Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
13 Nov

Is It Primal? – Non-Alcoholic Beer, Non-Alcoholic Wine, Gluten-Free Beer, and Other Foods Scrutinized

beer2I suppose you could call today’s “Is it Primal?” the alcohol edition, because we’re dealing with three alcohol-related inquiries. Actually, two of the inquiries relate to non-alcoholic beverages, one to an alcoholic beverage, one to a substance that can potentially facilitate alcohol-induced activities, and one to a substance that can help relieve sunburns that you get after passing out in the sun from too many alcoholic beverages. Okay, that’s a bit of a stretch, but I think you get the point. I dig into the suitability and Primality of non-alcoholic beer, non-alcoholic wine (the horror!), gluten-free beer, the Andean aphrodisiac known as maca root, and the humble but ubiquitous aloe vera.

Let’s get to it, shall we?

Non-Alcoholic Beer

Although I think alcoholic beverages can be a sensible vice for PBers (I’m partial to wine), alcohol is undoubtedly a poison. Most people can handle a bit of this particular poison without doing any real damage – particularly if they take some steps to support their detoxification systems and choose alcohol with beneficial secondary compounds – but not everyone responds well to or wants to consume alcohol. If you’re in that boat but still want to enjoy a drink, you generally have but one option: nonalcoholic beer.

Before you laugh, know that nonalcoholic beer is actually alcoholic beer up until the last couple steps where the booze part is removed. Removal is done either via vacuum distillation, which changes the pressure to allow boiling at a lower and less disruptive temperature, or reverse osmosis, which doesn’t require any heating at all. Sure, nonalcoholic beers generally won’t taste as good as your favorite brews, but that’s mostly because the better breweries aren’t really bothering to make nonalcoholic beer. If your favorite craft brewery did decide to remove the ethanol from your favorite brew while leaving everything else the same, it would probably be almost as good. There’s just not a large enough market to drive the brewing of high-quality craft non-alcoholic beer. At least, not yet.

For the most part, I don’t see anything wrong with enjoying a non-alcoholic beer. I still have a beer from time to time, just because I enjoy it that much, and if you’re not overly sensitive to the gluten in most beers, you’ll probably be okay. Plus, non-alcoholic beer has some health benefits.

The only thing that might keep you away is the gluten content. The market for good gluten-free beers is somewhat limited, and the market for good nonalcoholic gluten-free beers is even more limited. Luckily, the brewing process generally removes most of the gluten from beer, and, at any rate, the gluten content of beer pales in comparison to the gluten content of something like bread. One test of fifty beers found that 35 of them contained between 1 and 200 ppm of gluten, and 15 had less than 1 ppm. As a comparison, wheat bread has roughly 75,000 ppm of gluten. According to the World Health Organization, food with less than 20 ppm can be labeled “gluten-free,” though your mileage may vary.

Verdict: Not Primal, but perhaps worth a cheat if you’re not sensitive to gluten.

Non-Alcoholic Wine

Just like non-alcoholic beer retains the health benefits of its alcoholic counterpart, non-alcoholic wine retains many of the benefits associated with real wine. Unfortunately, non-alcoholic wine just doesn’t seem to taste very good. Actually, scratch that: it tastes just fine, just not like real wine. You see, more so than with beer, the alcohol content of a good bottle of wine ties the flavors all together. It provides the body, the mouth feel, the “thickness.” Without the alcohol, wine ends up tasting thin, rather than big and thick. Experts say the best non-alcoholic wines are the sweeter, bubblier ones, the ones that attempt to ape champagne and riesling and the like, rather than the bigger reds.

Taste and mouth feel aside, non-alcoholic wine will contain all the same polyphenols as alcoholic wine made from the same grapes, under the same conditions, given the same amount of time to develop, and aged in the same barrels. I’ve spoken about the anti-oxidative benefits of using wine as a marinade or cooking sauce (it reduces lipid oxidation and the formation of carcinogenic compounds during cooking), which is dependent on the polyphenols – not the alcohol; non-alcoholic red wine retains all the polyphenols and should have the same effect. And one recent study found that non-alcoholic red wine lowered blood pressure in human subjects, while alcoholic red wine did not.

