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Catching up … if my computer will cooperate …

Well, when I drop off the face of the earth for awhile, at least relative to my blog, I feel like I should catch up before posting more.  But I’m not someone who writes well about the usual slogs of life, so — my apologies!  I am still wrapping up from the crowdfunding and cleaning up after a particularly long season of computer troubles.   (I didn’t win the Changemakers healthcare competition, by the way — I didn’t expect to — but take a look at the winners who did, and some who didn’t, it’s both eye opening and inspiring.  Links on my last post.)

I heard somewhere that Steve Jobs had an employee whose job was just to take care of all the time-consuming technical hassles so that all Jobs had to do was use his computers for their intended purposes when he wanted.   (I need that guy!!!!!!!)  Barring that, I sure wish the computer industry was paying attention to what the rest of us slog through that keeps us from using our computers the way WE intend to use them…

Anyone at Apple have eczema?  I’m happy to barter some expertise…

Social Competition Entry: Ending the eczema and allergy epidemic, without drugs or expensive interventions

I have entered in a healthcare competition – Innovations for Health – sponsored by the Ashoka and Robert Wood Johnson Foundations. It’s unlikely to win, but if the entry is well-received, I may make good connections or find resources to help further work in the future. The organizers have told entrants to reach out to our social networks for comments, that they make a big difference.

Please make a comment to the competition entry, or contribute to the discussion. Early finalists will be announced March 19.

The entry:
“Ending the eczema and allergy epidemic, without drugs or expensive interventions”

To learn more about the competition in general, please see:

Thank you for a successful crowdfunding effort!

Thanks for all the support for the crowdfunding effort that ended February 29, 2012! I will be working on a scientific paper and a book for  I will soon be putting up a newsletter capability on the blog to send out progress notes.

In the crowdfunding goals, I didn’t promise the medical paper in addition to the book, because time to publishing a scientific paper can be unpredictable (especially since I am outside traditional academic circles), but I believe publishing in a more traditional outlet and getting the discussion going in medical circles will do a lot to move this work forward.  I have to do the research anyway for the book, so I plan to finish both.

Although the Indiegogo crowdfunding project is ended, further donations will go to good use, to support the work, website costs and improvements. 


Postcript on affiliate marketing (or not) on

In December, I suspended affiliate marketing for for a number of reasons, including that the time it took for it to provide enough support to be helpful took directly away from the site work.

I removed the pages and most of the links, but apparently forgot the Amazon aStore link (links?) from the recommendation section of the Solution page.  Amazon lets affiliates make their own “astores” with stuff they recommend, so I carefully sifted through what I could find that met my site criteria.  It wasn’t easy, as Amazon – for all its advantages – is not the easiest place to purchase personal care products, and some of the most effective products I have found aren’t for sale through Amazon.  I found out the aStore was still there after receiving a surprise email from Amazon that there were earnings – about $40 for the quarter.  When people shop from that link, Amazon remits something like 4%, sometimes slightly more.

Since the link is there, and since the aStore took time to set up in the first place, and people who write to me still ask for the convenience of something like this, I’m going to leave it up, but I felt I should let everyone know.  It’s not going to make a huge difference in covering the costs of the site, but because of it, I did give myself permission to buy a book, not available in the library, about cleaning products and marketing, something that will help the SolveEczema book research.

New Developments for

1) A Video Slideshow Overview of (see previous blog post)

2) Suspension of affiliate marketing/the shop page. It’s purpose was to find support to focus my time on the work, but I found being success at monetization would have taken far more focus, thwarting the original intent. The work of the website takes precedence.

3) A crowdfunding project on to support the work so that I can focus on finishing a book at a minimum, and take whatever concrete steps toward a medical study that the project support allows.

I WOULD VERY MUCH APPRECIATE YOUR SUPPORT AND/OR HELP SPREADING THE WORD, if possible. Even small donations will help! The crowdfunding project ends in February; the earlier the support, the better!

