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May 6, 2012

How to make Chinese turtle soup for medicinal purposes

Filed under: Health — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 12:42 pm

Turtle soup is highly recommended by Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as the best possible medicine to revive failing kidneys.  The kidneys control every organ in the body, especially the heart and the pancreas.  Weak kidneys can cause high blood pressure, rapid heart rate, and Type II diabetes.   When your kidneys are completely failing, you have two choices:  turtle soup or a kidney transplant.

To make turtle soup, you will need a huge stainless steel pot, big enough to hold a ceramic pot placed inside it. You can buy these pots at a Chinese market.  In Sacramento, CA you can buy the pots, along with all the ingredients for the soup, including a live turtle, at Welco Supermarket. The clerk at the market will chop the live turtle into pieces with a huge cleaver, and then package it up so that you don’t have to look at it.

It will take a minimum of two days to prepare and cook the soup.  First, you start by making a broth from a whole chicken and some Chinese herbs. You will need a third pot for the broth.  The chicken and the herbs must cook for a minimum of 8 hours.  Then you put the turtle, shell and all, inside the ceramic pot and cover the turtle with the chicken broth.

Place the ceramic pot, filled with the turtle and the broth, inside the stainless steel pot and fill the stainless steel pot up to within one inch of the top of the ceramic pot.  The turtle soup must cook for a minimum of 12 hours, but longer cooking is better.  After a few hours of cooking, you can remove the ceramic pot and place the turtle soup inside your refrigerator, then continue cooking it the next day, if you do not want to stay up all night watching the soup.

Recipe for Turtle Soup

Make a broth from these ingredients:

1.  One ounce Dioscorea (Shen Yao)

2.  One and a half ounces Radix Astragali (Huang Qi)

3.  One and a half ounces Codonopsis Pilosula (Dang Shen)

4.  One half ounce Medlar (Qi Zhi)

5.  8 dried Chinese dates

6.  One whole (dead) chicken with the feathers and feet removed. Include the liver, heart, gizzard and neck in the broth.

When the broth is done, remove the chicken meat and the bones, but not the herbs.

Put the chopped up turtle (including the shell) into the ceramic pot and fill the pot, up to one inch from the top, with the chicken broth.

Place a towel or some chop sticks on the bottom of the stainless steel pot so that the ceramic pot does not touch the bottom of the stainless steel pot.

Pour water into the stainless steel pot, and allow the soup to simmer inside the ceramic pot for 12 hours at least. Do not allow the water in the stainless steel pot to get into the ceramic pot, which has a small hole in the lid.  Cover the stainless steel pot with a tight-fitting lid and allow the soup to simmer for up to 7 days.

To serve the soup, remove the pieces of turtle shell.  You may also remove the turtle meat.  You do not have to eat the turtle meat, as all of the medicinal properties will be in the broth. The amount of broth that you are required to drink depends on how much you boil it down.  Normally, about 12 ounces of broth will be enough to have a good effect on your kidneys.

Turtle soup can be eaten once a month until your kidneys recover.  For people who don’t have weak kidneys, the soup can be eaten once a year to maintain good health.

How will you know if your kidneys have improved, after you eat the soup.  A TCM doctor can tell you if your kidneys are working.  When your kidneys are working the way they should, you will have not have to get up at night to go to the bathroom and you will have no tell-tale symptoms like dry mouth.  You will have renewed energy and your blood pressure, and blood sugar, will be normal.

March 12, 2012

Glen Campbell and Alzheimer’s disease

Filed under: Health — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 12:01 pm

Yesterday, I watched a repeat of a Fox News special, hosted by Shepard Smith, which first aired on Feb. 18, 2012; the show features an interview with Glen Campbell about his battle with Alzheimer’s, and also shows him singing on his current tour.

Glen Campbell is 75 and he looks damned good for 75.  If Glenn has Alzheimer’s, how can he remember the lyrics to all his songs?  It is Shepard Smith that I am worried about — he has changed in appearance in the last year or so and now looks very unhealthy.

By sheer coincidence, I had just read an article in the latest edition of Sacramento Magazine entitled You Must Remember This, Six Things to Keep in Mind about Memory Loss. 

According to the magazine article, “Short-term memory problems are the most concerning kind. [...] In Alzheimer’s, short-term (memory) is the first aspect of memory to be lost.”

