apps, blood pressure, health, Herbs

Bush Medicine in Modern Times: Why it is so important to have this information

I Got 16 Problems… 

My dad was doing so well after the kidney transplant!  He was like a new man, foot loose and fancy free.  The only downside of his new life was that his medication list had now tripled.

He was already on 4 hypertension medications, plus a baby aspirin daily.  The nephrologist added another 6 medications – three to suppress his immune system so his body doesn’t attempt to reject the kidney (since it is not his native kidney, the body would think it was a foreign object) and then another three infection-preventing medications (since his immune system is being suppressed).  They put in prostate medication, since he is almost 70 now.  Also, during the process, a cardiologist somehow found his way into my dad’s regiment.  He added a cholesterol lowering drug and a blood thinner.  He has about 16 different medications now to sort and take daily now.  SIXTEEN DIFFERENT PATENT PHARMACEUTICAL DRUGS! 💊💉💊💊💊💊💉💊💉💊😒

Patent drugs used to be shunned by the general public.  Those that sold them were patent medconsidered charlatans.  The idea that some mystery syrup in a bottle could cure your ailments was for fools to buy into.  We still use the terms “snake oil” to identify products that don’t live up to their claims, and “snake oil salesmen” to characterize a con artists.

Fast forward to 2017.  Patent drugs are now the only way health care is administered by doctors and in hospitals, and bush medicine has to be labeled and prefaced with long disclaimers as to their efficacy.  Are the patent medicines better now than back then?

In my dad’s most recent hospitalization, he complained about burning in his chest, and was told that the fresh, healthy kidney he just got last year was only operating at around 25%.  How did this happen???

  1. Numerous doctors told him and I that when one is on that many medications, they are bound to have some burning in the chest as the stomach acids respond vehemently to these kinds of chemical cocktails, and could even result in ulcers. LET ME BE CLEAR: DOCTORS WHO PRESCRIBED THE MEDICATIONS ADMITTED THAT THE MEDICATIONS ARE CAUSING ADDITIONAL PROBLEMS TO THE ONES HE STARTED OUT WITH.  
  2. That many medications taken daily cause damage to the kidney and liver.
  3. A medication regiment that large is bound to result in errors.  The only thing worse than taking that many patent medications is taking them incorrectly, because now you put yourself at greater risk of more medical problems with little recourse.

 

Mere Ena

My grandmother, known to her neighbors in the tiny fishing village of Pointe Michel in the Commonwealth of Dominica as Mere Ena, was a government certified Bush Doctor🌱🌱🌱.  She diagnosed my dad with kidney damage almost 30 years ago in casual conversation with her son not long before she passed.  He did not follow up on her diagnosis, but it was indeed accurate, he found out the hard way.  She had no medical degree, probably no real schooling at all.  But she had a God given gift.  She knew the human body, she knew a wide variety of ailments that could afflict it, and she knew how to administer the medicine God has been providing us since creation to CURE – not suppress symptoms, not relieve pain – CURE those diseases.

Bush Medicine – Pros and Cons🌿🌱

Pro – It’s accessible.  You can get yourself bush medicine cheaper than patent medicine or even free (as in “in the bush”, or you can grow it yourself).  And you don’t need a prescription.

Pro – It usually doesn’t have harmful side effects.

Pro – You know what your taking.  There is no ingredient list concealed under the guise of “proprietary information” or “trade secrets”.

Pro – They have been tested and proven time and time again over millennia.

Con – It cannot be patented.  No one can make millions of dollars purveying bush medicine.

Con – They are not FDA approved (because they can’t charge anyone fees to get their stamp of approval on a leaf).

 

Patent Medicine – Pros and Cons💊💉

Pro – They’re colorful.

Pro – They come in child-proof bottles, like most other poisonous substances kept in the household.  The prescribed ones are even labeled with your name, for an extra personal touch!

Pro – Doctors love ’em. So do pharmaceutical companies and lobbyists.

Pro – They all contain some form of bush medicine.

Con – They have nasty side effects because all they really did was take the bush medicine and doctor it up (pun intended) with lots of crap that makes them patentable.

