3Mar, 2024
The Medicalisation of Happiness: A History of St. John’s Wort

This thesis, submitted by Leah Songhurst to the University of Exeter in 2010, delves into the history of mild to moderate depression and the use of over-the-counter (OTC) St. John’s wort during the 1990s. The research not only explores the diagnosis and definition of mental illnesses, but also raises questions about the intersection between conventional and alternative medicine.

By analyzing various printed sources, including popular media articles, scientific and medical journal publications, and self-help books on St. John’s wort, the thesis uncovers several historical themes. It challenges existing medical historical studies of depression by arguing that they have presented a linear progression of depression histories and retrospectively diagnosed depression based on similar symptoms. Instead, the thesis asserts that illness should be understood within its own historical context.

During the 1990s, standardized St. John’s wort was marketed as a natural and safe remedy with a long medical history. This thesis reveals that while the plant has traditionally been used to treat physical illnesses, a growing skepticism towards conventional antidepressants, coupled with an interest in alternative medicine, led some individuals to turn to St. John’s wort for mild mood disorders. It also suggests that lay people have a history of self-treating minor mental illnesses using preparatory and OTC remedies.

The thesis further argues that the concept of responsible self-care and self-treatment gained traction in the 1990s, encouraging the reclassification of passive, mildly to moderately depressed patients as active consumers. The popular media coverage of depression and its treatments during this time was often confusing, with depression and the use of conventional medicines and St. John’s wort sometimes presented as part of a lifestyle choice.

Lastly, the thesis contends that by the 1990s, standardized St. John’s wort underwent the same scientific and medical scrutiny as conventional medicines, blurring the boundaries between conventional and alternative treatments. It highlights how the remedy represents a situation where the distinction between the two approaches has become increasingly indistinguishable.

St John’s Wort is a widely recognised medicinal plant that has been used for centuries to treat various medical conditions. With a rich history dating back to ancient Greece, this herb has been recommended by physicians for nervous and mood disorders, kidney infections, wound healing, and even to alleviate symptoms of gout and menstrual cramps. However, its most famous use is as a natural remedy for mild to moderate depression.

St John’s Wort has gained scientific recognition in modern times, with numerous studies and clinical trials conducted to assess its effectiveness as an antidepressant. It has been found to lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and enhance the production of a natural tranquiliser in the brain. This herb has also shown promise in treating Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS).

At our company, we take pride in crafting high-quality St John’s Wort tinctures. We ensure that our ingredients are either organically grown or wildcrafted from pesticide-free areas. Our meticulous extraction process guarantees that every drop of healing essence is captured in our tinctures. Packaged in blue glass bottles with pipette dropper tops, our 50ml tinctures are convenient to use. Simply add 20-30 drops, 2-3 times a day, to tea or water.

To maintain the potency of your tinctures, it is advisable to store them in a cool, dark cupboard. Our St John’s Wort tincture contains only two ingredients: St John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) and Vodka. We believe in the power of time and nature to create a truly effective herbal remedy.

Experience the benefits of St John’s Wort and discover the natural healing properties of this remarkable herb.

water tap, brass, tap-2515657.jpg 14Jan, 2024
Water Fluoridation: History, Compounds, and Regulations + Removing It!

Water fluoridation in the United Kingdom has a rich history dating back to the 1950s when the first scheme was introduced in Birmingham. Since then, various regions have implemented water fluoridation programs to differing extents. It’s essential to recognize that decisions regarding water fluoridation are typically made locally, and not all areas in the UK have embraced this practice.

Types of Fluoride Compounds and Their Origins

Understanding the common fluoride compounds and their origins sheds light on the diverse applications of fluorine in various industries:

  1. Sodium Fluoride (NaF): Source: Naturally occurring in minerals like cryolite, also produced synthetically. Application: Used in toothpaste and water fluoridation.
  2. Calcium Fluoride (CaF2): Source: Found in minerals like fluorite. Application: Used in aluminum production, metallurgy, and optical component manufacturing.
  3. Hydrogen Fluoride (HF): Source: Industrially produced from fluorite or as a by-product in phosphoric acid and aluminum production. Application: Used in fluorocarbons, refrigerants, and various chemicals.
  4. Fluorosilicic Acid (H2SiF6): Source: By-product of the phosphate fertiliser industry. Application: Used in water fluoridation and various industrial processes.
  5. Aluminum Fluoride (AlF3): Source: By-product in aluminum manufacture. Application: Used in aluminum production, ceramics, and glass manufacturing.
  6. Fluorocarbons (CFCs, HCFCs, HFCs): Source: Synthetic compounds with fluorine, used in refrigeration and aerosol propellants. Application: Industrial refrigerants, solvents, and propellants.
  7. Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctanesulfonic Acid (PFOS): Source: Synthetic compounds used in non-stick cookware and waterproof fabrics. Application: Despite being phased out, they persist in the environment.
  8. Fluoride in Industrial Air Cleaning Scrubbers: Source: Emissions from industrial processes captured in air cleaning scrubbers. Application: Prevents environmental contamination by removing fluoride from industrial emissions.
  9. Fluorinated Pharmaceuticals, like fluoxetine (Prozac).
  10. Fluoride (All Forms) Melts Concrete! 

