Friday, March 18, 2016

Superfoods are Bullshit


For the past several years we have been subjected to advertising campaigns touting specific food stuffs that may or may not be useful or at least not harmful.  Most are at least valuable in terms of adding variety to our diets and yes they all bring useful biologicals to the table that are welcome.

What is also pretty obvious is that actual science will matter little to an ad exec.  A rumor will do.  So it is high time to exercise caveat emptor.

Thus we have this item to share.  At least our general skepticism was well founded and maybe we can go back to using common sense.  Check my underlinings at least.   It has been my nature to resist all marketing claims about food as a natural venue for bunkum and eat as close to whole foods as possible.

Superfoods are bullshit

Like many of you with an interest in natural medicine, my foray into this field was guided by altruism, as a way to reconnect to our shared human heritage, and the healing wisdom of the earth. It thus came somewhat of a surprise to me, when during my training and after when I began to practice, to see the degree to which moneyed interests controlled the natural health industry, reducing the sophisticated and subtle principles I had studied to a loud and obtuse marketing noise. Over the years as I have built up my experience and knowledge, I have had some occasion to work on the industry side of things, and although my tenure has thankfully been brief, it was sufficient to confirm everything I ever thought that was negative about it. This is why I generally avoid health food products (and health food stores) like the plague: I am just too aware of what goes on within the industry. Thus I encourage my patients, students and anyone who will listen, to seek their nutrition and health in wholesome food, rather than any kind of supplement.

Sieg über lebensmittel

Which brings me to “superfoods”, a term predicated on a comic-book fantasy that some foods, like some animals, are better than others. The concept of superfood suffers from a totalitarian perspective: like the übermensch idealized by Hitler, it’s a kind of eugenic proposition in which we select only the “special” foods, the ones to which all foods should aspire. At the very least, the concept of superfoods is a fetishization of food, confusing the basis of a healthy diet to justify the high cost of exotic, imported foods and supplements that do not live up to the hype. The reality is that “superfoods” are all around us, and have already been used without much fuss by different cultures for thousands of years. These are the foods you only eat in small quantities, as a category of nutrition that bridges food and medicine, such as bitter melon and shiitake mushroom, culinary herbs like turmeric and oregano, fruits including goji and juniper berries, and roots such as astragalus and dandelion. The properties and benefits of these so-called “superfoods” are all well-established within their respective cultural traditions, and to learn how to use them properly, it is incumbent upon each of us to learn something about these traditions. Only then will these so-called “superfoods” be placed in their proper context.

Stepping over the cow paddies

Over the next two posts, I am going to review a number of these so-called “superfoods” and allied supplements, and give you my uncensored opinion. Each “superfood” is rated on my index as follows:
poop_1The product in question has merit, but the way it is marketed and used means that much of this is over-blown and confused.
poop_2The product in question may have some merit, but there is good reason to be skeptical.
poop_3The product in question has little to no merit, and is likely dangerous.

How did I come up with these ratings?

In each review, you will find links to provide further evidence to support my rating, but in essence all these reviews are based on my opinion and are thus subjective. I am not interested in the kind of review you might find in a science-based blog, that provides cautious and mostly empty, if not downright skeptical opinion, because in most cases these reviews are empirically useless. As such, my reviews come from the “wild”, based on 25 years of experience in this field as a student and practitioner, drawing from my study and work with Ayurveda and other healing traditions.


WHAT IS IT? Seriously? You’d only be asking this if you’ve been living in a cave without electricity for the last 15 years.

THE CLAIM. Smoothies are a great way to “drink” your food, which is easy on digestion, fortifying your diet with variety of “superfoods” to optimize your health.

MY COMMENT: Smoothies are nothing more than a variant of a milkshake, and indeed, most people’s version of a smoothie is a milk or yogurt-based drink with fruit. The number of problems with this proposition is another blog post in and of itself, but suffice it to say that cold milk and conventional dairy products are highly problematic foods, compounded by the fact that in Ayurveda, most fruits are incompatible with dairy. These type of fruit/dairy-based smoothies will likely cause issues that range from mucus and sinus congestion, indigestion, skin issues, and joint pain depending on the person and the duration of consumption. Nowadays, however, smoothies display a huge diversity of ingredients, often eschewing dairy altogether, utilizing various grain and nut-based “milks”, coconut water, or avocado as the base. To this can be added all manner of ingredients, from acai berry to zeolite, and everything in between. Thus, any critical analysis of a smoothie needs to be based on its individual ingredients (and their interactions), some of which are reviewed below. But in practice, there are some important problems with the very concept of a smoothie itself:
  • Smoothies are a beverage, not food.
    Digestion begins in the mouth with chewing, a process that activates a neuro-endocrinal response that results in the up-regulation of digestive function. Lingering over your palette, slowly chewed food provides a stimulus to the brain, helping it figure out how it’s going to digest the food, giving it time to mix with digestive enzymes, including amylase for carbohydrate digestion, as well as the enzyme lingual lipase released from your tongue, which promotes proper fat digestion.
  • Smoothies are usually consumed cold (and raw).
    They are, after all, modeled on the concept of a milkshake. According to every traditional system of medicine on earth, cold food and liquid impairs digestion, and impaired digestion leads to improper nutrition, and improper nutrition leads to illness and disease. In particular, as fatty foods are the hardest of all foods to digest, eating cold fatty foods compounds the problem, and weakens digestion further. To be sure, some people can tolerate a certain degree of cold food and beverages, like someone that displays a predominance of pitta in their constitution, but even still, cold (and raw) foods will eventually weaken even the strongest digestive fire. This is reflected in the science which demonstrates that raw or uncooked food takes much more energy to digest, and in many cases, without heat or the enzymatic activity of bacterial fermentation, many raw/cold foods aren’t properly digestible.
  • Smoothies aren’t a proper meal.
    Part of the reason smoothies have become so popular, is that many people have been told that they should eat 4-6 small meals through out the day. The problem with this recommendation is that it is derived in large-part from Sports Medicine, which modulates diet to optimize athletic performance. But very few of us burn the same number of calories as Olympic athletes in training, and so regular schmoes like us should not need to eat so often. According to Ayurveda, we should only need to eat twice daily, a practice echoed in every other ancient dietary tradition, from practices the practices of hunter-gatherer ancestors, to the Hebrews of the Talmud. Another reason the concept of eating 4-6 small meals through out the day is that many therapists recommend it as a way to control labile blood sugar, i.e. what is called reactive hypoglycemia. But as I demonstrate in an earlier blog on eating a proper breakfast, eating 4-6 small meals through out the day, most of which are usually rich in carbohydrates, creates the very problem it is supposed to prevent. But the biggest reason why smoothies aren’t a proper meal is because in most cases they are lacking in the full complement of nutrients required by your body. Unless you are an actual health expert, that has analyzed in detail the nutrients you require and what may be lacking, a haphazard approach of adding in a bunch of “superfoods” is likely to miss the mark in providing you with a baseline of proper nutrition.
Does this mean I think smoothies have no use? No, I think they can be useful – for example, to provide easily assimilable calories for someone suffering from weight loss. Another reason would be some kind of trauma or issue with the mouth, that interferes with chewing and swallowing. Several times I have been asked developed healthier alternatives to “foods” like Ensure for feeding tube use. But none of these uses is meant for general application, including the “detox” smoothies, which if they do have this effect, are only used on a short-term basis. And if you cook your smoothie, it’s no longer a smoothie but a blended soup, and that is something else altogether!

one pile of poop


WHAT IS IT? Maca refers to the root of Lepidium meyenii, a member of the Brassica family.