Con – They are FDA approved and marketed after only 2 trials.

 

It is so important to know bush medicine, know a bush doctor or have access to information about what natural remedies are available to you where you live.  The great thing about bush medicine is that much of it is normal stuff you would have around anyway.

Here are some examples: 

Garlic – All around anti-fungal, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. Can be applied cut or crushed in any area you need it.  Chew and swallow to relieve tonsillitis, use as a suppository for hemorrhoids, crush into a paste and apply topically to kill fungus such as ringworm.

Thyme – Steep in hot water covered for 15 minutes and then inhale the vapors to get rid of cough and clear

sinuses, then drink while still hot so you get the steam up your retro-nasal passage and down your throat to take care of general common cold symptoms.  When giving it to my little ones, we joke that it’s “Thyme Tea Time!”

Rosemary – Steep in hot water, then cool and drink about 8 ounces every 8 days to keep blood pressure in check.

Aloe Vera – The gel inside the leaves works better than any packaged ointment on the market on cuts, scrapes and burns.

Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar – A panacea, hard to list here all its uses.  We take a tablespoon of it when cold virus germs are bouncing around the house, and we have used it to sooth the itching and speed healing of mosquito bites and fungal infections (except in the vaginal area, where the acidity would change the pH and make things worse).

Those are just off the top of my head and based specifically on what I have used on myself and my family personally or my parents used on me in the past.  Once, during a year when I made too much money for Medicaid but too little to afford any of the Obamacare plans, I had to use stuff from the supermarket to heal myself of something I might otherwise have gone to the hospital for.  Not only did I save myself hundreds of dollars in potential bills from an urgent care visit, but I proved another bush remedy and avoided taking patent medication.

Also worth noting is that the world of bush medicine, which I refuse to refer to as “alternative medicine”, must include preventive medicine.  What you choose to consume in your daily life is all part of disease prevention and should be a matter of deliberate choice. A life of bush healing needs to encompass all of this, which can supply you with a lifetime of learning about what God provided us to sustain the kind of life He wants each of us to live – a life free of disease and suffering, a life free of tethers like medication regiments and being hooked up to machines on a regular basis.

So if it’s the medication that is causing my dad’s problems, then the logical next step is to wean off of the medication.  Guess how many of the doctors he encountered recommended this.  Did you say 0?  You are correct!!!  If this is your plight, it’s up to you, the individual, to do this on your own.  Your doctor is unlikely to assist you in this.  They don’t learn bush or even nutrition in medical school.  They just learn patent medicine.  Their continuing education is in pharmaceutical drugs.  I spoke to my dad, but it is ultimately up to him, and it is ultimately up to YOU to free yourself.   Looking at his options, he must continue to take the immune suppressant stuff to keep the donated kidney functioning, that’s 3.  Changes in his diet and bush replacements can eliminate pretty much all the rest – the blood pressure, cholesterol lowering, infection preventing, blood thinning pills can all fade away.  Then the kidney, which has sustained some damage under the pressure of all the pharmaceutical drugs, can last a lot longer into his future.

Right now, in this age of over indulgence in harmful foods, agricultural chemicals, technology and patent drugs, it is time for a reboot for every man woman and child.  Bush medicine is the future.  The spirit of Mere Ena lives on.

Do you have a favorite app for this?  I’ve seen Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Herbal Medicine app.  What if there was something simpler that people could interact with?  Certainly  you swear by some herbal remedies and can share them with a community of other individuals and families who want better solutions than the current medical system.

Please comment, let’s talk about this.

 

Books, food, health, Healthy, Organ Donation, sugar, vegan, Weight Loss

#DonorLife: A Kidney Donation that Started a Movement

Wow!  Just finished and self published my very first book!  I have numerous partial manuscripts from my very eventful and unusual life.  Also, I call myself a writer… Hmmmm.  My approach this time was different, though.  I decided this go ’round to aim for a shorter time frame (of my life) and be content with a short number of pages, because y’all have a short attention span these days!!!