Verdict: Primal.

Gluten-Free Beer

If you are celiac, gluten-sensitive, or just react poorly to gluten-containing foods, you’re probably going to want to reach for a gluten-free beer. As stated above, a gluten-free beer will have a gluten content lower than 20 ppm. If that doesn’t mean anything to you, and you want to have something to compare it to, let’s look at the gluten content of another common food.

Naturally fermented soy sauces that contain wheat register under 20 ppm. That said, you generally don’t drink 12 ounce bottles of soy sauce (or do you?). By sheer volume, you’ll be ingesting more gluten, but far less than comes from even that tiny crust of bread you love to sneak at the restaurant. Unless you’re confirmed that you react to miniscule amounts (around 1 ppm) of gluten, gluten-free beer will probably be fine.

Regarding the silicon effect mentioned in the non-alcoholic portion of this post: although barley is the most common source of silicon in regular beer, hops are also rich in silicon. If you want a silicon-rich gluten-free beer, look for hoppy ales – pale ales, India pale ales, etc. Sorghum also tends to absorb silicon from the soil, so any sorghum-based gluten-free beers should contain sufficient amounts of silicon.

Most of the polyphenols in beer come from the hops, rather than the barley, so gluten-free beers that contain hops (a gluten-free component) should have the same antioxidant activity as regular beers.

Verdict: Not Primal, but a better alternative than regular beer and a nice option for an 80/20 situation.

Aloe Vera

Anyone who’s ever had a real bad sunburn has probably crossed paths with aloe vera gel, but did you know that aloe vera the plant enjoys a storied history as a healing herb? As far back as 2,000 years ago, physicians, healers, and medicine men have been prescribing aloe for a number of ailments. It’s been used to improve digestion, reduce constipation, and facilitate purgation. In enema form, it apparently “removed worms from the rectum” of the afflicted. In men, it was said to increase erections and sexual appetite. Women between puberty and menopause could supposedly rely on aloe to “relieve the nervous manifestations which often accompany that interesting period in woman’s life” and increase their menstrual flow. And aloe was also said to give “tone to muscle tissue” and exert “a special influence on the liver.” Sounds pretty magical, right?

But does it really do anything?

Its topical effect on burn wounds is well-known, with a recent meta-analysis concluding that aloe vera-containing products reduce burn healing time by 8.79 days on average. Since the products often contained other ingredients and weren’t standardized for aloe vera content, all that can be said is that “some amount” of aloe vera is effective against burns.

Oral aloe vera has anti-hyperlipidemic and anti-hyperglycemic effects. A recent study found that in type 2 diabetes patients with bad blood lipids and excessive fasting blood sugar levels, a 300 mg capsule of aloe vera gel taken every twelve hours for two months lowered LDL, HbA1c, fasting blood glucose, and total cholesterol. No adverse effects were reported, and liver and kidney function tests checked out.

An extract of aloe vera even shows promise as a promoter of dental pulp cell proliferation (the stem cells that “turn into” teeth) and the mineralization and formation of dentin. The study involved capping the exposed upper molars of rats in either the aloe extract (acemannan) or a control for 28 days, so it’s not as simple as swishing with aloe vera juice every night.

Aloe is certainly good as a laxative, but there’s no concrete evidence that I’m aware of for its use in healing damaged stomach tissue. You could give it a shot in an experiment of one, of course. Just note that chronic oral aloe vera consumption has been linked to hepatic toxicity in some cases. Doses of between 250 and 500 mg per day were cited – a not unheard of amount, so use caution.

Verdict: Primal, but be sure to use medicinally, not chronically.

Maca

If aloe’s supposed aphrodisiac effects are based in obscure folk wisdom, maca has actual clinical trials. Maca appears to be that rare substance that actually works as advertised. Most importantly, it increases sexual desire, function, and fertility in both men and women.

