Aspirin Misuse May Have Made 1918 Flu Pandemic Worse
The linked article above provides an in my opinion highly interesting historical note. It would be interesting to know how widespread the practice of giving high doses of aspirin for the flu was, during this epidemic.
The article notes the possible aspirin toxicity in flu deaths, and I've read that the doses of aspirin given were EXTREMELY high. The article also mentions that the drug industry of the time was touting aspirin for flu, and that doctors were desperate - so again, I wonder how widespread that kind of treatment was
Besides aspirin TOXICITY though, there's something else I think should be considered, and that's the use of fever suppressants (like aspirin) with viral illnesses altogether.
Viruses thrive in conditions of low body temperature, and are killed by fever, which is the body's first and natural response to them. Giving aspirin would have suppressed the flu related fever, and inadvertently given the virus the upper hand. I've seen the problem of suppressing fever in viral illnesses described very clearly in a German medical textbook from the 1920's. I think it's worth knowing for anyone, to know what they had to say.
The book described the course of childhood illnesses like chickenpox and measles that, in the best case, express visually dramatically, but otherwise harmlessly through the skin. This is what it looks like when the body fights off the infection in the optimal and natural way.
If it's NOT able to accomplish this - and the book cited fever suppression as a key reason - then the next place the body can try to fight off the infection and push out the "debris" of protein breakdown is the lungs. But measles or chicken pox expressing via the lungs is also a step more dangerous.
The next step beyond this, if the body's still unable to fight it off, is for the infection to manifest in the central nervous system, where it truly does become dangerous, with all the harmful effects we fear
Why does this matter ? Because when most Americans get even the LOWEST of fevers, they reach immediately for a fever suppressor. We use Tylenol for almost any kind of pain we experience - including, no doubt, the pain associated with flu. For doctors as well, it is absolutely routine to give Tylenol for any fever over 101.5 Fahrenheit, and I'm sure many suggest it for lower ones
My point is that very probably, a large portion of the complications we fear from viral illnesses, are caused by the way we treat them. As this article indicates, this kind of treatment of fever has been going on for over a hundred years. And if we count the "casualties" of infections for which we vaccinate, we should acknowledge that we may have done a lot of that TO OURSELVES
Although very high fevers can in fact cause harm, fever can almost always be treated by conservative, traditional and holistic means. Doctors and nurses used to know this, and do it. It's a shame that they basically DON'T do it anymore - and may not even know how.
I first wrote the above in response to a post by a leading pro-vaccine activist, that gave a dramatic portrayal of the carnage of the 1918 epidemic as reason to make vaccines more and more mandatory
As graphically as this portrayed the consequences of the epidemic, and as vehemently as it demanded the solution he sees, it had little to say about possible causes of that event - the perfect storm of
- a new virus people hadn't experienced before, and thus had no immunity to
- long term stress, catastrophic violence, economic hardship, poor nutrition and disrupted personal and public sanitation, endured by hundreds of millions of people during the wartime years
- large numbers of people in motion worldwide, offering optimal conditions for for an infection to spread
- social, economic and political thinking and policies on the part of the supposed leadership of society, that made such a war inevitable
It's right to reflect on the great epidemic of 1918, but not to use it as a prop to promote vaccines as the one and universal remedy for infectious illnesses - nor to make them mandatory. Medicine makes BIG mistakes, and has had to reverse itself regularly in the course of history. Less drama please, more humility, and more OPENNESS to the "minority report" science - which could actually save us from still greater mistakes !
