Going Fishing For Fish Oils

Have you heard? Fish oil supplements are being recommended for everyone! Believe a lot of the hype, with my usual caveats!

Fish oil and whole, un-processed oils in general are just what the doctor ordered. Especially coming out of our 30 year fat fast” where Americans avoided as much fat as possible, it is good to hear that we can add some good, healthy fats into our diet. There’s been increasing media attention being paid to the use of omega-3 fish oils (The Today Show, January 31, 2007), and even primary care providers are recommending them for their patients.

Fish oils have been proven to lower our risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

Why is fish oil important?

As with a variety of fats, our body requires a significant amount to survive. In many of my articles and in my book, I discuss the exchange of life”; the process by which water, oxygen and nutrients are brought into each of our 100 trillion cells and how carbon dioxide, wastes and toxins are moved out of the cells. This process must flow freely in order for our cells and our bodies to be healthy.

The cell membrane, made up of mostly fats, is at the center of this exchange process. These membranes are like its skin: a protective barrier that is selective about what it lets in and out; the softer and more supple it is, the more functional and more beautiful we are, inside and out!

Stress, toxicity, poor diet, poor rest/sleep and poor water intake can all cause the cell membranes in our bodies to be come rigid and prematurely aged. The more rigid and unhealthy our cell membranes, the more likely we are to suffer from symptoms like lethargy, aches/stiffness, headaches and more. Left uncorrected, symptoms can lead to more serious concerns of chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, chronic pain and even chronic diseases like cancer and diabetes.

Don’t fret!

By improving our lifestyle and getting the proper amount of healthy fats into our diet, we can create soft, supple, healthy cell membranes. This is the path to truly regaining and maintaining our health.

All sounds pretty good so far, right? Well, actually it is. So what are my caveats?

1. While I most often recommend patients get the nutrients they need directly from their source (in this case by eating fish), I actually do not recommend patients eat fish 2-3 times per week. Because of the reports of fish contamination, especially with mercury, it is not a good idea to eat fish too often. A couple of servings per month is plenty.

2. Don’t just use fish oils. Current medical research indicates the VARIETY of fats in the diet is as important as what types and how much. There are many healthy, delicious oils out there for you. There’s the classic olive and sunflower oils, but what about the nut oils? Almond, walnut, sesame and peanut (actually a legume) oil are all excellent choices. These oils will improve the health and flexibility of your cells’ membranes all while highly satisfying your taste buds!

You can and should use a small to moderate amount of more saturated (thicker) oils like butter (organic when possible) and coconut oil. Again, the body needs a variety of fats. Too many of the same kind of fat can lead to imbalanced cellular membranes and can also degrade our health. Healthy oils are always sold in glass bottles or in the large metal cans, like olive oil. Oils sold in plastic are a no-no, as the packaging indicates that the oils are over-processed and not very healthy for you.

3. Avoid processed, trans or hydrogenated fats. These fats have been processed and altered in ways that make them unhealthy to the body. This includes margarine, processed butter substitutes, cheap vegetable oils (in plastic containers) and foods fried in hydrogenated oils (chips, snacks, restaurant fried foods).

4. Cook with fats and oils as little as possible. Heating fats can damage (denature) them, making them less or un-usable in the body. I suggest cooking with just enough to keep food from sticking to the pot/pan and then adding the oil to the food on your plate like a condiment. This is not a new concept, as it is done in many countries throughout the world.

So how much oil do I need in a day, doc?

Well, that is different for everyone. As part of my Bio-Logikal Diet, I am able to calculate how much fat a person needs in a day and we build it into their meal plan. Most people need 2-3 servings (teaspoons) of fresh, pure oil daily.

Choose your oil supplements with care. The toxicity that may be present in fish may spill over into supplements if the manufacturer isn’t taking the utmost care to purify them out, and without damaging the oil. Only use a fish oil product from a manufacturer that provides specific information on their purity specifications.

Fish oil can also present a problem with flavor. Manufacturers are using different natural flavorings to conceal the taste of fish that might repeat” or be burped”. Flavorings must be strong to conceal the fish flavor (lemon, orange, strawberry) and often patients burp up the flavor taste instead. Therefore, I strongly recommend using an enteric coated” fish oil product. This natural (extra) coating process allows the softgel to move through the stomach and into the small intestine where it opens and is absorbed. This minimizes or eliminates the repeating” and makes taking this kind of supplement much more rewarding. The enteric coating process is a bit expensive, so you will see EC products are a bit higher in cost, but worth it in my opinion.

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A Helping Hand

Utilizing herbs for the treatment of a diversity of ailments and diseases is an ancient practice. Although current times exposed us to contemporary medicine and science, the employment of herbal remedies is still relevant throughout the world, and approximately 75% of its population is even now using herbs as a cure for many diseases.

In the Western world, herbal remedies made room for treatments constructed in laboratories. These treatments were mere analysis and facsimiles of the original herbs.

Contemporary scientists, doctors and pharmaceutical companies considered the chemicals they fabricated in laboratories, as superior to the original herbs. There were, and even today still are, attempts to forbid the use herbs for the treatment of disease.

Of immense value, and overlooked by many, is the fact that herbs contain many active pharmacological agents which enhance healing. There is evidence that the presence of various elements in herbs, strengthens and supplements the healing act. All components work simultaneously to make a herb more efficient, something synthetic medicine does not do.

