Friday, January 30, 2015

Farm Friday

This week I received the Virginia governor's "Year One:  The New Virginia Economy" report. While flipping through the publication, I saw in the table of contents that the First Lady was featured in one section. Since she is working on projects that are close to my heart, I turned to see what the report said about her. Imagine my surprise when one of the photos was of our farm, with Bill throwing cracked corn to the chickens!

When I sent out our farm's weekly newsletter, I commented that this is the time of year for patience. Here are a few of the things I have to be patient about:

Waiting for the leaves to return

Waiting for the shiitakes to come in

Waiting for the gardens to be planted and productive

Waiting for flowers to bloom
 Have a great week!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

House Love

I am in love with the idea of small living - in tiny houses and vintage trailers. Here's one I spotted on the internet. 
Isn't it adorable?! You can read about it and see interior photos here. The gas logs and whirlpool tub are nice touches.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wellness Wednesday

Great news for pet owners - pets make us healthier!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Profits over Animals

As bad as CAFOs* are, the the Research Center
is far more sinister (Source)

If you eat meat, here's yet another reason to avoid buying from Big Ag and instead to purchase from local farms:  the US Meat Animal Research Center. The Research Center is funded by taxpayers and it's sole purpose is to experiment on farm animals in order to increase profitability for industrial agricultural businesses. 

This story from the New York Times is hard to read - not at all for the faint of heart - but it's important that the word get out. Often, people who purchase meat from the grocery store are lulled by the cute graphics and labels into believing the meat comes from Farmers Jane and John and their 2.5 children. NOT SO. These animals often have never seen the light of day and definitely don't come from a family farm; they're from CAFOs*. In addition to the animals in CAFOs being raised under horrific conditions, their relatives at the Research Center are experimented on in ways that would drastically reduce sales should the truth come out. According to the article, farm animals used in research to benefit agriculture are exempt from The Animal Welfare Act that was passed in 1966. Therefore, there is little to no legal recourse to protect these animals. Only by refusing to buy the meat and thus refusing participation in this system can we prevent the torture and cruelty. 

If you feel the story might be too graphic to read, then that is more proof that you should immediately stop buying meat from industrial operations and seek out your local farmers. 

*Confined Animal Feeding Operation

Monday, January 26, 2015

Monday Morning Amazement

Must get back to doing yoga:

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Quote for the Day

Love, love, love this quote from an early Quaker:

"Look upon our treasure, 
the furniture of our houses, and our garments, 
and try whether the seeds of war have 
nourishment in these our possessions."
~John Woolman

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Social Justice Saturday: Addiction

Labyrinths Of Love 1
This Huffington Post article about the roots of addiction really caught my attention. It confirms what I've been thinking lately - that many of the ills that plague our uber wealthy society are caused by the emptiness behind the consumer illusion of happiness.

When it comes to drug addiction, we have been told it is purely chemical and studies with lab rats seemed to confirm this belief. However, according to the article, a study done in the 1970s by Professor Bruce Alexander pointed out a flaw in the earlier study. In the first study, the rats had no alternative but to either drink plain water or to drink drug-laced water. Professor Alexander set up a different experiement. Instead of putting the rats in a stark cage with two choices, he
built Rat Park. It is a lush cage where the rats would have colored balls and the best rat-food and tunnels to scamper down and plenty of friends: everything a rat about town could want.....In Rat Park, all the rats obviously tried both water bottles, because they didn't know what was in them. But what happened next was startling.The rats with good lives didn't like the drugged water. They mostly shunned it, consuming less than a quarter of the drugs the isolated rats used. None of them died. While all the rats who were alone and unhappy became heavy users, none of the rats who had a happy environment did.
The article continues to explain other situations even social experiments to determine the causes and effective treatments for substance addiction. It seems that, while there are chemical roots in drug addiction, the environment is more important. And the author sums it up nicely:  
The rise of addiction is a symptom of a deeper sickness in the way we live -- constantly directing our gaze towards the next shiny object we should buy, rather than the human beings all around us.
Continuing the so-called War on Drugs is not the answer. It might fatten the pocketbooks of those in the law enforcement business and the contractors they use, but it destroys the lives of those who become addicted as a way out of the shallow lives we are encouraged to create. 

