Susan's Musings

These musings—blog entries—are for the year 2006. Other years can be accessed from the blog's home page, use the link in the upper right.

Grapefruit seed extract is neither safe nor natural
The 2005 Medical Herbalism journal has an article by Todd Caldecott about grapefruit seed extract (GSE). I was interested because while I use this product, I did not know how it was prepared or what it contained. Researchers found that GSE contains, in addition to an extract of the seed of the grapefruit, one or more of methyl-p-hydroxybenzoate, triclosan, and benzethonium chloride. The antimicrobial activity attributed to GSE is due to these preservatives, not the grapefruit seed extract itself. Benzethonium chloride "is clearly stated to be a potentially harmful compound. and is not approved for internal use in the United States." "Triclosan is listed by the EPA as a 'pesticide'." While "it is approved for use in topical and oral applications, is not approved for internal use in the United States." That is in contrast to suggestions that GSE be used internally. (8-13-2006)
The Buteyko Breathing Method
The Buteyko Breathing Method was recently brought to my attention by a friend who is using it to ease asthma in her young child. The following is an excerpt from the website of Breath Dance:
"The Buteyko Breathing Method is actually a very simple set of tools and techniques used to correct chronic patterns of hyperventilation, or overbreathing. The method was developed in Russia in the 1950s by Dr. Konstantin P. Buteyko . . . He noticed that hyperventilation was one of the primary symptoms of illness . . . When hyperventilation was corrected, [there was] 100% improvement of conditions such as hypertension, angina pectoris and asthma. In 1981, after a successful clinical trial with asthmatic children, it was adopted as the treatment of choice in pediatric asthma and is still widely used to this day." (7-7-2006)
Heat by Bill Buford
I loved this book! Heat's subtitle is quite useful: An amateur's adventures as kitchen slave, line cook, pasta-maker, and apprentice to a Dante-quoting butcher in Tuscany. The chapter titles follow along. Essentially, Buford apprenticed himself first to Mario Batali at Babbo in New York, second, in Emilia Romagna, to a pasta maker named Betta in Porretta (15 miles north of Pistoia), and lastly in Tuscany to a butcher named Dario Cecchini in Panzano (20 miles south of Florence). . . . (7-3-2006)
In the 1960s I began reading a series of paperback novels—historical fiction—about a woman named Angelique in 17th century France and America. These books were written by Serge and Anne Golon. I have saved them all this time because they were so remarkable, and recently discovered there were three more books that had been translated into English. Luckily I found them used on and so have the complete set. I reread them every ten years or so. There are several websites that have information on the novels and their authors, among them the official website of Anne Golon The World of Angelique. (3-29-2006)
Dogs grovel, cats smirk.
Aromatherapy is a wonderful and effective practice for health and life. What is aromatherapy? The therapeutic use of essential oils—physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. . . . (1-14-2006)
Wool bed
A wool bed: The ultimate software upgrade banishes sheep deprivation. Fleece on earth, good wool to all. At last—a bed that warrants superlatives of comfortability and health: the all-wool bed and bedding from Shepherd's Dream. (1-14-2006)
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Revision: 3-16-2015.