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Herbs & Plants

Equisetum

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Botanical Name:  Equisetum
Family: Equisetaceae
Genus: Equisetum
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Pteridophyta
Class: Equisetopsida
Order: Equisetales

Synonyms:   Shave-grass. Bottle-brush. Paddock-pipes. Dutch Rushes. Pewterwort.

Common Names:horsetail, snake grass, puzzlegrass, Arvense and  Hyemales

Habitat :The flora of the riverside contains species that trace their lineages back to the Carboniferous or the Age of Amphibians, over 300 million years ago. These plants, known as horsetails or scouring rushes, are members of the genus Equisetum. This genus consists of 25 species and is the only living representative of what was once a large and significant component of the coal age or Carboniferous swamp forests.  They are chiefly distributed in the temperate northern regions: seven of the twenty-five known species are British, the most frequent being Equisetum arvense, E. sylvaticum, E. maximum and E. hyemale. E. arvense, the CORN HORSETAIL, is a very troublesome weed, most difficult to extirpate from cultivated land. Many of the species are very variable. The genus Equisetum is near-cosmopolitan, being absent only from Antarctica.

Description:
They are perennial plants, either herbaceous and dying back in winter as most temperate species, or evergreen as most tropical species and the temperate species rough horsetail (E. hyemale), branched horsetail (E. ramosissimum), dwarf horsetail (E. scirpoides) and variegated horsetail (E. variegatum). They typically grow 0.2-1.5 m tall, though the “giant horsetails” are recorded to grow as high as 2.5 m (northern giant horsetail, E. telmateia), 5 m (southern giant horsetail, E. giganteum) or 8 m (Mexican giant horsetail, E. myriochaetum), and allegedly even more
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Equisetum is a “living fossil” as it is the only living genus of the entire class Equisetopsida, which for over one hundred million years was much more diverse and dominated the understory of late Paleozoic forests. Some Equisetopsida were large trees reaching to 30 meters tall. The genus Calamites of the family Calamitaceae, for example, is abundant in coal deposits from the Carboniferous period.

A superficially similar but entirely unrelated flowering plant genus, mare’s tail (Hippuris), is occasionally misidentified as “horsetail”.

It has been suggested that the pattern of spacing of nodes in horsetails, wherein those toward the apex of the shoot are increasingly close together, inspired John Napier to discover logarithms

In these plants the leaves are greatly reduced and usually non-photosynthetic. They contain a single, non-branching vascular trace, which is the defining feature of microphylls. However, it has recently been recognised that horsetail microphylls are probably not ancestral as in Lycopodiophyta (clubmosses and relatives), but rather derived adaptations, evolved by reduction of megaphylls.    They are, therefore, sometimes actually referred to as megaphylls to reflect this homology.

The leaves of horsetails are arranged in whorls fused into nodal sheaths. The stems are green and photosynthetic, and are distinctive in being hollow, jointed and ridged (with sometimes 3 but usually 6-40 ridges). There may or may not be whorls of branches at the nodes.

Spores:
The spores are borne under sporangiophores in strobili, cone-like structures at the tips of some of the stems. In many species the cone-bearing shoots are unbranched, and in some (e.g. field horsetail, E. arvense) they are non-photosynthetic, produced early in spring separately from photosynthetic, sterile shoots. In some other species (e.g. marsh horsetail, E. palustre) they are very similar to sterile shoots, photosynthetic and with whorls of branches.

Horsetails are mostly homosporous, though in the field horsetail smaller spores give rise to male prothalli. The spores have four elaters that act as moisture-sensitive springs, assisting spore dispersal after the sporangia have split open longitudinally.

Medicinal uses;

The astringent, healing stems check bleeding in wounds, nosebleeds, and heavy menstruation. A strong diuretic for urinary tract and prostate disorders, they also tonify the urinary mucous membranes, can control bed-wetting, and help with skin problems. The other main use is for deep-seated damage in lung disease. Horsetail absorbs gold dissolved in water better than most plants, as much as 4 ounces per ton of fresh stalks. The amount of gold in a cup of horsetail tea is quite small, but small amounts of gold are used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, and the Chinese used horsetail for this.

Ellingwood suggests the following uses: dropsy, lithaemia, haematuria, gonorrhoea, gleet, irritable bladder, enuresis in children, prostatis, and the ashes for acid dyspepsia. It is often combined with Hydrangea in the treatment of prostate troubles.