According to the magazine article, Dr. Michael McCloud, of the U.C. Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, says that most people, who fear that they have Alzheimer’s, don’t have it.  Dr. McCloud, who specializes in healthy-aging, says that one out of every four Americans older than 65 have MCI (mild cognitive impairment). Dr. McCloud recommends mental stimulation, such as doing crossword puzzles and learning a new language, to prevent Alzheimer’s.

Glen Campbell is currently on his Farewell Tour.  If he ever gets to Sacramento, he should see Dr. McCloud at the U.C. Davis Medical Center.  I believe that Dr. McCloud would tell him that he has MCI, not Alzheimer’s.

Here is a quote from the Sacramento Magazine article:

Other things that have been shown to battle memory loss and improve brain function: blueberries, tumeric, Omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins B12 and D.

I eat blueberries almost every day and I eat walnuts for Omega-3 every day.  I take tumeric capsules with every meal, along with Vitamin D pills.  I don’t take vitamin B-12 because the B vitamins should always be taken together.  I think I get plenty of B-12 in my food.

I sometimes walk into a room and forget for a moment why I went into the room, but Dr. McCloud says that this is normal.  Dr. McCloud says that age-related cognitive changes in our seventh decade of life are normal. 

I’m not going to worry about all this.  I’m just going to have a bowl of oatmeal with walnuts and blueberries and take a couple of tumeric capsules.  And then, I’ll go for a walk.  Dr. McCloud says that exercise will help to prevent Alzheimer’s.

The most important symptom of Alzheimer’s is when you start asking the same questions more than once in a short span of time.  I have instructed my family members to take me to see Dr. McCloud, whose office is only 5 minutes from my house, if I ever ask them the same question twice.


January 6, 2012

Dr. Oz show: Eating sauerkraut will prevent stomach cancer

Filed under: Germany, Health, TV shows — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 8:12 am

Yesterday I was surprised to hear on the Dr. Oz show on TV that eating sauerkraut will prevent stomach cancer. If this is true, then there should be no stomach cancer in Germany where sauerkraut is the national dish.

On the same show, sauerkraut was mentioned as one of the foods that are high in sodium.  Two experts on stomach cancer, Dr. Peter Kozuch and Dr. Robynne Chutkan were guests on the show. They told about the warning signs and symptoms of stomach cancer, and also the risk factors.  Dr. Kozuch said that salt can damage the mucosa lining of the stomach, which means that too much sodium can cause stomach cancer.  Dr. Chutkan said that eating meat products that contain nitrate is also a cancer risk factor.  She said that eating a hot dog occasionally is O.K. but not every night.  If these experts are right, then everyone in Germany is at risk for stomach cancer because the Germans eat a lot sausage and sauerkraut.

Now I’m confused.  Should I eat sauerkraut to prevent stomach cancer or should I avoid sauerkraut because it is very high in sodium and might actually cause stomach cancer?

Dr. Oz also recommends sauerkraut as a Belly Blaster food.  He says that sauerkraut is great for getting rid of belly fat because the way the gut metabolizes food controls how we get calories into our body.  If you do not have healthy bacteria in your gut, then your body tends to absorb more calories, so Dr. Oz says that he is a huge fan of taking probiotic supplements.  But Dr. Oz also says that another way to get probiotics and healthy bacteria into your gut is by eating fermented foods like sauerkraut.  On his show, Dr. Oz suggested putting sauerkraut onto a turkey sandwich on whole grain bread, instead of eating hot dogs with sauerkraut.

But if sauerkraut prevents belly fat, there should be no one in Germany with a big belly.

Another food that is very high in sodium is Miso soup, a famous Japanese health food. Dr. Oz says that one of the reasons that women in Japan might be so skinny is because they eat so much Miso Soup. Or is it because the Japanese just naturally have a higher metabolism?

Now I don’t know if I should eat Miso soup because Dr. Oz says it is a belly blasting food or if I should avoid it because a high sodium diet can cause stomach cancer.

January 3, 2012

John Edwards medical issue: heart attack or panic attack

Filed under: Health — furtherglory @ 8:20 am

Years ago, I got hooked on the National Enquirer and have been unable to quit.  This year I made a New Year’s  resolution to quit, but I just had to buy one last issue on December 31st.  On the cover was the headline “John Edwards Heart Attack Drama.”  I don’t know how old Edwards is, but he looks too young to be having a heart attack. I had to read the story.

When I read the article inside the Enquirer, I noticed this statement from a friend of John Edwards:  “Although John was told that it was just a panic attack and not heart-related, the incident shook him and he requested trial postponement. He’s still afraid he’s going to die from a heart attack.”

