Author Topic: Cassia fistula: why, when, how much?  (Read 29767 times)

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alphagruis

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Cassia fistula: why, when, how much?
« on: August 25, 2010, 05:06:52 pm »
NOTE : this thread has been split from PaleoPhil's Journal
---------------------------

Well I'm sorry PaleoPhil.

I think that ascobic acid whatever the dose should be taken in solution of pure stuff in water. If the acid taste appears to be too harsh just stop drinking and intake or switch to a solution of sodium ascorbate. I do not recommand to buy capsules but rather the pure stuff in the form of powder. In France it's available for wine growers in cheap 1kg bags. You can get it in the US for instance here:

http://www.sourcenaturals.com/search/?terms=sodium+ascorbate

http://www.nowfoods.com/Products/ProductsbyCategory/Category/index.htm?cat=Vitamins&cat2=Vitamin%20C%20Pure%20Powders%20

Now, if Vit C doesn't help maybe, as Iguana already suggested as far as I can remember, you should also give a try to cassia fistula, the fruit used by instinctos and claimed by Burger to help in body detox. This might well bear some truth and at any rate whenever I used it to this purpose it invariably triggered bowel movement in me a few hours after intake.

This is a legume whose fruit contains quinones well known for their laxative properties. One eats just the sweet fruitpulp (only if attractive according to instincto stance  ;)) that surrounds the seeds. The latter are toxic.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Shower_Tree  
« Last Edit: August 31, 2010, 06:05:56 pm by Iguana »

Offline Hanna

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Cassia fistula: why, when, how much
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2010, 07:36:42 pm »
Hi Phil,

Of course I did not mean coconut oil, but coconuts. For example:

http://store.orkos.com/eng/coconut-pagode-light.html?id=3129&___from_store=deu
http://www.passion4fruit.com/145.html
http://tropenkost-shop.de/kokosnuss-pagode-jung

And just a warning to prevent another disaster: Cassia fistula can cause abdominal pain, even if eaten instinctively. I would not eat it regularly, because it is rich in anthraquinones, which are carcinogenic and otherwise detrimental.

Fruits like papaya are very easily digestible and contain almost no acid.

Offline Hanna

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« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2010, 01:54:27 pm »
I don´t know any study about the long term effects of cassia intake.

Quote
the presence of anthraquinones is what lends laxative qualities to several well-known herbs used to treat constipation, such as senna pods, aloe, rhubarb, buckthorn and cascara sagrada.
There are a number of environmental and health concerns associated with anthraquinone. For one thing, its use as a laxative has been linked to a benign but undesirable condition known as melanosis coli, which is characterized by a discoloration of the colon wall.

Two-year studies conducted by the National Toxicology Program (NTP) using animal models indicate that anthraquinone is a liver carcinogen when ingested. These tests also produced evidence that this compound may cause non-cancerous lesions or tumors to appear on various organs. In addition, research conducted by NTP suggests that anthraquinone may be an endocrine disruptor. As a result of NTP’s findings, the California Environmental Protection Agency included anthraquinone to its list of established carcinogens.

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-anthraquinone.htm

In Germany it is forbidden to sell drugs and plants containing Anthraquinones for blood cleansing, weight loss and as digestive. Drugs containing Anthraquinones are only permitted for temporary administration in the case of constipation.

http://www.symptome.ch/vbboard/amalgam-entgiftung/12203-entgiftung-cassia-fistula-manna.html
« Last Edit: August 27, 2010, 02:06:24 pm by Hanna »

Offline GCB

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« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2010, 09:26:13 pm »

And just a warning to prevent another disaster: Cassia fistula can cause abdominal pain, even if eaten instinctively. I would not eat it regularly, because it is rich in anthraquinones, which are carcinogenic and otherwise detrimental.

Hello Hanna!

The lemon, for example, also contains a carcinogenic substance: Bruce Ames, the renowned  American expert, showed it long ago and he concluded that every natural food would be carcinogenic…

Where was the mistake ? The experiment consisted in giving citric acid to bacteria, which then had more mutations. But in nature, citric acid is present in all kinds of whole foodstuff, it’s never consumed separately. To eat citrus fruits is not to same as to extract a substance and to absorb it pure or mixed with others substances randomly selected. And here we get to one of the principles of natural nutrition (wrongly named “instinctotherapy”): we should never process any food given by nature, nor to consume it in amounts the organism refuses through its instinctive mechanisms. If not, it’s incorrect to speak about nature, because all the living beings comply with these elementary rules.

It’s the same for cassia fistula: I never saw that casssia fistula consumed insofar as the body accepts it, does intestinal damage (except in a child suffering of a cerebral tumor and whose alliesthesic mechanisms no longer worked). It causes energetic reactions on people who are particularly intoxicated by denatured food, in particular when it is consumed without taking account of the alliesthesic expressions (flavor becoming unpleasant or any reaction of dislike).

