Monday, December 1, 2008

The unexpected benefits of being a raw fooder

The unexpected benefits of being a raw living fooder
by James Carey

I live out in the woods of east central Georgia. WAY out in the woods. My
driveway is several city blocks long. You can’t even see the house from the
road. Every summer I contract poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac at least a
dozen times. Seventeen times, one year. Each case lasts about two weeks, unless
I catch some more elsewhere on my body and have overlapping cases. I’ve found
the Canadian Centre for Disease Control (CCDC) website has the most useful
information, and I know all about urushiol and Technu and Clear Caladryl lotion.
Did you know that one nanogram of urushiol (billionth of a gram) is enough to
cause a rash, the name is derived from the Japanese name for laquer, dead plants
can infect you even after five years, urushiol remains potent for several
centuries, or that the name Poison Ivy was coined by Captain John Smith in 1609?
I could go on…

I’m just careless about it, is all. I stop to admire the sunrise, then realize
that the tree I’m leaning against is covered with PI vines. I go crawling
under the house to fix something, and realize the next day that the pretty
little plants I crawled over were poison oak. I go berry picking, and push right
though the poison sumac to get to the blackberry bushes behind. I’ve even
caught PI from the dog (the oil can be carried on their fur) and mowing the

Invariably, two days later I start to itch, and when I backtrack my activities I
find the cause of infection (the CCDC calls this “vectoring,” in case you
were wondering.)

At least I never get PI on my feet or ankles. That’s because I always wear
big, heavy boots around the farm. Of course, I’m constantly battling
Athlete’s Foot. I wear two pair of white socks, change them at midday (dinner,
not lunch), and have a collection of sprays, ointments and powders. I know
almost as much about Athlete’s Foot fungus as I do about Poison Ivy.

It’s been different this summer, though. Here it is July already and the one
case of PI I’ve had lasted only two days. And I haven’t had Athlete’s Foot
since I left CHI last fall. Curious, no? I thought so, especially since spring
came a month early and everything’s blooming even heartier than usual.

I mentioned this to Don Haughey, co-founder of Creative Health Institute and he
said, “Oh, that’s because your body is more alkaline now.” I checked with
a chemist at Georgia Southern University, and, sure enough, that’s correct. An
alkaline body chemistry repels skin diseases.

Like the local girls say, “Well, ain’t that special?”

Jim Carey,
Herndon, Georgia

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