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Posts Tagged ‘colitis’

Despite the bad press that coconut oil has gotten over the years it turns out that it has numerous health benefits.

Coconut oil is a saturated fat.  People have been indoctrinated to believe that saturated fats are bad for us and will lead to heart disease. 

However, as I pointed out in a previous article on “Fats”, research has concluded that there is no evidence to support the theory that saturated fats cause an increase risk for heart disease. (1) 

Initial studies conducted  on coconut oil used hydrogenated fats which created an essential fatty acid deficiency which in turn caused serum cholesterol levels to rise.  These hydrogenated fats were contributing to an increase risk of heart disease. (2)

However, when various groups were studied who had a traditional diet including unprocessed coconut oil they found that vascular diseases which were associated with hydrogenated oils did not exist with the saturated fat from coconut oil. 

Benefits associated with Coconut Oil include:

Increased Metabolism

  • Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides which the body uses as an immediate source of fuel.  This consumption increases metabolism and helps you to lose weight.  Fat also helps you feel fuller and keeps you satiated longer so you are less hungry.

Immune System:

  • As I mentioned before, Coconut oil contains high levels of medium-chain fatty acids (known as MCFA). These fatty acids are the same substances produced by mothers milk which helps protect infants from infectious illnesses.  These medium-chain fatty acids have strong anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-protozoal properties.

Acne

  • The lauric acid contained in coconut oil has anti-microbial activity which may be beneficial in the treatment of Acne vulgaris. (3)

Skin Conditions

  • Not only does coconut oil contain essential fatty acids which help to reduce the effect of oxidation, but they may also be beneficial in the treatment of various forms of atopic dermatitis. (4)

Colitis

  • May be a potential therapeutic treatment to help reduce inflammation and decrease the incidence of colitis. (5)

The list of benefits of coconut oil go on and on.  What I really love about coconut oil is that if you are cooking with it and get some on your hands you can use that excess as a skin moisturizer.  That’s right, just rub it right it in to your hands and your hands will be nice and smooth.  Coconut oil can be used as a base for lotions or salves and can be used in lieu of conventional cooking oils. 

These are just some of the reasons I’m “Cuckoo for Coconut”!

References:

(1)  Am J Clin Nutr (January 13, 2010). doi:10.3945/ajcn.2009.27725.,   Meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies evaluating the association of saturated fat with cardiovascular disease1,2,3,4,5., Patty W Siri-Tarino, Qi Sun, Frank B Hu and Ronald M Krauss http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/abstract/ajcn.2009.27725v1

(2)  Nutr Clin Pract. 2006 Oct;21(5):505-12.Trans fatty acids and coronary heart disease. Zaloga GP, Harvey KA, Stillwell W, Siddiqui R.Clintec Nutrition, One Baxter Parkway, Deerfield, IL 60015, USA. gary_zaloga@baxter.com

(3) Biomaterials. 2009 Oct;30(30):6035-40. Epub 2009 Aug 8.  The antimicrobial activity of liposomal lauric acids against Propionibacterium acnes.  Yang D, Pornpattananangkul D, Nakatsuji T, Chan M, Carson D, Huang CM, Zhang L. Department of Nanoengineering, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA.

(4)  Dermatitis. 2008 Nov-Dec;19(6):308-15. Novel antibacterial and emollient effects of coconut and virgin olive oils in adult atopic dermatitis.  Verallo-Rowell VM, Dillague KM, Syah-Tjundawan BS.  Skin and Cancer Foundation, Pasig, Philippines. vmvrmd@gmail.com

(5)  J Nutr. 2009 Mar;139(3):603-10. Epub 2009 Jan 6.  Partial replacement of dietary (n-6) fatty acids with medium-chain triglycerides decreases the incidence of spontaneous colitis in interleukin-10-deficient mice.  Mañé J, Pedrosa E, Lorén V, Ojanguren I, Fluvià L, Cabré E, Rogler G, Gassull MA. Health Sciences Research Institute, University Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol, 08916 Badalona, Spain.

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Blackstrap Molasses is the liquid byproduct in the production of refined sugar and was once used as the primary sweetener in foods.  What is so wonderful about Blackstrap Molasses is that it is loaded with minerals and is an easily assimilated form of energy for the body.

People have known for ages of the health benefits of Blackstrap Molasses.  Numerous home remedies have included molasses in the treatment of anemia due to its high iron content.  Along with iron, molasses is also an excellent source of calcium, potassium, manganese, copper and magnesium and a good source of vitamin B6 and selenium.

Two teaspoons of Blackstrap molasses provides your body with 11.8% of your daily need for calcium, 13.3% of your iron, 14% of your cooper, 18% of your manganese, 9.7% of your potassium and 7.3% of daily need for magnesium.  (1)

Traditional folk remedies tout Blackstrap molasses as a panacea or a “cure-all”.  Although, it might not actually be a “cure-all”, blackstrap molasses has been traditionally indicated for the following health conditions:

  • Arthritis
  • Ulcers
  • Dermatitis and eczema
  • High blood pressure
  • Constipation and colitis
  • Varicose veins
  • Anemia
  • Bladder troubles such as difficult urination
  • Nerve damage

Here are a couple of traditional remedies once used for anemia:

Mix 2 teaspoons each of apple cider vinegar and blackstrap molasses with water to strengthen the blood (2)

Another remedy called for using 1/3 of a cup blackstrap molasses mixed with milk or as a sweetener (2)

If you don’t like the taste of Black Strap Molasses you can add two tablespoons to your soups.  I have been adding it to my beef stew and find that it adds just a hint of sweetness which actually improves the flavor of the soup or stew.

When selecting blackstrap molasses choose one that is organic and unsulphured as it contains no chemicals which are often used in processing and has a much better taste.

References:

(1) The George Mateljan Foundation

(2)  Todd, J.C., Herbal home remedies.  (2005), Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul, MN.

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Ode to Achillea millefolium (Yarrow)

Lacerations and bruises, bleeding and chills, a fever and fibroids yarrow it heals.

Though bitter and pungent, cold and dry this herb will cool and tonify.

The tongue it is red and cracked down the middle, the veins they are blue and fast like a fiddle.

When you are irritated and tissue depressed, the veins it will cool along with the chest.

Dyspepsia, colitis, arthritis and gout Yarrow’s not an herb you want to rule out.

When the maidens flow comes to her late, yarrow’s an herb which will promote and stimulate.

Her loins they will cramp, her flow in excess, yarrow will slow the bleed and make it less.

When the pressure is high and the head it aches, a tea of the flowers for goodness sakes.

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