Medicinal Oils / Evening Primrose oil, Borage oil & Fish Oil
In this section of Seattle Organic Restaurants, I want to talk about the health benefits of medicinal oils. Usually when it comes to oils, we think that oils are unhealthy but there are some oils that have great medicinal properties:
Evening Primrose Oil: The evening primrose oil is extracted from the seeds of the plant called “oenothera biennis” or known as evening primrose. Evening primrose is rich in gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). Native Americans used evening primrose oil as medicine for health problems like diabetes. Many people who have diabetes develop neuropathy that is nerve dysfunction; nerve dysfunction can cause pain and weakness.
Several studies conducted in Finland and England during 1993 shows that 50 patients who had diabetes took 12 capsules of the evening primrose oil daily for a year and the other group of 50 patients with diabetes took olive oil placebo oil capsules daily for a year. The first group who took evening primrose oil had huge improvements in nerve function and reduction in pain and weakness. The second group who took olive oil didn’t experience any improvement or reduction in pain. The evening primrose oil is also good for treating skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne.
Borage Oil: Borage is a plant that has blue flowers; borage oil is extracted from its seeds. The concentration of GLA in borage oil is much higher than evening primrose oil. Four capsules of borage oil contain the same amount of good fatty acids as 12 capsules of evening primrose oil. In a research by Waterloo University in Canada, 30 healthy students were divided into two groups.
First group of students were given nine borage oil capsules a day for 28 days and the second groups were given the same number of placebo olive oil caps for the same time. After 28 days, both groups were psychologically tested and the studies showed that the first group of students on borage capsules experienced a lot less stress than the ones who were on placebo capsules.
Fish Oil: Fish such as salmon are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Many studies indicate that fish oil has many health benefits. Fish oil can treat crohn’s disease; this condition causes diarrhea which interferes with the absorption of nutrients in the body. Taking fish oil can have huge improvements in people with crohn’s disease. Also the fat from fish is omega-3 fat which is good fat and can get rid of bad fat in the body.
For the same reason fish oil dilutes the blood but too much fish oil can cause internal bleeding, especially when taken with other blood thinners such as aspirin or garlic. In the cooking oil section of Seattle organic restaurants, I've talked about health benefits of grapeseed oil. I highly recommend to skip deep fried foods or foods cooked with animal fat or corn oil. For example, instead of mazola corn oil use grapeseed oil high in antioxidant. Keep in mind that grapeseed oil has a lot of health benefits and has a high burning temperature. Be aware olive oil has low burning temprature and should not be heated. The fat in olive oil is omega 3 fatty acids and therefore you could use olive oil as salad dressing.