This is one of the silica-containing plant drugs where the silica is largely in a water-soluble colloidal form. It is primarily a connective tissue drug, but is also considered a diuretic, though this is true only within limits. The silica is not responsible for a certain diuretic effect, which clearly is not very great and is probably due to saponins. A search has been made for other constituents that might explain the diuretic effect. A close relative of the common horsetail, Equisetum palustre. Animal experiments designed to demonstrate the diuretic properties of the horsetail came up with widely differing results. Some investigators obtained completely negative results, others noted an increase in urinary output by up to 68% in rats, and called the horsetail one of the most powerful diuretics.. Reports on the use of this plant with normal subjects and patients are similarly contradictory. The diuretic effect does not appear to have been very great in this case. Horsetail has the advantage that no harmful effects have been reported.

A more important property of this plants is the general metabolic stimulation it achieves, above all increasing connective tissue resistance. As connective tissues are also involved in rheumatic conditions, this explains the usefulness of the drug in this field. In the use of this plant, emphasis should be placed not so much on the diuretic effect, as has been generally assumed so far, but the antidyscratic and humoral actions. The key indications are therefore more in the metabolic spehre. E.g. edema of the legs tdue to metabolic causes and in many cases of rheumatoid arthritis and arthrosis. Sitz baths with equisetum extract are indicated for functional pelvic disease in women where there is no inflammation such as adnexitis or parametritis, but primarily muscular tensions and changes in muscle tone in the small pelvis that are autonomous in origin.

The silica is relatively easily dissolved out of the herb by making a decoction, 2.0g of the dried herb boiled for three hours in 200ml of water. Extraction is even better if a little sugar is added. The resulting decoction contains 55.5mg of SiO2 and is remarkably stable. Silica greatly accelerates blood coagulation, and horsetail is our best silica drug.
In China, E. hyemale is used mainly to cool fevers and as a remedy for eye inflammations, such as conjunctivitis and corneal disorder
The plant has a long history of medicinal uses, although modern sources include cautions with regard to its use. The European Food Safety Authority issued a report assessing its medicinal uses in 2009. Equisetum telmateia may be a useful source of antioxidants

Known Hazards:Some species of horsetail can be poisonous to grazing animals, including horses. The toxicity appears to be due to thiaminase enzymes, which can cause thiamine deficiency. People have regularly consumed horsetails. The young plants are eaten cooked or raw, but considerable care must be taken. Horsetail is dangerous for individuals with edema. For example, the fertile stems bearing strobili of some species are cooked and eaten like asparagus (a dish called tsukushi) in Japan. The people of ancient Rome would eat meadow horsetail in a similar manner, but they also used it to make tea as well as a thickening powder. Indians of the North American Pacific Northwest eat the young shoots of this plant raw.[18] The plants are used as a dye and give a soft green colour. An extract is often used to provide silica for supplementation. Horsetail was often used by Indians to polish wooden tools. Equisetum species are often used to analyze gold concentrations in an area due to their ability to take up the metal when it is in a solution.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horsetail
http://www.bio.umass.edu/biology/conn.river/equisetm.html

http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_FGH.htm

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Herbs & Plants

Jajoba

Botanical Name ;Simmondsia chinensis
Family :Simmondsiaceae – Jojoba family
Genus : Simmondsia Nutt. – goatnut
Species: Simmondsia chinensis (Link) C.K. Schneid. – jojoba
Kingdom :Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom :Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class:Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Euphorbiales

Synonyms:
Simmondsia chinensis (Link) C.K. Schneid.

BUCH Buxus chinensis Link
SICA14 Simmondsia californica Nutt.

Common Names: Jajoba, goat nut, deer nut, pignut, wild hazel, quinine nut, coffeeberry, and gray box bush.(The name “jojoba” originated with the O’odham people of the Sonoran Desert in the southwestern United States, who treated burns with an antioxidant salve made from a paste of the jojoba nut)

Habitat : Jajoba is  native to areas of northern Mexico, Lower California, on the Islands off the coast of California, New Mexico, and Arizona. It inhabits the mountains bordering the Salton Sea basin in the Colorado Desert in California, and the southern portion of San Diego County. In Arizona, it is found in the mountains around Tucson, near Phoenix, and north of Yuma. In nature, it grows between 600 and 1500 m elevation in the desert, down to sea level near the coast, between latitudes 25° and 31° N. There is a major effort underway in the U.S., Mexico, and Israel to domesticate jojoba. There are reports that it has been planted in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Egypt, Haiti, Israel, Paraguay, Rhodesia, the Sahel, and South Africa for example. The Israeli examples are bearing fruit. We are anxious to hear more success stories. There seems to be no major difficulty in growing the plant in frost free, arid, subtropical, and tropical zones, but not many success stories have materialized.

