Ho-Sheng Hsiao

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since May 03, 2021
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Recent posts by Ho-Sheng Hsiao

I read somewhere that moringa forms deep tap roots. Would you guys consider it a deep-root dynamic accumulator, even if it does not fix nitrogen?
1 year ago

Lion’s Mane helps regenerate brain cells.

Cordyceps helps reverse brain cell aging.

Someone mentioned fish oil. Omega-3 DHA helps with myelination, that is, forming the fatty insulative layer around neural cells. This is found in cold-water fatty fishes (like tuna), but they get it from algea. If you are eating a plant-based diet or boycotting the fishing industry, there are algae-oil sources of Omega-3 DHA.

Omega-3 EHA does something a bit different — works with heart cells. I found that when the ratio between DHA and EHA is off, I get moodier, towards depression.

Omega-3 ALA is found in abundance in plants like chia and flax seeds. The body can convert them to Omega-3 DHA, but it takes energy and requires sufficient intake of the right minerals and vitamins so that the body can make the enzymes that converts ALA. You’ll see products sold on stores that deceptively market a lot of “Omega-3”, but they are talking about ALA.

I forgot what ALA itself does off the top of my head, but it too is important for overall health.

Chickens can convert Omega-3 ALA into DHA if you feed them enough flax seed. If I remember correctly, there is an increase of 100 mg of DHA per egg yolk to 150mg of DHA.

Dosage varies with people, and it is possible to take in too much; the early stage symptom is insomnia. I take in about 750mg of DHA a day (in fish oil pill form) along with Lion’s Mane and Cordycep in extract form, along with several other mushrooms (like Reishi and Turkey Tail, for immune support) in my pseudo-coffee (burdock and roasted barley).
2 years ago

Alder Burns wrote:This is the first I have heard of any bacteria translocating into and through the vascular system of a plant, and the link doesn't work for me!   If it's true it would be a game changer for the use of all manner of manures and composts.  I have long relied on burial under plants for the safe and useful disposal of even humanure and pet waste....under plants for cooked use or that bear their edible yield well above ground.

I had just been talking about someone about modern farming practices, and the person countered with that, separation of livestock and cropland was done to isolate things like salmonella infections. It got me looking through the literature, which is how I came across this thread.

To answer how salmonella (specifically) infects plants, there was a recent (about 2019) study where they found how exactly salmonella gets into plants -- through the gaps created when a plant's root grows laterally away from the main root. This is because salmonella doesn't infect through breaking down cellular walls, and requires entering through physical gaps in the plant.


It's probably why trees (or perhaps, any woody or semi-woody plants?) don't get infected.

This also got me thinking: what is the permaculture answer to this? What ecological niche does  salmonella occupy? Is this something that cultivating other microbes or fungi can keep it in balance? Or do we just always make sure manure gets cooked in a hot compost pile?
2 years ago

The screening is free and available until June 8th. The panel discussion is on June 1st.
Blurb from the interview:

Across the country, Native American communities are also responding to the crisis and many have been adopting climate action plans to protect their lifeways. But the land management practices these communities are focused on stand to have a much wider impact. Increasingly, they’re being recognized as a key to the future of our planet.

Inhabitants, a new documentary by Costa Boutsikaris and Anna Palmer, explores Native Americans’ role in climate mitigation and adaptation by focusing on the continuation of ancestral practices in five Indigenous communities. The film explores intentional burning among the Karuk Tribe of California; sustainable agricultural practices on Hopi land in Arizona and the Menominee Reservation in Wisconsin; the return of buffalo on the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana; and the renaissance of Native Hawaiian food forests. Inhabitants builds on Boutsikaris’ previous film, Inhabit: A Permaculture Perspective, which looked at the history of permaculture as a solution to local and global challenges.

(Disclaimer: I don’t represent the project or the film, but I thought people might be interested)

There is a free screening of a new documentary on the land stewardship practices of indigenous Americans. The filmmaker had previously made a permaculture documentary, and came to find out that many of the practices came from indigenous sources. He wanted to make a film that showed the conservation practices that the Native American tribes to adapt to climate change.

There is a free screening for June 1st, 2020.

This is an interview with the filmmakers on the making of the film: https://civileats.com/2021/05/24/inhabitants-digs-deep-into-indigenous-solutions-to-climate-change/ The link to the screening is in there.

Kathleen Sanderson wrote:Does anyone know if the United States has anything similar to what Burra describes?

For the US, the caveats about finding a legit lawyer and learning about estate planning applies. I'm just filling in some details that I know. I am not a lawyer and don't take any of this as legal advice. They are more pointers on how to get educated yourself and why something might be important to learn.

