Mushrooms, Melanin, and Moles


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Mercury will be retrograde for just a while longer and I hope then to be both "caught up" — whatever that means — and ready to move forward. Not surprisingly, suppliers have been out of stock, shipments have gone missing, and let's not talk about computers!

This said, Dr. Hiranuma and I defied the odds and completely revamped the Japanese Zerorads site.

I think it is fair to say that both of us really put our hearts into this and the response from others has been utterly amazing. People are sharing the most incredible stories and so far everyone has granted permission to translate and post.

As you may realize, TEPCO is now assuring the global community that the reactors will be under control by October. It sounds more and more like BP every day! Loosely translated, we all have to learn to live with radioactivity and this means a steep learning curve for most people. Both Dr. Hiranuma and I are aware that people need strategies that are clear, meaningful, and affordable. We are therefore dividing up the work, not just between the two of us but among several others who will be introduced when their pieces are connected. We are looking at both the short-term and long-term, focusing for instance on the value of sea salt and soda baths, of various methods of shielding, of certain dietary changes, of radioprotective and antioxidant herbs and supplements, of "indoor landscaping", of water and soil remediation, and even of eventual treatment for those who fail to take sufficient preventative measures now. This is a major undertaking.

My colleague and neighbor and friend, Dr. Carl Botefuhr, researched detection devices that are suitable for checking groceries, plants in the yard, soil, and water, but, of course, we are not special so, like many others, we are on a waiting list for delivery. We are also looking at the various rock dust and microbial amendments that will make food safe even if there is fallout. Obviously, the moment we have anything worthy of sharing, we will report it. Many people are involved in this part of the work.

So, let me start with mushrooms. If you have been a subscriber for any length of time, you know that I would never wittingly eat any mushroom nor advise anyone else to do so. Obviously, there are a few who were glad for the warning, some who brushed off the information, some who thought I am nuts, and some who were really upset. There are now lots of dots on the page and a few still need to be made clearer so as to fire the necessary synaptic responses. Oddly, this whole mushroom "thing" is connected to both radiation and my very popular essay on hair colors called pigment pots. Various black fungi began appearing inside the Chernobyl reactor as well as in the landscape surrounding the disaster. These were apparently eaten by wild boars who roamed as far away as Bavaria where they are apparently hunted for sport and eaten. However, they are too dangerous to eat because the radioactivity that was concentrated in the mushrooms has transferred to the boars.

One of the first warnings to come out of Japan was to be extremely careful of mushrooms as they attract radioactivity. This is consistent with what soil and water remediation experts are saying about mushrooms and other types of fungi in terms of their ability to bind the radiation in a manner that allows other foods to be grown safely. Dr. Hiranuma speculated that it is the capacity of mushrooms to bind radiation that was causing the alarming situations I have seen in darkfield microscopy following ingestion of basically any type of mushroom, culinary or medicinal. For the record, the advice not to harvest mushrooms came from Tokyo University so while I know this is going to have a big impact on some people's palates, I feel that it's appropriate to beat that drum one more time. I apologize for the offense, but the pattern I have seen is consistent and absolutely unrelated to allergies.

Another meandering dot has to do with the whole question of pigmentation and melanin. I never posted some of my follow up studies after that essay. That journey took me to a junction where one road led to genetics and the other to herbs. According to the DNA sampling that has been done, all people with blue eyes and blonde hair (such as myself and presumably therefore my genetic ancestors) are mutants. This mutation, for what it is worth, has tentatively been traced to a single male ancestor (they can't track the female lineage properly) in the area of the Caspian Sea, quite a long time back. Well, theories can be ridiculed or occasionally embraced with haste, and then once more rejected as time moves forward, but in this case, I truly wondered just how many people there really were "in the beginning" and well, the mind can be endlessly entertaining. Okay, that is one road. The other led to the ingredients in Chyawanprash. I tentatively attributed the ability to restore color to the hair to Cyperus rotundus, musta or nagarmotha on the label of the jar. This is a grass and the roots are eaten in times of famine. All Ayurvedic texts speak of lustrous black hair and I used to think we needed to rewrite some texts to make them appropriate to people whose hair is not black. I tried to talk to various professors of Ayurveda and they just gawked at me, but the question eventually arose as to whether people who look like me look sick or mutated to people who fit the textbook descriptions better. No one could say.

To give you an idea of just how complicated this is, I phoned Banyan Botanicals about Bhringaraj, Eclipta alba. It's also in many Ayurvedic formulas, especially hair products, but unbeknownst to me, it happens also to be a black dye. I therefore asked the folks at Banyan to check around to find out whether the hair oil darkens the hair or restores color. If you remember that essay, all hair is actually white and the color comes as a result of two pigments, eumelanin and pheomelanin. It doesn't sound interesting yet, but trust me, this road has lots of scenery worth a few photographs with titles. The melanin, besides supplying color, also protects from UV radiation . . . and what are we now hearing from Japan? There is an epidemic of people with new black moles. My thesis, based on obsessing over these questions for a couple of years now, is that when the need for protection is increased, i.e., when sunbathing or soaking up gamma radiation from nuclear sources, the body tries to protect itself and it mobilizes as much "pigment" as it can to block the radiation. However, it does this in an emergency manner with more or less efficiency so if the panic button were pressed but there was inefficiency due to various factors, the melanin does not go to the hair, which is falling out, by the way, or the eyes but winds up in moles because the distribution system for all that melanin wasn't up to the task of handling the emergency load.

Some of you remember that my boyfriend died a few years ago. He had melanoma inside the eyeball. One day when he was exhausted and unable to put more energy into managing his treatment, I spent several days on the internet searching for a pattern. The pattern was that this particular condition, quite rare, is found in unusually high incidence among pilots. Only then did he tell me he had a pilot's license. Well, this may sound like I am jumping around a bit, but if you watched that video I suggested where the cows were roaming freely in the evacuated area around Fukushima Daiichi, you will note that the cows were jet black, really black! They were apparently much better able to cope with the radiation than other creatures. I guess I am suggesting that just as fair skinned people burn in the sun whereas darker skinned people do not, these cows might be okay. Let's hope so. There is a lot of science there waiting to be understood.

As we might expect, part of the problem with the distribution of melanin has to do with liver enzymes and imbalance. Once again, as an herbalist, I am truly impressed by how certain herbs are hepatoprotective as well as useful for the hair and eyes. It is simply that the intricacy of our systems has not been well understood.

This probably sounds like babble to you, but the theory of melanin and black will definitely be continued because there are more chapters to this study. Obviously, melanin is just one part of the bigger picture, but I wanted to share this with you and urge you to figure out what is best for yourself and those you love. If going outside when there is both sun and radiation, do wear good UV protective sunglasses and take your herbs!



Photo Credits: CosmosTV.ORG

Additional Reading:

Blue Eyes

Mushrooms in Japan



Ingrid Naiman's Personal Web Site



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