As a survivor of a panic attack, I can tell you that there is a big difference between a panic attack and a heart attack.   (more…)

November 8, 2011

How did Andy Williams get bladder cancer?

Filed under: Health — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 7:49 am

I’ve been reading in the news that Andy Williams has bladder cancer.  I am a big fan of Andy Williams so I was very sad to hear this.  Hmmm?  Bladder cancer?  Where have I heard about this recently?  Oh yeah, now I remember.  There have been a lot of TV ads by lawyers who are looking for people with bladder cancer who took a drug for diabetes.

Here is the text from one of the ads about drugs that might cause bladder cancer:

Patients taking the diabetes drug Actos for more than a year may have an increased risk of bladder cancer, according to an FDA interim review of an ongoing epidemiological study.

The warning comes just days after two European countries banned use of the drug. The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has yet to release any guidance on use of Actos.

Actos is now the second medication in the thiazolidinedione (TZD) class to be associated with serious side effects within the past year. Last fall, the use of Avandia was severely restricted in the U.S. because of concerns about an increased risk of heart attack.

If you or someone you know has taken Actos for over a year and has been diagnosed with bladder cancer, please call us immediately for a free consultation. You can also fill in the confidential client information form on this page and an attorney will call you within 24 hours.

I avoid all prescription drugs for fear of getting cancer or some other dread disease. I rely on the recommendations of Dr. Oz who says that strawberries, bok choy and cooked tomatoes (among other foods) will kill cancer before it advances to the stage where you need medical treatment.

Dr. Oz recommends a low fat, high carb diet to prevent cancer.  He particularly  recommends papaya to prevent cancer.  Dr. Oz says that beets and cashews have tumor starving ingredients. On the other hand, Dr. Oz says that cancer causing foods include processed meats that contain nitrates.  One of my favorite foods used to be pickle loaf, but no more pickle loaf for me.

October 25, 2011

Forsythia mentioned in new movie “Contagion”

Filed under: Health — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 4:06 pm

I went to see the new movie “Contagion” today.  It was a bit boring until I heard the word Forsythia, which caused me to perk up and pay attention. Unless you are an avid gardener, you have probably never heard of Forsythia which is a tall bush which blooms with yellow flowers in the early spring.  You see a lot of it along the roadside in Germany.

In the movie, the word Forsythia is used in connection with homeopathic medicine.  What was not mentioned in the movie is that Forsythia is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Here is a quote about the medicinal use of Forsythia from this website:

Uses of Forsythia
Forsythia has been used for treatment of bacterial infections and upper respiratory tract infections, although the clinical evidence supporting its use is limited.

History
Forsythia fruits are widely used in Chinese traditional medicine for antipyretic and anti-inflammatory activity in the treatment of bacterial infections and upper respiratory ailments. They are commonly combined with honeysuckle flower  (Lonicera ) and other ingredients. Forsythia fruits are also reputedly used as a diuretic and as a cardiovascular tonic.

October 24, 2011

Did Steve Jobs really try to cure cancer “macrobiotically”?

Filed under: Health — Tags: , , , , — furtherglory @ 9:44 am

In his interview on “60 minutes” last night, Walter Isaacson said that Steve Jobs tried various alternative ways of healing cancer, including “spiritually and macrobiotically.”  While he was discussing Steve Jobs and his battle with cancer, a photo of Steve Jobs was shown.  In the photo, his right eyebrow was slanted upward and the hair was darker than in his left eyebrow.  I’ve seen pictures of eyebrows like that before.  But where?

Oh yes, now I remember: In the book entitled “The Book of Macrobiotics” by Michio Kushi, on page 144, there are two sketches:  one of a normal healthy face and one of the face of a person who has not been eating macrobiotically.  The description of the unhealthy face shown on that page includes this sentence:  “raised and shortened eyebrows (tight nervous system and shorter digestive vessels from excessive animal food).  In other words, the photo of Steve Jobs showed that he was not on a macrobiotic diet.

What's up with the eyebrow?

Steve Jobs was allegedly on a vegan diet which means a vegetarian diet with no animal food at all.  So how did he get the raised and shortened eyebrow of a person who has been eating excessive animal food?