  • In men with mild erectile dysfunction, maca root increased subjective perceptions of general and sexual well-being, beating out the placebo group.
  • In men and women suffering from SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction (disinterest, low libido, inability to attain arousal), patients taking maca root experienced significant improvements. Libido increased and arousal became possible on both 1.5 grams per day and 3 grams per day, though the larger dose was more effective.
  • In post menopausal women suffering from sexual dysfunction, 3.5 grams a day of powdered maca reduced anxiety, depression, and sexual dysfunction when compared to a placebo. Interestingly, these effects were independent of any changes in hormonal profiles (neither androgenic nor estrogenic).
  • In men aged 21-56, both 1.5 and 3 grams per day of maca root increased sexual desire, with the larger dose having the greater effect. As with the previous study on postmenopausal women, the increase in libido was independent of any changes to male hormonal profiles.
  • Maca also increases sperm count, sperm motility, and ejaculate volume without affecting serum hormone levels in men.

Maca also has some neuroprotective effects, at least in rodents, but the sex angle is the most studied.

If you decide to try it, don’t necessarily rush out and buy the raw maca. Traditionally, maca root was eaten as a root vegetable in Peru – cooked, boiled, mashed, or turned into flour. It wasn’t eaten raw to “preserve enzymes” or some other such thing. Raw maca is generally less expensive than gelatinized maca, but the latter is more concentrated with the starch removed, and perhaps more effective. Furthermore, since maca is in the brassica family (along with cabbage, broccoli, and kale), it has goitrogenic qualities that increase the requirement for iodine. Raw maca is going to have more goitrogenic activity than heat-treated maca.

If I were going to use maca, I’d be interested to see if it boosted sexual desire. That’s where most of the best research has been done. I’d do about 1.5 to 3 grams daily, which seems to be the effective dose range. I’d make sure to eat extra iodine-rich foods, like seafood and sea vegetables. And I’d treat it like a medicine, taking it when and if I felt I needed it and removing it if any untoward effects were felt.

Verdict: Primal.

That’s it for today, folks. I hope I’ve given you some new things to try, or to avoid, and that you find my advice helpful.

You want comments? We got comments:

Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. Alcohol is the most difficult part for me in living primal. I go days/weeks/months with out it and then BOOM! I consume too much and make poor food choices.

    Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on November 13th, 2012
    • Make sure to get a serious heavy lifting workout in before you cheat. Most of the sugary crap will help replenish your glycogen. It’s not ideal, but from time to time it won’t kill you.

      Shawn wrote on November 13th, 2012
      • I think alcohol tolerance is reduced while recovering from exercise as well. Around a week ago I had quite the mission travelling over two days with a wheelbarrow. Once I finally got to my destination I got a bottle of red wine and my tolerance seemed to be cut in half.

        Animanarchy wrote on November 13th, 2012
        • it wasn’t the exercise–wheelbarrow use will do the trick every time. big day of hauling pumpkins, and I’m passed out after one glass of wine

          Tom B-D wrote on November 13th, 2012
      • I find that this strategy works for me when I cheat at minimizing weight gain, but I wonder about the affects of that much stress on my body in one day. Doing a max weight workout and then drinking heavily always results in exreme amounts of soreness even days later.

        Team Oberg wrote on November 13th, 2012
      • Will it be just as beneficial after an intense metabolic conditioning workout?

        I only ask because on my current routine, I do both heavy lifting and metcons. I stick to a 95% paleo diet; the 5% non-paleo foods I eat are usually small baked goodies that my wife makes so well and alcohol. I had done a 30-day challenge where I ate clean and it certainly made a difference in the way I felt and exercise performance, but I enjoy a beer or two from time to time, about once or twice a week. I’m trying to determine if even that relatively small amount is hindering potential gains/improvements in my fitness, health, and body composition.

        Mike S. wrote on November 14th, 2012
    • I am in the same boat. Alcohol has been one of the biggest barriers to being more primal compliant. That is why I am trying to do no alcohol for November. I on day 13 with no cheating yet and seeing some good progress.

      http://fitnesswayne.com/2012/10/23/no-alcohol-november/

      Wayne wrote on November 13th, 2012
      • Way to go Wayne! Keep up the good work – you’re the boss of what goes into your body!