The idea according to which it should be consumed every day is one more gossip hawked about instinctotherapy: it is recommended TO TEST it every day by smelling it, in particular when there is a tendency to constipation, to taste it if its odor is pleasant (chocolate), and then suck a number of discs limited by the appearance of any inconvenience (because the stop changes of type according to the circumstances).

In fact, it must be treated like any food. It should BE KNOWN that it can sometimes play a crucial role in the event of constipation, so as not to forget to test it because it is the most effective natural product we easily have at disposal. Constipation never appears with a well balanced natural nutrition (which is only possible thanks to the alliesthesic mechanisms considering the body needs and potentialities constant variations).

It’s only in the beginnings or in case of a viral contamination that one can get intestinal disorders, which are then easier to revert if cassia fistula and carob are at disposal, respectively avoiding constipation or diarrhea.

The basic problem is that Ames, like a lot of other scientists, was calling natural something drawn from a natural product: thus the atom bomb, which is made from natural uranium, is something natural.

We fall here into an intrinsic difficulty of the analytical research. To determine the carcinogenicity of a foodstuff, the current paradigm requires that we divide it into its components; then it can be shown that one of those components is carcinogenic; finally it is concluded that the whole stuff is carcinogenic. The last step of the reasoning is fallacious, because it presupposes that the effect of a foodstuff would be equivalent to the sum of the effects of its components, which is far from being demonstrated (and often wrong).

« Last Edit: August 28, 2010, 04:29:36 am by GCB »

alphagruis

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Cassia fistula: why, when, how much
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2010, 05:41:15 pm »
PaleopPhil, Hanna,

Plants synthesize chemicals to prevent predation, i. e. toxic substances that we have to detox if we ingest them. Period.

So I certainly agree that we have to be careful and cassia for instance should certainly not be ingested routinely, whether "instinctively" or not (as instinctos often do to get rid of their more or less systematic fruit or avocado overeating.)  

(Abuse deleted by the moderator) I suggest simply that everybody interested in just reads himself the original papers by Bruce Ames and makes his own opinion based on plain scientific facts:  

http://www.pnas.org/content/87/19/7777.full.pdf

http://www.pnas.org/content/87/19/7782.full.pdf

By the way plants in nature sharply modulate their synthesis of plant defense chemicals depending on intensity of predation or even just neighboring plant predation by chemical airborne signaling and plant communication. For instance it was shown that browsing of acacias by kudus in south Africa induces an important increase of tannins synthesis within a few hour after the first damage suffered by the plant twigs and leaves. Moreover those plants down wind of already damaged ones increase rapidly their tannins synthesis before they get themselves any damage by browsing. So the amount of potentially harmful chemicals is highly variable depending on many parameters.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2010, 05:49:27 pm by Iguana »

Offline Hanna

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« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2010, 04:45:19 pm »
The lemon, for example, also contains a carcinogenic substance: Bruce Ames, the renowned  American expert, showed it long ago and he concluded that every natural food would be carcinogenic…

Where was the mistake ? The experiment consisted in giving citric acid to bacteria, which then had more mutations. But in nature, citric acid is present in all kinds of whole foodstuff, it’s never consumed separately.

Is it true that Ames found or claimed citric acid to be cancerogenic? Gcb, was this a write error?

Quote
The idea according to which it should be consumed every day is one more gossip hawked about instinctotherapy: it is recommended TO TEST it every day by smelling it, in particular when there is a tendency to constipation,

I remember instinctive eater´s recommendation to force the cassia intake and to eat as much cassia as possible (i. e. up to the instinctive stop), even if one does not really like the cassia. So this is (or was) not originally your recommendation, gcb?


Alpha, these two articles seem to be very exciting - thanks!

Offline GCB

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« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2010, 05:40:29 am »
 Sorry PaleoPhil, perhaps a moderator could be willing to transfert this discussion about cassia somewhere else ?

Is it true that Ames found or claimed citric acid to be cancerogenic? Gcb, was this a write error?

No, this is not an error. The article in which he stated that was printed in the 70s and it shocked me by the confusion between the effect of the component alone and effect of the natural product consumed whole. This for several reasons: because the bacteria are certainly not adapted to survival in an environment of citric acid diluted in a substrate other than citrus or other natural environment containing citric acid; and because we must not overlook the fact that the instinct could limit the intake of lemon (or citrus) before the dose of citric acid becomes harmful.

There’s in fact exactly the same kind of bias in the Ames’logic exposed in the papers linked by Alphagruis. Consuming plants containing natural pesticides has not necessarily the same effect as extracting these pesticides and administer them separately. This for two reasons: they don’t have the same effect when taken in the overall context of the plant where all kinds of other substances may play a "protector" role and the consumption of the plant as a whole and without alteration is limited by alliesthesic mechanisms, so that the toxic dose is also limited. The toxicity observed by Ames is the result of the product insulation: just one of the process prohibited under instincto framework.

