Part II of the “Natural Supplements” article addressing essential fatty acids and swedish bitters as aids to balancing the body systems. Includes an excellent resource list for qualified suppliers, links and other materials for further reference.
Part II: Essential Fatty Acids and Swedish Bitters
ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS (EFA’S)
Many people are misinformed when it comes to fats. Fats are essential to the body! However, they must be the right kinds of fats. Animal foods, like dairy, red meat, and Crisco! Are not considered good fats, even though the FDA through the four food groups seems to think so and has done a good job over the past several decades convincing people of this falsity! Don’t get me wrong dairy and meat can be beneficial for people if they are eaten in moderation, and I do not use that word lightly! Perhaps one or two servings a week. And it is important you know where your meat and dairy source is coming from. I cannot express how important it is to eat meats that are free-range and organic! Our mainstream meat and dairy industries are filthy and the products are polluted. Trying to process and feed the countries overwhelming obsession with consuming these foods, leaves the environment in our health in a very unbalanced state of being. It is an urgent health and ethical issue that everyone needs to be aware of. (Look to upcoming article for more concise information). Health food stores are where you can find meat and dairy from animals that have been ethically treated, and have been fed a wholesome diet!
Essential Fatty acids are necessary for the body and are supplied only through the diet, our body does not manufacture them on it’s own. They are essential for rebuilding and producing new cells. These new cells help to improve the quality of the skin and hair, and help ease and heal many disorders; including psoriasis, eczema, arthritis, candida, and the regulation of blood pressure. The Brain is where these EFA’S are stored and therefore they are known to be essential for normal brain functioning and development.
There are two categories of essential fatty acids. Omega-3 and omega-6. The source of omega-3 EFA’s come from raw nuts, seeds, and legumes as well as unsaturated vegetable oils like evening primrose, grapeseed and borage.
Omega-6 fatty acids are found in fresh deepwater fish, fish oils and vegetable oils like flaxseed and walnut oil. Please note that these oils must be consumed in pure liquid form or supplemental capsules that have not been subjected to heat processing, or cooking. The generic oils that you find in the supermarket like name brand vegetable oils are NOT good for you, It doesn’t matter if there canola, sunflower or otherwise. They have been processed by being subjected to high heat temperatures. This heating process destroys the value of the oils, turns them into trans fatty acids, and even renders them into dangerous free radicals (free radicals are an altered molecular structure that damages tissues and cells), otherwise known as hydrogenation, which is how margarine is made. Anything with hydrogenated oils as well as margarine is a DETRIMENT to the body. All oils should be preferably organic, and definitely cold-pressed. When an oil is cold-pressed it is just that, processed with the use of heat, therefore all the vital nutrients remain and the molecular structure is not rendered into something foreign or bad.
As mentioned above there are several good ways to obtain essential fatty acids. Eat fish! Especially fish that has high oil content like salmon, mackaral, herring, and sardines. The most popular capsule is cod liver oil caps, however, cod is low in fat and contains 300 mg’s of omega-3 fatty acid in a 4oz serving. In comparison Salmon has 3,600 mg of omega-3 in a 4 oz serving. Quite a difference! For a good source of salmon oil, Carlson laboratories make an excellent Norwegian salmon oil capsule. In addition, flaxseeds and flaxseed oil are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseeds have a pleasant nutty flavor and are wonderful on salads, in baked goods, soups or cereals. Cold pressed flaxseed oil is great on salads or lightly drizzled on cooked meats, fish or potatoes. Among the essential fatty acids grapeseed oil is one that is highest in linoleic acid and one of the lowest in saturated fats. Grapeseed oil can be heated up to 485 degrees fariegnheit without producing carcinogenic free radicals; therefore, it is an excellent choice for cooking and saute’ing. Again, be sure to look for cold pressed, organic and preservative free oil. Another wonderful essential oil is evening primrose as it contains the highest amount of gamma linoleic acid of any food source. Gamma-linoleic acids or GLA’s are known to prevent heart disease (which incidentally is the number one killer in both men and woman), high blood pressure, and involved in extensive research for dis-eases like multiple sclerosis, and cirrhosis or the liver. In addition, to all these wonderful attributes, GLA’S help to release and regulate both estrogen and testosterone and is therefore beneficial for balancing the hormonal system, and symptoms of menopause. Please note that anyone with a dis-ease that is marked by high estrogen levels should really be cautious and take this supplement sparingly, and consult your physician. Administering a combination of both these omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids is ideal. A product called natures secret contains a combination of both and can be found in health food stores. If not I’m sure any good health food store would be happy to try and order it for you.
