Archive for the ‘drug companies’ Category


Countering Cooties

August 5, 2008

Last winter, during one of my teaching practices, I caught one of those super-bugs that seem to inhabit the bodies of pre-school children. Personally, I blame the excessive use of antibiotics by drug-pushing doctors for creating a host of super-viruses that will knock you out for an entire month. That, and little ones who will wipe their runny noses with their hand and then grab yours. Or my favorite:

Little boy with a cold: “Ms. L, can I tell you something?”

Me (squatting to the child’s eye level): “What do you want to tell me, Johnny?”

Boy: Ah-CHOO!! (saliva and mucus, right in my eye) “I love you.”


During that time, I was working with 24 pre-schoolers in the mornings, running my wedding planning business in the afternoons, managing the housework, and living in a house without heating (we live in San Diego, but it’s still cold!!). Stressful? Nah, you think? Oh, and did I mention I was addicted to Starbucks soy chais (yes, the ubber-sweet drink with 40 grams of immune system-depressing, bacteria-feeding sugar!!). Needless to say, this lifestyle was NOT conducive to warding off cooties, and one of them hit me… HARD.

I was sick for an entire month, and I normally NEVER get sick! Do you know what it’s like to drag your aching, stuffy body out of bed day after day to deal with 4-year old trantrums during the day and 24-year old tantrums during the afternoon? I would not wish that kind of suffering on anyone, not even George W. Bush. (Well, maybe…)

So, this year I am pulling out all the stops in my quest to remain healthy during the bug season!! Bring on the snotty, sneezing, coughing children… They’re no match for my arsenal of natural preventions!

Here’s my plan of action:

  • Every morning I’m drinking a tablespoon of unfiltered apple cider vinegar (with the “mother”). It really doesn’t taste bad at all! I dilute it in 1/3 cup of water and drink it on an empty stomach. It is supposed to alkalize your body, which means that it creates an environment where bad bacteria cannot grow. Oh, and it has the added benefits of lowering my appetite, curbing my sweet cravings, preventing yeast infections, and helping me to lose weight!
  • I’m also taking a 1,000 mg capsule of Norwegian cod liver oil. It is supposed to prevent depression (a huge cause of immune system suppression) and it provides vitamin D, which strengthens the immune system (especially during the winter, when you get less exposure to the sun).
  • Every morning, I also take a serving of green superfood, a powder composed of grasses (wheat grass, barley, oat grass, etc.), seaweeds (spirulina), green vegetables (broccoli, spinach, etc.), antioxidants, fiber, live enzymes and probiotic cultures, and energizing herbs. While the green concoction looks positively evil in the glass, it tastes quite pleasant and provides me with an amazing amount of energy!!
  • I’ve kicked the chai tea habit and I’m permitting myself only two soy lattes a month. And no pastries!
  • Finally, I am taking meditation and yoga classes to learn breathing and stress-management techniques that also help build a strong immune system.

WHEW!! If all this (plus my normal organic, dairy-free, plant, grain and wild fish-based diet) doesn’t shield me from the cooties (or at least shorten their stay in my body), then I give up!!

The lady at the cash register who rang up the green superfoods powder did a double-take when she saw the price on her screen. “Forty-seven dollars?!?!”, she asked, her eyes popping out of their sockets. I nodded, “Yes, and worth every penny.” (I hope!)

What natural cures do YOU use to prevent or shorten your battle with cooties? I need all the advice I can get!


TB, or not TB

September 14, 2007

When you work with children, you’re required to get a tuberculosis screening.  After doing extensive research on the horrors of vaccines, I was hesitant to get the test done.  Nonetheless, it’s a requirement for my Master’s degree training, so off I went to the clinic.

The test is quite simple: a human strain of inactive tuberculosis bacteria is injected into your forearm.  If you’re a carrier of the bacteria, the area will swell like a spider bite within 72 hours.  The procedure is mostly painless and quick.

However, less than 10 minutes later as I was getting on the freeway, I started getting really faint and dizzy.  My forearm started cramping slightly and I had to pull over!  I was ‘thisclose’ to fainting… ALONE… IN MY CAR.  I cranked up the air conditioning, poured some water on the back of my neck, and sat with my head between my legs for what seemed like forever but was probably about 10 minutes.

When I had recovered, I drove over to my acupuncturist’s office.  I explained what had happened to me and she said that most likely my body had had a reaction to the toxins in the shot.  TOXINS???  This was a TB “test”, not a vaccine!

I got home from the test and got busy with school and work and life.  No time to do research, right?  Well, last night I started having MAJOR menstrual cramps.  And I do mean MAJOR.  As in “wake you up in the middle of the night” MAJOR.   This is VERY abnormal for me, and I had an inkling of what had caused them.

Well, I did a tiny bit of research this morning (better late than never), and LOOK WHAT I FOUND in the VERY FIRST search result that appears after Googling “ingredients in tuberculosis test”.  It turns out that one of the chemicals used to stabilize the bacteria causes mutations in the reproductive organs of female rats.  Additionally, the preservative used is “an extremely poisonous antiseptic, germicidal and disinfectant”.