Friday, February 29, 2008

Honey! The Magical Elixer

I've been a believer in raw honey for awhile, but lately I've become a real advocate.

There was a recent article in the New York times about a study on folk remedies for mild burns. The only one that really worked was honey (and I didn't even know that was a use for honey).

Feed your dog and yourself local raw honey on a regular basis. There are so many reasons why - antibacterial, reduces allergies (that's why you want local, for local pollen response), heals skin (topically), great for dogs that are too ill to eat regular food, or as a first food after surgery.

It doesn't take much (so don't go givin' your pup a cup-full), and is so good, and dang it, it tastes good! Why not!

People then always ask where to get raw, local, unfiltered honey. Well, health food stores will often have at least regional honey (if not, ask them to). Farmers markets are usually your best bet. Now, in the age of craigslist, you can find almost anything online.

If you can't find local don't give up, any raw unfiltered honey will give you all the main benefits (thinking on allergies is local matches your needs best, but also your support local beekeepers who's bees are pollinating your local plants), and even some mainstream stores will stock it.

I think wildflower honey is best, but of course seasonal changes are the thing, so you might end up changing crop honeys a few times a year. It's just that wildflower is getting you the best variety of "ingredients" in the honey.

Vida now knows the sound of the ceramic honey jar being opened, and comes in for her serving. I just drip some on my finger and put my hand down and she licks it off (she's learned to be quick and not let it drip on the floor).

So there ya go, my rally for honey, y'all.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

"I want to DIY my pet's meds, but the first $$!!"

I just finished the latest issue of Radical Pet, and I have a couple of recipes that use essential oils and other ingredients for dealing with fleas and ear problems. When you only have one pet that initial outlay for ingredients can be big, especially when you're not using much of each one. This simple problem can definitely stop people from making their own remedies, so I want to offer a couple of ideas.

First, get together with friends who have pets and pool your resources. Co-op the production.

Another idea to consider (either solo or with friends) is to make extra to donate to rescue groups or people who foster animals waiting for adoption. You may need to form a relationship with a rescue group before they'll accept a "homemade" remedy, or you may be able to find some that already do that themselves. It will help if you can offer a remedy with a recipe from a reputable source. For example, the recipes in RP5 are cited from a reputable book. They may be a bit suspicious if they think you just made it up yourself.

So get out there and DIY your pet care, yo!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Two Books Everyone Should Read

In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan - an energetic, entertaining, and educational read about to results of the corporate food takeover.

WIld Health by Cindy Engel - shows that self-care is something the rest of the animal kingdom seems to be better at than we are. Fascinating.