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Welcome! My blog now contains over 200 articles and recipes. To help you find them more easily I’ve given the front page a bit of a refresh and created some attractive topic archive pages which you can access from the ‘By Topic’ menu in the black bar above or by clicking on the icons above. Have fun exploring!
LATEST ARTICLES
The bitter truth is sweeter than we thought (23/Jul/17) - Cocktail bitters started out as Victorian patent medicines, yet their health credentials are being confirmed as researchers discover that bitter taste receptors affect cells throughout the body. Continue reading
Health Hack #1: An alternative to fizzy drinks (19/Jul/17) - Love a social drink but want to avoid soft drinks and alcohol? Here's a tip for a fantastic drink you can order in most pubs, mix at home or take to a BBQ. Brilliant for kids too. Continue reading
June 2017 News Round-Up (2/Jul/17) - Mistrust of medical research; Diet and Bowel cancer; Infant growth; Sleep health; Sunscreen problems; Coffee and the liver; Fungi in the home Continue reading
THINKING ALOUD: SHORT POSTS

IN THE NEWS
June 2017 News Round-Up - Mistrust of medical research; Diet and Bowel cancer; Infant growth; Sleep health; Sunscreen problems; Coffee and the liver; Fungi in the home Continue reading
May News Round-Up - Cancer & sugar; Bone broth for skin; Tree nuts, not peanuts; Cinnamon for fat reduction; Pasta sales down; Cheese is good; More protein for elderly; Cauliflower recipes Continue reading
NUTRITION & HEALTH
The bitter truth is sweeter than we thought (23/Jul/17) - Cocktail bitters started out as Victorian patent medicines, yet their health credentials are being confirmed as researchers discover that bitter taste receptors affect cells throughout the body. Continue reading
Even in the land of barbies and beer vegetarians DON’T live longer (25/Jun/17) - A second big study finds no all-cause mortality benefit of vegetarian diets, among the general population. Continue reading
Gary Taubes on American Heart Association confirmation bias (21/Jun/17) - Gary Taubs provides some insight into the apparent intransigence of public health authorities when it comes to diet and heart disease. Continue reading
MOST POPULAR POSTS
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EVOLUTION & DIET
Paleo veggies (video and infographic) - Spoiler Alert! The Paleo diet included veggies. Recent evidence confirms the obvious: our hunter gatherer ancestors both hunted AND gathered. Continue reading
Neanderthal Herbal Medicine - Recent evidence has uncovered the use of herbal medicines amongst our closest evolutionary cousin. We look at the therepeutic properties of these herbs. Continue reading
The Waterside Ape on BBC Radio 4 - Listen Again: an excellent introduction into controversial theory that humans evolved in riverside / shoreline environments. Continue reading
UNDERSTANDING GLUTEN
THE ENVIRONMENT AND FOOD PRODUCTION
Study: dairy, not plant based diets is the best way to feed the planet - New Zealand farm analysis finds that mixed dairy/cropping systems feed the greatest number of people. Protein considerations prove pivotal. Continue reading
Why home-grown food is up to ten times better than arable crops - Study shows that UK allotments and gardens are more productive and fertile than farmland. Continue reading
Safari in deepest Sussex – now you can experience the Knepp re-wilding project for yourself! - From glamping in a sepherd's hut to night safaris led by bat experts - Knepp estate now offers many ways to experience the UK's top re-wilding success story. Continue reading
Featured videos: the environmental argument for pasture raised meat
HERBAL MEDICINE
The bitter truth is sweeter than we thought - Cocktail bitters started out as Victorian patent medicines, yet their health credentials are being confirmed as researchers discover that bitter taste receptors affect cells throughout the body. Continue reading
Neanderthal Herbal Medicine - Recent evidence has uncovered the use of herbal medicines amongst our closest evolutionary cousin. We look at the therepeutic properties of these herbs. Continue reading
Aloe vera plants – why every home should have one - Aloe vera is the number one treatment for first and second degree burns. Easy to grow - a must have plant for every home. Continue reading
LATEST RECIPES
Giant Puff Ball with Garlic and Rosemary - Giant Puff Balls have been spotted in the wild. We caught one and cooked it in true hunter gatherer style. Here's how... Continue reading
Oxtail Caserole, country style - A simple but classic dish making use of some of those 'odd bits' that make nose to tail eating so easy. Continue reading
My Grain-Free Christmas Dinner - Our traditional Christmas dinner worked exceptionally well this year, and included roast turkey with all the trimmings. Continue reading
Grain-Free Christmas Pudding - It's the traditional pud gone paleo. Soaked fruit, almonds and honey make this rich Christmas bomb go with a bang. Continue reading
Keto Bounty Bars - Coconut filled chocolate sweet-meats that are suitable for ketogenic diets. Continue reading
More Recipes
Related post: Eating well needn’t cost a fortune
PHOTOTHERAPY: LIGHT AND HEALTH
Red light phototherapy (3/3): Hair regrowth, Pain reduction, Wound healing and Practical applications - In part 3 we look at NASAs original work on red light and pain reduction, recent discoveries about wound healing, and finish with a range of simple things you can do to benefit from red-light at home. Continue reading
Red light phototherapy (2/3): Brain, Muscles and Eyes - Red light stimulates mitochondrial function. We look at the accumulating evidence that phototherapy can improve brain function in Alzheimer's, schizophrenia and Parkinson's. Plus red light enhances muscle endurance and a has major role in eye health. Continue reading
Red light phototherapy (1/3): The Skin - Research is uncovering a huge range of beneficial effects of red light. In part 1 I look at the remarkable protective effects of red light on the skin. Continue reading
WEST SUSSEX HISTORY OF MEDICINE SOCIETY LECTURES
Afifah Is the official blogger for WSHoMSoc which meets in the Autumn at St Richard’s Hospital Chichester
WSHOMS Nov 5th 2016 - 1) How Graylingwell Hospital near Chichester West Sussex served war wounded during WW1 2) Why Malta was known as the 'Hospital Island' Continue reading
WSHOMS Dec 5th 2015 - (1) The incredible history of plastic and cosmetic surgery that was initially mastered in ancient India (2) Toulouse Lautrec and his Muse, Jane Avril Continue reading
FEATURED VIDEO FROM OUR SEMINAR
RECOMMENDED POSTS FROM THE ARCHIVE
Vitamin A from animal sources – more good news - Studies show vitamin A may prevent obesity, diabetes, and protect the heart - but Beta-carotene may counteract vitamin A health benefits. Continue reading
Is Low-Carb really Normo-Carb? - Looking at the effects of high and low-carb diets on glucose, insulin and free fatty acids suggests low carb diets are normal. Continue reading
New study vindicates Weston A Price - Scientists identify Price's 'Displacing Foods of Commerce' as ideal for inducing full-blown metabolic syndrome in rats. Continue reading
Calorie Counting vs Meal Timing - Why a high protein breakfast might work better than calorie counting. Continue reading
Keto Pancakes - One of our most popular recipes. Makes low-carb breakfasts a doddle. Continue reading