        Primal V wrote on November 14th, 2012
        • Yes, like a boss!. Excuse me, I have “breaking news” I have to go drop on Audrey’s desk.

          Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on November 14th, 2012
      • Hat tip to you Wayne . It’s not easy. My longest was 3 months and I was busy. Saved quite a bit of cash too. Keep it up!

        Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on November 14th, 2012
    • I find that getting/making delicious Primal snacks that satisfy my usual tipsy cravings solves my snacking issues. If you’re a salty snacker, good bacon, home-made jerky, or salted kale chips are relatively easy choices. For sweet-tooth cravings, I find good dark chocolate, frozen grapes, blueberries or even high-quality homemade ice cream do the trick. I then just make sure that I don’t consume much alcohol while out somewhere that bad treats are easy to access, and triple-check and clear my kitchen and pantry before drinking. It does help that I don’t live within easy walking distance of anywhere with snacks – my closest convenience store is ~30 minutes away and the nearest grocery store is over an hour to walk.

      Samantha wrote on November 13th, 2012
  2. Odd…My shaving cream of choice has Maca root in it. No wonder I like it so much.

    Shawn wrote on November 13th, 2012
  3. Beck’s non-alcoholic beer tastes virtually identical to the alcoholic version. Still has the gluten though. AND you have to like the taste to start with.

    Cody wrote on November 13th, 2012
    • St Pauli makes a great NA also!! Sadly, americans are behind in this arena also (clauthauler?? ew) I’ve had excellent NAs in the UK.

      Peggy wrote on November 13th, 2012
      • Two brothers here is chicago land makes a beer that uses a fining agent (makes beer clearer) that just happens to remove enough gluten to be technically gluten free. …And it doesn’t have that nasty sorgum taste. I think its called Prairie Path if I remember right. If you are not super sensitive to gluten this could be a good choice … or there is wine.

        kiran wrote on November 13th, 2012
        • Ciders too. There is a pumpkin cider out now. Good stuff.

          Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on November 14th, 2012
        • Most meads aren’t made with any grain products (there are a few that are, so double check if sensitive). Widely different flavor profiles based on the type of honey used as well as any adjuncts added, but a basic mead generally tastes like a fairly sweet white wine.

          Chris R wrote on November 14th, 2012
  4. Just a note: it looks like that study of gluten in beers indicated between 1-200 mg/liter of gluten, while your paraphrase states ppm (parts per million). I think there’s a pretty big difference between the two; a liquid with 200mg/liter of gluten would probably have far more gluten than 200ppm.

    Mark A wrote on November 13th, 2012
    • Ah, my mistake. I just looked up a mg/liter to a ppm converter and the numbers are very close. Which makes sense in liquids like water, where there are 1 million mg in a liter. Sorry!

      Mark A wrote on November 13th, 2012
  5. That is interesting, I didn’t know that beer had such a low concentration of gluten. I generally only drink red wine and avoid beer like the plague. Not only does it have gluten but it is also a strong phytoestrogen and is known to lower testosterone. In fact beer is sometime prescribed for women who are having hot flashes because of the phytoestrogen. I don’t need any fake hormones in my body especially if I want to make gains in lifting.

    Wayne wrote on November 13th, 2012
    • If I drink too much beer my crap comes out with wisps on the edges. What a goulish beverage.

      Animanarchy wrote on November 14th, 2012
  6. Thank you so much for responding to my non-alcoholic wine request. Ariel is (supposedly) the best. I drink Merlot and Cabernet. Primal — YES!