Ranging from Warm Temperate Desert (with little or no frost) to Thorn through Tropical Desert Forest Life Zones, jojoba is reported to tolerate annual precipitation of 2 to 11 dm, annual temperature of 16 to 26°C, and pH of 7.3 to 8.2 (Duke, 1978). Jojoba is usually restricted to well-drained, coarse, well-aerated desert soils that are neutral to alkaline, with an abundance of phosphorus. It grows best where the annual rainfall exceeds 30 cm, but does exist where less than 12.5 cm occurs. Where rainfall is ca 75 mm, the jojoba grows to ca 1 m tall, where rainfall is 250–400 mm, it may attain 5 m. It tolerates full sun and temperatures ranging from 0° to 47°C. Mature shrubs tolerate temperatures as low as -10°C, but seedlings are sensitive to light frosts just below freezing.

Description:
Jajoba  grows to 1–2 metres (3.3–6.6 ft) tall, with a broad, dense crown. The leaves are opposite, oval in shape, 2–4 centimetres (0.79–1.6 in) long and 1.5–3 centimetres (0.59–1.2 in) broad, thick waxy glaucous gray-green in color. The flowers are small, greenish-yellow, with 5–6 sepals and no petals.

click to see the pictures…..>..….(01)......(1)..…..(2)…..…(3).…..(4)..

Each plant is single-sex, either male or female, with hermaphrodites being extremely rare. The fruit is an acorn-shaped ovoid, three-angled capsule 1–2 centimetres (0.39–0.79 in) long, partly enclosed at the base by the sepals. The mature seed is a hard oval, dark brown in color and contains an oil (liquid wax) content of approximately 54%. An average-size bush produces 1 kilogram (2.2 lb) of pollen, to which few humans are allergic.

Jajoba  foliage provides year-round food opportunity for many animals, including deer, javelina, bighorn sheep, and livestock. The nuts are eaten by squirrels, rabbits, other rodents, and larger birds. Only Bailey’s Pocket Mouse, however, is known to be able to digest the wax found inside the jojoba nut.

In large quantities, the seed meal is toxic to many mammals, and the indigestible wax acts as a laxative in humans. The Seri, who utilize nearly every edible plant in their territory, do not regard the beans as real food and in the past ate it only in emergencies.

Despite its scientific name Simmondsia chinensis, Jojoba does not originate in China; the botanist Johann Link, originally named the species Buxus chinensis, after misreading Nuttall’s collection label “Calif” as “China”.

Jojoba was briefly renamed Simmondsia californica, but priority rules require that the original specific epithet be used. The common name should also not be confused with the similar-sounding Jujube (Ziziphus zizyphus), an unrelated plant

Cultivation
Jojoba seeds retain nearly 99% germinability after 6 months, and 38% after 11 years stored in an open shed. Germination is good in alkaline sands at temperatures of 27°–38°C. Seedlings are frost sensitive. Field seeding can be done with a modified cotton planter. Seedlings need two or three irrigations during the first summer and must be protected from animals. Weeding is recommended after each irrigation. Adventitious roots may form on 50–80% of the cuttings treated with growth promoting substances. Plants could start producing seeds in 5 years, but full production would not be attained for 8 to 10 years. Using a 2 x 4 m spacing in planting would permit the planting of about 500 female and 50 male pollinating plants per hectare. Apomictic plants are known, lessening the need for male non-fruiting plants in the orchard. Suggested methods for planting include: Close spacing, ca 15 cm apart, resulting in hedge rows, with the seeds planted in flat borders or in a slightly depressed ditch so as to keep them moist until they germinate (ca 10–14 days). Male plants should be thinned out to about a 5–1 ratio, finally allowing about 2,500 plants per hectare, with possible annual yields of 2.5 MT/ha seed. Propagation by cuttings from selected shrubs could increase seed and/or oil yields. Generally flowering nodes and leaf nodes alternate, but some plants flower at nearly all nodes; some plants produce more than one flower per node. Transplanted seedlings survive readily, if the roots are pruned. Hence, cuttings could be made in a nursery for later transplanting in the field. The more efficient spacing for this method of planting is in rows 4 m apart, and the bushes in the rows 2 m apart. Male bushes should be interspersed throughout the grove (about 1,500 female and 250 male plants per hectare), possibly yielding ca 2.75 MT/ha seed. When softwood cuttings were treated with IBA, 4 mg/g of talc, they rooted 100% in 38 days.

