Monday, May 30, 2005

Dandilion Cures my Itch

So on my early morning constitutional with my canine companion on Saturday morning I picked up a skin rash following him through the grass. By this morning the itch was quite annoying. So I went for the dandelion. I read somewhere awhile ago that the old "weed" is good for a number of things and promptly unconsciously dismissed the notion.
Dandelion field However while venturing through the same field this morning I took the dandelion cure. Three applications later and no itch. I rubbed the flower on the itchy area. In the event this anecdote doesn't reach the new England Journal of Medicine, you may consider giving it a try for whatever psoriasis you stumble into this summer. It works for me on mosquito bites too.

So while Canadian science seeks ways to elminate the plant by killing it, harvesting it offers less invasive alternative uses wine and salad come to mind.

University of Maryland Medical Center
Holistic Online

Organic Food Resource

If you are looking to eat a little better, and to learn what it takes to do that , click here

Friday, May 27, 2005

West Nile Headlines = Deet Commercial

Newspaper headlines can sure be misleading.

"Camp life can make you sick"

"Risk is Lower in the north but West Nile Virus is still out there"

Conditions ripe for outbreak of West Nile Virus health officials say

"West Nile Virus panel prepares for o5 on onslaught"

mosquito2 The best punch line to a headline ..."if you go out, make sure you wear products that contain DEET." Is there a better commercial than" expert" endorsement, in the news ?

There are lots of natural alternatives to Deet. It is not good for your skin and is bigger threat to your health than West Nile.

“But to put it in perspective, if 100 people were bitten by a mosquito that had West Nile Virus, 80 of them would show no symptoms. Out of roughly 20 percent that would show symptoms, about one percent of those would have serious symptoms.”

The West Nile 'buzz' is generated by concocting an issue. Mosquitoes are dangerous to your health. That effort induces you to buy repellent and local municipalities to use your tax money to buy mosquito eliminating pesticides. The campaign is adroitly marketed under the guise of public health and safety. It is repeated every spring and summer, producing guaranteed royalty revenue for Johnson&Johnson a health care company.

Will Rogers got it right 062903 Mosquitoes

Just a sample of today's West Nile News ... Where's Amanda Congdon?

"Camp life can make you sick"
"Risk is Lower in the north but West Nile Virus is still out there"
Conditions ripe for outbreak of West Nile Virus health officials say

"West Nile Virus panel prepares for o5 onslaught"

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Waiting Lists Befuddle Supreme Court

You may not have heard of Dr. Jacques Chaoulli, however you may very soon. He's a Montreal Doctor. Last June, he got a Supreme Court hearing challenging the constitutionality of the public medical system. He claimed waiting lists are unconstitutional . For some mysterious reason in the last week, this case has garnered the attention of a host of vested interests, the media, the Council of Canadians, and the Fraser Institute. The latter two are polar opposites, when it comes to what should be done to shorten waiting lists.

The Supreme Court creates its own waiting list. It has taken just about a year to make a decision on this case. It began7 years ago. Will it rule in favor or choice or in favor of publicly funded monopoly? Depends which vested interest is to be served. Remember each Justice notwithstanding their credentials and experience in law, is a Prime Ministerial appointee. That's the way it is in Canada and that may not necessarily be beneficial to your health.

Meanwhile Health Canada confirmed it is putting up 15 million over 4 years to study determined standards for "clinically" approved waiting periods. Translation the bureaucracy is going to tell you how long you will wait for service depending on what your medical condition is. If the public medical care monopoly is ruled constitutional, your options are removed you wait.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


We're into the very brief warm weather season in Northern Alberta. For the next 16-20 weeks, Albertans will make the most of the very short spring and summer. Given that most of northern Alberta is mainly a giant bog, mosquitoes are a problem. A big problem for me, if there is one in 500 hundred miles it'll get me. If you want to know why those ornery little critters bite some people and not others, and what you can do to to prevent them from doing it, check out Mosquitoes and Mosquito Repellents.

Here are some plant based products that have proven to work for some people.

Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Insect Repellent (WPC Brands) – 120.1 minutes protection time

Fite Bite Plant-Based Insect Repellent
(Travel Medicine) – 120.1 minutes protection time

Soybean Oil
Bite Blocker for Kids
(HOMS) soybean oil – 94.6 minutes protection time

The citronella-based repellents tested protected for 20 minutes or less.

Mineral Oil

Skin-So-Soft Bath Oil (Avon) - 9.6 minutes

If you got a remendy feel free to add it in the comments and we'll update the list


Bugs and Home
New England Journal of Medicine

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Globe and Mail's Misleading Headlines are Bad for Your Health

Lazy journalists, complacent editors combine to perpetuate an eastern Canadian myth. Alberta is about to dismantle publicly funded medical care.

"Alberta denies picking fight with Ottawa", screams the Globe and Mail's head line for its' report on Alberta' Health Care Symposium. If you were looking for analysis, insight and trends in medical care service delivery, from the just concluded international conference sponsored by Alberta Health, you won't find it in the Globe and Mail.

You will find inflammatory language used to misinform. ... "pick a fight .. controversial plans to transform the province's health-care system' . Who is picking a fight? What controversial plans? There is in nothing in the report to support the fighting allegation. Mythology masquerades as journalism.

There is no Globe and Mail 'reporting' on Alberta's medical care pilot programs. Last month, Alberta Health created Alberta Joint and Bone to test new methods of delivering deliver orthopedic surgery, within the publicly funded medical care system. Nothing in the Globe and Mail on that program. However there is a fight going on somewhere!

To foster the great eastern Canadian medical myth, semi- erudite national reporters and their compliant editors, blithely attach Holy Grail status to the Canada Health Act. Have any of them read it? If so where's the analysis of the benefits it creates for Canadians?

What the Canada Health Act, does is to perpetuate the monopoly of government supplied medical care service. A service which governments can no longer deliver. So they ration it, creating barriers to getting it, called waiting lists.

The fundamental principle of the Canada Health Act is to protect, promote and restore the physical and mental well-being of residents of Canada and to facilitate reasonable access to health services without financial or other barriers.”

Here's an example of an unintended consequence of the Canada Health Act. It is illegal under the act for a patient to use Canada's leading edge telephony and Internet telemedicne technology for intra- province consultation. A patient cannot go outside their province to reference a Canadian medical expert. That is a barrier to receiving care. The act contravenes itself. So instead of embracing change and innovation, the act inhibits the development and application of leading edge technology that can improve medical care, create employment, and provide options for Canadians in their medical care decisions.

It is time Canada's lethargic national journalists and their smug editors, actually took the time to analyze the Canada Health Act. They and you, assuming they tell you, may conclude it has many unintended consequences for your medical care. The most important is; it limits your ability to choose what is best for you.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Parents Switching to Altnerative Therapies

Dr. Sunita Vohra, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Alberta has published a study about parental use of alternative therapies for their children. She makes a couple of keen observations. Parents are reluctant to confide in their physician about the use of natural products. They have lost confidence in traditional medical treatments including vaccinations, which in some cases they view as harmful. What is impeding the physician/ parent dialogue is lack of natural health care product knowledge on the part of the general medical practitioner and an unbridled trust in 'natural' products. That latter may have more to do with distrust of pharmaceutical products.

Here's a short list of resources that examine Alternative Therapies for children

Motherisk - A Web based resource for evidence-based information about the safety or risk of drugs, chemicals and disease during pregnancy and lactation. Motherisk is produced through a program at the Hospital for Sick Children (Sick Kids) in Toronto. The site includes studies and information on several NHPs, including Folic acid, and Echinacea.

Sick Kids Foundation - Proceedings from the first Sick Kids Foundation forum can be found at: - a US Web-based resource created in collaboration between Children's Hospital Boston, and other centres of health research in Massachusetts as a tool for educating pediatric medical residents. Its range of high quality resources is limited at this time, but under development.


Unleashing Innovation in Health Care Systems starts this afternoon. The Alberta Government is the sponsor of an international gathering of health care practitioners. The objective is to tap the expertise of 400 international delegates with the intent of improving the delivery health care services to us, the people who pay for it. You can watch or listen to it on the net. Get your unfiltered conference news here. No need to check with the Globe and Mail for an interpretation.