THE CLAIMS. Maca is stated to be an adaptogen (supports biological response to stressors), a libido-enhancer), and a nutrient-dense “super-food”.

MY COMMENT: Maca is a turnip-like vegetable related to garden cress (Lepidium sativum), traditionally grown in the highlands of Peru. Ever thought about adding turnip to your smoothie? No? What if I charged lots of money for it, would it make more sense? While the price for Maca has come down in recent years (mostly because much of it is now grown in China), it is still a lot of money for a bag of powdered turnip. While there is some weak scientific support suggesting that Maca has libido-enhancing effects in men(1, 2 ) and could be beneficial in managing the symptoms of menopause(3, 4), I have to point out that Maca is traditionally consumed as a food, not a medicine. As a practicing herbalist, I have learned to not place my confidence in a few random studies to guide my use of a herb or food: the proper context is its traditional use. Note as well that Maca contains compounds called glucosinolates, which provide for Maca’s bitter taste, and has a goitrogenic activity that could possibly interferewith iodine uptake by the thyroid. One way to break glucosinolates down, however, is to cook them, but of course, unlike the traditional people in Peru that consume it as a staple, nobody that buys Maca as a superfood actually cooks it before using it as a supplement.

one pile of poop

alkaline water


WHAT IS IT? Alkaline water is water that, supposedly, has been rendered more alkaline, by artificially increasing its pH through electrolysis. And I say “supposedly” for good reason.

THE CLAIMS: Illness and disease only occur when the body is acidic, and hence, consuming alkaline water prevents and treats disease.

MY COMMENT: The alkaline/acid theory of disease is rife with simplistic thinking and errors, often promulgated by people that lack even a basic background in chemistry. When we talk about the pH of the body, what exactly are we referring to? The mouth? Skin? Urine? Blood? Cerebrospinal fluid? If it’s the pH of the blood we’re referring to, it is neither acidic nor alkaline, which is the optimal environment for the myriad number of chemical reactions that occur within it. Blood pH is thus tightly controlled by homeostatic mechanisms, and diet has very little influence over this when the body is healthy. The epidemiological associations that links dietary protein with bone loss, for example, are contradicted clinical evidence, demonstrating that such associations speak more to prevailing bias than any causal relationship. So, if the alkaline/acid theory is mostly bunk, is there any benefit to drinking alkaline water? The questions begs further inquiry – what is it that makes water more alkaline? Minerals! If you have ever lived or visited the prairies, and noticed the lime build-up on faucets, sinks, tubs, and dishes, you know what I’m talking about. The potential benefit of alkaline water is because it can provide vital minerals important to your health, something I experienced when recovering from chronic dysentery in the Hunza valley, whose denizens drink the mineral-rich water that comes off the Ultar Glacier. You should know, however, that you can make water more alkaline by ionizing any mineral within it. The electrolysis units that are sold to consumers that claim to alkalize water, charge huge money for a device worth nothing more than a couple hundred bucks, and use either salt, or something like calcium glycerophosphate, to convert purified tap water into an alkaline-rich water. If you use salt, then it’s alkalized with sodium and chlorine, and you end up with “electrolysed water”, which is a dilute solution of sodium hypochlorite, AKA bleach (see MMS, below). And if it’s alkalized with calcium glycerophosphate, then you end up with an alkaline water rich in calcium and phosphate. Read below under Coral Calcium on why I think more calcium in your diet is a bad idea. Perhaps if these electrolysis units used something like glacial rock dust, we might end up with something resembling the life-giving waters of glacial rivers in places like the Vilcabamba and Hunza valleys. But I’m pretty sure this also has something to do with the location itself.

two piles of poop

blue-green algae


WHAT IS IT? BGA refers to a number of different fresh-water species of algae (cyanobacteria), including Spirulina and Aphanizomenon flos aquae (AFA).

THE CLAIMS: BGA is a traditional food source that is loaded with healthful nutrients, including essential amino acids, minerals, essential fatty acids, and vitamin B12.

MY COMMENT: I first encountered BGA in my first year of herb school in 1993, whose virtues were extolled by one of my fellow students as a panacea, who supplied me with reams of “data” (i.e. marketing materials) to support her assertions. I was immediately turned off by the high-pressure, multilevel marketing tactics, and upon further investigation, learnt that in another context, blue-green algae is viewed by public health officials as a toxic contaminant of drinking water. Whoa! Talk about the disconnect! Steering clear of it, BGA kind of fell off my radar for awhile, but with the advent of the superfood movement it showed up again in the mid-2000s, embraced by a new generation of smoothie enthusiasts. The first claim that BGA is a traditional food source is based on a limited number of ethnographic reports, from a very limited number of traditional groups. While these reports are often provided as strong evidence for the safe consumption of BGA, on a global basis, the consumption of BGA was actually quite rare given its distribution. No doubt this is because it is pond scum, and experience teaches that drinking water from scummy green ponds will likely make you very sick. As such, BGA thrives in shallow, stagnant, nutrient-dense water, exactly like Klamath Lake in southern Oregon, where many supplement companies source their BGA. Sitting right on a major migratory bird route, public health officials in Oregon regularly close access to Klamath lake due to toxic blue-green algae blooms. So why are we eating it again? Oh, it’s for nutrient density, right? Unfortunately, the reality is that you would have to eat an very large (and hence, very expensive) amount for BGA to have any significant impact upon your nutritional status. As for it being a B12 source, BGA actually produces a pseudo vitamin B12 that is inactive in humans and is thus not suitable as a source for vegans. Lastly, if you’re still not convinced, there is the neurotoxin angle, which include a great deal more toxins than manufacturers currently test for – even if they made their test data publicly available – which they do not.

three piles of poop



WHAT IS IT? GSE is a proprietary extract derived from the seed of the grapefruit (Citrus × paradisi). As a proprietary product, the exact ingredients and details of the manufacturing process have not been publicly disclosed.