 

Anyway, it is done, and it is beautiful!!  It is the story of my experience donating my left kidney to my dad and how, through the evaluation process, I discovered my own health challenges.  This is the story of the birth of The Really Nourish Movement.  It is a story I have attempted to tell verbally on numerous occasions, but on those occasions, I never felt satisfied that I did the story justice.  Now, you can read it and get a better picture of the birth and incubation of what this thing is all about.  More great content to come.  Thanks in advance for checking it out!

Please click here to access #DonorLife

 

Thank you and be blessed!

eating, food, nourishment

Prison Residents Suffer Nutritional Abuse

An excerpt from The Food Revolutionary Strategy Handbook, a work in progress by the author. 

inmates2
Source: YouTube user “She Needs A Lawyer” video entitled WOMEN IN PRISON: LOCKED IN CELLS

From what I learned both in and outside of history classrooms in school, slaves were treated with a great deal of cruelty, including being subjected to food that was low in nutritional value and high in fats and starches[1], which could lead to scurvy and rickets.  Per the 13th Amendment, prisoners deserve to be treated as slaves, and in modern times that is certainly the case.  Like the slaves carried to the Americas in the cargo holds of ships, they are shackled, beaten, sometimes stripped, often raped by COs, forced to work for no pay and subjected to inferior food.  The shocking truth about the food is that the same corporations who provide school food are also feeding prison populations.

[1] Slavery and the Making of America: The Slave Experience: Living Conditions http://www.pbs.org/wnet/slavery/experience/living/history2.html

Prison reform is a very difficult topic around which to rally public support.  People are judgmental.  The media vilifies people who commit crimes and influences viewers to put those people in a myopic, unyielding set of boxes in their minds, and in those boxes, “criminals” are dehumanized.  Even as you are reading this, you may have trouble

1938-prisoner-eating
Source: Getty Images

thinking that people who have been convicted of crimes are entitled to clean, healthy, nourishing meals because as a society we have an insatiable appetite to punish one another for breaking rules and laws and hurting other people.  Some may say that we do this to shift focus off our own infractions – in truth, most of us break rules, break laws and hurt people all the time – so we can feel better about ourselves.

If we can dehumanize a person we can easily deny them basic human rights, can’t we?  One of the first hurdles the prison reform movement, which encompasses standing up for vast improvements in prison meal programs, is to get society to change its perspective on inmates.

Why We MUST Do This:

Because if we don’t stand up for food sovereignty for every man, woman and child in the world, then we are not doing mankind real justice.   Standing for inmates’ right to clean, wholesome food shows that the food revolution is universal.   Many of us have sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, husbands, boyfriends, girlfriends, mothers, fathers, aunties

inmates
Source: Emaze.com

or uncles residing in penitentiaries and we are feeling firsthand the plight of the inmate’s loved one.  They may have told us horror stories about the food on brief phone calls and emails and expressed their longing to come home to a good meal.  If the corrections system is to live up to its name, punishment should not be the primary impetus for the decisions that effect every aspect of inmates’ lives, but it is indeed.  They are dehumanized through societal programming through the media and subjected to abuse in many forms, including nutritional abuse, all to justify the mechanisms in the prison industry complex that benefit the corporations who profit from the constant supply of souls in it. This is just as wrong as feeding school children inferior food and contributes to the same widespread problems in physical and mental health, in environmental abuse and in food insecurity.

Children, Crops, food, gardening, Healthy, non-gmo, Organic

The Faith Garden Phase One: Germination

OK, so It’s been almost 4 months since I posted The Faith Garden: Part 1 on The Really Nourish Movement YouTube station, and I’m finally at a stage where I am ready to start this thing!

For a couple of months over the summer I had a bit of garden training in an already existing garden.  My landlady went away for holidays and she gave us the green light to harvest whatever would grow.  So we had fresh pimentos, jalapenos (which I sliced and pickled in a blend of Apple Cider Vinegar and olive brine for my daughter), eggplants and ochro on a regular basis.  She was also growing cassava, limes and dasheen but we didn’t get too involved in those crops.  Her mango tree was not bearing (season was over) but the two coconut trees provided us with fresh coconut water on a few occasions when one of the men felt to put up a ladder.