Quote
I remember instinctive eater´s recommendation to force the cassia intake and to eat as much cassia as possible (i. e. up to the instinctive stop), even if one does not really like the cassia. So this is (or was) not originally your recommendation, gcb?

There is clearly a confusion with a principle having proven necessary in certain specific circumstances: in case someone feels consistently blocked to some particular food, it proved useful to force disgust or unpleasant flavor and ABSORB occasionally a little bit of cassia fistula to cause a slight shock and break the deadlock. On the other hand, it has been shown useful to regularly TEST the cassia smell, since it may sometimes be necessary – probably because we should have a greater diversity of foodstuff and healing herbs.

But do not confuse ingesting and testing, something your instincto guy (I would like to know his name, by personal message) seems to have done.

It’s true that the quantities of cassia consumed instinctively have sometimes been amazing: while a few slices are usually sufficient to reduce chronic constipation, I saw a person with multiple sclerosis swallowing the content of 15 whole sticks, without this causing any diarrhea nor discomfort but just the desired laxative effect. Subsequently, she could not eat more than a few slices before reaching the alliesthesic stop. These extreme cases of apparently excessive doses followed by beneficial outcomes convinced me that the dietary concept of "reasonable quantities", or "balanced diet" are meaningless because of the enormous variability of actual needs, especially when you are in the presence of major diseases.

« Last Edit: August 30, 2010, 05:51:11 am by GCB »

Offline Iguana

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Re: Cassia fistula: why, when, how much
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2010, 05:24:46 pm »
(…)
I suggest simply that everybody interested in just reads himself the original papers by Bruce Ames and makes his own opinion based on plain scientific facts:  
http://www.pnas.org/content/87/19/7777.full.pdf
http://www.pnas.org/content/87/19/7782.full.pdf
(...)

I’ve red both papers and I quote below the most involving paragraphs, with my comments. Of course, I may be biased in my selection and anyone can read the whole documents with included references to make his own opinion, as you said.

Quote
Caution is necessary in interpreting the implications of the occurrence in the diet of natural pesticides that are rodent carcinogens. It is not argued here that these dietary exposures are necessarily of much relevance to human cancer. Indeed, a diet rich in fruit and vegetables is associated with lower cancer rates. This may be because anticarcinogenic vitamins and antioxidants come from plants. What is important in our analysis is that exposures to natural rodent carcinogens may cast doubt on the relevance of far lower levels of exposures to synthetic rodent carcinogens.
(…)
Cooking Food. The cooking of food is also a major dietary source of potential rodent carcinogens. Cooking produces about 2 g (per person per day) of mostly untested burnt material that contains many rodent carcinogens-e.g., polycyclic hydrocarbons, heterocyclic amines, furfural, nitrosamines and nitroaromatics – as well as a plethora of mutagens. Thus, the number and amounts of carcinogenic (or total) synthetic pesticide residues appear to be minimal compared to the background of naturally occurring chemicals in the diet. Roasted coffee, for example, is known to contain 826 volatile chemicals; 21 have been tested chronically and 16 are rodent carcinogens; caffeic acid, a nonvolatile rodent carcinogen, is also present. A typical cup of coffee contains at least 10 mg (40 ppm) of rodent carcinogens (mostly caffeic acid, catechol, furfural, hydroquinone and hydrogen peroxide). The evidence on coffee and human health has been recently reviewed, and the evidence to date is insufficient to show that coffee is a risk factor for cancer in humans. The same caution about the implications for humans of rodent carcinogens in the diet that were discussed above for nature's pesticides apply to coffee and the products of cooked food.
(…)
Animals'olfactory and gustatory perception of bitter, acrid, astringent, and pungent chemicals: these defenses warn against a wide range of toxins and could possibly be more effective in warning against some natural toxins that have been important in food toxicity during evolution, than against some synthetic toxins. However, it seems likely that these stimuli are also general defenses and are monitoring particular structures correlated with toxicity; some synthetic toxic compounds are also pungent, acrid, or astringent. Even though mustard, pepper, garlic, onions, etc. have some of these attributes, humans often ignore the warnings.

Isn’t it because these warnings are by-passed when food is processed ?

Quote
That defenses are usually general, rather than specific for each chemical, makes good evolutionary sense. The reason that predators of plants evolved general defenses against
toxins is presumably to be prepared to counter a diverse and ever-changing array of plant toxins in an evolving world; if a herbivore had defenses against only a set of specific toxins, it would be at a great disadvantage in obtaining new foods when favored foods became scarce or evolved new toxins.