SWEEDISH BITTERS… THE EXTRAORDINARY ELIXER!
This super elixir is a wonderful combination of feisty, bitter herbs that have miraculous healing powers. Although this should perhaps be included in an article on herbs I couldn’t resist adding it to the super supplement list because it has such enormous healing actions that have been revered and prized since the middle ages. In fact, I personally am NEVER without a bottle on hand!
Swedish bitters made it’s way in popularity in modern day herbalism through the testimonies of Maria Treben, the master herbalist extolled the many virtues of bitters in such wonderful books like, “Health through god’s pharmacy”.
The beauty of sweetish bitter is it’s endless uses. These bitter herbs are formulated into a synergistic combination giving profound benefits internally and externally. Over the years there have been many variations and you can still be creative using your instinct and knowledge to create your own herbal formula of bitter herbs. Natures work put’s out a wonderful traditional combination of these herbs, which include… aloe, manna, senna, rhubarb root, zedoary root, theriac venetian, angelica root, carline thistle root, myhrr, and camphor all in an alcohol extraction.
This is the way bitters works in the body. According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) there are five tastes in the body or essences of the plants. They are sweet, sour, salty, pungent, and bitter. The bitter essence of an herb is cooling, detoxifying, and anti-inflammatory. This Taste strengthens the quality of all the organs. And has a special affinity to the liver. The liver is the master detoxifier and works synergistically with every other system of the body. Bitters helps with bile production in the liver and gall bladder, thus stimulating the breaking down of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins in the small intestine. Swedish bitters is a well-known blood purifier. It helps to heal the digestive organs and the illnesses that are associated with them, including heartburn, nausea, indigestion, flatulence, bloated ness or headaches after meals. Peter and Barbara Theiss in the “Family Herbal” state that “All the digestive organs are involved when symptoms of this type occur, because the functions of the stomach, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, and small and large intestines are so closely associated with one another”. And, “the affliction or failure of any one of these digestive organs will result in disturbances for all the others as well”. Recent study shows that the secretion of gastric juices and bile is evident even if the bitters are not tasted. This is beneficial for those of you who cannot become accustomed to its taste, and choose to take a capsulated form of the bitters. Swedish bitters is well tolerated by everyone and has no side effects. However, do not use in cases of diarrhea, as it will prove to be detrimental. Along with Swedish bitters there is an enormous array of herbs with bitter qualities. Bitter greens are excellent in salads and increase absorption and digestion. Among them are dandelion, arugula and mustard greens. Bitter roots are wonderful decocted into an herbal tea formula. These include angelica root, dandelion root, gentian root and yellow dock root only to name a few. These herbs have tremendous healing powers and loaded with vitamins and minerals. As a stimulation therapy and general cleansing a treatment of tablespoonful doses before meals throughout the day (2-4 tbs, 1 per meal.), is recommended over an eight to ten week period, once a year.
EXTERNAL USES OF SWEEDISH BITTER.
Bitters has a myriad of uses as a poultice or compress. When Swedish bitters is administered externally it is always used undiluted. It is excellent when needing to treat any localized infection. The elixir can be applied to pimples and boils, or fever blisters, causing them to recede quite quickly, sometimes as little as a couple of hours. The pain and swelling of bee stings can quickly be eliminated by dabbing a cotton ball of bitters on the affected area. Compresses are excellent for children who complain of stomach aches. A compress is placed on the stomach overnight does wonders. Bitter compresses can be applied to any obstruction or inflammation of the organs like gall bladder, spleen or pacreatitis. To do this massage the area with castor oil or calendula cream, which is also very healing to internal organs. The castor oil, or calendula cream will help the area from becoming dry and irritated. Soak a cotton cloth liberally with Swedish bitters and apply to the area for as long as possible, preferably overnight. Please note that this tincture is dark brown and very messy so put clean towels or cotton cloth over the compress and then protect bedding and clothes with a light piece of plastic. These compresses can bring miraculous relief to muscle and tendon injuries like sprained ankle, bursitis, or torn ligaments. When used externally the bitters has a cooling, anti- inflammatory, disinfecting quality that promotes rigorous local circulation.