We harvested together and shared the bounty around with fellow tenants and some IMG_3673friends.  She had one pimento tree growing in a pot and then some various pots around with chadon beni (culantro) flourishing.  I watered the pots and the garden crops close to the wall from time to time and didn’t have to weed any of it because my husband simply sprayed it when it came up.

Then we started the Sangre Grande Family Resource Group under the auspices of the National Family Service and decided that one of our first acts would be to start a “Grow Box” initiative.  The plan is to learn how to grow our own food.  I was giddy when this all came together!  This is Really Nourish in motion indeed!   Restoring food sovereignty to the community here in Sangre Grande, and to Trinibagonians at large, is a neglected priority.  All the reasons we are so focused on this project relate to food sovereignty – taking control of our food costs, our health, our environment (by growing organically) and teaching the skill to our children as a vital parenting activity.  In that last consideration, it dawned on me that the skill got lost in recent generations and it is now time to reintroduce the education of food cultivation as a necessary part of parenting, perhaps institute the stewardship of plants as a rite of passage for every child.

really-nourish-seed-packets
USDA Organic seeds are from organically grown plants and are non-GMO and not treated with any growth stimulants.

So, I decided, after the demise of said training garden, with my fridge devoid of any fresh fruit or vegetable, and the recent realization that I live in a food desert in the middle of farm country, I initiated The Really Nourish Faith Garden.  My children, the neighbor’s children, Abigail (aka Lindey) from the Sangre Grande Family Resource Group and I got our hands happily dirty filling the tray and sowing the seeds.  The children were fascinated at the different sizes and shapes of the seeds for each plant.  I even planted some sunflower seeds given to me by Mount Sinai Recanati/Miller Transplantation Institute at an event where they honored kidney donors about a month after my dad and my transplant.

Here’s the photo journal entry of the seed sowing activity.  We prayed over this little tray as we sprinkled water over them all by hand.  All of them are USDA organic, and most of them are good companions for each other.  I charted out their germination and harvest time frames.  Updates to come!!  Keep us in your prayers for success!

alissa-and-che-planting
My daughter and the girl next door sowing seeds. Statement on shirt: WORK IT GIRL!  
Really Nourish Faith Garden Tray Chart.jpg
Didn’t want to rely upon my memory of what was planted in each of the 120 spots in the tray, so I made this chart as we went along. Multiples of 4 made it good times table practice for my Standard 2 student!
really-nourish-faith-garden-phase-one
ReallyNourish.com Faith Garden: Phase One. I marked where the sunflowers are so I could reference the chart the correct way. I am sticking the chart up where we stage the tray inside at night.
che-and-judah-seedlings
This is the kind of activity that creates many bonding opportunities for my children and I in stages – sowing seeds, watching seedlings sprout, transplanting, Repeat! Thanks be to God!
Crops, farm, food, gardening, God's word, Healthy, Herbs, no pesticides, non-gmo, nourishment, Organic, Urban Gardening

The Faith Garden Part 1

We are enslaved if we must rely solely upon our jobs, money, supermarkets and agribusiness to eat.  Thank God for His (yes, it’s His) system of seed time and harvest that never ceases.  We can all grow at least some of our own food.  You will start small but you will want to grow more because it was God’s first job for us.  He gave us the power to feed ourselves.

food, God's word, Healthy, scripture

8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 4: Write and Visualize

Now that you are in the 8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 4: Write and Visualize, the world is probably starting to look very different to you now! You’ve purposed in your heart not to defile yourself with delicacies. You’ve renewed your mind about what exactly food is.  The deception in what is available around you to eat has been uncovered. Thanks be to God!

Food Sovereignty: This is Your Liberation!