Both above paragraphs seem contradictory with this one:

Quote
Humans have not had time to evolve into a "toxic harmony" with all of the plants in their diet. Indeed, very few of the plants that humans eat would have been present in an African hunter-gatherer's diet. The human diet has changed drastically in the last few thousand years, and most humans are eating many recently introduced plants that their ancestors, did not-e.g., coffee, cocoa, tea, potatoes, tomatoes, corn, avocados, mangoes, olives, and kiwi fruit. In addition, cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, and mustard were used in ancient times "primarily for medicinal purposes" and were spread as foods across Europe only in the Middle Ages. Natural selection works far too slowly for humans to have evolved specific resistance to the food toxins in these newly introduced plants.
(…)
Various natural toxins, some of which have been present throughout vertebrate evolutionary history, nevertheless cause cancer in vertebrates. Mold aflatoxins, for example, have been shown to cause cancer in trout, rats, mice, monkeys, and possibly in humans.

Aflatoxins may occur in raw peanuts. I’ve eaten a lot of them and it happens that some have a really awful taste. If we eat them unprocessed, we can easily spit the bad ones. But once ground, mixed, spiced, it’s easy to understand that they become dangerous.

Quote
Furthermore, epidemiological studies from various parts of the world show that certain natural chemicals in food may be carcinogenic risks to humans: the chewing of betel nuts with tobacco around the world has been correlated with oral cancer. The phorbol esters present in the Euphorbiaceae, some of which are used as folk remedies or herb teas, are potent mitogens and are thought to be a cause of nasopharyngeal cancer in China and esophageal cancer inCuracao.

We would never chew betel nuts if we were obeying to our sense of taste! This habit is acquired by training, the training Alphagruis pretends much more important than instinct. So, we can see the result of training opposed to instinct…    

The following shows that animal food can of course contain the same toxins as plants, for example in case of livestock artificially confined in area where it has no choice but to eat what is available on the place to survive.

Quote
Poisoning from plant toxins in the milk of foraging animals was quite common in previous centuries. Cow or goat milk and other ingested dairy products were contaminated
by the natural toxins from plants that were eaten by foraging animals in nonindustrial, agricultural societies, because toxins that are absorbed through the animal's gut are often secreted in the milk.

DDT bioconcentrates in the food chain due to its unusual lipophilicity; however, natural toxins can also bioconcentrate. DDT ["dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane," 1,1, 1-trichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl)ethane] is often viewed as the typically dangerous synthetic pesticide because it persists for years; it was representative of a class of chlorinated pesticides. Natural pesticides, however, also bioconcentrate if lipophilic: the teratogens solanine (and its aglycone solanidine) and chaconine, for example, are found in the tissues of potato eaters.
(…)
Cabbage and broccoli contain a chemical whose breakdown products bind to the body's aromatic hydrocarbon (Ah) receptor, induce the defense enzymes under the control of the receptors, and possibly cause mitogenesis-just as does dioxin [2,3,7,8- tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD)J, one of the most feared industrial contaminants. TCDD is of great public concern because it is carcinogenic and teratogenic in rodents at extremely low doses. The doses humans ingest are, however, far lower than the lowest doses that have been shown to cause cancer and reproductive damage in rodents.

Interesting paragraph: I can’t eat neither cabbage nor broccoli flower because they taste very bad. Should I eat larges amounts of cabbage processed in sauerkraut, then ?

Said a bit funnily: the doses humans ingest are extremely lower than… the extremely low doses being carcinogenic and teratogenic in rodents! So there might be allowance for some sauerkraut: it doesn’t kill you in the next hour…

Quote
Synthetic pesticides have markedly lowered the cost of plant food, thus increasing consumption. Eating more fruits and vegetables and less fat may be the best way to lower risks of cancer and heart disease, other than giving up smoking.

The above one doesn’t seem in favor of ”zero carb” diet.
Then come the most relevant paragraphs:

Quote
Several chemicals that have been shown to be carcinogens at high doses in rodents have also been shown to be anticarcinogens in other animal models at lower doses-e.g., limonene, caffeic acid, TCDD, and IC. Therefore, the dose and context of a chemical exposure may be critical.

The first rule of toxicology is that all chemicals are "toxicchemicals;" it is the dose that makes the poison. High-dose tests are relevant for some occupational or medicinal exposures that can be at high doses. With mutagens there is some theoretical justification for thinking that low doses may have an effect, although the complexities of inducible protection systems may well produce a dose-response threshold, or even protective effects at very low doses.

It seems absolutely in favor of instinctive regulation.

I would add that if cassia fistula should absolutely be avoided, we better tell the monkeys and perhaps apes as well. When I was in Sri Lanka, I asked if there’s cassia fistula in the country. The answer was: it’s the monkeys who eat that!  


« Last Edit: August 31, 2010, 05:37:45 pm by Iguana »
Cause and effect are distant in time and space in complex systems, while at the same time there’s a tendency to look for causes near the events sought to be explained. Time delays in feedback in systems result in the condition where the long-run response of a system to an action is often different from its short-run response. — Ronald J. Ziegler

Offline Hanna

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Re: Cassia fistula: why, when, how much
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2010, 07:24:11 pm »
Thank you, gcb, for explaining your position.