THE CLAIMS: GSE extract is an all-natural antimicrobial compound that can be safely used to treat infection, or used as a safe preservative in natural products.

MY COMMENTs: I have written on GSE before: here and here . If there is one product that sets my bullshit detector ringing it is GSE. This is sham product, masquerading as natural, but demonstrated time and time again to contain synthetic antimicrobial compounds such as triclosan and benzalkonium chloride that are fucking up our environment, screwing up our hormones, and contributing the problem of antibiotic resistance! Ok, sorry for swearing. It’s just a little irritating that this product still exists! If you have a passion for natural health, I heartily encourage you to boycott any company that sells GSE, or uses it as a product ingredient. Read the label – you might be surprised how many products it can be found in.

three piles of poop



WHAT IS IT? MMS is a solution of 28% sodium chlorite in distilled water, described by Jim Humble in his 2006 self-published book, The Miracle Mineral Solution of the 21st Century. Humble and others suggest that MMS is to be mixed with citric acid to create chlorine dioxide, before therapeutic application.

THE CLAIMS: MMS is an effective remedy in the prevention and treatment of a wide-number of diseases, from the common cold to cancer.

MY COMMENTs: I’m almost willing to let evolution “chlorinate” the gene pool on this one, but for the dignity of my craft, suffice it to say that MMS is both unsafe and not a natural product. Sodium chlorite is closely related to household bleach, used in industrial processes to bleach paper, and as a disinfectant. Take a look on the side of a bleach bottle – what more about a skull and crossbones do you need to know? With an LD50 of 350 mg/kg in rats, as little as a 10-15 grams of chlorine dioxide is lethal in humans. Just last year, an individual in Washington state was convicted for the sale and distribution of MMS, and is now looking at the possibility of a few decades in prison.

three piles of poop

colloidal silver


What is it? Colloidal silver is a solution of silver nanoparticles less than 0.1 micron in size, suspended in a liquid (forming a colloid).

THE CLAIMS: Colloidal silver is a natural alternative to conventional antibiotics, and can used to treat bacterial infection, as well as other pathogens such as viruses and intestinal worms.

MY COMMENTs: When silver is present in sufficient concentration and directly comes into contact with bacteria, it does indeed exert a broad-spectrum antimicrobial activity. This was the idea behind dropping silver nitrate into the eyes of newborn babies to prevent conjunctivitis (an unnecessary practice), and is the idea behind weaving silver fibers into clothing like underwear and socks. So yes, silver is antimicrobial, but the larger issue is when silver is ingested – does it have the same effect as when applied topically, and is it safe? Remember, just because something exerts an antibacterial effect in a petri dish, or when it’s applied topically, doesn’t mean that it has that same effect systemically. The research I’ve surveyed suggests that silver is not a reliable compound for treating any kind of infection systemically, and if you ingest it too often, it will accumulate in your body and irreversibly turn your skin a zombie-like, bluish-grey hue. As to the importance of it being a colloid, the antimicrobial effect of silver is due to silver ions released from the silver nanoparticles in solution, but this is something that can also be observed with other forms of silver as well, i.e. silver fibers in clothing. But while silver does exert antimicrobial effects, its use in supplements, clothing and other applications is poisoning the environment, and fostering the emergence of antibiotic resistant bacteria.

three piles of poop

coral calcium


WHAT IS IT? Coral calcium is a health supplement derived from fossilized coral reefs, composed calcium carbonate, and small amounts of magnesium and trace minerals. Mined from fossilized coral beds, coral calcium is ground to a fine powder, heat treated or ozonated for sterilization, and mixed with additives including silicon dioxide, rice flour, and magnesium stearate before being encapsulated and bottled.

THE CLAIMS: Disease is caused by the acidification of the body, and a lack of minerals, especially calcium. Coral calcium alkalizes and drives out this acid, addressing the underlying cause of heart disease, as well as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.

MY COMMENT: If you stayed up past your bed time in the last 10-15 years, your glazed eyes staring at the television, then almost for sure you saw the infomercials with Robert R. Barefoot, interviewed by con-man Kevin Trudeau (Natural Cures “They” Don’t Want You to Know About). It was mildly entertaining for about 30 seconds to listen to their lugubrious claims, and the way in which Barefoot and Trudeau wove together half-baked health theories with charges of conspiracy. Barefoot states that his coral calcium is mined in Okinawa, from the same type of fossilized coral rock that comprises the aquifers used by the Okinawans to draw their water from, which some have claimed, is the reason for their (once) remarkable longevity. The reality is that coral calcium is hardly unique as a source of calcium carbonate, and is found in many mineral sources such as limestone, chalk, and marble, as well as oyster and egg shell. In other words, as a source of calcium carbonate, coral calcium does not deserve the price it fetches nor the attention it gets. It is after all, a kind of rock, and humans generally don’t eat rocks – whole or powdered. Besides which, calcium isn’t all that hard to get in your diet, and despite doctors telling people to consume more calcium to prevent osteoporosis, it’s not so much a lack of calcium – which is a hard but very brittle mineral – but a loss of collagen that provides for a decrease in bone strength. This is why bone-soups are good for osteoporosis prevention and treatment, because not only does it provide for all of the minerals required by bone, including calcium, but also the glycosaminoglycans and proteoglycans that feed the connective tissues of our bones. Of course coral calcium also contains small amounts of macrominerals such as magnesium, and trace minerals such as zinc, but there are other more digestible and sustainable dietary sources of minerals such as seaweed and nettle. And lastly, despite the claims of made by Robert R. Barefoot, there is emerging evidence that high doses of supplemental calcium leads to the calcification of soft tissues in the body, and thus actually contributes to etiology of diseases such as atherosclerosis.

two piles of poop



WHAT IS IT? Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) is an exceptionally common garden herb used in a variety of cuisines, consumed as both the fresh herb (cilantro, Chinese parsley), and as the seed (coriander, dhaniya).

THE CLAIMS: Cilantro tincture is stated to assist with mercury detoxification.