Recent Posts

The bitter truth is sweeter than we thought

Cocktail bitters like Angostura and Peychaud’s have pedigrees going back to the 1830’s. Looking like something out of a victorian apothecary these intriguing botanical preparations may indeed have medicinal properties deeper than anyone thought.

Following our recent infographic (Health Hack #1: An alternative to fizzy drinks) in which I recommended using Angostura bitters as a basis for a healthy fizzy drink, I felt I had more to say about bitters in general.

In traditional herbal medicine bitter herbs were considered aids to digestion through stimulation of bile and digestive juices. Taken fifteen minutes before a meal they were used to increase appetite –  the concept behind the idea of the aperitif – or after a meal as a digestive, but they are also thought to stimulate and ‘detoxify’ the liver, and generally are considered a ‘tonic’ to revivify the blood and to ‘enhance the vigour’ of the digestive system. Such vague and ill-defined terminology has led to these claims being largely dismissed. However, recent research is not only confirming the health value of bitter tasting substances but discovering that they have important physiological effects throughout the body.

The story of herbal bitters just took a fascinating turn that is proving to be sweeter than anyone might have imagined …

Read time: 12 minutes (2300 words) Continue reading

  1. Health Hack #1: An alternative to fizzy drinks Leave a reply
  2. June 2017 News Round-Up Leave a reply
  3. Even in the land of barbies and beer vegetarians DON’T live longer Leave a reply
  4. Gary Taubes on American Heart Association confirmation bias Leave a reply
  5. Giant Puff Ball with Garlic and Rosemary 7 Replies
  6. Low fat (but not full fat) dairy associated with increased risk of Parkinson’s disease Leave a reply
  7. May News Round-Up Leave a reply