But do not confuse ingesting and testing, something your instincto guy (I would like to know his name, by personal message) seems to have done.


I am thankful to everyone who sincerely tried to help me to regain my health.

Offline Hanna

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Re: Cassia fistula: why, when, how much
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2010, 07:45:59 pm »
I would add that if cassia fistula should absolutely be avoided, we better tell the monkeys and perhaps apes as well. When I was in Sri Lanka, I asked if there’s cassia fistula in the country. The answer was: it’s the monkeys who eat that!  

Fortunately, most of us are not monkeys any longer.

Offline PaleoPhil

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Re: Cassia fistula: why, when, how much
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2010, 07:31:18 am »
....I would add that if cassia fistula should absolutely be avoided, we better tell the monkeys and perhaps apes as well. When I was in Sri Lanka, I asked if there’s cassia fistula in the country. The answer was: it’s the monkeys who eat that!  


Interesting. What species of monkey were they and how often did they eat it? If cassia fistula is OK as a regular food, then perhaps other low-toxin legumes like green beans are also OK (not that I'm interested in eating them) and shouldn't be considered "non-Paleo"?
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

Offline Iguana

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Re: Cassia fistula: why, when, how much?
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2010, 01:28:33 am »
They are Toque Macaques and Leaf Monkeys, I think. I don’t know how much and how often they eat cassia fistula and I never saw them eating it because I never had the opportunity to observe them in a cassia tree. Anyway I see no reason why they wouldn’t eat some and the affirmation I received that they do eat it seems absolutely plausible because they like sweet food (jackfruit for example) and cassia tastes sweet, at least initially. I see no reason neither why apes and hominids did not suck some.

Another point: the first days when I began to eat “instincto”, I got somewhat constipated, something I was not before. Then I found cassia fistula in a health food store. Sucking the first slices, I felt “oh, that’s really what I missed!" I don’t eat it regularly now, but rather rarely a few slices . Generally it doesn’t trigger any particular reaction… except that it makes me sleep in the rare cases I couldn’t fall asleep at night!

I remember that GCB told us to begin carefully with cassia, perhaps 4 slices maxi in the first day, then 8 slices maxi next day, and eventually doubling every day until instinctive stop. Of course, that instinctive stop may occur much earlier, after only a few disks sucked.
Cause and effect are distant in time and space in complex systems, while at the same time there’s a tendency to look for causes near the events sought to be explained. Time delays in feedback in systems result in the condition where the long-run response of a system to an action is often different from its short-run response. — Ronald J. Ziegler

Offline Iguana

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Re: Cassia fistula: why, when, how much
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2010, 03:15:16 pm »
Fortunately, most of us are not monkeys any longer.

Christopher Ryan & Cacilda Jethá assert that we are apes (thanks to GS for the info about these authors):

Quote
Forget what you’ve heard about human beings having descended from the apes. We didn’t descend from apes. We are apes. Metaphorically and factually, Homo sapiens is one of the five surviving species of great apes, along with chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, and orangutans (gibbons are considered a “lesser ape”). We shared a common ancestor with two of these apes—bonobos and chimps—just five million years ago. That’s “the day before yesterday” in evolutionary terms. The fine print distinguishing humans from the other great apes is regarded as “wholly artificial” by most primatologists these days.

Cheers
Francois
Cause and effect are distant in time and space in complex systems, while at the same time there’s a tendency to look for causes near the events sought to be explained. Time delays in feedback in systems result in the condition where the long-run response of a system to an action is often different from its short-run response. — Ronald J. Ziegler

Offline Hanna

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Re: Cassia fistula: why, when, how much?
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2010, 04:02:56 pm »
Fine. Since you believe that you are one these cassia eating monkeys, let´s do an experiment. Join them for a while or at least adopt their eating habits for a while. That means eating the same food as they eat: the same (bitter) fruit in the same amounts, the same leaves in the same amounts etc. We´ll make a youtube video out of that.

Offline Iguana

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Re: Cassia fistula: why, when, how much?
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2010, 08:10:28 pm »
Fine. Since you believe that you are one these cassia eating monkeys, let´s do an experiment. Join them for a while or at least adopt their eating habits for a while. That means eating the same food as they eat: the same (bitter) fruit in the same amounts, the same leaves in the same amounts etc. We´ll make a youtube video out of that.

Sorry, Hanna, I don’t believe that’s an ultimate truth, but rather that the authors I quote have a very interesting and logical standpoint (by the way, I did not even find the time yet to read the whole page I gave the link for). I don’t know neither for sure that monkeys or apes eat cassia, I just communicated the answer I was given in Sri Lanka and I said that I find it plausible.

