands what that number means and where it came from. They probably think it means that for every 100 people vaccinated with the whooping cough vaccine, 85 percent of them will be completely protected against the disease even if they are exposed to it. (Insert laughter here...)

But it's nothing like that at all. This number is simply made up. It is invented from fabricated relative statistics cherry-picked out of distorted clinical trials funded by drug companies. It's sort of like the CDC's completely fabricated number of "35,000 people die each year from the flu" -- a bald-faced conjuration of pure fiction that's repeated as if it were fact across every paper in the country. And even if you believe the 85 percent number, it was probably derived from something more like this: For every 1,000 children in America, only 1 catches the whooping cough, but if those 1,000 children are vaccinated (says the corporate-funded study), then only 0.15 children out of 1,000 will catch the whooping cough.

Thus, in other words, using these numbers you'd have to vaccinate 1,000 children in order to prevent less than one child from getting the whooping cough -- and meanwhile, out of those 1,000 children perhaps 10 - 20 of them suffer vaccine damage in other ways that are far serious, including autism.

Lamestream media journalists who work for these rag papers just don't have any real ability to exercise critical thinking anymore. They don't know how to read scientific studies. They don't understand numbers. And you know why? Because they've been over-vaccinated! And vaccines cause neurological damage, which is why the most brain-dead people you'll find in the country are the ones who line up every year to receive annual flu shots.

When it comes to vaccines, the only thing mainstream newspapers know how to do is rephrase corporate press releases and spout vaccine propaganda that ends up harming, maiming and often killing more innocent children.

That's why NaturalNews continues to tell the truth about vaccine fraud -- because it saves lives by protecting children against bad science and stupid journalism.

Sources include:"
Vaccine failure admitted: Whooping cough outbreaks higher among children already vaccinated