MY COMMENT: The origin of this assertion seems to some from Japan, with a series of studies published in the mid-1990s by Dr. Yoshiaki Omura, editor and publisher of Acupuncture & Electro Therapeutics Research. This is a quarterly journal that specializes in the use of questionable diagnostic techniques such as the Bi-Digital O-Ring Test (BDORT), a procedure in which a patient forms an ‘O’ with his or her fingers, and the diagnostician evaluates the patient’s health by trying to pry them apart. Omura states that he accidentally discovered the virtues of cilantro after eating Vietnamese soup, claiming that it promoted the excretion of lead, mercury and aluminum in the urine. Here in North America, these claims for cilantro were taken up by Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt, a non-herbalist health professional that received a lot of promotion on Dr. Joseph Mercola’s website

Despite all their claims, however, there is no scientific evidence that cilantro mobilizes mercury from the body when it’s ingested. Not that I can’t believe it might – after all – perhaps many herbs that have a similar or even more powerful diuretic activity, such as parsley or ajwain, have this same effect. But consider too that the doses recommended by Dr. Klinghardt for mercury detoxification are less than what someone would obtain from eating it (particularly if you like cilantro, like me). Similar to Maca, the therapeutic use of cilantro in mercury detoxification suffers from an irrational belief that food-based remedies in low doses exert a more powerful effect than eating them as a food. Consider as well, that in the Rasa Shastra tradition of Ayurveda, which actually utilizes the therapeutic effect of poisonous minerals such as mercury only after extensive purification, that cilantro plays no role in the purification of mercury, and nor is it prescribed in cases of accidental poisoning. This is despite the thousands of years that cilantro has been a part of the Indian materia medica. Perhaps the problem here lies not so much with cilantro, but to the entire field of mercury detoxification in alternative and complementary medicine, which suffers from a lack of objective data, empiricism, and tradition.

one pile of poop



WHAT IS IT? Chia seed refers to the seed of (Salvia hispanica), a member of the mint family, native to central America.

THE CLAIMS: Chia seed is a superfood traditionally consumed in Meso-American society that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and vital minerals.

MY COMMENT: Much of the information on the traditional use of chia seed is sketchy, based on surviving pre- and post-Columbus accounts. The accounts indicate that chia was grown as a crop by Meso-American peoples, who utilized different parts of the plant for different purposes. With regard to the seed, the vast majority of these sources describe chia seed as medicine, rather than a food (Cahill 2003, p 609). And this is for good reason. Like flax and hemp, Chia is exceptionally high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, but as I describe in my post on flax, these polyunsaturated fatty acids are exceptionally unstable, and quickly peroxidize when exposed to heat, light or oxygen. It is for this reason that hemp and flax are generally eaten raw, and the same applies here: cooking chia seed turns it into a toxic substance. Like flax and hemp, when raw whole chia seed is ground up and mixed with water, it produces a gooey, fiber-rich mucilage that can be ingested as a bulk laxative, and to soothe intestinal inflammation. The slippery, slimy and cooling properties of chia are also enjoyed in Southern Mexico and Guatemala as a beverage called “chia fresca”, mixed with lemon and sugar. But this is about the extent of its benefits, at least with regard to medicinal and culinary uses. The claims that chia is a source of nutrients including protein, minerals and vitamins is countered by the fact that the unprocessed seed contains anti-nutrient factors such as phytic acid that either binds up these nutrients or otherwise inhibits our ability to digest them. Normally we might cook a food like chia to deactivate these anti-nutrient factors, but we can’t do that without damaging the essential fatty acids. So in this way, chia is really nothing more than an expensive fiber supplement – which is ok – but hardly a proper food, and even less a superfood. Given my long history with food allergies, I am something of a canary in a coal mine, and when I’ve carefully chewed raw chia seed, I get a distinct inflammatory response in my mouth. This has been sufficient for me to warn off others, but my experience is bolstered by the literature, which shows that chia seed consumption may enhance inflammation, marked by an increase in serum interleukin 6 (IL-6), monocyte chemotactic protein (MCP), and immunoglobulin E (IgE).

 Superfoods are bullshit, part 2
Superfoods are bullshit, part 2

When I published part one of this two part series on superfoods, we received so much traffic that it almost crashed our website! I guess I might have touched a nerve with this issue, which isn’t surprising to me, considering just how long we have been sold this “superfood” myth. What’s been more surprising to me is how few people have spoken out on this issue before. I always thought it was obvious, but I guess that’s a reflection of just how out-of-step I am with the natural health industry. My goal is to teach both my patients and students to become self-reliant, to develop for themselves an insightful and penetrating vision of health that allows them to see past the hype. This is why I include a strong component of patient education in my clinical practice, and was part of my motivation to found the Dogwood School of Botanical Medicine in 2012.

Years ago in my early twenties, I spent a great deal of time meditating and studying Buddhism, traveling as far away as Bodhgaya in modern-day Bihar. Like many young men, I was a determined and tenacious fellow, and at one point I seriously contemplated becoming a monk, although given my non-conformist streak I have not sure how well I would have done. It wasn’t just one experience, however, but several during my studies that brought it home that this probably wasn’t the life for me. While I was in Bodhgaya, I made friends with a Jewish-Buddhist noodle-maker from Austria who had been coming there on a regular basis for decades. We meditated together and had many discussions, and I remember one conversation wherein he described his youth, and how like me, he spent so much of his time and energy studying and practicing Buddhism. While he clearly retained his original commitment, it seemed that over time his perspective and intent had changed. “I used to want to be enlightened so badly,” he mused, “but now all I want to be is a regular schmuck”.

Which brings me back to superfoods. Yes: we are all special, and super-duper in our own way. But although each of us is comprised of stardust, and unique as an individual snowflake, the converse is also true. Our individual lives on this pale blue dot often seem to have about as much meaning as a cloud of dust, and in the end, our bodies are as fragile as a snowflake. So regardless of the superlatives, in the end we are all a bunch of schmucks, and I think the world would be a lot better place if we could all recognize this fact. So fuck the entitlements that separate us, as well as the entitlement of superfood. Just as in fostering a healthy community, our diet should reflect a natural and grounded diversity, appreciating each element for the integral part that it plays.


WHAT IS IT? Wheatgrass juice refers to fresh juice extracted from the pulverized cotyledon (“seed leaf”) of the wheat plant, i.e. Triticum aestivum. 

THE CLAIMS: Wheatgrass is an elixir of health, loaded with nutrients including vitamins and minerals, and supplies a complete source of protein. Wheatgrass juice also contains potent antioxidants, enzymes, and phytonutrients that protects the body against chemicals and pollutants, and helps to boost hemoglobin levels in the blood.

MY COMMENT: Wheat is an ancient food, cultivated throughout Eurasia, North Africa and the Middle East for thousands of years. We can find mention of wheat in the very earliest medical texts: in the Nei Jing Su Wen of China, in the Charaka samhita of India, in the Ebers Papyrus of Egypt, and European sources such as Dioscorides. To be sure, all of these texts speak to the properties and uses of wheat, but none describe uses for raw wheatgrass. In fact, there is no evidence of really anyone juicing and drinking wheatgrass until it was introduced by raw foodist Ann Wigmore in the 1970s.