One of the best sources to get educated on law in the US as a non-lawyer is to get the books published by Nolo. These books are written by lawyers and intended for people who are going to DIY it, or get educated enough to be able to talk with a lawyer. Nolo publishes a book on LLCs, C Corps, and estate planning.

The legal instrument typically used to protect someone from creditors is through something called "limited liability". There are several entities that limits liability, of which the LLC is the most flexible for the purposes of limiting liability, paperwork, and taxes. (LLC is an acronym for Limited Liability Company).

The trust could then be set up to own the LLC (or whatever limited liability business entity). The family would control the trust, and as trustees, vote for what happens in the LLC. The LLC would own the land and lease it back to the family. There are probably some requirements for some kind of consideration (like, $1), but these are details where you would talk to a lawyer. There may be a better way to structure this that an estate planner lawyer would know.

This is not foolproof. Limited liability companies are meant to be operated as if they are a separate legal "person", and have some kind of reporting or documentary standards to show that they are being operated with that intent. It is why it is important for LLCs to have their own bank accounts, meetings of members/shareholders are written, and so forth. If it can be shown that you are mixing your personal assets and funds with that of the LLC, a creditor can argue that the people involved are no longer trying to limit liability and therefore should not have limited liability. Once the "corporate veil" has been pierced, creditors can count the assets held in the LLC as if it is your's, and go after it, seize voting shares, force a sale, etc. It also means *someone* has to operate the LLC, even if it is to have some kind of annual meeting to rubberstamp that everything is OK, pay any taxes, pay any annual state fees, etc.

As far as I know, the limited liability does not cover criminal activities.

It seems to me though, that while these legal entities can be set up to go through into the future generations, they are not regenerative in that the "programming" is fixed, does adapt to changing times and circumstances. Laws change slowly, but they do change. LLCs have only been around since 1970s, though the C Corporation and the legal concept of the limited liability has been around for a lot longer, and spread out all over the world.

I think, in addition to setting up the estate like this, you would also have to think about educating future generations not only on how to steward the land and community, but also enough about the law to be able to interface with the rest of a society that may not be built on these values and principles. (The legal concept of limited liability have been used as a tool to abuse public good for centuries).

I used to work for a legaltech startup founded by a bunch of lawyers. Some of them are interested in stuff like this, and may be interested in figuring out a good approach that would for permie families and communities. There may even be lawyers who already figured this out. In the startup and mainstream real estate world, standard contracts had been created to make transactions much easier. Like blueprints, they can still be customized to adjust to particular situations or jurisdictions. Something like this may already be available. I have heard of intentional communities figuring out how to own land as co-ops, so those might be some folks to talk to as well.

2 years ago

r ranson wrote:My body isn't restless.    It just won't sleep.  It is like a broken switch in the body that lets it go into sleep mode.  

One doctor theorized it is not producing a chemical needed to turn it off.  But we couldn't get the tests to find out what was missing.  I can get a fair amount of rest just turning off my mind and staying still, but not proper sleep.  

I do all the things.  I turn off screens at 4 pm.  I exercise, being careful to eat the right things at the right times, stretch, be calm, don't use the bed for anything other than sleeping, make sure the room is completely dark... on and on.  I do it all. I've tried all the over the counter herbs and remedies. Most of the "sleep" herbs have the opposite effect - like 60 coffees directly injected into my brain.  

Wow, that is really interesting! I'm sorry, I don't mean to dismiss any suffering you are going through. I get intrigued by strange anomalies like these, even if I run out of ideas. These edges are how I learn new things. I take it you have already tried melatonin and your body still doesn't sleep.

Not sure if you have tried this or it is helpful -- what about brain entrainment using binaural beats that drops you from alpha, to theta, to delta states? The reason I don't think it would be helpful even if your brain gets entrained into the delta state is because from what you are saying, you can already do something like that already without using equipment.

I knew of people in the weird spiritual circles I hang out in, who have quieted their mind to the point where they no longer dream. Their body goes to sleep, but the mind stays awake. They get rest, but they can instantly come back out into a waking state.
2 years ago

My understanding of CBT is that is one of a family of therapies that work very well with restructuring the mind so it is not so reactive and get agitated. I am not sure what that has to do with physical pain management, and maybe that is a failure on my limited knowlege of CBT. I do know that there is no such thing as an unversial method that works equally well for everything, for all people, in every situation. There may be principles that can be distilled and applied broadly, but the specific method would change as it is applied.

I think there are better methods than CBT for what you want to achieve ... but who knows, I am wrong, and it is worth finishing the rest of the course to find out.

r ranson wrote:Sleep - I don't see how this is helping, but I do it anyway.  
But it's the same problem as always.  When I say to a doctor that I have insomnia, they assume it's thoughts that keep me awake.  They cannot hear that thoughts are not the problem.  It is SUPER EASY TO TURN OFF MY BRAIN AT NIGHT.  I go to a calm place, maybe reply a favourite movie in my head.  It's my body that cannot shut down.  I'll spend the whole night laying down being calm and daydreaming because worrying about not sleeping doesn't make it better (or worse), it is just boring.