As for that experiment, I suggest a more fair and instructive one: let’s exchange my position as a moderator of RPF and automotive tech writer with a bonobo. But, of course, to launch such an experiment, both the bonobo and me must be volunteers. Sorry, I’m not, even that several wild fruits are not bitter at all: I often prefer the taste of small wild fruits to their big and juicy cultivars. 
 ;) l)
Cause and effect are distant in time and space in complex systems, while at the same time there’s a tendency to look for causes near the events sought to be explained. Time delays in feedback in systems result in the condition where the long-run response of a system to an action is often different from its short-run response. — Ronald J. Ziegler

Offline PaleoPhil

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Re: Cassia fistula: why, when, how much?
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2010, 11:00:53 pm »
Quote from: Iguana
I would add that if cassia fistula should absolutely be avoided, we better tell the monkeys and perhaps apes as well. When I was in Sri Lanka, I asked if there’s cassia fistula in the country. The answer was: it’s the monkeys who eat that!
I already consume anthraquinone via senna, so I'm still leaning towards thinking that it's OK to take occasionally for short periods. It's longer term chronic use that I'm particularly evaluating, though the fact that it has apparently been banned in Germany does give me pause about even occasional use. Anyone know why they banned it?

How long is cassia fistula in season for the Toque Macaques and Leaf Monkeys to eat it? I suspect that it's not year-round. Do they all eat it as a staple food or do only some of them eat it when they have constipation, as you are suggesting humans should use it? If the monkeys all eat it daily like a staple food instead of a medicinal when it's available, doesn't that give the non-constipated monkeys overly loose bowels or even diarrhea and threaten mineral and nutritional deficiencies as a result?

The monkey info is interesting, but just as I don't think that a food is guaranteed as beneficial staple food for me just because cave men ate it during the Stone Age, so I also don't think that it is guaranteed as a beneficial staple food if monkeys eat it. I doubt that monkeys are enormously more intelligent than Stone Agers were and therefore I do not think that monkeys are guaranteed to be free from making imperfect choices.

No one has yet addressed the problem that I've never even seen cassia fistula in person, so it doesn't appear to be a practical solution where I live, regardless of how safe it is. When it comes to anthraquinone, senna is the much more common vehicle in New England. I never even saw cassia fistula sold in Florida, despite the fact that it can be grown there.

Quote
I remember that GCB told us to begin carefully with cassia
So even GCB is cautious with cassia fistula and apparently recognizes it is not perfectly benign?

Quote from: Hanna on August 31, 2010, 06:45:59 AM
"Fortunately, most of us are not monkeys any longer."

Christopher Ryan & Cacilda Jethá assert that we are apes (thanks to GS for the info about these authors)
Hanna didn't say that we aren't apes, she said we are not monkeys (which is true) and our dietary needs are therefore not necessarily the same--and I would add that we never were monkeys, as they are not in our ancestral lineage--they are a separate branch. Craig B. Stanford, Professor of Anthropology and Biological Sciences at USC and Director of the USC Jane Goodall Research Center, calls us "the hunting apes" (http://www.amazon.com/Hunting-Apes-Eating-Origins-Behavior/dp/0691088888). No scientist claims that humans are descended from monkeys or chimps or gorillas, and with the discovery of a 6-7 year old Sahelanthropus tchadensis fossil that some scientists believe is a bipedal hominid that predates monkeys, monkeys are now considered by some scientists to be descended from hominids, rather than monkeys and hominids being descended from some other type of ancestor. So by your logic of emulation, perhaps monkeys should emulate our ancestral hominid diet rather than we emulate a monkey diet.

Plus, chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, and orangutans have different diets, so the fact that we are apes doesn't mean that we should necessarily eat exactly like any one of the other ape species, as they don't even eat the same things themselves. Plus, the more relevant comparison would be to our closer relatives--other species of the genus Homo (H. sapiens Idaltu, H. rudolfensis, H. rhodesiensis, H. neanderthalensis, etc.)--especially those within our own lineage and environs. Heck, even among us humans we have different individual needs.

Also, I don't see why cassia fistula should be such a big deal, as it was not a staple food for the first 2.5 million years of history of the genus Homo, unless one is mainly interested in defending GCB's "natural nutrition" hypothesis.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2010, 11:07:07 pm by PaleoPhil »
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

Offline Susan

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Re: Cassia fistula: why, when, how much?
« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2010, 02:34:51 pm »
I made following observation with cassia fistula: Sometimes it causes diarrhea, sometimes it stops diarrhea and sometimes I haven't noticed any reaction. So I believe, when somebody really needs it (in this case cassia leads to an illuminous phase) it doesn't harm anyway, but cures.

I cured several times diarrhea with cassia. In this case smell and taste was so attractive, that I couldn't resist to eat it. But that doesn't mean that cassia helps in all cases of diarrhea.  ;)

Meanwhile I handle cassia like other fruits: I smell it and when there is nothing better than cassia I eat it.  :)


Offline Iguana

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Re: Cassia fistula: why, when, how much?
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2010, 03:13:38 pm »
Amazing but spot on comment, Susan! For me, as already said, sometimes it helps me to sleep!