Like all green plants, wheatgrass is rich in chlorophyll, so any supposed benefit here is not unique to wheatgrass. Wheatgrass is also stated to contain a diverse array of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and proteins, and to some extent this is true. Wheatgrass is loaded in B vitamins (except B12), and contains significant amounts of manganese, zinc, and iron. The protein content is also fairly well balanced, but you’d have to consume about 2 kg on a daily basis to meet your basic protein needs. Some claim that wheatgrass contains enzymes, like the intracellular antioxidant super oxide dismutase, and while I could find no evidence of this, it is entirely irrelevant anyway, because as a kind of protein, an enzyme is broken down into simple amino acids before being absorbed. As for the health claims, due to the lack of traditional knowledge on wheatgrass we have to take anecdotal reports with a grain of Himalayan pink salt, and corroborate this with the scientific research, for which there is really nothing significant. In light of this curious lack of evidence, despite its ongoing popularity, wheatgrass ranks fairly high on my bullshit meter. The fact of the matter is that wheatgrass is a grass, and humans – unlike ruminants – have never subsisted on grass as part of our traditional diet.


My own personal experience? Whenever I have consumed wheat grass my throat begins to close up, inducing a mild anaphylactic response – which is the only thing I have ever noted to cause this effect in me. But then again, I have a long history of hay fever, and am definitely sensitive to wheat-containing foods. And while wheatgrass doesn’t contain gluten, it does contain other constituents that appear to induce pro-inflammatory Th1-type immune responses that are over-expressed in chronic inflammatory diseases, e.g. multiple sclerosis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Crohn’s/colitis, celiac disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, etc. As such, wheatgrass is hardly a good remedy for everyone, and when placed into its traditional context, becomes rather suspect and maybe even a little dangerous. One last caution relates to the fact that wheatgrass juice is usually consumed raw, and therefore may be contaminated with bacteria or molds, and so extra care should be taken when preparing it for consumption – as is the case with all raw foods.

two piles of poop

raw cacao

WHAT IS IT? Raw cacao, or coco, refers to the minimally processed seeds of Theobroma cacao, a tree that is native to Central America.

THE CLAIMS: Raw cacao is a superfood that is abundant in a variety of nutrients and antioxidants that help to lower blood pressure, improve circulation and benefit the cardiovascular system, as well as neutralize free radicals and improve brain function.

MY COMMENTS: The big exponent here for raw cacao is a fellow named David Wolfe, in some respect the godfather of the superfood movement, who gave a talk on chocolate (or rather, ‘ca-cao’) at a TEDx conference a few years back. While the video contains some slightly useful information, mostly it’s a lot of button-pushing that is woefully lacking in depth. For example, Wolfe’s claim that raw chocolate is loaded with “antioxidants,” a statement that ignores the fact that many of these “antioxidants” are actually toxic when consumed in large amounts, interfering with protein digestion and mineral absorption, and in many people, inducing hypersensitivity reactions. Referred to in my book Food As Medicine as “anti-nutrient factors”, these chemicals are produced in seeds by plants to discourage predation, and when we fail to account for them we suffer the repercussions, such as pellagra from corn, or celiac disease from wheat.

Not only is Mr. Wolfe’s “discovery” of plopping raw cacao beans into his smoothies predicated on a misapprehension of the science, but it flies in the face of the very Central American traditions that he purports to uphold and honor. From all the research I have done, there is absolutely no reference to the use of raw cacao beans in Central American society as a food or beverage. Like coffee, aged cheese, fine wine, and Chinese tea, cacao needs to be prepared and processed to produce its unique flavor compounds. This begins with fermenting the raw cacao beans for several days. Once properly fermented, the slimy biofilm is cleaned off and the beans are dried and gently roasted, like coffee, to kill any potential microbial pathogens and bring out the chocolate flavor. The only people that drink green coffee are those that have bought the antioxidant argument hook, line and sinker, eschewing a nice tasting brew for the false promise of super powers. Otherwise, whether it is a Light City or a French roast, coffee is roasted so it actually tastes like coffee. Thus, if your supposedly “raw cacao” tastes like chocolate, it mostly definitely has been fermented and roasted in some fashion, and isn’t actually raw at all. However, it is possible that some producers may not be adequately roasting their cacao to make some kind of attempt at being raw, in which case, the beans may be contaminated with microbes acquired during fermentation, including Staphylococcus, E. coli, Salmonella, Aspergillus, etc.

In the end, “raw cacao” appears to be nothing more than a marketing device to capitalize on all the people that bought into the raw food movement sold to you by people like Mr. Wolfe. As for the benefits of chocolate generally? Yes, in small amounts, like tea and coffee, chocolate may provide some health benefits, but I think much of this is overblown. The reason we consume chocolate is because we like it – how complicated does it need to get? But in those folks that have a sensitivity to cereals or are otherwise gluten-intolerant, chocolate is probably best avoided if you continue to experience gut or joint issues. Same with coffee.

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WHAT IS IT? Vegan protein powder refers to a proprietary mixture of protein-rich, plant-based ingredients derived from the seeds of various cereals and legumes, including pea, hemp, pumpkin, alfalfa, sunflower, brown rice, amaranth, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, garbanzo, kidney, lentil, adzuki, chia, sesame, flax, and cranberry.

THE CLAIMS: Vegan protein powder is an easy-to-digest and hypoallergenic source of plant-based protein that provides a full complement of essential amino acids that can be used to replace other soures of protein in the diet.

MY COMMENTS: About 25-30 years ago protein powders were the lonely preserve of bodybuilders, who rationalized its use to boost the protein content of their diet, thinking that this could prevent muscle loss and enhance recovery after exercise. In fact, the bodybuilders were the original smoothie drinkers, experimenting over this time not just with protein powder, but a huge variety of supplements such as creatine and glutamine, as well as drugs such as ephedrine and tamoxifen. Like obsessive alchemists in search of body “gold”, some bodybuilders would literally try anything to gain that extra striation of muscle, to make those veins pop just a little bit more. But while supplements come and go, protein powder has always formed the mainstay of bodybuilding, and it was its devoted legions over the years that eventually brought it to the mainstream. Now, pounding powdered protein is more a fashion statement, an accessory to let your Instagram fans know just how serious you are about getting fit and healthy. “Look everyone, what I sacrifice for good health!” I guess its not too bad – strawberry sort of goes with kale, flax oil, and green pea isolate. Or maybe not…