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The idea of "Medicare for all" is tempting, and we may well end up doing it. But it also contains a FATAL flaw
The fatal flaw is that government has, by nature, no expertise in the realm of medicine - and can never possibly have any
This means that if government participates in this medical realm of life it will inevitably either a) be incompetent or b) need to take advice from some group of experts
If it takes advice from medical experts, there will ALWAYS be a risk that the experts are sectarian. What does this mean ? It means that there are many, many approaches to medicine and healing - ones that do not necessarily agree with each other
This is no small thing at all, because each approach may have millions of people who want that kind of care, who want no part of another kind of care - or may just want to pick and choose, mix and match in their own way
If the government were to supports and include ALL these different approaches - take advice from them all, and pay for all the different kinds of service they offer, the government medical system would be IMPOSSIBLY complex, inefficient and unmanageable
If the government were to choose ONE medical approach for advice purposes, and to pay for services it offers, this would by nature exclude all other approaches and practitioners from this (all encompassing) system - and with them, all the millions of people who WANT those services
This is actually the present situation, with the conventional allopathic, natural science based school in the advice giving/payment receiving position
Despite the many valuable contributions of this approach to our health as Americans, this would become profoundly unjust and dangerous under a single payer system ; as it would also become a single OPTION system for anyone who becomes seriously or chronically sick : choose the kind of medical care offered, or receive NO CARE AT ALL, except at your own complete expense
Also profoundly in danger in a government system with a single medical approach in the advising role, would be the right of the public to ANY CHOICE AT ALL in regards to medical care. Governments also have the power to forbid certain things - in this case, products and practices deemed unacceptable by the advising medical authorities
History has already tried this way of thinking and acting in the realm of RELIGION - and after centuries to experience, rejected it. This was the case when Catholicism had the ear of kings, and the authority kings gave them over public policies. The same repeated itself exactly when PROTESTANT religious sects gained the upper hand in different countries. The non-dominant religion - and the millions of people practicing it - were persecuted, at that time in bloody fashion, and for VERY long periods of time. This was only relieved when a separation of state and church was established - again by a long and bloody process
We may in fact adopt "Medicare for all" - but BEFORE we do, we should be completely clear that it will also inevitably include TYRANNY
It All Begins Here
These flowers bloom out of a crack in the pavement near the entrance of the organic farmers market in Ajijic, Mexico - a bustling market of the smallest of small business owners. I don't think anyone invited these flowers, and I'm sure no one cares for them - but there they are, a delight to all who pass by, blossoming freely over long months of the year. They fall in their time, and for awhile there are just green leaves. Yet then there they are again suddenly, shining out as beauty so often does in Mexico - a joyful gift and surprise
The farmers and merchants are like this too, and with some we've become friends. Hardy and unique, taking hold of the opportunity - and also like Mexico, ready to meet heart to heart
An important theme on our website, and one I wake up with often these days is this : the precious value of the individual human being. The importance of each of us to the world ; the need that this individual be nurtured, and free to find his or place. Without this, the world is very difficult !
To be nurtured is a blessing, a gift from beyond ourselves, to be appreciated and grateful for. But there's also self nurture : the need to be responsible for our own gifts and abilities. Without this, nothing is possible
My first strong thoughts this morning - and message I could formulate to myself in my first minutes of waking - was this :
"Find in yourself your own inmost gifts and abilities, even if they're humble. Develop and exercise them, even if you start small. Grow beyond yourself ; make your own special contribution ; become that particular medicine the world needs you to be"
It all begins here !
"Norway refuses to drill for billions of barrels of oil in Arctic, leaving ‘whole industry surprised and disappointed"
Good for Norway !
This is heartening, and IMO reflects an important step in thinking in our times : namely that although we CAN do something, if we see that it may also cause a lot of harm, we can also NOT do it. This is an example of letting a strong temptation pass you by, and it includes a certain degree of sacrifice
Have you ever had a tantalizing opportunity served to you "on a silver platter", that you took advantage of, and lived to regret it ? I certainly have !
And have you ever let one of those opportunities PASS, because just in that moment you had an inkling it was the better thing to do ? How did THAT affect your life afterwards ?
The tar sands in Canada are another such temptation, as is large scale, unrestrained development of the Amazon rainforest for Brazil today. The rollout of 5G networks in the face of extensive scientific indications that it's HARMFUL to people and the environment is another
The rollout of smart meters and of massive, even mandatory vaccination programs, despite warnings from scientists and clear, loud statements from citizens that they have been harmed, are IMO examples of temptations succumbed to, with the consequences just BEGINNING to be reckoned
But the theme of this linked article is a positive one, and really should be celebrated. Letting a temptation pass can be a most refreshing, cleansing, morale building force in human life. It can be DEFINING, and set a whole new direction into the future
Good for Norway - keep the ball rolling, people !
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Chris and Kirsten Shockey and Their Magical Fermented Foods
The weaving of tastes and substances ; ideas, experiments, reflection - new tries. They've gone similar processes in their lives, really, as in their recipe making. So much more to both, than than just a product in a jar !
Learn About the Health Benefits of FERMENTED VEGETABLES - and How to Make Them Too !
On different sojourns in the lovely Applegate Valley of Southern Oregon, We've been lucky enough to meet the subjects of this very nice clip - fermented vegetables makers Kirsten and Christopher Shockey. High summer outdoor Barn Dances at their homestead have been memorable occasions for us ; and when I think of the people from the local community, the delicious potluck feasts, the down home music from local musicians, the Shockey's and their family, I can't stop thinking the words "wholesome and healthy" !