If you are able to still your mind when going to sleep, you are doing better than the vast majority of the people living in modern, urban lifestyles. I know people who have been practicing mindfulness years in order to gain some kind of spiritual enlightenment, and are unable to reliably still their mind. You also have a fairly developed visualization and concentration skill if you can replay your favorite movie at length. Those are all powerful skills.

In your case, your mind is not agitated... but the body still remains agitated. Why isn’t the body following the mind? If it were me, this is where I pull out the tools I learned from other disciplines that work with the body so that the body can follow the mind. By remaining in calm abiding while you are aware of all of your body at once (so similar, but not exactly the same as a body scan), the body will eventually follow the mind to stillness.

Some things that might help with that:

(1) Learn to deliberately relax the muscles (when sleeping), and let it collapse to the point where you are aware of the sensation of gravity pulling on your physical body. You are remaining aware of the muscles while at the same time, disconnecting the voluntary excitatory muscles, and allowing those muscles to stop fighting gravity in order to support your frame. You start from the outside until the deep muscles can relax.

(2) Our bodies have to breath, so there is some kind of movement. Here, you are remain aware of the breathing while disconnecting the voluntary control over the breathing. By allowing the breath to absorb the mind, the breath can take the mind through all the little nooks and crannies of the body, and thus, the body will eventually start following the mind into stillness.

(3) There is a network of soft tissue that connects throughout the body. It wraps around each internal organ and threads its way through the muscles. They are not controlled through voluntary excitation, but oddly enough, they will respond to the mind. The Chinese call this network the “huang” within some specific body disciplines, and there is no equivalent name or concept in the modern, English-speaking culture. (The closest is something I read a couple years ago about the discovery of a “new” organ, the network of soft tissues that surrounds all the other internal organ; the researchers had not even come up with a name for it). This whole network converges on the diaphragm. The top of the diaphragm itself fuses with the pericardium, the protective sac around the heart. This network can be trained by strengthening the connection of body and mind, such that with every cycle of breath (movement of the diaphragm), this network can inflate and deflate, smoothing out tensions, help a bit with blood circulation and lymphatic movement.  Although it takes time to train, the little bit I have been able to do has helped with regulating the tensions and pain held in my body.

I know this sounds more the same: boring stuff to do at night. I think a better lens to view this though, is less about it being boring, and more about purposefuly resting and recovering the body. The lens in which you view this matters, because the body will follow the mind. If it is boring to you, and you see no purpose in it, then the body will follow that attitude that it is idling with no purpose. If this is a period of deliberate rest and recovery, then although not much seem to happen, there is a purpose. The body will follow that attitude that it is time to rest. Maybe it will start cycling down because it is not being asked to be ready to provide energy to do something, flush out stress hormones, start repairing and restoring in ways it couldn’t if it needs to be ready to go.

I know that in the permaculture practices, we can’t keep expecting the land to produce all the time. There are natural cycles of rest that happens. Winter is a time of low activity is needed before the burst of activity in Spring. Well, one’s own body is also a complex, interdependent ecosystem of cells that come together into something greater than the sum. It has its own feedback loops, reserves of bioenergy. Like soil that has been depleted, the body can be depleted too. The ecosystem have its own “pain” signals, same as the body. An ecosystem also has its own stress and recovery responses, same as the body. All the things you know about taking care of the land share principles with the skills for taking care of your body.

r ranson wrote:Pain - The body and mind are connected.  If the mind is agitated, then the body tenses and if we are emotionally stressed then the body gets ready for a flee or flight which releases lots of chemicals.  Muscles tighten, digestion goes wonky... all that stuff.  The way it's presented is that CBT provides some tools to help reduce the agitation of the mind and emotion which reduces the physical stress response.  Breaking the cycle there, instead of trying to drug the body.

Have you looked into alternative, holistic medical practices? For example, TCM (traditional Chinese medicine), CCM (classical Chinese medcine), Ayruveda may provide alternative treatment that are better for chronic conditions. Caveat: it also depends upon the practitioner. There are practitioners who look at your whole body system, observe and interact, use small and slow solutions, although they may not use those exact words and concepts. (There are also practitioners who use a more mechanistic, reductive approach, which won’t work as well as going to a mainstream doctor). Some practitioners are at the more secular end of things and others are at the more woo end of things.

I’m just suggesting these as something to consider. If your present course of treatment gets you in a better state of health, that’s great. If it does not, it isn’t the end of the road.
2 years ago