A.J. Lumsdaine

VIDEO: Slide-show Overview of

Off-Topic: STUFFING RECIPE — Gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free, sesame-free, soy-free, nut-free, and yummy. Oh, and vegetarian!

This is my husband’s (and probably Better Homes New Cookbook at some early point in the process) contribution to humanity for Thanksgiving. Stuffing that is gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free, sesame-free, soy-free, and nut-free! And vegetarian. cornucopia

We made this to accommodate all of the allergies at last year’s Thanksgiving dinner, and guess what?! All of the non-allergic people loved it so much better than the award-winning Sunset stuffing (I mean, the one they said they get more requests than any other recipe for), there were lots of leftovers of the Sunset stuffing and not a crumb left of this! (Sorry Sunset!) People asked for the recipe, so here it is:

1 C. chopped celery (4-5 stalks?)
1 C. chopped onion (~1 medium onion – red)
1 tsp dried sage
2 bell peppers chopped (we probably used the sweet ones from Borba Farms; this year we used 1 red bell pepper and 1 poblano, it was even more delicious)
2 batches corn bread croutons (see recipe below)
2-3 C. vegetable broth (we used the low-sodium veggie broth from Trader Joe’s)
1/4 C. chopped flat leaf parsley

Saute chopped vegetables in olive oil until soft. Mix vegetables, sage, parsley, and cornbread croutons in large bowl. Stir in veggie broth until wet but not soaking. Bake at 325 degrees for ~40 minutes until browned lightly on top.

Options: Could add sausage, apples, or — if not allergic — nuts.

Cornbread Croutons for Stuffing:
3/4 C. brown rice flour
1/4 C. amaranth flour
1 C. corn flour (not corn meal)
2 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 egg-equivalent egg replacer (we used Ener G), mixed
1 C. water (could use milk if not allergic to dairy, but we used water)
1/4 C. oil (olive oil tasted good)

Mix dry ingredients. Mix egg replacer separately and add to wet ingredients, then add wet ingredients to dry. Mix well and pour into 9X9X2 or 8X8X2 pan (greased). Bake at 425 for ~25minutes. Won’t make very good corn bread but is great for stuffing or croutons. Split the loaf horizontally and cut bread into 1/2″ to 1″ cubes. Dry cubes on cookie sheet at ~250 degress, turning occasionally until dry and crispy.

If you like the recipe, please consider buying my husband a cup of coffee (he is an unwilling chef!) or support of my efforts with (Hardly anyone donates — if you do donate for the recipe, please leave a note for my husband, he’ll be thrilled!)

SolveEczema News

This is an experiment — like everything else I do, it seems — in crowdfunding, through, to see if I can find funding to focus full-time on making a medical study of the solution on a reality, write a book and start a related social business.

I tried a mini-blog-pledge drive awhile back, but I find unless people can see where the funds go, most people vastly overestimate the funds that come through blog donation links and figure someone else is donating. And…

Maybe it’s my somewhat ascetic upbringing, but I have real problems asking for … money. There. I said it! It’s why I haven’t gone the non-profit organization route, because once you go non-profit, most of what you do is keep asking people for money.

Over the years, many people have offered to help, and mostly, I haven’t taken them up on it. I’ve put up a small donation button, I’ve recently experimented a little with monetizing the blog to try to generate some passive income from recommendations I already make, but I haven’t had the time to really make much (literally) of it yet. So far, my minimal monetization efforts have made little more than change.

A medical professional once told me that my reticence to ask for or make money related to this endeavor was depriving people I could be helping of that help. He had a point. Earlier this year I spent some time deciding whether to go the social business or non-profit route, and for the above reasons, decided on social business.

Still, the first and most important goal is the medical study. And doctors are much better than I am of asking for money for their professional services. It’s hard to get money for a medical study without a doctor, and hard to get a doctor without money.

And while I am working on that, I have to find a way to make this my job. I don’t need a lot, but so long as I can only afford to do this as a hobby, that’s all I’ve been able to do.