Friday, January 23, 2015

Farm Friday

This has been one of those weeks. To date, we have 15 new kids running about the farm. Unfortunately, we lost another one of our good goats. Sadie, whose face graced a news article about our farm a couple of years back, had complications with kidding. On Monday, she delivered a stillborn but the next day still wasn't behaving right. On Wednesday, Bill realized there was a serious problem and asked me to confirm his suspicions. One look and I could tell she was suffering from the same issue as Bonnie. I felt "better" in that now I knew I wasn't responsible for Bonnie's death as we had not intervened at all in Sadie's kidding yet met the same fate. However, it's hard to lose yet another girl. Nellie, our matriarch and one of our best mothers, had two kids that seemed perfectly healthy and followed her around the pasture. One of the kids died and we have no idea why. Sometimes it's that way with goats.

I've tried to take photos of the bottle babies but they're just too fast for me and the camera on my phone. The photos always come out blurry and/or grainy. It would be nice to have a better camera to take decent photos but I suppose I'll make do for now. I'll keep working at it and maybe get good photos of Neo and Pearl to share.

On to other news on the farm:

Although a small fire, it was heading towards the trees and outbuildings where  it could have become dangerous

Bill manning a hose before the fire department arrives (our neighbor who discovered the fire is handling another hose)
Fire department arrives

Fire is out

Our farmhouse was not affected
Early Wednesday evening we had a fire! Earlier in the day, Bill had tried to burn the dead fronds in the asparagus patch. It was too wet to catch (or so it appeared), so he took the hose and doused the area really well and thought that was the end of it. However, our neighbor who actually owns the horse on our property happened to stop by around 5 to give him a treat. She saw a large area that had burned and was still burning on the edges so caught Bill at the barn and asked him if the fire was deliberate. Long story short, the fire was put out without serious damage. We won't know until spring if the fire damaged the grape vines and fruit trees that were in the burned area. Lesson to all - closely monitor all fires or attempted fires. Even a fire that seems to be out can smolder and return to life. Of course, it also created some entertainment for the community and far more people showed up than necessary to put out the fire. In fact, most of it had been extinguished before the fire department showed up - with two trucks and several private vehicles. However, a great shout out to volunteer firefighters around the country for all their hard work. 

I've started things in motion for us to offer our farmhouse as a farm stay! A number of things need to occur before I can offer it for weekend (or even mid-week stays) but that is at the top of my projects list for the year. I've wanted to do this for a couple of years now and this year it will happen. I'm excited that people who have never experienced life on a farm will be able to see what it's all about. Not only to see the gardens and animals, but to see how beautiful and star-filled the night sky is away from light pollution. We're also spared the noise pollution of cities as the farmhouse is on a very quiet road and that should be a treat to any city dweller. Any suggestions for making guests feel comfortable are welcome!
Photo of my girl Ginny just before our Mutual Admiration Society club meeting
Today I took the first yoga class in ages and it felt good. It was at the Y's new facilities that are right on the Dan River. The property is beautiful and I hope it leads to bigger and better things in the community. I love to see more interest in fitness and healthy living in this area as it is one of the worst places in the country for poor health. 

Winter seems to be really upon us as, when I left the yoga class, I noticed that the raindrops were "bouncing" off my fleece jacket. Not rain - sleet! Although we often think of December as the beginning of bad weather, it really isn't until late January - and sometimes as late as March - when the really nasty weather greets us.

Since all summer we talked of how we were looking forward to winter so we could "catch up" on things, that's what we've been doing. I've been puttering around, organizing things in the house and in our work area, working on projects that have been neglected or postponed, and considering ways to simplify and streamline our life for when things get busy again. 

Have a great week!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Ruining Food for People

A newly planted pistachio orchard near Ducor in California's Central Valley.
Photo credit: Matt Black
A nut farm in California
Last week I ran into a woman I've known for years. After we exchanged pleasantries, she started asking about food. She wants to start eating healthier and asked my opinion and recommendations. She then proceeded to mention celebrity food "experts"and the types of foods and supplements they recommend. As she talked of specifics, this thought ran through my head:  Should I ruin those foods for her? This thought came to me for a variety of reasons, including health and ecological issues. In the end, I did tell her I could ruin a lot of foods for her but suggested she do some research by reading Food Rules by Michael Pollan and Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser and maybe watch the documentaries Food, Inc. and Fresh. I explained there were lots of good resources out there but these were the ones I could think of off the top of my head.