The thing is, pounding down more protein isn’t necessarily a good idea. Apart perhaps from its “technical” use in athletics and bodybuilding, there is no body of research telling people living in industrialized nations that we need dramatically more protein in our diet. Unless of course you are a vegan, in which case getting sufficient protein in your diet becomes a huge issue no matter where you live. Most bodybuilders generally think that whey protein is superior to any other type of powdered protein, but if you’re a vegan, or if you believe that you need to switch out animal protein for vegetable protein, then plant-based protein powders might make sense. But there are problems with them, primary of which is how they are typically consumed, i.e. in a cold smoothie, which I have already described in part one as being hard to digest. Improperly digested protein leads to bacterial protein putrefaction, which explains one of the reasons folks often feel so “farty” on protein powder. But this effect is also due to the fact that many of the plant-protein sources are inherently harder to digest, and despite the nutritional claims on the label, contain unaccounted-for antinutrient factors that impair protein digestion and mineral absorption. This alone invalidates the claim that these vegan protein powders are ‘hypoallergenic’, as many many allergies are predicated on eating foods that induce a background hypersensitivity. Raw vegan protein powders are the worst offenders here, because although slightly germinated cereals, legumes, or seeds are slightly more digestible, this process is insufficient to effectively detoxify and breakdown the antinutrient factors contained within them. Has any culture in the history of the world ever eaten slightly germinated, uncooked cereals or legumes as a staple food? No! Like all raw food, raw vegan protein also contains an inherent risk of food borne illness, which is exactly what happened recently when 12 people acquired a Salmonella infection from eating a raw vegan protein powder.


In contrast to the use of hemp seed, which was traditionally eaten as a minor food, some sources of vegan protein powders such as cranberry seed are entirely novel. My cynical mind tells me that all the fuss over cranberry protein’s “antioxidant” benefits is just the cranberry juice industry trying to create a new market for what is actually a by-product. A seemingly better choice among the various vegan protein powders is pea protein isolate, which far from being raw or even “natural,” is a highly processed protein-rich extract derived from the common pea (Pisum sativum). I have also written on this before, and while pea protein isolate appears to be safe, the processing methods used don’t necesarily deal with all the potential sensitizers and allergens in pea, and may in fact concentrate some of them in the process. Consider the fact, for example, that we’ve only recently discovered that soy protein isolate, now found in a huge variety of consumer food products, is linked with an increase in risk of breast cancer. To be sure, dried peas have been a staple food in West Asia, North Africa and Europe for thouands of years, but it was always prepared as a cooked food – such as a flavorful soup or a dahl – not as a finely milled powder. Beyond any potential health issues with pea protein isolate, and plant-based protein powders as a category, I guess it just seems a little sad to me, and is further evidence of our societal disconnect with food. Sigh.

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WHAT IS IT? Deuterium sulfate is the chief ingredient in a line of health care products marketed under the name “Cellfood”, which also contains an ionic “trace mineral” blend, a “trace enzyme” blend, and a “trace amino acid” blend.

THE CLAIMS: Cellfood is an oxygen and nutrient supplement that delivers oxygen to the body at the cellular level, scavenging free radicals, detoxifying the body, and providing a wide array of plant-sourced trace minerals, enzymes and amino acids in colloidal form.

MY COMMENT: Where should I start? How about at the end, with Cellfood’s supposed “trace enzyme” and “trace amino acid” blend. In nutritional science we use the term “trace minerals” with reference to the fact that we need these minerals, such as iodine and manganese, in very small amounts. But amino acids are macronutrients, i.e. we need them in very large amounts to supply our bodies with the energy and substrate required to maintain homeostasis. Amino acids might be found in trace amounts in certain foods, say like wheatgrass, but this doesn’t make “trace amino acids” a thing. Similarly, there are no trace enzymes, because unless we’re talking about vitamins as co-factors, there are no enzymes that are required for human health. As for trace minerals, I have no issue with this per se, and sometimes I recommend ionic supplements for people whose diet, or environment (e.g. the Pacific Northwest) might be lacking a full complement of trace minerals. More often, however, I have folks make up bone soup with a handful of mineral-rich herbs such as seaweed and nettle, and vegetable trimmings that would otherwise be composted.

As for the primary ingredient in Cellfood, i.e. deuterium sulfate, this is where things get wacky. Deuterium is one of two stable isotopes of hydrogen, in which the nucleus of deuterium (called a deuteron), contains one proton and one neutron, whereas the more common hydrogen isotope (called protium), has no neutron in the nucleus. Deuterium is actually quite rare in nature, only one out of 6400 hydrogen atoms, and since its discovery in 1931, has been used by nuclear engineers as a neutron moderator, to sustain nuclear chain reactions. And indeed, it appears that the supposed discoverer of the therapeutic benefits of deuterium sulfate, a man named Everett L. Storey, had something of a connection to the nuclear industry himself, with websites promoting Cellfood claiming that Mr. Storey invented the triggering mechanism for the atomic bomb, was awarded a Nobel prize twice for his work, and was lauded by Albert Einstein as a “genius”. In contrast to these claims, however, his obituary is rather more pedestrian, mentioning nothing about his supposed career as a scientist or Nobel prizes, noting instead that he “claimed” to have invented a game that inspired the creation of the hydrogen bomb. The level of spin and BS on this product is really quite something!

But what exactly is deuterium sulfate? Well, considering that deuterium exhibits many of the same chemical properties as regular hydrogen, deuterium sulfate is a variant of hydrogen sulfate (H2SO4), i.e. D2SO4, the primary ingredient in drain cleaner, used in the manufacture of phosphate fertilizers, and as an electrolyte in lead-acid batteries. As for the claim that Cellfood “oxygenates” the body as a way to deal with free-radicals and disease, it is the height of irrationality to suggest that an oxidizing substance, i.e. oxygen(!), also serves as an antioxidant. Yes, the body requires oxygen to produce energy, but this also generates potent free-radicals such as superoxide in the process. Once released into the cell, this highly reactive free radical creates a world of chaos that results in tissue damage, forcing the body to synthesize a protein antioxidant called superoxide dismutase to mop up as much it as possible. While oxygen is an efficient means to produce cellular energy, our body’s reliance upon it comes at a cost, called oxidative stress, placing inherent limitations upon health and longevity. If the oxidative stress theory of disease has any merit, it cannot be that consuming or imbibing more oxygen is the cure.

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Prosopis pallida

WHAT IS IT? Mesquite powder, also known as algarrobo, refers to the powdered legume pods that grow on the thorny Mesquite tree (Prosopis pallida) that is native to Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

THE CLAIMS: Mesquite powder is a staple food in the traditional diet of Peru that is rich in protein and minerals, with a low glycemic index that makes it effective to help balance blood sugar and control diabetes.