Phil, AFAIK cassia fistula is not and cannot be a staple food for anyone! I haven’t eaten any since weeks and sometimes I don’t eat any for several months. Furthermore, when I suck some slices, it’s always less than 10 or 12 as it become rather quickly astringent in the mouth.

My comment about monkeys in Sri Lanka was purely anecdotal. I suppose the confusion comes from the fact that in French and German we use the same word for both monkeys and apes, respectively  “singes” and “Affen”.

In my understanding, the warning of GCB to start with caution is not because it’s really dangerous, but because it may trigger a strong diarrhea (problematic when you live in society) for someone having eaten SWD his whole life through and led to consume a lot of cassia at once for the first time.

As for finding some in US, a quick Google search led me to this. Instead of a tree, perhaps they can send you a few sticks or tell you where you can buy it?  
;)

« Last Edit: September 06, 2010, 03:29:52 pm by Iguana »
Cause and effect are distant in time and space in complex systems, while at the same time there’s a tendency to look for causes near the events sought to be explained. Time delays in feedback in systems result in the condition where the long-run response of a system to an action is often different from its short-run response. — Ronald J. Ziegler

Offline PaleoPhil

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Re: Cassia fistula: why, when, how much?
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2010, 09:49:39 pm »
.... In my understanding, the warning of GCB to start with caution is not because it’s really dangerous, but because it may trigger a strong diarrhea (problematic when you live in society) for someone having eaten SWD his whole life through and led to consume a lot of cassia at once for the first time.

As for finding some in US, a quick Google search led me to this. Instead of a tree, perhaps they can send you a few sticks or tell you where you can buy it?  
;)


To me, strong diarrhea is not only a problem for society, but also a problem from my perspective if it happens to me. It may not be life threatening, but not many foods are seriously life threatening (only fava beans--another legume--come to mind). Acute danger of death is not the only health concern--there's also long-term more subtle threats. Aren't all of us here already aware of them (else why else would we be eating raw Paleo)? For example, I had no idea that wheat, dairy, legumes and carbs were giving me problems until I dramatically cut back on them.

If cassia fistula gives me fewer side effects than senna tea, I would switch. I'll keep my eye out for it. There is the possible downside of pesticides and/or synthetic fertilizers that GS has warned us about in tropical fruits shipped around the world, but that would be less of a concern if the fruits work.

So it sounds like you folks only use cassia fistula medicinally, not like a food, yes? This would square with Paleo, which says to avoid using legumes as foods due to antinutrient content and poor digestibility.
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

Offline GCB

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Re: Cassia fistula: why, when, how much?
« Reply #19 on: September 07, 2010, 05:29:36 am »
I am astounded by the general way of thinking about a natural product, as for example cassia fistula.

How may the fact that it contains toxic substances make it noxious at correct doses? Yet it is quite clear that a substance is toxic only by its dose, and that small doses of toxics may be beneficial (this applies to all drugs). The question is the dosage of cassia, not cassia itself.

Since the needs and potentials of the body vary from one individual to another and from a moment to another, any prescribed amount from whatever beliefs or knowledge is inherently inconsistent. We find here again the famous fallacy of taking into account a statistical value (a need or tolerance calculated by averaging) and applying it to a particular case.

I never get tired of repeating that the only way to find the dose corresponding to an individual at a given time is to know how to listen to the body, so to obey the signals of the senses. Experience shows that this method works extremely reliably, much better than what any dietary or toxicological reasoning style (valid only for population's averages) can achieve. The calculations which can be done are interesting and relevant when it comes to general reasoning, but the individual needs and potentials vary in such proportions that rely on average values is purely illusory. That might make sense if one calculates the average dose in the long term, but there are people who can’t stand a foodstuff for years or even decades and suddenly need it, and conversely, people in need of this food for years but suddenly no longer stand it.

Force oneself to eat that food, or prohibit oneself to eat it, or limit the doses based on a calculation is in most cases wide of the mark. To have the mind constantly occupied with numbers and fears complicates matters even more, whereas if one knows how to listen to his or her body, the problem resolves spontaneously and with so much more accuracy. This provided the sensory perceptions are not distorted with blends or seasoning, because experience shows that the senses work reliably with natural flavors only, so with food consumed such as nature provides.

It is therefore quite pointless to worry about the contents of anthraquinones or other natural molecule: it is better practice to listen to our body signals - which is actually not always easy because one needs to know to keep the mental anguish quiet and to allow the body to do its own choices, happily ever sanctioned by the pleasure.

« Last Edit: September 07, 2010, 05:41:35 am by GCB »

Offline PaleoPhil

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Re: Cassia fistula: why, when, how much?
« Reply #20 on: September 07, 2010, 11:32:39 am »
I am astounded by the general way of thinking about a natural product, as for example cassia fistula.