In a previous blog post, I questioned whether Isaacson was using the term macrobiotically to mean a macrobiotic diet.  Maybe Steve Jobs tried a macrobiotic diet for awhile, but was then convinced by Western doctors to eat animal food.  In all of the news coverage, the term “special macrobiotic diet” was used.  It would be helpful to know how this “special macrobiotic diet” differed from the standard macrobiotic diet. (more…)

October 22, 2011

Anderson Cooper and the Seven Dwarfs

Filed under: Health — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 8:14 am

I love Anderson Cooper’s new TV talk show.  Yesterday, his guests were the Johnston family of seven who call themselves “the seven dwarfs.”  I always thought that the term dwarf was politically incorrect, but when Anderson said to Amber Johnston, the mother, “You actually call yourself the seven dwarfs.” she said that the term dwarf is acceptable.  It is the M word that is politically incorrect.

The Johnston family consists of mom Amber and dad Trent who have two biological dwarf children and three adopted dwarf children.  All of them have Achondroplasia, the most common type of dwarfism.

I was shocked that Anderson would discuss the subject of dwarfs on his show, but he handled it very well, making his guests feel comfortable and acting as though their condition were perfectly normal.  As for me, I couldn’t help but think of the Ovitz family of dwarfs who were the subjects of Dr. Josef Mengele’s experiments at Auschwitz.    (Of course, Anderson didn’t bring this up.)   (more…)

October 21, 2011

Did a delay in having an operation for cancer cause Steve Jobs to die?

Filed under: Health — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 11:17 am

A biography of Steve Jobs, written by Walter Isaacson, will be out next Monday.  The author will be interviewed on “60 Minutes” on Sunday night.  Clips from the interview with Isaacson have been on TV since yesterday.

I was shocked to hear Isaacson say in one of the clips from his “60 Minutes” interview that Steve Jobs waited for 9 months before having an operation to remove a cancerous tumor; he finally had surgery only because “his wife pleaded with him to have an operation,” according to Isaacson.  I saw one of the clips from the “60 Minutes” interview this morning on Fox News and I heard Isaacson say that Jobs had tried to cure the cancer “macrobiotically.”

This quote about the new book is from this website:

The book delves into Jobs’ decision to delay surgery for nine months after learning in October 2003 that he had a neuroendocrine tumor — a relatively rare type of pancreatic cancer that normally grows more slowly and is therefore more treatable. Instead, he tried a vegan diet, acupuncture, herbal remedies and other treatments he found online, and even consulted a psychic. He also was influenced by a doctor who ran a clinic that advised juice fasts, bowel cleansings and other unproven approaches, the book says, before finally having surgery in July 2004.

I find it very strange that Steve Jobs allegedly got worse after going on a vegan diet, having acupuncture and trying herbal remedies.  I frankly don’t believe that Jobs went on a macrobiotic diet and the cancer spread.  Before hearing about Isaacson’s interview, I had assumed that Steve Jobs died from cancer because he had an operation to remove the tumor.  I believe that removing the tumor is the wrong way to treat cancer.   (more…)

September 1, 2011

Was the “surgeon of Birkenau” really a surgeon?

The term “surgeon of Birkenau” has become a household word since the release of a new movie called The Debt. You can read my review of The Debt here.

This movie is a remake of a 2007 movie with the same story line, except that the Nazi “monster” in the 2007 film was called “the surgeon of Treblinka.”

Treblinka was strictly a death camp where all the Jews and a few Gypsies were killed immediately upon arrival, so why would there be a surgeon at Treblinka?  For that matter, why would there be a German surgeon at Birkenau?  The job of a surgeon is to save lives.  Germany was at war and there were thousands of German soldiers who needed surgery after they had been wounded on the battlefield.  Why would the Germans send a surgeon to save Jews at Birkenau?

The term surgeon is used in the movie The Debt to describe the character named Dr. Dieter Vogel, who is based on the real-life Dr. Josef Mengele. Dr. Mengele allegedly did surgery for the purpose of torturing the prisoners at Birkenau.  For example, he allegedly sewed two children together, back to back, to create Siamese twins.  What possible use would this have for German medicine in the future?  This was purely torture, done by a “monster.”

When Dr. Mengele came to Auschwitz-Birkenau in May 1943, his first assignment was to take care of the prisoners in the Gypsy camp, which was a family camp where men, women and children lived in the same barracks. He was later assigned to the women’s barracks where he delivered babies, but as far as I know, he did not do surgery.  There were plenty of Jewish doctors in all the camps, who could have done any surgery that was necessary to save lives.