 

Water Fluoridation: A Chronological History and Regulations

A chronological overview highlights key milestones in water fluoridation history:

  • 1940s-1950s: United States
    Grand Rapids, Michigan initiated the first water fluoridation program in 1945. U.S. Public Health Service endorsed water fluoridation in 1950.
  • 1960s-1970s: United Kingdom
    Water fluoridation trials began in the UK in the 1960s. The Water (Fluoridation) Act of 1985 provided a legal framework.
  • 1980s-1990s: United States
    The Safe Drinking Water Act in 1974 granted EPA authority to regulate contaminants. In 2015, recommended fluoride levels were revised to 0.7 milligrams per liter.
  • 2000s-2010s: Australia
    Water fluoridation began in Australia in the 1950s. State governments mandate water fluoridation, leading to public debates.
  • 2020s: Canada
    Water fluoridation practices vary by province. Local municipalities decide on water fluoridation, causing differing practices.

Regulations and Mandates:

  • United Kingdom: The Water (Fluoridation) Act of 1985 guides England’s health authorities, with devolved decisions in Scotland and Wales.
  • Australia: State-level regulations, e.g., Queensland’s Water Fluoridation Act 2008.
  • Canada: Local decisions on fluoridation.
  • United States: EPA sets maximum allowable fluoride levels; local water authorities decide on fluoridation.

Conclusion

Water fluoridation continues to be a hot topic of debate, focusing on so-called ‘public’ health benefits, ethics, and individual choice. Legal framework and regulations adapt to address concerns while allegedly promoting oral health.  Understanding the history, compounds, and regulations surrounding water fluoridation is crucial for informed discussions on its benefits and risks.

Water Distillers: The Optimal Choice for Ensuring Pure and Safe Drinking Water

When it comes to securing the purest and safest drinking water, water distillers stand out as the superior option. The distillation process, involving the conversion of water into steam and subsequent condensation, is unparalleled in its efficacy for removing a wide spectrum of impurities.

Key Advantages of Water Distillers:

  1. Comprehensive Contaminant Removal:
    • The distillation process excels in eliminating minerals, heavy metals, fluoride, chlorine, graphene oxide, pharmaceuticals, mold, and various other impurities. This ensures that the water produced is exceptionally pure and free from a diverse range of contaminants.
  2. Versatility in Purification:
    • Water distillers effectively address a multitude of contaminants, making them versatile for creating a safe water supply. Whether targeting chemicals, pathogens, or emerging pollutants, the distillation method provides a thorough purification solution.
  3. Independence from Water Source Quality:
    • Water distillers are not dependent on the quality of the water source. Regardless of the initial contamination levels, the distillation process reliably produces water of high purity, making it a dependable choice for diverse water supplies.
  4. Minimal Maintenance Requirements:
    • Distillation systems have relatively straightforward maintenance requirements. Periodic cleaning and attention to essential components ensure consistent performance, making them a practical choice for hassle-free water purification.
  5. Energy Efficiency Considerations:
    • While distillation is acknowledged as energy-intensive, its energy efficiency can be optimized through advancements in technology and system design. Selecting modern distillation units can enhance the overall energy efficiency of the process.
  6. Elevated Assurance of Safety:
    • Water distillers provide an elevated level of assurance regarding water safety. The comprehensive removal of contaminants, including pharmaceuticals, mold, graphene oxide, and even Radiation contributes to the production of water that meets the highest standards of purity.

 

Reverse Osmosis (RO) vs. Zero Water Pitcher: A Comparative Analysis

1. Purification Process:

  • Reverse Osmosis (RO):
    • RO utilizes a semi-permeable membrane to filter out contaminants. Water is forced through the membrane, effectively removing minerals, heavy metals, and other impurities.
  • Zero Water Pitcher:
    • Zero Water pitchers use a combination of activated carbon and an ion exchange resin to reduce total dissolved solids (TDS), which includes minerals and some impurities.

2. Contaminant Removal:

  • Reverse Osmosis (RO):
    • RO systems are highly effective in removing a wide range of contaminants, including minerals, heavy metals, fluoride, chlorine, and other impurities. They can achieve a high level of purification, often exceeding 95% removal of dissolved solids.
  • Zero Water Pitcher:
    • Zero Water pitchers are effective in reducing TDS, including minerals, but they may not remove certain contaminants as comprehensively as RO systems. The performance can vary based on the initial water quality.

3. Wastewater Generation:

  • Reverse Osmosis (RO):
    • RO systems generate wastewater as a byproduct. The amount of wastewater produced depends on the system’s design and efficiency.
  • Zero Water Pitcher:
    • Zero Water pitchers do not generate wastewater during the purification process. They rely on gravity to filter water through the cartridge, with excess water collected in the pitcher.

4. Convenience and Ease of Use:

  • Reverse Osmosis (RO):
    • RO systems are typically installed under the sink or as point-of-use systems. They require professional installation and are not as portable or convenient as pitcher filters.
  • Zero Water Pitcher:
    • Zero Water pitchers are portable and easy to use. They don’t require installation, making them suitable for use in various settings. However, their capacity is limited to the pitcher size.

5. Maintenance:

  • Reverse Osmosis (RO):
    • RO systems require regular maintenance, including membrane replacement and periodic sanitization. Maintenance can be more involved compared to pitcher filters.
  • Zero Water Pitcher:
    • Zero Water pitcher filters need replacement at regular intervals. The frequency depends on water quality and usage. Replacement is generally straightforward.

6. Cost:

  • Reverse Osmosis (RO):
    • RO systems usually have higher upfront costs, including installation. They may also incur ongoing maintenance expenses.
  • Zero Water Pitcher:
    • Zero Water pitchers have lower initial costs and do not require professional installation. However, ongoing filter replacements contribute to long-term costs.

In conclusion, water distillers emerge as the optimal choice for those prioritizing safe and pure drinking water. Their unparalleled ability to remove a broad range of contaminants ensures that the water produced is of the highest quality, making them a reliable and effective solution for households and communities alike.

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