Friday Roundup - January 14, 2016

What I've been reading, writing, thinking about and indulging in this week.

Image from www.AlbertWStern.com

Image from www.AlbertWStern.com

The Force Awakens. I'm a pretty big Star Wars fan. Seriously. I loved this article (with images!) by Colorado acupuncturist Albert Stern, about what Star Wars teaches us about acupuncture (and that quote from Obi-wan was my email signature for about 8 years.)

This herbalist isn't happy that women are seeking herbal abortions: In December I created a special limited edition product, LOVE Balm, as a response to violence against BlackLivesMatter protestors and at a Planned Parenthood clinic. I donated the proceeds of the balm to BlackLivesMatter and the National Network of Abortion Funds. I was reminded of how important the Fund's work is (and of the times I've been touched by this issue as a practitioner) when I read this alarming article about the number of women seeking herbal abortions because medical ones are inaccessible.

Don't get mad: take action! In another health scandal that disproportionately affects women, I learned from Breast Cancer Action that lymphedema, a common side effect of cancer treatment when lymph nodes are removed, is not covered by Medicare and many insurance plans. A lot of clients at Charlotte Maxwell Clinic deal with lymphedema, and the clinic is a great resource for patients and practitioners in understanding this frustrating and dangerous complication. It's scandalous that people can't access the treatments (simple things like compression garments!) that can keep it from progressing.  Email your representative and help prevent life-threatening complications BEFORE they happen.

Have a great weekend!

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Friday Roundup - October 16

What I've been reading, writing, thinking about and indulging in this week

Toxic Beauty Companies: It's October, which among other things, is 'Breast Cancer Awareness Month.' There's been lots of great discussion in recent years about the problem with 'pinkwashing.' This searing indictment from Peggy Orenstein is one I reread every October. This year Breast Cancer Action, an organization I got to know through my volunteer work at the Charlotte Maxwell Clinic, is raising the roof about an especially egregious 'pinkwash.'

Cosmetic companies donate products to people in treatment for breast cancer, and those products both CAUSE cancer and even interfere with treatment. If you're as horrified by that as I am, sign the BCA petition here, and of course, kick those toxic products out of your own bathroom, purse or gym bag! Breast Cancer Action believes 'Breast cancer is a social justice issue and a public health crisis' and I agree!

Homemade hotsauce: I love hot sauces and fermented pastes of all kinds. But a lot of my favorites have junk in them that I'd prefer to avoid. (oh Oyster Sauce, we have to break up!) This week I snagged some organic red jalapenos and in just a few minutes, whipped up my own completely natural and additive free chili paste. I've been having it on everything and have to make more! I used this recipe from Nom Nom Paleo, but made it a little chunkier than her 'sriracha' version. I also succumbed to the hype and bought some Red Boat Fish Sauce, the 'champagne of fish sauce' Honestly, it's not hype - this stuff is incredible!

Busy, busy bee! That's me! Fall is bringing me lots of opportunities and I'm working hard to share the word about Angelica & Peony. I'll be at the Patchwork Show  on October 25 in Jack London Square, and I'm excited to announce I'll be at the Opal Street Center on November 14 for a festive herbalist and maker fair with an amazing group of healers, more deets soon. My friend and colleague Denise Cicuto L.Ac and I have been having so much fun doing Periscope live broadcasts together, that we're going to make it a regular thing - catch us Thursday, October 29 at 4 pm PST for our next installment (and email or comment if you have questions about Chinese Medicine, natural health, gynecology or skin care that you'd like us to tackle!)

Have a great weekend!

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