So, I read a lot of academic medical papers, especially regarding nutrition. It seems we’re always learning more about how the human body works. But, I realized today that I also read a lot of papers about cats. This is because I have two of them and they’re elderly with problems. I figured that since I read so much, it might be beneficial to other people to write about what I learned sometimes. So I thought I’d share what I’m learning about now.

Currently one of my cats, Bina, has a problem with possible pancreatitis. Up until a few days ago, she had been losing weight and she looked really bad. Her fur was getting scruffy and she was listless and vomiting almost every meal. She was scratching her neck and had some sort of rash that would get worse with the low-fat diet food I was giving her.

I haven’t taken her in for her ultrasound yet, but after a visit the the vet with a blood test her lipase levels were really high. I started searching around on the web for papers referencing what to do in cases of irritable bowel disease, pancreatitis, feline regurgitation, and high levels of lipase. I found quite a bit of stuff. The most shocking was that almost everywhere I looked, it said that many vets say not to give cats in this kind of situation fats, but that although this applies to humans and other animals, it doesn’t apply to cats. Their internal organs work differently… Thus, sometimes there are anomalies. And in this case, almost all of the places said that you can give cats fats even if they have high levels of serum lipase. Even though that was the only recommendation by the vet. No fats, and to limit her to kibbles.

Now, a lot of other places said that you’re lucky if you can get your cat to eat at this point. Also, cats should be on a liquid diet so that they can get their hydration back.

I pulled on her neck skin, and it slowly went back down to normal. Wow, she’s pretty dehydrated. So at that point, I pretty much threw everything that I had been told out the window and started doing my own research.

I use triangulation when I’m researching information on the web. That means, that at least three veterinarians or academic sources have to say something similar in order for me to accept it as possible fact. Also, the words can’t be plagiarized and each has to be a different academic paper. The information should preferably be newer.

What I found was that the most common treatment for the situation is to ultimately treat them with antioxidants and to rehydrate the cat with a potassium rehydration liquid first, because usually they are dehydrated. Sometimes this involves force-feeding because they refuse to eat, and some places they don’t even worry about what they’re feeding the cat because cats can go into a dangerous bodily shock if they don’t eat for too long. In general, my cat doesn’t have too bad of problems eating; she’s a glutton. But my choice of food for her has mostly been dry kibbles, with wet food at night. Almost every day she throws up. So what I did was change her diet to wet food, with vitamin supplements added.

One hint was the vitamin B complex. I was not shocked to find that vitamin B complex, especially folic acid can be helpful. Also, she is particularly low because I give her Coenzyme Q10 for her heart problems (5 years ago she almost died — within 2 weeks of coenzyme Q10 treatment she was fine)… But Coenzyme Q10 uses Vitamin B during absorption into the system… Even though I supplement the cats with Yeast flakes, I guess it isn’t enough, because the other day I found her attacking a B vitamin pill that I had dropped, and devouring the contents… So B Complex was in.

The supplement that’s most recommended for her situation is Sam-e. Other than that, vitamins E, C, K2, A, B vitamins, and other antioxidants are recommended. Other than that, some places recommend probiotics, and in humans with pancreatitis they recommend using digestive enzymes to aid the pancreas in digestion while balance is returning but it hasn’t been tested in cats.

I mashed up her wet food and mixed in B complex and vitamin C and added almost as much water as food. She gobbled it up. Within the day, she was already starting to look less anorexic and her nape skin was falling a little faster. Within 3 days she has almost returned to normal. Her eyes are sparkling, her nape skin can be lifted and drops into place almost immediately, and she looks just so much better. She wants to race me and play. I’m so happy she feels better.

I’m waiting for the Sam-e, Vitamin E, and an antioxidant set of resverotol with vitamin A to arrive. I’ve been giving her small amounts of K2, C, and digestive enzymes with lots of water. She gets her regular Coenzyme Q10 and the new addition of vitamin B Complex, but I have tapered off the dosage as she took a lot for a couple of days. I check the dosages and vitamin types before feeding them to the cats. Some vitamins are dangerous for cats.