MY COMMENTS: The pods of the Mesquite tree have been eaten by humans for thousands of years, with the earliest recorded evidence of its consumption uncovered in the Tehuacan valley of Mexico, dating from about 6500 BCE. Important as one of the few tree species that can survive in desert regions, the Mesquite tree is considered to be a threatened species in South America, and while it is grown extensively in other regions, one should make sure to source it with care.

Traditionally, the raw algarrobo pods are chewed as a snack by indigenous peoples, and dried in the sun and pounded with stones to make a coarse flour. The algarrobo pod has an exceptionally sweet taste, and when reduced to a flour, is traditionally used to make a sweet drink called ‘añapa’ or ‘yupisin’ that can also be made into a fermented beverage. Contrary to the low glycemic claim of superfood marketers, however, Mesquite pods actually contain about 45% soluble sugars, most of it in the form of sucrose. This means that it should definitely be avoided if you suffer from hypoglycemia or diabetes. Contrary to the claim as well that algarrobo powder is super-packed with nutrients, the whole pods only contain about 5-10% protein, with appreciable amounts of potassium, small amounts of calcium, magnesium and iron, and not much else to write home about.

So am I down on algarrobo? No, I actually think it’s pretty cool as an exotic alternative sweetener for occasional use in baked goods, but only once we separate fact from superfood marketing fiction. If promoters continue to make ridiculous health claims about its effect on blood sugar, however, I expect that we might see a class action lawsuit for this “superfood” too. Smarten up, fellas!

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WHAT IS IT? Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is a pale-blue liquid that upon cursory examination appears to be very similar to water (H2O), but in actuality displays chemical properties that make it very, very different.

THE CLAIMS: Hydrogen peroxide is a natural substance that occurs in rainwater and in the body, and when consumed in “food grade” form, it oxygenates the body and is thus effective in the treatment of everything from allergies and altitude sickness, to diabetes and cancer.

MY COMMENTS: Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is a simple peroxide, a term used to describe a compound that displays a weak oxygen–oxygen single bond that can be easily cleaved, resulting in the formation of a highly reactive hydroxyl radical. Due to its reactivity, hydrogen peroxide is used industrially as a bleaching agent and disinfectant, and while small amounts of hydrogen peroxide do occur naturally in rain and sea water, most environmental H2O2 is an anthropogenic air pollutant that has been show to cause adverse effects on plants and human health. Within the body, hydrogen peroxide is an intermediate compound synthesized from the superoxide radicals generated during metabolism by the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase. In this form, hydrogen peroxide is less reactive than superoxide, but in the presence of ultraviolet light or by interacting with metal ions such as iron, it is converted into the highly reactive hydroxyl radical, resulting in oxidative stress. The over-production of H2O2 is a primary factor in the oxidative stress theory of disease and aging, evidenced by the fact that the body maintains a vast armamentarium of enzymes such as catalases and peroxidases to deactivate it.

Despite its inherent toxicity, the body does use H2O2 to some advantage, for example, when released by white blood cells to kill engulfed bacteria, although this also causes some degree of tissue damage and inflammation. Recent research has also indicated that in very small amounts H2O2 functions as a signaling molecule to fine-tune healthy cell function. But despite these benefits, it doesn’t change the fact that H2O2 remains widely regarded as a cellular toxin, and in consideration of this, it makes no sense to consume it internally. It would be one thing if hydrogen peroxide had a long history of use, but hydrogen peroxide as a therapeutic agent is a 20th century phenomena – and a very obscure one at that. And while 3% hydrogen peroxide is easily available in pharmacies for external use as an antiseptic, advocates for H2O2 ingestion recommend a “food grade” hydrogen peroxide that has an inexplicably high concentration of 35%, used in drop doses mixed with distilled water.

Like Cellfood, the use of H2O2 is predicated on the belief that it is a lack of oxygen that causes disease, and if we can just somehow drive more oxygen into us that we can live for ever. But hopefully now, after reading this and my comments for Cellfood, you can appreciate just how irrational this argument is. Even if H2O2 maintains some important and beneficial biological activities, the body has absolutely no problem producing an excess of it, so why should we ever think to consume more?

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WHAT IS IT? Coconut water is a clear liquid found within the immature fruit of the coconut tree (Cocos nucifera), which suspends the developing endosperm until it gradually matures as the fleshy white coconut “meat”.

THE CLAIMS: Coconut water is an all-natural, low calorie beverage that is rich in electrolytes, minerals, and antioxidants, that promotes hydration, weight loss, and good digestion.

MY COMMENTS: Coconut and coconut water is widely used as a food and beverage throughout the tropics, and is mentioned in the very earliest of texts on Ayurveda. In India, coconut water is widely used to support hydration, providing a balance of sugars and electrolytes in a sterile solution. In a country where poverty is rampant and clean water a challenge, fresh local coconut water provides significant advantage over oral rehydration packets that require the use of purified water. In Ayurveda, coconut water is considered to be cool in energy and reduces pitta, used therapeutically to treat dehydration, thirst, bladder disorders, and diarrhea, and applied topically for skin irritation. Given too that it resembles the shape of a head (as well as being a euphemism for such), there is a folk belief that the coconut water is analogous to the fluids that nourish and protect the brain, and hence the suggestion that consuming it benefits the mind. When I travel to the tropics, enjoying fresh coconut water and the delicious jelly is usually high on my agenda, as it is a good way to cool the body and rehydrate when suddenly exposed to the tropical heat.

Nowadays of course, you don’t need to visit the tropics to indulge in coconut water, as it can literally be found almost everywhere, sold as a healthy alternative to soft drinks and fruit juice. The problem is that bottled coconut water is not fresh coconut water – it is pasteurized, and thus heat-treated – which denatures the product’s quality and flavor significantly. Worse still is the coconut water sold in tetrapaks or cans, from which components of the container such as plastics and dyes leach into the food. Of course, you can also buy imported immature green coconuts now and extract the fresh juice yourself with your own machete, but as you wield your cutlass consider the carbon footprint involved in importing a whole green coconut. You wouldn’t think to eat fresh raspberries when you’re in Fiji, so why think to drink coconut water when you’re in Michigan or Alberta? Coconut water is a great local food, and personally, I’d like to see it stay that way. Besides which, the claims made by promoters for their bottled products are over the top, which is the reason why manufacturer Vita Coco was successfully slapped with a class-action lawsuit in 2012.

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WHAT IS IT? Avocado pit refers to the hard, woody fruit enclosed in the fatty mesocarp of the Avocado tree (Persea americana), native to Central America, but now cultivated in tropical regions all over the world.