How may the fact that it contains toxic substances make it noxious at correct doses? Yet it is quite clear that a substance is toxic only by its dose, and that small doses of toxics may be beneficial (this applies to all drugs).
Exactly--it applies to all drugs, including cassia fistula. I didn't imply any more or less. I think Hanna and Germany are the only ones so far who are concerned that any dose may be unsafe. I'm open-minded, so I'd like to also learn more about that perspective.

Quote
The question is the dosage of cassia, not cassia itself.
Yes, that was my basic point as well. It's not 100% safe--my understanding is that the dose should be limited to a certain point and it shouldn't be taken chronically. I'm probably overdoing it with senna as it is, which is why I'm looking for alternatives to quinones--not because I think cassia fistula or senna are instantly lethal or some such extreme notion.

Quote
Since the needs and potentials of the body vary from one individual to another and from a moment to another, any prescribed amount from whatever beliefs or knowledge is inherently inconsistent. We find here again the famous fallacy of taking into account a statistical value (a need or tolerance calculated by averaging) and applying it to a particular case.
This may be directed at someone else, because I haven't argued in favor of statistical values on this. I don't recall even Hanna saying something like this, but perhaps I missed it?

Quote
I never get tired of repeating that the only way to find the dose corresponding to an individual at a given time is to know how to listen to the body, so to obey the signals of the senses.
If I ever find some cassia fistula I'll give this a try. I'll try almost anything once for which the risk seems reasonable if there's a chance it could help me significantly.

Quote
It is therefore quite pointless to worry about the contents of anthraquinones or other natural molecule: it is better practice to listen to our body signals - which is actually not always easy because one needs to know to keep the mental anguish quiet and to allow the body to do its own choices, happily ever sanctioned by the pleasure.
I'm not so much worrying about the contents as seeking an alternative that there are fewer or no cautions about. Even you, apparently the world's biggest promoter of cassia fistula from what I've seen, express some cautions regarding cassia fistula.
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

Offline Hanna

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Re: Cassia fistula: why, when, how much?
« Reply #21 on: September 09, 2010, 01:15:48 am »
I think Hanna and Germany are the only ones so far who are concerned that any dose may be unsafe.

Hi Phil,
I don´t think that cassia is inherently unsafe and I think like gcb that alliesthetic signals and the signals of your body help to find a dose that is still safe.

Offline PaleoPhil

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Re: Cassia fistula: why, when, how much?
« Reply #22 on: September 09, 2010, 07:07:17 am »
OK, thanks for the clarification, Hanna. Any idea why it is forbidden to sell drugs and plants containing anthraquinone in Germany?
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

Offline Hanna

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Re: Cassia fistula: why, when, how much?
« Reply #23 on: September 10, 2010, 09:08:28 pm »
Hi Phil,

I even eat wild herbs that are completely unknown to me, without being afraid that they could be unsafe. If they are tasty, I eat them up to the first signs of the "alliesthetic stop" or up to the "intuitive stop" (which can manifest itself earlier than the alliesthetic stop). If the herbs cause unpleasant sensations (e. g. in my mouth), I spit them out. I have never had any negative symptoms from eating unknown herbs in this way. Furthermore, it turned out that all my favorite herbs are well known for being edible. But a warning: When a "cooked" friend of mine ate wild herbs in this way, he got a bad diarrhea from that. I don´t know why.

In my opinion one of the dangers of cassia lies in the fact that instinctos (and maybe others) believe cassia to be indispensable for detoxification. Therefore, they (perhaps) force the cassia consumption instead of following their real "instincts" and their common sense. Furthermore, they often think that, for example, diarrhea is just a sign of detoxification and therefore a good thing. If you want to get rid of a constipation, you will possibly force the cassia use too.

According to the German link I posted are anthraquinones suspected of leading to cancer and damaging the genetic material.
Selling plants containing anthr. is not forbidden in Germany!
« Last Edit: September 11, 2010, 01:08:07 am by Hanna »

Offline PaleoPhil

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Re: Cassia fistula: why, when, how much?
« Reply #24 on: September 11, 2010, 12:55:12 pm »
... If you want to get rid of a constipation, you will possibly force the cassia use too.
But does it really permanently get rid of it, or does it just temporarily alleviate it like senna does?

Quote
According to the German link I posted are anthraquinones suspected of leading to cancer and damaging the genetic material.
Selling plants containing anthr. is not forbidden in Germany!

But selling over the counter remedies that contain it is, right? Is senna tea banned there?
>"When some one eats an Epi paleo Rx template and follows the rules of circadian biology they get plenty of starches when they are available three out of the four seasons." -Jack Kruse, MD
>"I recommend 20 percent of calories from carbs, depending on the size of the person" -Ron Rosedale, MD (in other words, NOT zero carbs) http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ogtan
>Finding a diet you can tolerate is not the same as fixing what's wrong. -Tim Steele
Beware of problems from chronic Very Low Carb

 

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