Spring can really hang you up…

Spring can really hang you up…

[pictured above, an alder (Alnus rubra) male catkin that releases pollen] It’s officially Spring and many of you may be witnessing what some refer to as ‘yellow season’, the season of pollen dusting everything in it’s wake and wreaking havoc on our bodies. I’m reminded of one of the original bannock recipes, eaten by First Nations peoples, calling for cattail pollen, which grows in abundance for only a short few days in the spring. It’s one of the few examples of a pre-agrarian food that is comprised of tiny microparticles, and given its sticky, heavy properties, it’s probably a good thing that this special treat wasn’t available too often. In my book Food As Medicine, I make reference to research, which shows that a diet high in microparticles plays a role in gastrointestinal inflammation, which itself is a causative factor in the development of allergies and autoimmune disease. Of course, I don’t think that cattail bannock as a rare treat is the issue, but … [Read more...]

Dealing with cold and flu season

Dealing with cold and flu season

(pictured above Ligusticum canbyi)  Well, it's that time of year, and people are dropping like flies. Why is it that almost everyone succumbs to sickness during that fall, and how can we prevent it? From the perspective of medical science, a cold or flu is caused by one of over 200 different viruses, most commonly one of the rhinoviruses, coronaviruses, influenza viruses or the adenoviruses. Typical symptoms include cough, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, and fever, and while most people get better in about seven to ten days, some symptoms can last up to three weeks or longer. While the science isn't clear, it is generally thought that susceptibility to viral infection occurs during this time due to factors such as decreased humidity, which increases viral transmission rates by allowing tiny viral droplets to disperse farther and stay in the air longer, as well as the fact that most of use spend more time indoors, which enhances viral transmission. But apart from that, medical … [Read more...]