While local and seasonal foods can satisfy all the the nutritional requirements for most of the population, media has taught us to go to the store and buy the products that has been touted as the latest "miracle" or "super" food.  It's as if we all need the same food du jour in order to stay healthy. These foods, we're told, should be consumed on a daily or weekly basis, despite the fact that they are sometimes not in season, have a hefty transportation cost as they don't grow in the region (or even in the country), and are often devastating to the environment.

Take almond milk, for example. It seems to be fast replacing cow's milk for breakfast. What many people don't know is that almonds, grown almost exclusively in California, take a tremendous amount of water to produce. Water that is in scarce supply in the West. In fact, the water situation in California is so bad that the state is experiencing the worst drought in centuries. Strike one for almond milk.

In addition to the water issue, these large groves of almond trees require that beehives be trucked in from other parts of the country for pollination. Since they're monocultures, the growers can't have permanent hives. Once the trees loose their blooms, the bees no longer have a source of food and would die. Strike two.

And then there's the issue of processing the almonds into "milk" and then transporting it nationwide. Strike three.

I'm not saying almond milk is bad per se. And I also understand there are individuals who want cereal or other grains for breakfast but cannot have dairy products. What I am saying is we need to stop blindly following what celebrity doctors, nutritionists, and chefs tell us to eat and to understand the consequences of our choices. When buying food, we should always keep in mind:
Season - Location - Environment

And we must ask the question:  How can we feed ourselves in a healthful way that is also good for the world? 

For more details on almond (and other nut) production in California, here's an article from Grist

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Wellness Wednesday

I love Yes Magazine's article about improving health without a gym. Go here to get the tips. And here's more about laughter as the best medicine:

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Step Away from the Plastic

Plastic. It's so ubiquitous in our culture that it's hard to believe it has really only been available to consumers since around 1960. The below infographic shows us some of the awful truth about how much plastic waste we generate but it also provides tips for reducing it in our lives.

One habit that is now common among Americans who believe they are being "green" is taking t-shirt style bags (called carrier bags in the UK) back to the stores for recycling. One day it struck me as absurd when I observed shoppers carrying their plastic bags into the store, depositing them in the recycling bin, then leaving the store with brand new bags identical to the ones they had just dropped off. Once I took my plastic bags into the grocery store for re-use. I put them on the conveyor belt, just ahead of my purchases. The cashier took the bags and began to place them in the trash can. I'm not sure what went through her head at that moment. Did she think I was too lazy to discard or recycle my own bags? When I stopped her and tried to explain that I wanted her to put my purchases in the bags, she still didn't get it. Sigh. 

Two strategies (among many) I've implemented to reduce plastic (and other disposable) waste is to buy the necessary plates and drinking glasses at thrift stores so I have enough place settings for when we entertain. Another way we cut down on the use of plastic bags in our business is to go to a certain big box store (one that I never shop at), go directly to the large box where they accept plastic bags for recycling, and take some home with me. Often, the bin is filled with unused bags that are tossed by cashiers when they can't get them open fast enough when ringing up customers. (Heaven forbid they take an extra second or two to get the bag open.) I usually ask the person at the customer service desk if it's okay for me to take some bags. I've gotten some strange looks for that, but I want to make sure they know I'm not shoplifting. Of course, for my own shopping, I carry reusable totes with me. And we have a number of customers who bring their own bags because, like us, they hate plastic.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Monday Morning Amusement

I had to share this meme I found on The Eco Cat Lady Speaks blog:

During the depression, my great-grandfather was a bootlegger. My uncle told me that he asked Grandpa Browning why on earth he had done such a thing. Grandpa replied that when you have a number of mouths to feed (he and my great-grandmother had a large family), you do what you've got to do. This meme made me think of him - as well as truly laugh out loud (despite the glaring grammatical error - I can't help myself).