This is liberation for you, but at first may feel like some kind of bondage.  God promised  us in His word that He will satisfy us with long life.  Many people live long by taking 5-10 prescription medications every day, being in and out of hospitals, and living in fear of disease.  If you consider that “satisfying”, then stop reading right here and go back to your Facebook scrolling! Here’s the truth: YOU ARE FREE from all that when you honor God at your mouth gate. We can pray for healing from food-related diseases, but James 2:17 tells us that faith without works is dead, so here’s where the work comes in.

 

8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 4: Write and Visualize – but Why?

In every life pursuit, visualizing and writing your goals down is a crucial step. In most cases, the difference between success and failure lies in whether this step was taken or foregone. Without revelation, people cast of restraint says Proverbs 29:18. Revelation is what God shows us, its His vision for us. If you can see it, you can achieve it!

A vision board is a great way to visualize your goals. I’m sure there’s an app for this, but I highly recommend a simple cork board on the wall. I always kept mine right near my bed, so it was one of the first things I laid eyes on every morning. You can find images of people in magazines and stick your face on them.  Find people doing things you want to do, like running or swimming, or people with body shapes you are aiming for.

Another thing I did was I changed the body shape on my Bitmoji. When I first made my Bitmoji avatar, she was a thick empress, but sometime in early 2015, she dropped 50 lbs. I changed her to a slim body type. I sat writing the first draft of this devotional in April 2016 having lost 45 lbs in size 8 skinny jeans. This is powerful!

8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 4: Write and Visualize
My new, slimmer Bitmoji

8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 4: Write and Visualize – How

Nick Zizi, a great motivational speaker I learned about recently, said of goal setting “If you can think it, ink it”. This is biblical wisdom. In Habakkuk 2:2, God tells His prophet to “Write the revelation down and make it plain so that a herald will run with it”. Here again, I’m sure there’s an app for writing goals, but I recommend pen and paper – assuming you don’t have stone tablets handy like Habakkuk did.

I put this question to Nick Zizi on a Periscope broadcast once.  He talked about some studies that have shown that writing on paper for this purpose is more effective. Get a journal to keep track of your food life scriptures, changes and choices.  Use it also to plan ahead and dream big about the rewards you can reap along your new journey.

Your 8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 4: Write and Visualize Meditation Scriptures:

Habakkuk 2:2

Proverbs 29:18

To return to the 8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devotional page, CLICK HERE.

Click Here to go to Day 5.

Children, food, God's word, Healthy, nourishment, scripture

8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 1: Purpose in Your Heart

You are starting the 8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 1: Purpose in Your Heart, and you are already off to a great start!

My daughter Ché is heavily involved, setting herself apart as a vocal opponent of sugar and other things that are harmful to our bodies. The 8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 1: Purpose in your Heart starts you on your journey with an example set by a young boy.  This highlights one of the details about Really Nourish that is unique.  The succession plan is in place already.

Your First Scriptures: Daniel Chapter 1

She and I studied Daniel 1 together and learned how healthy eating and obedience to God in the area of diet set up Daniel and his friends, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (you know them as Shadrach, Meshach and Abed’nego) to become bosses, both physically and intellectually, in the land of their captors. 

8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 1: Purpose in your Heart
Ché is the next generation of Really Nourish in the making!

When I started out, Ché was a brave 7-year-old who not only has embraced for herself the ministry of better food choices, but also shares that ministry with her friends and any grown-up who will listen.  It is an uphill battle.  Nonetheless, as we learned from this bible chapter, if you set your heart and mind to doing the right thing, God will have your back all the way!

8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 1: Purpose in Your Heart Focus Scripture

Your scripture for today is Daniel 1:8. For those of you who have been thinking about changing your dietary habits, you’re not alone. And it’s hard! But as an important and very simple first step toward better stewardship of your temple, do like Daniel today: Purpose in your heart to no longer defile your body!

Speak this over yourself and soon you will see all your choices come in line with your affirmation. His word NEVER comes back void.

That’s it!  Your 8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devo Day 1: Purpose in Your Heart is done!

In case you’re curious, here’s your Day 2 Preview: In Romans 12:2, the Lord instructs us not to conform ourselves to the world but to renew our minds.

To return to the 8 Day Really Nourish Yourself Devotional page, CLICK HERE.