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Michael Thomsen Blog

Michael Thomsen's blog about phytotherapy (herbal medicine), nutrition, how to improve your healthspan and longevity.

Dogs and the microbiome

When I was a scout in Denmark, it was an accepted idea that we would probably eat 7 pounds of dirt each year and that it was somehow good for us. We now know it is may improve our microbiome: "New indicate that new parents shouldn't be afraid of a little dirt — or fur. After monitoring a cohort of nearly 1,200 infants, Lynch and her colleagues found that a dog might be a baby's best friend when it comes to avoiding respiratory disorders2. "The only factor that discriminated high- from low-risk groups was dog ownership," says Lynch (main author). She says that dogs (and, to a lesser extent, cats) "increase the diversity of bacteria and lower the diversity of fungi in the houses where these babies are raised". This finding aligns with other research showing that a rural upbringing or growing up on a farm might yield a richer gut microbiome that reduces the risk of inflammatory respiratory diseases relative to children raised in more urban environments."


The hunt for a healthy microbiome Despite evidence of the gut microbiome's role in human health, researchers are still working out what shapes the community of microbes. By Michael Eisenstein

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Thursday, 07 July 2022

Book Review: Phytotherapy Desk Reference

PDR5Reviewed by  Mim Beim

My original copy of Michael Thomsen’s Phytotherapy Desk Reference is herb-stained and dog-eared. So it was with much excitement that I received the latest edition of this little gem.

The book, as with the previous editions, has been designed not as an exhaustive materia medica but rather as a desk reference for the busy herbalist. It contains short, precise descriptions of 236 of the most commonly used herbs in Australia and New Zealand.


The extensively revised and updated 5th edition of the Phytotherapy Desk Reference

Phytotherapy Desk Reference 5th Edition ISBN: 978-0-646-82443-7 Soft-cover, spiral bound. 200 pages. 233 Monographs.