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Quote for the Day

"Creativity takes courage."
~Henri Matisse

Friday, January 16, 2015

Farm Friday

It's raining goats - or so it seems. We've had constant kidding this week. I'm still bottle feeding little Neo, the orphaned goat. I was hoping he would "graft" on to another new mother who might not notice that it was one more kid than she birthed but that's not working. We only had one instance, years ago, when we had three mothers who kidded at the same time and only one kid survived, so they all mothered it. We also had one mother temporarily reject a kid and then take him back (this was Jolene with her boy Spot.) We've put Neo in with brand new mothers a couple of times but they weren't buying it. They know their kids - even with newborns - and he's not one of them.

For the third winter in a row, Sharona has given birth to triples. In the past kiddings, she raised all the babies to maturity, despite harsh winters. This year is was not to be. It was cold when she kidded so Bill and I worked on the babies, using a hairdryer on low and rubbing them with old sheets and towels until they were dry and warm. For whatever reason, two of them didn't make it. 

Last yesterday afternoon, Justine had twins in the back pasture. They were both wet and cold but one was limp as a rag doll. While Bill took one into the barn to warm and return to it's mother, I scooped up the limp one and brought her into the house. For hours, even after I had warmed her, she lay on a towel barely moving. But over time and with some tender loving care, she came around. She found her appetite and started sucking on my fingers, so I gave her some goat formula. During the night, she was able to get to her feet and then drank more formula in the morning. We returned the kid to Justine but she was rejected. In the past, whenever a mother rejected a kid, despite our care and feeding, those kids would always die. Mother knows best; rejection means a problem with the kid. But it's hard to just let nature take it's course. So now I'm bottle feeding a second goat. I've named her Pearl. Maybe Justine will come around and decide to take Pearl back.
Pearl after she perked up
In addition to all the kidding, we had a problem with an older kid, one that was born last year. Bill had noticed it limping and, when he picked it up, noticed that it's stomach was abnormally warm to the touch. I had an antibiotic on hand so, after determining the correct dosage and needle size, gave him an injection. Hopefully, the antibiotic will do the trick. (Unlike Big Ag, we only give our animals antibiotics if they are sick and actually need them.) This is the same antibiotic that helped our billy goat Johnny overcome foot rot. And that's the reason we're having so many kids right now - Johnny's recovery gave him the energy to increase his tribe. Powerful medicine!
Ginny taking a break from farm chores
Ginny continues to help us foster the bottle fed kids. When I first started preparing a bottle for Neo, Ginny knew. Somehow she knew what I was working on, even though it had been about a year since I had to bottle feed. She was on alert, at the ready to go out into the cold with me to make sure a little goat got his bottle. Greatest farm dog ever!
Ginny helping me feed Pearl
Despite the problems, which unfortunately is normal in bad weather, we have a number of happy, healthy kids. Madonna's single kid is doing well in the front pasture. Blondie had twins and all are doing fine. Nellie's two kids are big enough to follow her far into the pasture when she grazes, as are Rose's twins. Even Neo has a spring in his step and has found a place with the other goats. He has a bold personality and has been seen playing with and bedding down with other kids and even snuggling with our young billy goat Maxwell, who is really still a kid himself. Pearl and Neo seem to be bonding, as well, which is good and will keep them from being alone.
Bella's twins were born yesterday
Continuing the goat theme:

This map is part of a Washington Post article that also includes an interactive map showing how many goats are in each county in the US. This week we added a few more goats to Pittsylvania County, Virginia.

Have a good weekend!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Dog Food

Some of the supplements for Ginny
This will be a longish post so if you don't have a dog, you might want to skip it. I was recently asked to share my whole food dog food recipe on my blog. I'm happy to do that with a disclaimer:  I cannot guarantee this is the best way to feed a dog. However, my poor girl Ginny was going to die if something didn't change. 

Ginny had begun vomiting on a daily basis and it got to the point that she vomited several times a night and was unable to keep anything down. The vet gave her anti-nausea pills; she couldn't keep those down. She certainly couldn't keep down the antibiotic for a potential ulcer or the medication for acid reflux. After a couple of unproductive weeks of treatment, Ginny spent three days at the animal hospital where they did as much testing as possible without surgery. The afternoon I brought her home, she went to her water bowl, drank, and immediately threw up. That was when I knew I had to do something radical.