THE CLAIMS: Avocado pit is rich in antioxidants that decrease inflammation, lower high serum cholesterol levels, and prevent heart disease and stroke. Avocado pit also benefits digestive disorders such as ulcer, constipation and diarrhea, prevents and reduces tumor growth, boosts the immune system, alleviates arthritis, promotes weight loss, and reduces exercise-induced asthma.

MY COMMENTS: Wow, what is avocado pit not good for? The problem is, however, that all of these claims are entirely fabricated, a product of wishful thinking that has no basis in traditional medicine nor the science. Like “raw cacao”, the purported benefits of avocado pit are an inference based on the fact that it contains antioxidants, which I have already established, are a double-edged sword that cause problems when consumed in significant amounts. I could go on at great length, but as I have already written on the subject of the avocado pit, I suggest you check it out. Besides the questionable benefit of these “antioxidants,” avocado pit also contains trypsin inhibitors that interfere with protein digestion, as well as small amounts of hydrocyanic acid and cyanogenic glycosides – both of which are toxic. Does avocado pit still sound like a superfood to you?

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WHAT IS IT? Flax oil is the expressed oil from the seed of the flax plant (Linum usitatissimum), native to Caucasus regions, and now grown all over the world.

THE CLAIMS: Flax oil is rich in healthful, antiinflammatory omega 3 fatty acids, and regular consumption reduces the risk of diseases marked by inflammation, including heart disease, arthritis and cancer.

MY COMMENTS: Like other seeds such as chia and hemp, flax is rich in the polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) alpha-linolenic acid (omega 3) and alpha-linoleic acid (omega 6), with a ratio of about 4:1 in favor of omega 3. All told, these PUFAs account for about 70% of the lipid content of flax, and given the inherent instability of PUFAs, the recommendation to consume flax oil is entirely misplaced. 

Like the avocado pit, I have written about flax oil before, but suffice it to say that flax oil has never been a significant part of the human diet, even in regions where flax was grown. While making it unsuitable for consumption, the inherent instability of the PUFAs in flax oil means that it is an excellent drying oil, useful in woodworking as a varnish, as a base for paints, and to soften and condition leather. I use flax oil to season my cast iron pans, because with heat it rapidly polymerizes to form a kind of organic plastic that serves as a foundation for the thin layers of hardened carbon that gradually build up onto the pan to provide a non-stick surface. But the fact that flax oil is a drying oil that polymerizes very quickly is exactly the reason you don’t want to eat it. Instead, source your omega 3 fatty acids in whole food, such as pasture-raised meat and wild fish, where they are protected – unlike flax, hemp and chia – by cholesterol, saturated fatty acids, and monosaturated fatty acids that resist lipid peroxidation. At the same time, make sure to avoid omega-6 fatty acid-rich sources, including corn oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, peanut oil, etc., as well as feed lot meat and farmed fish.

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WHAT IS IT? Oregano oil is the distilled essential oil obtained from the Oregano plant (Origanum vulgare), native to the Mediterranean and Western Asia, now cultivated all over the world.

THE CLAIMS: Oregano oil is an effective remedy for a large number of health issues including respiratory problems, digestive problems, fungal infections, cold sores, arthritis, and dandruff, and is an effective insect repellent.

MY COMMENTS: Oregano has been used for thousands of years, mentioned by Hippocrates and Dioscorides as a common culinary and medicinal herb that imparted a warming, stimulating energy, uses included the treatment of convulsion, edema, psoriasis, jaundice, tonsillitis, oral thrush, and ear infection. Like a number of other aromatic herbs, Oregano was used as a “strewing herb” in medieval Europe, thrown on the floor to keep the pestilence at bay, also lending support to its use as an insecticide. So unlike many of the “superfoods” I have reviewed in this series, Oregano actually has a strong basis in traditional medicine.

Oregano is a member of the Laminacea, or mint family, displaying a unique fingerprint of common essential oil constituents such as carvacrol and thymol, that are also found in related members of this family such as Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa) and Thyme (Thymus vulgaris). As such, if we based the rationale of its use entirely upon its essential oil, there is nothing particularly special about Oregano that would necessarily warrant its use over something else like Wild Bergamot or Thyme. The fact however, that I am only referring to the essential oil is part of the problem. This is because once separated from the plant material by distillation, an essential oil is a highly purified plant extract that can be exceptionally powerful in action. Depending on the amount of essential oil found in various herbs, an essential oil can represent an extraction strength that is hundreds and even thousands of times more powerful than the crude herb. It is for this reason that you need to be very careful with ingesting almost any essential oil, and, why almost all of the Oregano oil in the market place is heavily diluted with some kind of carrier oil. Pure oregano oil, and other purified essential oils such as Thyme oil, are so powerful than when applied to the skin they can result in deep, penetrating chemical burns. The problem is that when you buy your Oregano oil, the bottle doesn’t necessarily tell you the dilution factor, so you don’t know what you’re getting. Given the business model, you will probably get less as opposed to more of the essential oil, but that’s not very good either when you need to be concerned about efficacy.

But honestly, you probably don’t need Oregano oil for most applications if you have good quality oregano herb. It’s super easy to grow, readily available and abundant, and unlike the essential oil, very safe – exactly the way nature intended you to use it.
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Thanks for reading. If you have any additional questions about other so-called


Brian David Andersen said...

MMS- agree that internal consumption has dangers even with the benefits. My personal experience with MMS is a large painful infected gum on my upper front right tooth. The dentist said the only solution was a $3,500.00 custom root canal after he took an X-Ray

Instead I put 20 drops of MMS and 20 drops of DMSO into a small Water Pik reservoir filled three quarters full with distilled water. The pulse was put at medium low so mixture could soak into the gum. Did this routine once a day for 10 days and now do the protocol twice a month.

Had immediate pain relief with no further symptoms. One year later I had a routine X-Ray and the infected area is totally gone and the gum is normal.

When dealing with MMS do not throw out the baby with the bath water or coconut water that is raw and refrigerated - great way to build electrolytes and promote proper hydration. But regretfully one must consume the the proper coconut water that is raw and refrigerated.

For the exception of MMS, would Todd prefer the individual consume meat, nicotine, caffeine and alcohol rather than the items he slammed with his turd balls?

Matthew Dp said...

Maca worked for me. I had no bias towards it. I have had moods swings for awhile and it has virtually eliminated them. Most people who sell Maca only offer it in cooked form V.ry few people eat it raw and it's mostly because they're uninformed and people like the idea of RAW foods. To say it's worthless is ridiculous. It has a long history of use so your article comes off more as a shock value statement than anything with actual substance. What kind of real scientific article calls something bullshit? It's immature and unprofessional but I suppose the people you are trying to attract to your blog are naive enough to believe your negativity because people love to hate, it's EASY! Have fun being a negative Nancy you twit!