Chemical constituents:
The seed contains liquid wax rather than oil, sort of unusual for the conventional analyses. Verbiscar and Banigan (1978) approximated a proximate analysis, some of which follows: per 100 g, the seed is reported to contain 4.3–4.6 g H2O, 14.9–15.1 g protein, 50.2–53.8 g fat, 24.6–29.1 g total carbohydrate, 3.5–4.2 g fiber, and 1.4–1.6 g ash. Seeds contain 2.25–2.34%, seed hulls, 0.19%. Core wood, 0.45; leaves, 0.19–0.23%; twigs, 0.63–0.75%; an inflorescence, 0.22%; simmondsin, a demonstrated appetite depressant, toxicant. Three related cyanomethylenecyclohexyl glucosides have also been isolated from the seed meal. The acute oral LD50 for crude jojoba oil to male albino rats is higher than 21.5 ml/kg body weight. Strains of Lactobacillus acidophilus can ameliorate this toxicity. The amino acid composition of deoiled jojoba seed meal is 1.05–1.11% lysine, 0.49% histidine, 1.6–1.8% arginine, 2.2–3.1% aspartic acid, 1.1–1.2% threonine, 1.0–1.1% serine, 2.4–2.8% glutamic acid, 1.0–1.1% proline, 1.4–1.5% glycine, 0.8–1.0% alanine, 1.1–1.2% valine, 0.2% methionine, 0.8–0.9% isoleucine, 1.5–1.6% leucine, 1.0% tyrosine, 0.9–1.1% phenyalanine, 0.5–0.8% cystine and cysteine, and 0.5–0.6% tryptophane. Detailed analyses of the wax esters, free alcohols, free acids, are reported in NAS (1975). Per 100 g jojoba meal, there is 1.4 g lysine, 0.6 g histidine, 1.9 g arginine, 2.6 aspartic acid, 1.3 threonine, 1.3 serine, 3.2 glutamic acid, 1.5 proline, 2.4 glycine, 1.1 alanine, 0.6 cystine, 1.5 valine, 0.1 methionine, 0.9 isoleucine, 1.8 leucine, 1.1 tyrosine, and 1.2 g phenylalanine. The two major flavonoid constituents of the leaves are isorhamnetin 3-rutinoside (narcissin) and isorhamnetin 3,7-dirhamnoside.

Edible Uses:
Seeds were said to be palatable and were eaten raw or parched by Indians. Recent studies suggest they are toxic. They may also be boiled to make a well-flavored drink similar to coffee, hence the name coffeberry.

Medicinal Uses:
Folk Medicine
This shrub is first mentioned in the literature by the Mexican historian Francisco J. Clavijero in 1789, who noted that the Indians of Baja California highly prized the fruit for food and the oil as a medicine for cancer and kidney disorders. Indians in Mexico use the oil as a hair restorer. According to Hartwell (1967–1971), the oil was used in folk remedies for cancer. Reported to be emetic, jojoba is a folk remedy for cancer, colds, dysuria, eyes, head, obesity, parturition, poison ivy, sores, sorethroat, warts, and wounds. Seri Indians applied jojoba to head sores and aching eyes. They drank jojoba-ade for colds and to facilitate parturition.

The leaves are good tea for chronic mucus-membrane inflammation, ranging from chronic colitis,vagnitis and hemorrhoids to stomach and esophageal ulcers.In Mxico it has been widly used as a floke medicine for asthma and emphysema, but it is a more matter of adding the injured pulmonary  membranes than addressing any underline causes.A tea for the  seeds will decrease inflamation in phryngitis,tonsillitis and various types sore throat.Two to three ounces of the infusion drunk every several hours decreas  the irretability of bladder and urithra membranes and painful urination.