So I researched natural remedies for acid reflux in humans, as well as dogs. First of all, I read that it was important to have the dog fast for a day or so to help her esophagus heal. So I didn't feed her for a couple of days. Then she actually chose to not eat for a day beyond that. Then, DGL licorice and papaya enzymes kept popping up in my research so I started giving those to Ginny. I knew that the antibiotics plus vomiting had taken it's toll on her gut flora so I added some probiotics. I also added the homeopathic remedy rhus tox. for nausea. I had started giving her canned dog food right before she went into the hospital, thinking it would be easier for her to digest. However, I discovered that even the "natural" foods had cargeenan, a known stomach irritant! Even though the vet told me I didn't need to change Ginny's diet, I realized she wouldn't heal if I didn't.

I came up with a plan to give Ginny whole foods. I know some experts say dogs shouldn't eat grains but I decided to give her some anyway. I thought brown rice would be easy to digest. We had some extra butternut squash and green beans so I cooked and pureed them, thinking that would make it easy on her stomach. We also had a bumper crop of black-eyed peas and I thought they would be a good source of protein. I started feeding this mix to her and added Udo's Choice Pet Essentials, along with the herbal and homeopathic remedies. She started getting better. Last winter, when Bill killed two deer for his red meat for the year, I asked him to save the livers, with a plan to make my own dog food. I got nervous about it, thinking I didn't know enough about it and that Ginny wouldn't get appropriate nutrition, so I left them in the freezer. Once she got so sick, I realized there was no down side to feeding her the liver, along with the vegetables and rice, so I started cooking those up, cutting them into small pieces, again for easy digestion. 

Once I started this program, Ginny got better. She would vomit occasionally, but this occurred less and less frequently. I decided to continue feeding her deer liver. Every year, we allow a group to hunt on our farm across from our main property. I had Bill ask them to save the deer livers for us as they would be discarded otherwise.

Now I've stopped giving Ginny the herbal supplements, except for the Udo's and occasionally giving her probiotics. Her current diet now consists of either brown rice or oatmeal, some type of vegetable (usually sweet potatoes), and a protein. For the protein, I rotate (and sometimes mix up) black-eyed peas, venison liver, eggs, and leftover chicken pieces and broth. (I pour the broth over the peas to make them more appetizing.) This feeding program seems to be working as Ginny hasn't thrown up in weeks - nor have I seen any of the signs of acid reflux that I noticed in the past. 

I firmly believe that making this big change in diet saved Ginny's life. She's a senior girl (11 1/2 years) with a few other health problems, but the stomach issue would have ended her life if I hadn't intervened. While some vets might not approve of this diet, it's working for us.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Wellness Wednesday

Network Neurons 1
It's already a well-known fact that fast food has contributed to our obesity epidemic, especially among children who often even have fast food at school, as well as at home. Now Huffington Post reports a study out of Ohio State University that has linked fast food consumption with childhood intellectual development. The researchers believe that part of the problem is that this dead food is crowding out nutrient-rich food. A child can only eat so much food and, if they eat food lacking sufficient nutrition, that leaves less room for foods that will feed their developing brains and bodies.

While parents are often strapped for time in this busy world, healthful meals can be created with some planning. In fact, when my children were small, I realized that sometimes taking the time to drive to the fast food (or other) restaurant, waiting in line and then for your order, and then making your exit to go home, you can cook a pot of pasta with some marinara sauce, with or without meat. With a little creativity and family participation (hey, here's where you can get quality family time in), affordable nutritious meals can be put on the table in no time.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Monday Morning Amusement

I saw this clip on another blog and it really made me laugh out loud - I had forgotten how funny Bob Newhart was:

Sunday, January 11, 2015


It is with a sad heart that I have to share that we lost Bonnie last night. Things never got better with her and we finally called in the vet, something we almost never do. Without going into too much detail, Bonnie had extensive internal damage from trying to kid and had to be euthanized. We're not sure if it was from trying to deliver the large stillborn, if it was something I did when trying to help her, or if it was our waiting to see if, given some time, she could deliver the third baby on her own. I asked the vet what I could do to prevent something like this in the future but she really didn't have an answer. I keep beating myself up, thinking "maybe if," but the truth is we had to intervene as she was not able to deliver that second baby and would have died from that. I've helped mama goats with difficult deliveries before and never had this happen. After checking our records, we also realized that Bonnie has had trouble kidding and/or having her kids live to adulthood so it might just have been genetics. Regardless, it was still hard to lose her as she was a good goat, with a sweet personality. Knowing that death is part of the circle of life doesn't make it any easier.
Neo this morning after his bottle. Notice the milky lips.
 (I'll try to get a better picture later this week)
On a better note, Bonnie's orphan is alive, energetic, and seems perfectly healthy. I've named him Neo (Matrix inspiration) since, out of the three kids in the litter, he was "the chosen one" who made it. He took right to his bottle and will now be getting bottles four times a day.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Yet Another Reason