Fermented Vegetables : Creative Recipes for Fermenting 64 Vegetables
& Herbs in Krauts, Kimchis, Brined Pickles, Chutneys, Relishes & Pastes
By Christopher and Kirsten Shockey
(We'd also want to give a shout out for Oregon Field Guide, the OPB weekly TV news magazine that showed this clip. This is as interesting, informative and aesthetically done public TV as you could ever ask for - and very much in keeping with our theme of "living water". Click link above for well over 100 typical episodes
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A superficial look at Rudolf Steiner's Threefold Social Idea, or "Threefold Social Order" might give an impression of a political manifesto, a proposal for an ideal society or utopia. In truth, it was intended as a scientific observation of tendencies that seek to unfold in society at all times - and that create health wherever they do so. My sense after living with this perspective for almost 40 years, is that it's deeply grounded in reality ; and that whoever encounter this seldom heard of, almost needle-in-a-haystack viewpoint may count themselves fortunate. At the very least, as Stephen Usher points out, it's an excellent lens and diagnostic tool for understanding things that go right in society today - and things that don't. Worth spending the time to read this all the way through - and if it makes sense to you, worth sharing with friends !
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Some things you just gotta do !
Pieter Breugel the Elder - The Harvest of the Hay
The Fullness of Human Life
What are the conditions that create health in human social life - that give it the potential to truly thrive ? Concepts such as love, respect, dignity come to mind ; relationship ; cooperation ; an element of freedom, which permits people to unfold themselves ; yet also elements of rules and boundaries, for protection of their safety and well being.
The threefold social idea is a body of observations on human social life, first outlined by Rudolf Steiner in 1918. It describes three realms of society, namely those of protections, rights and the law ("rights life") ; economic life ; and the realms of art, education, science, religion etc, designated together "spiritual cultural life.' It also explores characteristic differences and conflicts that arise among these three areas - as well as possibilities for their healthy interaction.
Rudolf Steiner's writings on the threefold idea are among his most strenuous to grasp, and dense with historical reference ; but also, once penetrated, some of the most satisfying, calling forth a robust and positive image of society - of the fullness of human life. This image is not just a source of hope and goodwill, but potentially, a foundation for practical work. Not least, the threefold idea can serve as a diagnostic tool concerning what goes badly or disharmoniously in society - helping to identify both the "why" of problems that arise, and possible means for solving them.
The threefold social idea was first introduced at the worst of times, and under the worst conditions imaginable : immediately after the carnage of World War I, and in the decade of crushing inflation that followed. First and subsequent efforts to "implement" a threefold structure in geographic areas, schools and businesses, have met with very with mixed success. Like other new and important ideas, it's taking time to become a reality.
This article series takes its starting point in statements Rudolf Steiner made repeatedly in discussing the threefold social idea : namely, that to take real root in society, the threefold idea first needs to be rightly understood by enough people - at which point they'll simply begin to implement it in their own actions and decisions in everyday life, beginning with those smallest and closest at hand.
The effort here is to create overview articles, and share previous overview efforts by others ; and to show how threefoldness lives - or is distorted - in our own world today. The intention is to stimulate deeper and vigorous study of Steiner's own work, and the impulse to work toward threefoldness with others - again, starting in the smallest and most immediate ways. This series is intended as a portal, a doorway to Rudolf Steiner's threefold social idea for any thinking person of goodwill. Examples and elaborations here arise from my own 40 plus years study and consideration of Steiner's social idea, and my own experience of life. Your comments are welcome. For more posts in this series, continue to read through in sequence !
With best greetings,
Jeff Smith RN (Retired)
Living Waters Wellness
Next in series : Introducing Threefold
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education of children. Written in a style skillfully bridging conventional and holistic-complementary medical viewpoints, professional standards and parental needs, A Waldorf Guide to Children's Health is in our opinion a rare, classic text. Now also available in e-book form - to view Table of Contents, click "Description" tab on the page linked below.
A Waldorf Guide to Children's Health : Illnesses, Symptoms, Treatments and Therapies
- Jeff Smith RN
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Pieter Breugel the Elder : "The Wedding Party"
I just finished revising this article, following a very stimulating conversation with a friend. Among the themes we touched on were :
- the importance of public relations and entrepreneurship in the realm of spiritual cultural life
- the "Volkserziehungs" (public educational) impulse in Rudolf Steiner's work
- necessary characteristics and qualifications of a fundraiser
Conversations - and the many positive interactions that happen in communities we're part of - can be very confirming, even a relief. They give us a chance to explore our own thoughts and feelings more thoroughly, and may stir us to positive action. They give us insight into the worlds of others, both inner inner and outer, and may add things to our perspective that we lack.
This Living Waters Wellness page is on its way from being a series of intermittent articles, to more of a real blog. In coming days and weeks I'll be posting more but shorter posts, and I hope you'll find them edifying. Please offer comments, questions, and in the case of articles, constructive criticism.
A note about "Rethinking Philanthropy"
This article arose from over thirty years of considering and living with Rudolf Steiner's threefold social idea. I felt a need here to explore a particular aspect of this idea "one time through, thoroughly". It's not a short article, and will probably take more than one sitting - you may want to Bookmark it or email it to yourself, using the social icons provided.
I'll continue in the near future with more thoughts on the threefold social idea, and other social topics. If we're Facebook Friends you'll receive these posts automatically - if not, you may want to join the RSS feed for this page - see icon to the right.