Other uses:
Simmondsia is unique among plants in that its seeds contain an oil which is a liquid wax. Oil of Simmondsia is obtained by expression or solvent extraction. It is light yellow, unsaturated, of unusual stability, remarkably pure, and need not be refined for use as a transformer oil or as a lubricant for high-speed machinery or machines operating at high temperatures. The oil does not become rancid, is not damaged by repeated heating to temperatures over 295°C or by heating to 370°C for four days; the color is dispelled by heating for a short time at 285°C, does not change in viscosity appreciably at high temperatures, and requires little refining to obtain maximum purity. Since Simmondsia Oil resembles sperm whale oil both in composition and properties, it should serve as a replacement for the applications of that oil. The CMR (Nov. 28, 1983) reports that a new oil from the fish known as orange roughy is “attempting to make inroads on the jojoba and sperm whale markets.” Jojoba oil can be easily hydrogenated into a hard white wax, with a melting point of about 73°–74°C, and is second in hardness only to carnauba wax. The oil is a potential source of both saturated and unsaturated long-chain fatty acids and alcohols. It is also suitable for sulfurization to produce lubricating oil and a rubber-like material (factice) suitable for use in printing ink and linoleum. The residual meal from expression or extraction contains 30–35% protein and is acceptable as a livestock food.It is an important browse plant in California and Arizona, the foliage and young twigs being relished by cattle, goats and deer, hence the name goatnut.

Disclaimer:
The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/duke_energy/simmondsia_chinensis.html
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=SICH
http://www.herbnet.com/Herb%20Uses_IJK.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jojoba

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Simmondsia_chinensis_form.jpg

http://www.delange.org/Jojoba/Jojoba.htm

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Health Alert

Cooking with Tropical Oils – Your Healthiest Alternative

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COCONUT OIL  is most recommended oil for cooking purpose. The reasons are mentioned  below:-

…….CLICK  & SEE THE PICTURES

Click to see :Healthy cooking in a nutshell

It’s a saturated fat.  Your body will burn it as fuel or it will get rid of it some other way. It won’t store it in your body.. So from that point of view, if you’re going to use oil then that’s a good one to use.”

Interestingly, unlike carbohydrates, which can also deliver quick energy to your body, coconut oil does this without producing an insulin spike. Yes, it acts like a carbohydrate, but without any of the debilitating insulin-related effects associated with long-term high carbohydrate consumption.

•Promoting heart health
•Promoting weight loss, when needed
•Supporting your immune system health
•Supporting a healthy metabolism
•Providing you with an immediate energy source
•Keeping your skin healthy and youthful looking
•Supporting the proper functioning of your thyroid gland

Part of what makes coconut oil such a healthful oil for cooking is that 50 percent of the fat content in coconut oil is a fat rarely found in nature called lauric acid.  This is also one of the features that distinguishes coconut oil from other saturated fats.

Your body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, which has potent anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-protozoa properties.

In addition, coconut oil is about 2/3 medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), also called medium-chain triglycerides or MCTs.  These types of fatty acids also produce a host of health benefits.

Best of all, coconut oil is stable enough to resist heat-induced damage, which you cannot say for other oils. In fact, it’s so stable you can even use if for frying (although I don’t recommend frying your food for a number of health reasons).

Dr.Mercola recommend using coconut oil in lieu of every other oil, whether your recipe calls for butter, olive oil, vegetable oil or margarine.

THE WORST COOKING OILS OF ALL  :-

Polyunsaturated fats are the absolute WORST oils to use when cooking because these omega-6-rich oils are highly susceptible to heat damage.

This category includes common vegetable oils such as:

Corn
•Soy
Safflower……..saffola
Sunflower
•Canola
Damaged omega-6 fats are disastrous to your health, and are responsible for far more health problems than saturated fats ever were.

Trans fat is the artery-clogging, highly damaged omega-6 polyunsaturated fat that is formed when vegetable oils are hardened into margarine or shortening.

Dr. Mercola says :”I  strongly recommend never using margarine or shortening when cooking. I guarantee you you’re already getting far too much of this damaging fat if you consume any kind of processed foods, whether it be potato chips, pre-made cookies, or microwave dinners”..

Trans fat is the most consumed type of fat in the US, despite the fact that there is no safe level of trans fat consumption, according to a report from the Institute of Medicine.