While current medicine combats the existing torrent of chronic diseases together with the newly discovered resistance to antibiotic, we find ourselves within the midst of an innovative look at the enduring healing properties of herbs. From a Christian point of view, we cannot thank the good Lord enough for providing us with nature, loaded with natural remedies for healing each and every disease and discomfort.

Despite all these astounding things, there is a serious warning with regards to herbs which should not be taken lightly. Some herbs are lethal and should be used with the greatest care. The person with no knowledge of herbs should not be collecting herbs for private use along the roadside, as herbs are often contaminated by lead-, air- or water pollution. In purchasing herbs, care should be taken that the herbs are only the best quality and that it comes from a trustworthy source.

The sole purpose of this article is to introduce the novice to the world of herbs and to its fundamental group of remedial herbs. It provides an exposition of any specific herb in the group, as well as its purpose and its use. A directory of disorders, with the herbs for the use of these disorders, has been included. It is crucial to do a thorough check on the advantages and disadvantages of any herb which you decide to use.

ENGLISH AFRIKAANS BOTANICAL
AniseAnysPimpinella Ansisum
ArnicaArnikaArnica Montana
BasilBasiliekruidOcimun Basilicum
BearberryBeerbessieArctostaphylos Iva-tursu
BergamotBergamotBalm Momarda Didyma
BuchuBoegoeAgathosma (Rutacae)
TurmericBorrieCurcuma Longa
Stinging nettleBrandnetelsUrtica Dioica
CayenneBrandrissieCapsicum Frutescens
YarrowDuisendbladAchilea Millefolium
EchinaceaEchinaceaEchinicea Angustifolia
GingerGemmerZingiber officinale
GoldenrodGoudroedeSolidago species
CalendulaGousblomCalendula officinales
CinnamonKaneelCinnamonmum Zeylanicum
NasturtiumKappertjieTropaeolum Majus
BurdockKlitskruidArtium Lappa
GarlicKnoffelAllium Sativum
LavenderLaventelLavandula Angustifolia
LucerneLusernAlfa Medicago Sativa
HawthorneMeidoringCrataegus Oxyacantha
Mint Peppermint”MentMentha Piperita
FeverfewMoerkruidChrysanthemum Parthenium
ChickweedMuurkruidStellaria Media
ClovesNaeltjiesEugenia Catophyllata
GingkoNooienshaarboomGingko Biloba
DandelionPerdeblomTaraxacum Officinale
ParsleyPietersieliePetroselenum Cerispum
RosemaryRoosmarynRosmarinus Officinales
Saw PolmettoSaagblaar palmettoSerenoa Repens
SageSalieSalvia Officinales
CelerySelderyApium Graveolens
ChicorySigoreiCichorium Intybus
ComfreySmeewortelSymphytum Officinale
St. John’s wortSt Janskruid Kerriebos”Hypericum Perforatum
LemonSuurlemoenSitrus Limon
Black cohoshSwart slangwortelCimicifuga Racemosa
FennellVinkelFoeniculum Ful
VioletViooltjieViola Odorata
Elder flowerVlierblommeSambucus Migra
ValerianWildebalderjanValeriana officinales

VARIOUS WAYS TO UTILIZE HERBS:

FRESH HERBS

It is always preferable to use fresh herbs, as the flavor and aroma are at its finest. However, some herbs are simply not accessible during winter, with the result that herbs are then used in different forms.

DRIED HERBS

Herbs can be dried very effectively as none of the healing properties are lost during the process. Herbs can be hung in small clusters, but not in direct sunlight. Ordinary kitchen ovens are also fine for drying herbs, providing the oven is set at its lowest temperature and its door is slightly open.

Important note: Never dry herbs in a microwave oven.

When dry, rub the crisp leaves into a soft powder and keep in a sealed container. Herbs have a extended shelf life.

HERBAL TEAS

Pour one cup boiling water over approximately one dessertspoon dry herbs. Leave for five minutes, Strain and serve with honey and a dash of lemon juice for a refreshing cocktail.

MEDICINAL TEA

Tea made for an explicit reason, illness or ailment. See Tea/Infusion”.

HERBAL VINEGAR

Shred roughly 60 gram of herb leaves and place in a canned fruit bottle. Add half a liter of white vinegar and leave in a cool, dim room to develop. Shake the bottle occasionally. Strain and pour into a clean bottle, and put some of the fresh herbs in the bottle to give it an attractive look. Seal with a *****asynbestande***** lid. White grape-vinegar may also be used, it serves as a delicious salad dressing.

HERB OIL

Use half a liter of olive oil and place herbs of your own choice in the oil. Quantity depends on personal choice. Leave for two weeks before using in various dishes and salads.

Olive oil may be substituted with Sunflower oil, but needs to be treated initially with a certain amount of either vinegar or lemon juice, to break down the fat content. Coconut oil may be employed on the same principle as very soothing bath oil.

HERBAL BUTTER

Soften 125 gram butter and add 35 ml chopped herb leaves of your own choice. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to your own taste, mix and place in containers in fridge to solidify.

POTPOURRI

Potpourri is a French word that literary means mixture”. Take an assortment of strong aromatic herbs of your own choice, mix and dry. Place in containers in strategic places, enjoy and benefit from the potpourri of aromas.

HERBAL BATH

For a refreshing bath after a tedious day, place a few herbs of your own choice in the foot of a nylon stocking. Attach it to the hot water tap of your bath so that the water can run through the stocking while you run your bath water. Detach and use as a cloth to bath. Excellent herbs for this purpose are lavender, buchu and rosemary.

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