    Elaine Sommer wrote on November 13th, 2012
    • I’ve tried most of the Ariel wines. They may be the best, but don’t come close to “real” Shiraz or Merlot or a nice cab, etc. I buy organic Concord grape juice and drink maybe three ounces with my dinner each night. I realize juice has pitfalls, but I’m hoping I’m getting some of wine’s benefits without disrupting my sleep which is what alcohol always does to me. So I save alcohol for special times and holidays :)

      Mark Cruden wrote on November 13th, 2012
  7. I live in Japan where they have taken non-alcohol beer to the next level. Though they would probably disappoint a regular “real beer” drinker, they are quite tasty and satisfying for non-drinkers (like me).

    Until now, I have forced myself to stop drinking non-alcohol beer because of the paleo grain thing, so thanks much for the great article and the news that I can start enjoying my non-alcohol Asahi Super Dry again.

    edward wrote on November 13th, 2012
  8. I haven’t had a beer in a long time although I love it. Have a vacation coming up that could lead to a few. Not sure I’m allergic to wheat or gluten intolerant so i just avoid both. Looks like I will i will fibally have to so a little self experimenting. Great exscuse to have a few gluten free beers right

    Luke DePron wrote on November 13th, 2012
  9. My wife has a family history of Celiac disease and is very gluten sensitive, although her doctor told her that she tested negative for actual Celiac disease. Beer generally does not trigger symptoms, in moderation, but she avoids wheat beers, and we’ve tasted quite a few gluten-free beers.

    The best gluten-free lager-style beer is definitely Estrella Dauro (made in Spain). The best ale-styles come from Green’s (England) and New Planet (Boulder, CO). For lovers of unusual craft beers, Dogfish Head makes a gluten-free beer called Tweason’ale, made with sorghum, honey, and strawberries.

    Mark A wrote on November 13th, 2012
    • That sounds incredible.

      Madama Butterfry wrote on November 13th, 2012
    • I second the gluten free New Planet Ales – especially the “Off the Grid” ale. They are the best GF beer I’ve ever had… a rich flavor, with a hint of molasses. I usually can’t stand the watered down, Budweiser-esque flavor of GF beer, but New Planet has me hooked. And as a bonus, I don’t have to feel like crap after a night out!

      Sarah wrote on November 13th, 2012
    • Love Dogfish Head. I highly recommend beer lovers to visit their brewery. It is near beaches so one theoretically could make it a family vacation. Ya know, drop off their “stupid weiner kids” with their lovely mother while papa can go play. Not that I think about that…

      Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on November 14th, 2012
  10. Green’s Endeavour is an awesome Belgian-style Gluten Free ale—I have it when available, but on those rare occasions when I want a beer, I’ll prioritize quality every time. I’ll usually go for the red wine or rye whiskey though…

    Graham wrote on November 13th, 2012
  11. The wife and I have been using maca powder as an ingredient in our coconut-based snackage. It’s got a very deep earthy taste & scent, like peanut butter’s big brother had a tryst with a black truffle. And while I haven’t done any double-blind studies, I can certainly vouch for its positive effects on both the male and female libido.

    Erok wrote on November 13th, 2012
  12. Maca does wonders for my sex drive. I definitely recommend it, since I haven’t noticed any negative side effects. I also notice a little energy boost. Love love love!

    Candace wrote on November 13th, 2012
    • What form do you take it in?

      China Schmitz wrote on November 13th, 2012
      • That is a pretty personal question, China.

        Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on November 13th, 2012
        • haha

          jake wrote on November 13th, 2012
      • I’ve been using Nature’s Herbs powdered capsules. Haven’t been able to find it fresh/raw, etc. ;)

        Candace wrote on November 28th, 2012
  13. What I want to know is WHY maca root works for low sex drive. It would be a nice boost while I’m working on healing my gut (and suffering from depression and anxiety and low sex drive).

    Tasha wrote on November 13th, 2012
    • I’ve been looking for the article I read that convinced me to give Maca a try but can’t find it right now. It explained that Maca is a food that helps balance your homones without adding artificial hormones into the mix. It “feeds” and supports your system which allows your body to start rebalancing your hormones if they’ve gotten out of whack.

      Speaking of Maca, I need to go order some more – I felt great and definately noticed the improvement in drive while taking it.