I’m considering the raw or semi-raw food diet, but at this point, high liquid wet food seems like it may work. I know it has more chemicals, but it also has a lot of water and the cat will eat it… That being said, for the long-term I am considering different raw food diets at the moment for both of them.


Yuzu Seedlings

Today I tried to find places to plant my yuzu seedlings around my neighborhood. There was so much concrete, or weed-killed areas, that it was really difficult to find any places where they might survive. When they grow, some people might enjoy them, while others will tear them out of the ground, and that is their right. To me, it is a little gift that I can give back to the world. I hope that many years from now, if someone wants a yuzu fruit and can’t find one at the store, they can take a walk and pick one from a wild tree.

These past few weeks I have been enjoying picking some of my vegetables from forgotten corners in my neighborhood, and from my willing neighbor’s trees. Wolfberry shoots are bitter but taste so nutritious, and mulberry shoots are delicious and tender. I was told to pick some bamboo shoots… But they are two feet tall now!If we can make more space on our roadsides and unused spaces for wild edible plants, we can raise our resilience levels for times when food might be scarce.

It scares me to think that this could have been MERS instead of CoVid-19. If that had happened, the food system would have collapsed.

If everyone knew what plants are edible, that would be great, but after two weeks or even a few days they would be gone. We need to create a world with more kindness towards other species, plant and animal. Birds spread mulberry seeds. Mulberries can provide not only berries but a nutritious vegetable for your dinner plate. But mulberries often get wacked away. We don’t know the value of the species we are destroying by laying down concrete, either.

When I was doing research in a small town down south, the elderly residents said they hadn’t seen a valued ethnobotanical plant (Ashitaba) for a long time in their neighborhood. I asked them why they thought that was, and they answered that they thought it was because there is too much concrete everywhere.

It seems like it is okay to rip trees and plants out of the ground, destroying other species’ homes, but it isn’t okay for us to defend them. Ask the town office why they overprune the roadside and park trees; it is their right to do that but the tree has no rights. The river by my house, covered and sided up by concrete, also has no rights. It isn’t okay to plant trees where people don’t want them, either. It isn’t okay to try to create a viable world for our grandkids.

I think CoVID-19 is a wake-up call for us to realize that we cannot do ‘business-as-usual’ anymore. We HAVE TO change, or we will fail, big time. But how to change?

Today I found a plant I had never seen before. It had been cut down and was growing out of its stump with the most beautiful leaves. I’m sure whoever hurt it didn’t care, and just wanted to make more room in their unused parking lot. Changing is taking baby steps. Opening our minds to new ways of thinking. Refusing to follow those who tell us that “this is the way we have always done it” or “this is the way business will prosper,” because business will not prosper long term and neither will any of us if we don’t change, NOW. Small actions count!! Let’s begin doing little things, thinking about things differently, and the world will change, one person at a time, one community at a time, one city at a time, one country at a time…

So if I would like to make a little Earth Day Wish, it would be for you, the reader, to do something small this week for the natural world. Whether it be planting some edible tree seeds, making a nest box, labeling some wild plants, stop using weed-killer and weeding (cut them and do mulching, cover them with cardboard and compost and plant species you want instead), de-investing in bad companies, donating to a trusted natural cause, sharing an article, making a bird bath, planting a tree in a parking lot, or destroying some concrete and replacing it with something else, or another warm-hearted action. I hope you can do it for yourself, your children, and the world around you.

SARS and Corinavirus: looking to history and enthnobotany for a cure

Here are the herbal combinations that the Chinese government finally turned to during the SARS epidemic. I first heard about them during my research about Houttuynia cordata as an ethnobotanical in Japan. During the SARS epidemic, modern medicine wasn’t enough. It seems, looking at the numbers, that SARS was far more virulent than the current 2019 Corinavirus, however, it is good to know some remedies that we might be able to turn to in case modern medicine fails again. This case demonstrates the power of looking back into historical events and finding clues for how to deal with life in the moment.
The following table is easier to read inside the text. It is towards the end. The therapeutic functions are listed in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) lingo; just understand that these formulas worked and that is why they were used by thousands of people. Look up the meanings online if you want to learn about them. The methods for making the medicines are in the linked document. Basically, you make a tea and drink it three or more times a day, depending.