Since putting up and this blog, parents have told me they couldn’t parent normally before they implemented the solution on, or that their children never lived a day without pain or slept through a single night because of the intense itching, or that they suffered life-threatening infections, or were ostracized by other children and adults. And they tell me what a difference it makes to really, truly see and understand where the previously random-seeming outbreaks come from and how to prevent or eliminate them, to have control over what had once controlled them. Many parents have described how asthma was ameliorated or eliminated along with the eczema, as the underlying basis would predict, and which also deserves further study.

It hasn’t been all one-sided. This endeavor has been extraordinarily meaningful for me. I never would have predicted wanting to do anything health related professionally. But now I would consider it an immense privilege to be able to do something that helps far more people. Please make a pledge if you can:

Feb 2017 – The crowdfunding is long concluded, but I am still working on the book.  If you would like to support this work, please consider a donation.  Not many people do – every bit makes a difference.  If you are in a position to truly make a difference:  the one thing that would make the biggest difference right now is funding to allow me to hire one or two people and research-grade equipment for skin testing.  I have a fiscal sponsor now, so while regular gifts are not tax deductible, when I get that set up, it will be possible to make tax deductible donations to this work.

For gifts, please take the link in the right sidebar to the SolveEczema Donations Page.


Unauthorized use of Not my rant

When I first began this blog, I posted a wonderful letter of feedback by Katrina Featherston, who gave me permission to post it on my blog, which is copyrighted.

For some reason, this post has been copied by many others on the Web without permission.

I have not authorized any of these uses, especially one particularly bad one on a web site called m e d e c i n e d o c t o r s [dot] i n f o. PLEASE DO NOT GO THERE. I would ask my readers to please not look for that site, because just your linking to it or viewing it will give them a higher ranking with Google. However, if you are using Google to look into, please be aware of it and don’t use it!

They not only borrowed the letter, they used my web site name,, then added a rant to Katrina Featherston’s letter — an anti-doctor anti-medicine rant that is neither from me nor Ms. Featherston, but the site so makes it seem so, I consider it libelous.

My husband and I couldn’t have done what we did without the wisdom our healthcare practitioners imparted and the help and support they gave along the way. I think everyone should have that kind of medical support.

People who use my site are sometimes discouraged by their experiences with the advice available for treating eczema, but I make very clear how important it is for people to have a good relationship with a doctor before embarking on any changes as outlined on the site. If people do have an antagonistic relationship, I usually ask if there is any way to switch to a doctor they could work with. There are many, many doctors out there who will work with patients, and who are wise, helpful and (necessary for working with the site) able to keep close tabs on people’s safety and personal medical situations through the changes I advocate on the site.

Although I am working on trying to see a medical study of the solution, there is currently nothing like it in the medical literature and doctors cannot be held responsible for not knowing what has not been published in peer-reviewed literature. I have even heard from doctors who used my web site to help their own families.

I don’t know what the motivation of the abovementioned web site is to steal my material and misrepresent it and me, but there is no name associated with it and no contact information for me to ask them to stop. Please realize that the site is in no way associated with me or my site, and that the rant they attached to the letter they stole from my site has nothing to do with me.

Where to Find Non-detergent Shampoo

When users ask me for choices in non-detergent shampoo, in the past, I had little to say. The best one I had tried was Cal-Ben’s. But, different people have different needs and preferences.

I just looked at the Environmental Working Group’s web site. In the shampoo category, many products listed as the safest are soap-based. The great thing about the Environmental Working Group’s web site is that ingredients are listed for most products.  I found Earth Mama Angel Baby’s soap-based shampoo through EWG’s site, and like that product as well.

I haven’t tried most of the products listed, but they are mostly castile-soap-based with very simple ingredients and thus should be safe for users.

Note: not all shampoos listed as tops in safety are soap-based, as you go down the list, some are made with sugar-surfactants (of which I’ve heard mixed reviews from users, I continue to reserve judgement for now), and as you go further, the more and stronger the product detergent bases.

In general, Environmental Working Group’s web site is a great place to look for safe products.