      AmeLeigh wrote on November 13th, 2012
  14. Beer & Wine are a part of enjoying life. For me, this falls into the 80/20 rule. Weekends only, not in excess. Football games + beer…..quiet evenings watching the sun set + wine….these things can’t be replaced.

    If you don’t have an extreme sensitivity or allergy, don’t stress too much over it.

    William wrote on November 13th, 2012
    • I love beer. I drink 1 or 2 bottles a day. I know Mark isn’t too keen on beer, but I think there are surely worse things I could be drinking or eating. I have given up most of my bread, pasta, cereal, and beans. But I just can’t give up football and beer. I still figure I am a better off than I otherwise would be. Maybe not full primal, something like 70/30? I can still live with myself.

      darjen wrote on November 13th, 2012
    • I agree. I am not giving up my evening glass of wine, or the occasional beer or two. At age 50, its about all I want. If I were 25, I know where all 20% of my 80/20 would be going . . . .

      DuncaN wrote on November 13th, 2012
      • Hat tip to caveman lawyer

        Paleo Bon Rurgundy wrote on November 14th, 2012
        • And duty counsel. Some of them are awesome.

          Animanarchy wrote on November 14th, 2012
  15. Yes — aloe vera for burns — Plus lavender essential oil.

    I literally poured hot bacon grease on my thumb a couple of weeks ago. I grabbed some ice and applied ice for a few minutes. Then I dropped on a couple of drops of essential oil of lavender and smeared it all with aloe. (I also smeared it with hydrocortisone cream once that day.) For the next several days I used lavender oil or lavender plus tea tree oil several times a day, then tapered off to twice a day. Did this for a good week.

    Result? NO blistering, only a slight redness and a bit of discomfort from the slight remaining burn for a few days when I put my hand in hot dishwater.

    I have also used aloe alone to good effect on sunburn. I keep a bottle of aloe vera gel in my kitchen for burns, now.

    Diane wrote on November 13th, 2012
  16. non-alcoholic beer leaves me with a lot of bloat…

    stefano wrote on November 13th, 2012
  17. Ommission is a gluten free craft beer. It’s actually made with barley and hops and then they have a process that removes the gluten so it taste like an awesome craft beer. It’s brewed by Widmere in Oregon so I’m not sure how widely it’s distributed. Great stuff.

    Donna wrote on November 13th, 2012
    • Agreed. After switching to cider, I missed the complexity of good hoppy beer. Omission is my new favorite!

      crossfit junkie wrote on November 13th, 2012
  18. There is an NA wine called Vandalia that actually tastes like wine…guy in California makes it then removes the booze via reverse osmosis. Currently only available in a 2002 Cabernet, but for a recovering alcoholic, it’s an excellent replacement! For the record, Ariel, FRE and the rest I’ve tried are terrible.

    TulsaGal wrote on November 13th, 2012
    • I agree – they taste like Kool-Aid! If I want sweet, I don’t drink wine, I eat an orange.

      Joanne wrote on November 13th, 2012
    • I’m a recovering alcoholic too TulsaGal, and I’ve always abstained from anything NA. Once I tried FRE because I thought it would be fun. Then I remembered that I didn’t drink for the TASTE, because the taste is gross. So I stopped after a few sips.
      I was startled to find out that my kambucha had .5% ABV because it’s one of my new favorite drinks. That’s basically like drinking an Odouls (which I’m against). But then again I’m drinking Kambucha for health reasons and not to vicariously get pleasure through it. Ohwell…

      Rachel M wrote on November 14th, 2012
  19. Is it Primal? …non-alcoholic beer, wine… Is it Even Worth It?

    Joy Beer wrote on November 13th, 2012
    • But seriously, there are times when I want the astringency of an alcoholic drink with the sleepiness that follows, and I’m enjoying the recommendations. There’s definitely a place for the substitutes. I’ve found that my home-brewed kombucha is really a great substitute beer, amazingly. Fizzy, cold, not sweet.