Ingredients Lists:

Formula 1
Astragalus (huangqi) A. propinquus
Patrinia (baijiangcao) Valerianaceae – species Thlaspi arvense or Patrinia scabiosaefolia
Coix (yiyiren) Poaceae – Coix lacryma-jobi (also known as Job’s Tears, the seeds)
Platycodon (jiegeng) – P. grandiflorus
Licorice (gancao) – Glycyrrhiza uralensis (the root)
Therapeutic Functions
benefit qi, remove moisture, clear heat, clean toxin

Formula 2
Houttuynia (yuxingcao) H. cordata
Chrysanthemum (yejuhua) C. indicum
Capillaris (yinchenhao) Artemisia capillaris
Eupatorium (peilan) E. fortunei
Tsao-ko (caoguo) Lanxangia tsaoko
Therapeutic Functions
clear heat, clean toxins, resolve turbidity

Formula 3
Taraxacum (pugongying) dandelion
Trollius (jinlianhua) T. chinensis (globeflower)
Isatis leaf (daqingye) I. indigotica
Pueraria (gegen) P. lobata (Kudzu)
Perilla leaf (zisuye) Shiso
Therapeutic Functions
clear heat, clean toxin, dispel wind, expel pathogens

Formula 4
Phragmites (lugen) P. australis (Reed Root)
Lonicera (jinyinhua) Flo’s Lonicerae japonicae (Japanese Honeysuckle flower)
Forsythia (lianqiao) Forsythiae fructus (ripened fruit of the plant)
Mentha (bohe) Mentha haplocalyx (peppermint)
Licorice (gancao) Glycyrrhiza uralensis (the root)
Therapeutic Functions
clear heat, dispel wind-chill, expel pathogens

Formula 5
Astragalus (huangqi) A. propinquus
Atractylodes (baizhu) Atractylodes macrocephala
Red Atractylodes (cangzhu) A. lancea, A. chinensis, and A. japonica all function similarly.
Pogostemon (huoxiang) (Patchouli)
Adenophora (nanshashen) A. triphylla
Lonicera (jinyinhua) Flo’s Lonicerae japonicae (Japanese Honeysuckle flower)
Dryopteris (guanzhong) Dryopteris crassirhizoma (Wood Fern root. There are other Dryopteris that can be used)
Therapeutic Functions
strengthen spleen, benefit qi, resolve damp, clean toxins

Formula 6
Pseudostellaria (taizishen) Pseudostellaria heterophylla, ginseng of the lung. Gentler than Panax Ginseng. Cures lungs.
Dryopteris (guanzhong) (referring in particular to Dryopteris filix-mas), or buckler ferns, is a genus of 300-350 (or possibly 400) species.
Lonicera (jinyinhua) Flo’s Lonicerae japonicae (Japanese Honeysuckle flower)
Isatis leaf (daqingye) I. indigotica
Pueraria (gegen) P. lobata (Kudzu)
Perilla leaf (zisuye) Shiso
Pogostemon (huoxiang) Patchouli, in the mint family. Not specified whether leaves or stems.
Red Atractylodes (cangzhu) A. lancea, A. chinensis, and A. japonica all function similarly.
Eupatorium (peilan) E. fortunei
Therapeutic Functions
benefit qi, disperse pathogens, clean toxins, remove moisture

A post with A Gallery

Below you can see some photos in my blog up until June, 2020 when this gallery page was created. I’m not sure how to edit the metapicture below.

This blog post is an exhibit of the photos in my posts. I hope you have found your visit interesting and informative. Cheers!