How Michigan Peaches Saved My Life

How Michigan Peaches Saved My Life

It was March of 1975 and I’d been working in hospitals for 5 years, most recently as a Coronary Care Unit nurse. I’d come to see that hospitals are run for doctors, not patients, and that I would not be able to practice nursing in the way I’d been taught and in the way I wanted because nurses have very little power. I was beginning to see that the kind of medicine I’d...

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The Kindness of Trees

The Kindness of Trees

When most Americans think of "Native Americans" they think of feathers, moccasins, dancing around fires and times long past. Most don’t realize that some of the native people here retain a way of understanding themselves in relation to the rest of creation that is powerfully different from the "American" way. This article is meant to be a glimpse into a tiny piece of...

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Soaps, Oils & Sophia Loren

Soaps, Oils & Sophia Loren

In recent months we’ve been hearing a lot about safety issues with body care products. We’ve been told to avoid products with ethylene oxide which generates 1.4 dioxane during use. We’ve heard that parabens including methylparaben and polyparaben have been discovered in breast cancer tumors. We’ve been told to avoid any ingredients that end in "eth" (like...

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There Is No Nature. We Are the Land.

There Is No Nature. We Are the Land.

A recent article in one of our local periodicals brought me up short. It was a lovely piece about a local woman and her devoted volunteer work to restore a precious Native prairie in this area. In discussing the history of this prairie the author mentioned how the federal government bought the land from the Potawatomi. Now I know that the truth of how that land transfer came down is not taught in...

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Standardization of Herbal Remedies?

Standardization of Herbal Remedies?

I read a lot in the health care literature about the need to standardize herbal remedies. This means making sure that each capsule of herbal medicine contains a standard amount of some constituent of the plant. For instance, St. Johnswort capsules are often standardized to deliver a specific dose of hypericin, one of the components of the plant’s medicine that we know to be active. Although...

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