      Joy Beer wrote on November 13th, 2012
  20. I take Macca root for energy, it helps immensely on my long runs & workouts. Havent noticed the additional libido effect, but probably cos Im too busy trying to catch my breath!

    me wrote on November 13th, 2012
    • I tried a box of horny goat weed tea. There were other herbs in it including licorice. It was a tasty drink and energizing.

      Animanarchy wrote on November 14th, 2012
  21. Are you sure this is an alcohol-related post and not a sex-related post i.e. Maca increases sexual desire…while alcohol-free beverages reduce regretful sexual episodes…Just saying haha

    Isaac Warbrick wrote on November 13th, 2012
  22. I’m 59. I crossfit 5 days a week at RX. Todays workout was a blast (check the mainsite). I want to be as healthy as I can be WITHOUT giving up my 2-3 glasses of wine a night with an occasional gin and tonic. Sorry.

    Old man Crossfit wrote on November 13th, 2012
  23. love MDA, but, as a doctor of TCM, felt compelled to offer some more complete information about “aloe”. Lu Hui, a chinese herb, is the dried latex from the outside of the aloe leaf; aloe vera gel is from the inner leaf cells, with any latex removed. the two are totally different in chemical composition and therapeutic actions but seem to be lumped together in this post. from the TCM perspective, i can only speak to the qualities and actions of Lu Hui–it is most definitely a purgative and also has a minor action to kill parasites. it’s usually taken in capsules or pills in small dosages (1.5-4.5g or less, depending on the source). like all herbs in this particular “purgative category” of TCM herbs, Lu Hui is contraindicated in pregnancy. and it can be excreted in breast milk so use cautiously in lactation and realize you’re giving the baby a purgative (possibly on purpose).

    dana wrote on November 13th, 2012
  24. Saw a documentary the other day what said the real reason for the agricultural revolution wasn’t bread, but bear…so maybe its a lot closer to primal than we think ;)

    Jacob wrote on November 13th, 2012
  25. > the better breweries aren’t really bothering to make nonalcoholic beer

    Franziskaner produces the nonalcoholic version of the famous Franziskaner hefe-weizen. Erdinger weißbier, too, has the nonalcoholic version ;)

    Of course it’s a matter of taste, I am into unfiltered German lager beers (low fermentation).

    primal_alex wrote on November 14th, 2012
  26. All of the Body Shop’s men’s face care stuff has maca root, and they definitely talk about the sex drive thing with their customers! But I wonder how much effect it has through dermal absorption?

    Spiralicious wrote on November 14th, 2012
    • Really makes the whiskers stand up…..

      primalturdferguson wrote on November 14th, 2012
  27. Just wanted to mention regarding gluten free beers: beer made from sorghum or other non-gluten containing grains is fairly widely available and completely gluten free. It will not have a label talking about the amount of gluten in the beer or anything like that, because there is no gluten. Brands to look for include New Planet, Green’s, Bard’s, New Grist, Harvester (only on the west coast) and probably others I’m forgetting.

    If you see a beer that is labelled having gluten content of less than 20 ppm it is made from Barley. There are several of these on the market (Omission, Estrella Daura are most widely available). Supposedly, these beers go through a process to remove the gluten, but there is still some gluten present – enough so that a sizable number of celiacs and gluten sensitive people react and you may want to avoid these beers if you actually have either condition.

    What about hard cider? Or mead? Those seem like that might be closer to ‘primal’ than many kinds of alcohol…

    Kate wrote on November 14th, 2012
  28. I just drank some stuff that was fermenting for about two months. I went back to an old campsite of mine and found, surprisingly untouched, a mixtture of peanut butter, honey, and some sort of liquid in a jar – it might have been soy milk, I can’t remember. It tasted sour and not too foul. I washed it down with a modest amount of fresh sherry… relaxing.

    Animanarchy wrote on November 14th, 2012
  29. Where does hard cider fit into all this?

    Amy wrote on November 14th, 2012
  30. I’d really like to know those 15 beers that had only 1ppm of gluten…but I can’t find anything about the Flemish Celiac Society.

    Marisa wrote on November 17th, 2012

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