With best greetings always,
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This is the most recent in a series of Los Angeles Times editorials vilifying Californians who question the necessity, safety and effectiveness of vaccines, and particularly of mandatory vaccination. This is not an especially well written article I think, but the L.A. Times is a pretty big stage - and this is a piece calling for action. I've watched several of these attack articles go by, and feel the need to respond.
Let's be clear : infectious diseases had already declined steeply, historically, before vaccines were introduced - this is a matter of public record. The reasons for this included improved nutrition, improved removal of garbage and sewage, availability of clean water, alleviation of poverty and awareness of the most simple and basic principles of personal hygiene. Any time these factors decline anywhere, it can be noted, disease returns. Public health officials are disingenuous to ignore this, and to insist vaccines defeated a wide array of diseases.
The killing illnesses of our time are actually not infectious ones, but chronic degenerative ones : heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and a large range of neurological and autoimmune diseases. Chronic illnesses like asthma and allergies, ADD, ADHD and autism have also increased enormously. A main concerns of people in the vaccine safety and choice movement, is that vaccines CONTRIBUTE to these illnesses. Certain scientific research and concepts not only suggest, but even predict this.
Vaccine safety testing, in the meantime, is almost never done by comparing a vaccinated and an un-vaccinated group ; but rather by comparing a group vaccinated with one vaccine with a group vaccinated with another vaccine. The few studies that have tracked vaccinated versus un-vaccinated people show a two to five times greater incidence of chronic illness, particularly autoimmune illness, in vaccinated groups. More and improved research is urgently needed. If the L.A. Times wants to be adamant about something, this would be a better choice !
I know that there are cases where vaccination is fully appropriate. But there are literally thousands of viral pathogens. Is it our strategy to create a vaccine for each of them ? Or should we learn to strengthen our natural human immune system to resist infection, and/or fight it off successfully with appropriate help ? A comprehensive, rather than single solution approach seems to be in order.
In the meantime, vaccine related injuries and deaths are being reported persistently. What if these most dramatic cases are just the tip of an iceberg ? Such concerns shouldn't be ignored, and those who hold them shouldn't be ridiculed. And the L.A. Times shouldn't be party to undermining a most basic right of citizenship - namely, the right to informed consent.
Jeff Smith RN
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Some thoughts triggered by the above article, and posted on my Facebook political commentary Facebook page, Election Conversation 2014. I welcome you to visit this page, check out the "About" ..... and if you like it, request to join !
This post comes from a somewhat different direction than usual, but still fits the theme of rights and "rights life" this page addresses. It touches on the issue of government regulation. Whether for reasons of greed, recklessness, ignorance or simple human carelessness, we do endanger each other ; and this can proceed even to to the point of extreme harm. Where there are patterns to be observed, or where harm can be predicted from certain actions, it's within the rights - and responsibilities - of government to establish rules and penalties. But the question is, how to do this effectively and efficiently, without creating yet other forms of harm, for instance to the parties regulated ?
Some of the most dangerous and destructive practices in our society today - for instance economic practices, and ones harmful to our health or environment - still escape our best efforts to regulate them ; while in other areas and for certain groups and people, regulations descend with crushing and stifling force. How do we find the golden balance ?
I'd like to see much more discussion - even a national contest with cash prizes - for solutions to the basic problems surrounding government regulations. How do we establish regulations with real teeth - but not cripple regulated groups with compliance costs ? How do we prevent concrete harm and promote responsibility, without treating people like imbeciles and taking away their dignity ? A few initial thoughts :
1) in cases where employers are mandated to educate workers on required behaviors, why not task the government to also create the educational materials (signs, training materials, online courses), and provide them to employers at the lowest possible cost ? One set of compliance tools, more or less, for an entire industry. Big savings for employers right there.
2) Allow employers tax credits for their employee compliance training expenses (e.g. paid employee time spent in mandated classes)
3) Where safety or access building features (e.g. for the disabled) are mandated, require these in new construction ; but in the case of retrofits, be highly generous with tax breaks.
These are just a few possibilities, but there really does need to be discussion on how to keep people safe, without bankrupting employers or others who produce products or provide services. We also need conversation about regulations in other areas which have less directly to do with economic life - for instance with health care and health products, and with education. How to regulate - or not - in order to protect not just safety and well being, but our CHOICE as citizens, and the necessary freedoms of the practitioner ? These are some of my thoughts - what are yours ?
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Throw back your head and roar !
Jeff Smith RN, born 1950. A registered nurse since 1984 - but holistic in my outlook to health since probably around 1968. Living Waters Wellness considers not just the health of the physical body, but our soul and spirit, our social forms, our environment - and as a matter of fact, our whole earth. It's a new website, and a work in progress - but by all means, have a look around !