In the new film The Debt, the former “surgeon of Birkenau” is hiding out in East Berlin working under an assumed name as a gynecologist. A woman (Rachel Singer) is part of the Mossad team that is assigned to find him; her job is to pretend to be a married woman who is trying to have a baby. She goes to see the suspected “surgeon of Birkenau” so that she can find out for sure if he is the “monster” who killed Jews at Birkenau.  The doctor is very gentle and polite but he asks a lot of questions. It seems that he is suspicious of her:  She doesn’t speak German like a native German speaker.  He asks her who referred her to him and she names a Jewish doctor.  He asks about the doctor: “How is the old Jew?”

Dr. Mengele was a medical doctor with an M.D. degree, which he had received in July 1938 from the University of Frankfurt, but his specialty was research on hereditary conditions. He had previously earned a PhD in Anthropology in 1935 with a thesis on “Racial Morphological Research on the Lower Jaw Section of Four Racial Groups.” He was a medical expert on the difference between racial groups and how heredity affects the health of babies in different racial groups.

In January 1937, Dr. Mengele had been appointed a research assistant at the Institute for Heredity, Biology and Racial Purity at the University of Frankfurt. He worked under Professor Otmar Freiherr von Verschuer, a geneticist who was doing research on twins. As the war-time director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology, Human Hereditary Teaching Genetics, located in Berlin, von Verschuer secured the funds for Mengele’s experiments at Auschwitz. The results of Mengele’s research on twins was sent to this Institute. The grant for Mengele’s genetic research was authorized by the German Research Council in August 1943.

The research on hereditary conditions was important to the Nazis because they wanted to have a strong, healthy race of people who would be free from hereditary defects.  The Nazis did not want the German people to mix with Jewish people because the Jews had a number of hereditary diseases.  Dr. Mengele was doing research on how hereditary defects are passed on to future generations.  Read here about a hereditary condition that is found among Ashkenazi Jews.

Dr. Mengele had already begun his research on heredity before the war and he jumped at the chance to go to Birkenau where he would have a great opportunity to study hereditary defects.  At Birkenau, he volunteered to do the selections for the gas chamber, even when it wasn’t his turn, because he wanted to find subjects for his medical research on genetic conditions and hereditary diseases. He particularly wanted to find twins for the research that he had started before he was posted to Birkenau.

Dr. Mengele escaped from Auschwitz before the camp was liberated by the army of the Soviet Union in January 1945. He took all of his research papers with him. These papers later fell into the hands of the Allies, but they have never been published. The results of Dr. Mengele’s experiments are currently being held in a vault in Israel and will probably never be released to the public.

Dr. Josef Mengele has gone down in history, not as an expert on hereditary conditions, but as a mad scientist who killed and tortured prisoners at Birkenau.  He allegedly did operations without an anesthetic at Birkenau, just for the purpose of torture.  His most well known crime was turning brown eyes blue, just for the hell of it.

According to the book entitled Mengele, the Complete Story, by Gerald L. Posner and John Ware, Dr. Josef Mengele spent 21 months at the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp, and during that time, he sent 400,000 prisoners to their deaths in the gas chambers at Birkenau. He selected 20,000 Jews and Gypsies per month to be killed, according to Posner and Ware.

The total number of deaths at Auschwitz-Birkenau is now set at 1.1 million, out of which 900,000 were Jews.  That means that Dr. Josef Mengele was single handedly responsible for almost half of deaths of the Jews at Birkenau. He sent Jews to their deaths with a wave of a baton while he whistled tunes from German opera, according to the stories about him told by the survivors.  Besides that, he was very good looking and charming, which made his crimes all the more heinous.  His nickname in the camp was actually “The Angel of Death,” not the “surgeon of Birkenau.”

Dr. Josef Mengele died on February 7, 1979 when he suffered a stroke while swimming at Bertioga beach in Sao Paulo, Brazil. His death was kept secret by his family and friends. It was not until a couple of years after his death that survivors began to come forward with stories about the crimes that he had committed at Birkenau, and the Mossad made a massive manhunt to find him.

The movie The Debt is based on what might have happened if the Mossad had started looking for Dr. Mengele in 1965 instead of waiting until after he was dead to begin their search for him.  Why was it so important to capture Dr. Mengele and bring him to trial in Israel?  Because his legacy as a surgeon who tortured prisoners had to be established, in order to prevent his name from going down in history as the doctor who did research on hereditary conditions that were prevalent among the Jews.

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