As a chemical-free farmer, I am opposed to using synthetic fertilizer for a wide variety of reasons. Today, while skimming Farmer John's Cookbook:  The Real Dirt on Vegetables, I added a new reason. John Peterson (aka Farmer John) shared this tidbit:

Anhydrous ammonia, the most common petroleum-based nitrogen fertilizer, was "used extensively during World War II for the task of turning soil into rock-hard landing strips." What!!?? This is what commercial farmers put into the ground to "improve" it? I'm still shaking my head...

Friday, January 9, 2015

Farm Friday

We've been busy crunching numbers and making plans
We held our annual retreat this past weekend. That's the day when we review everything personal, financial, and farm-related from the past year and plan for the current one. We worked up a new budget for 2015, planned our seed order, and made an action list for the year.

We also were contacted by a local network affiliate to be interviewed for a story on Monday. The government is considering adding an environmental aspect to the "My Plate" nutritional recommendations by advising a reduction in meat consumption, especially beef, and the station wanted our input. Of course, the topic is controversial because the cattle industry is big business and this would hurt their profits. We'll see how it all shakes out when the official "My Plate" is announced. We like the idea as large-scale meat production is bad for our health and for the environment - think antibiotics, growth hormones, GMO feed, manure ponds, etc.

Photo: We love having new faces on the farm this time of year.
What a cutie! (Photo credit: Bill)
We're going through a kidding season right now and, for the most part, things have gone well, despite the extra cold days we've had. Before today, 6 kids were born and, although one didn't make it, all the other's seem healthy and happy. However, today we had problems. One of our older girls, Bonnie, was in labor quite a while before she kidded in the back pasture. We brought her and her new baby boy back to the barn, expecting her to deliver at least one more kid. 

When, after over an hour and no additional baby goat, we knew we had to intervene. I thought it would be just a quick assist and all would be well. Turns out, the next baby to be born was a large stillborn boy that was breach. It took me quiet a while to deliver it as there was yet another behind it and I had a hard time sorting out the various legs. 

Despite my best efforts, I couldn't deliver the third kid - and one of the reasons is there might be a fourth one. Again, I was working blind and couldn't sort out the various body parts to make sure I had either two front legs or two rear legs before pulling the kid. More than once, I had two legs but they weren't a match so I had to push them back in and start over.

The whole process was very painful for Bonnie and physically and emotionally exhausting for me. Unfortunately, the ordeal isn't over. At this point, we're sure there will not be another live birth. We've decided to see if nature will take it's course and Bonnie will be able to deliver the next kid(s) naturally. We've had goats deliver stillborn kids two or three days after going into labor without any negative health consequences to themselves - goats are sometimes amazingly resilient. At 9:00 tonight, Bonnie and her boy were happily bonding in the barn. 

This is the reality of farm life; sometimes you lose animals and there's nothing that can prevent it. While we are saddened by days like today, we also find joy in the newborns that DO make it. And we always strive to do the best for the animals on our farm.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Wellness Wednesday

While I am not a health care professional (always need to include that disclaimer), I do know a bit about health and wellness. So one area where I steer clear of conventional medicine is over-the-counter pain relievers. Years ago I learned about the dangers of acetaminophen (Tylenol is the brand name) from a registered nurse. She told of painful deaths for people who took too much and permanently damaged their livers.  A friend in the health and wellness field also warned me that ibuprofen (Advil is one of the brands) had serious side effects. So I switched to using white willow bark when I need an anti-inflammatory. Since I'm wary of those commonly used drugs, I found this article interesting as it warns of the dangers of using them for fever, which is the body's way of fighting a disease, and it gives alternatives to treat it in a more natural way. Of course, a very high fever can cause damage and should be treated by professionals. But for common fevers, a little TLC with help from mother nature is all we need.