Trans fat raises your LDL (bad cholesterol) levels while lowering your HDL (good cholesterol) levels, which of course is the complete opposite of what you want. In fact, trans fats — as opposed to saturated fats — have been repeatedly linked to heart disease. They can also cause major clogging of your arteries, type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems.

Personally I don’t cook very much but when I do I use our Pure Virgin Coconut Oil as it is the most resistant to heating damage, but also a great source of medium chained triglycerides and lauric acid.

So, cleaning these oils out of your kitchen cupboard is definitely recommended if you value your health.


You may click to see :
WHAT IF THERE WAS A CURE FOR   ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE AND NO ONE KNEW?
Source
:New Warning About Olive Oil

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Healthy Tips

Coconut Oil Could Ward Off Type 2 Diabetes.

Diet Rich  Coconut Oil Could Stop Type 2 Diabetes.  A diet rich in coconut oil could ward off Type 2 diabetes.

………..CLICK & SEE.
The oil, used in foods such as margarine, helps prevent insulin resistance.

This is where muscle and fat cells stop reacting to insulin, the hormone that helps to mop up excess sugar in the blood.
Australian scientists used mice to compare the effects of coconut oil-rich foods with a lard-based diet, consumed by many in the developed world.
The results showed coconut-fed mice were much less likely to develop resistance to insulin. Previously, coconut oil has had a mixed reception because it is high in saturated fat, which is linked to high cholesterol.

But coconut fat is now known to be made up of so-called ‘medium chain’ fatty acids, regarded as healthier than the long-chain fatty acids found in animal products such as butter or lard.

Source: Mail online:23rd. Sept. 2009

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Healthy Tips News on Health & Science

7 Reasons to Eat More Saturated Fat

Tim Ferriss of The Four Hour Work Week has posted an exclusive excerpt from Drs. Michael and Mary Eades’ newest book, The 6-Week Cure for the Middle-Aged Middle.

……CLICK & SEE
The two doctors note that no matter how the story spins from the denizens of the anti-fat camp, one piece of their advice remains staunchly constant: “You should sharply limit your intake of saturated fats.” But will saturated fats really increase your risk of heart disease and raise your cholesterol? In a word, no. In fact, humans need them, and here are just a few reasons why:

1) Improved cardiovascular risk factors
Saturated fat plays a key role in cardiovascular health. The addition of saturated fat to the diet reduces the levels of a substance called lipoprotein (a) that correlates strongly with risk for heart disease. Research has shown that when women diet, those eating the greatest percentage of the total fat in their diets as saturated fat, lose the most weight.

2) Stronger bones
Saturated fat is required for calcium to be effectively incorporated into bone. According to one of the foremost research experts in dietary fats and human health, Dr. Mary Enig, Ph.D., there’s a case to be made for having as much as 50 percent of the fats in your diet as saturated fats for this reason.

3) Improved liver health
Saturated fat has been shown to protect the liver from alcohol and medications, including acetaminophen and other drugs commonly used for pain and arthritis.

4) Healthy lungs
For proper function, the airspaces of the lungs have to be coated with a thin layer of lung surfactant. The fat content of lung surfactant is 100 percent saturated fatty acids. Replacement of these critical fats by other types of fat makes faulty surfactant and potentially causes breathing difficulties.

5) Healthy brain
Your brain is mainly made of fat and cholesterol. The lion’s share of the fatty acids in the brain are actually saturated. A diet that skimps on healthy saturated fats robs your brain of the raw materials it needs to function optimally.

6) Proper nerve signaling
Certain saturated fats, particularly those found in butter, lard, coconut oil, and palm oil, function directly as signaling messengers that influence metabolism, including such critical jobs as the appropriate release of insulin.

7) Strong immune system
Saturated fats found in butter and coconut oil (myristic acid and lauric acid) play key roles in immune health. Loss of sufficient saturated fatty acids in white blood cells hampers their ability to recognize and destroy foreign invaders, such as viruses, bacteria, and fungi.

Source: Four Hour Work Week September 6, 2009

Footnotes:
It is recomended to use  olive oil, but recommend against the use of canola oil, despite its widely perceived healthful reputation. In order to be fit for human consumption, rapeseed oil (which is canola oil) requires significant processing to remove its objectionable taste and smell. Processing damages the oil, creating trans fats. Also, the oil is sensitive to heat, so if used at all, it should never be used to fry foods.

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