Posted on 3/1/2014 2:17 PM By Adam Blanning, MD
When I was doing my medical training, there was a pretty simple rule about the gallbladder: if you find that there are gallstones, and someone is having symptoms (pain on the right side, up under the ribs, especially after eating fatty foods) then the gallbladder needs be taken out! If there are gallstones, but no symptoms, in most cases leave it alone (diabetes was an exception). It was, and is, a very mechanical view of the liver and gallbladder, sort of like swapping out parts on a car engine. If it is causing problems take it out, if it is not, leave it be. And it is true that a primary activity of the gallbladder is to function as a storage sack for the gall and wait until the right kinds of foods are eaten, then send a bunch of gall down into the small intestine. But the gallbladder is more important than that. For the active excretion of the bile through the gallbladder is an essential activ ...
Posted on 12/1/2013 2:34 PM By Adam Blanning, MD
Every so often you encounter something that is so simple and effective, that you wonder why you didn't know about it before, and why doesn't someone put it in a "handbook" for life. One of the things that should most certainly be in that handbook, at least in the category of home treatments for common illness, is the use of an onion compress for an earache. Yes, it will make you or your child smell like onions, and it sounds ridiculously simple, but in the middle of the night it can really be your friend.
Why does it work? Well, most of the pain associated with an ear ache is from pressure, as fluid or mucous builds up in the space of the middle ear. And what happens when you cut up an onion? It makes you cry. It has a warming, loosening, irritating effect on your eyes and nose which helps to pull fluid right out. This effect can be put to good use when there is a lot of fluid built up and it needs to be released. It can be done in several simple steps:
use a regular cooking onion, then
cut it ...
Posted on 12/1/2012 1:00 AM By Adam Blanning, MD
December 2012 Three Paragraph Newsletter
The medicines that are used in anthroposophic medicine (also often referred to as "remedies") come from the natural world. Most are prepared from plants and minerals, a select few from the animal world, with very special attention given to the purity and quality of the substances. While most conventional pharmaceutical drugs are made synthetically, usually from petroleum, anthroposophic medicines are sourced from nature, and handled thoughtfully and carefully to protect the living qualities of the substance. This is important, because the chemical composition of a substance is an important "footprint" of the particular plant, but it is not the whole thing. In a way it is at most a marker of what happens when the process of a plant comes to rest. There is a chemical pattern which is representative of a process, but it is not the whole process. Anthroposophic medicines are trying to incorporate the whole process of a mineral, plant, or animal.
To understand t ...