As the interest in dietary sources of Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs), especially omega-3s, has flourished, flax seed has been a popular buzz word in health food circles. The health benefits of EFAs are numerous, and are a key ingredient in this nutritional oil and seeds that truly qualifies it as a superfood. In addition to EFAs, the health benefits of flax seed include being an excellent source of fiber, protein, B vitamins, minerals, and other phytonutrients necessary for good health.
The use of flax as a food and a medicine is not a new concept. It was valued in the days of the Roman Empire for its healing powers. Flax seed and its oil could perhaps be called the first nutritional supplement, long before multi-vitamins came along, and one of the original “health foods.” Ancient civilizations may not have understood the science behind it, but the results of eating and topically applying this healthy oil spoke for themselves.
About Fats – Yes, You Need Them!
Dietary fat has a negative reputation in our culture, and for some good reasons. Too much of the wrong kinds of fat, mainly animal and trans fats, has been responsible for the epidemic of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and other diseases that run rampant in modern society. However, there are good fats, containing EFAs, that are sorely lacking in the Standard American Diet (SAD). These fats are necessary for repair and healing, and can actually prevent and reverse the damage from such illnesses as those listed above as well as others. This is why oils such as flax seed oil are so popular today, as people become more educated about their nutritional needs.
Amazing Health Benefits of Flax Seed
Flax Seed Oil (FSO) is famous for its excellent cardiovascular benefits. Omega-3 fatty acids work wonders for arterial health by lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood, and they make platelets (blood cells) less sticky, thus lowering the chance of blood clots and clogged arteries. The result of these factors is that FSO reduces the risk of high blood pressure, heart attacks, atherosclerosis, and strokes.
Rich in Lignans
Flax Seed Oil is also rich in a substance called lignan, which is found in many whole grains. However, the level of lignan in flax is up to 100 times greater than in other grains. Lignans serve many useful purposes, including lowering risk for breast and other hormone-related cancers, and colon cancer as well. Lignans also boost the immune system by acting as anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal agents.
Flax Seed Oil also has wonderful anti-inflammatory features. It reduces inflammation throughout the body, a factor that is foundational to many forms of disease. Thus, FSO can help to prevent ant treat autoimmune conditions such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and joint pain. It also reduces inflammation and disease in the liver and kidneys.
Both Flax Seed and FSO are great for bowel health too. Due to the combination of high fiber and its anti-inflammatory properties, FSO helps to create an intestinal tract that functions properly by absorbing more nutrients and effectively eliminating toxins. FSO helps with constipation, and the EFAs increase bodily functions at the cellular level both in the intestines and throughout the body.
Flax Seed Oil provides “good” fats that promote brain growth, especially in fetuses and infants. Pre-natal use of Flax Seed Oil is highly recommended for nourishing your baby’s brain and nervous system.
Flax Seed Oil can also help people lose weight and maintain a healthy weight. In a process known as thermogenesis, specialized fat cells (brown fat) are stimulated by the EFAs in flax seed oil (especially gammo-linolenic acid or GLA) to burn unneeded body fat more efficiently.
Skin and Hair
Flax Seed Oil is also very effective at treating and preventing skin and hair conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, and dandruff. It is beneficial both when consumed and when applied topically. It also helps skin wounds to heal faster, and improves healing of muscle sprains and soreness after vigorous activity. Many people who work out regularly notice a significant improvement in this area when using FSO.
Dr. Johanna Budwig: The Budwig Diet (Oil-Protein Diet)
Many people suffering from degenerative disease such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease are making the choice to implement Dr. Johanna Budwig’s Oil-Protein Diet. Dr. Budwig was a licensed pharmacist, qualified chemist with doctorates in chemistry and physics and was a senior expert for pharmaceuticals and fats in a high government function in Germany. Dr. Budwig devoted her whole life for more than 50 years to the realization of the validity of her research results for sustaining human life in medicine, and in the process bring about a change in the direction of cancer research and therapy.
Over 50 years ago Dr. Budwig lectured about the connection between the “bad” fats such as hydrogenated margarine and illness as well as the importance of essential fatty acids. In a speech delivered By Dr. Budwig on November 2, 1959 in Zurich, Switzerland, she said, “Without these fatty acids, the respiratory enzymes cannot function and the person suffocates, even when he is given oxygen-rich air. A deficiency in these highly unsaturated fatty-acids impairs many vital functions. First of all, it decreases the person’s supply of available oxygen. We cannot survive without air and food; nor can we survive without these fatty acids. That has been proven long ago.” Certainly, Dr. Budwig understood the connection between diet and health. She understood that with the advent and popularity of hydrogenated and over-processed oils came an increase of several serious diseases. She also realized that the way foods are now processed eliminates almost all of the essential fatty acids. Dr. Budwig then decided to focus her life’s work on finding the dietary solution or cure to the list of diseases that affect so many people around the world.
In a nut shell Dr. Budwig recommended using organic, cold-pressed flax seed oil and low-fat, organic cottage cheese (1:2 ratio ), blended together until emulsified. According to Dr. Budwig, this emulsification makes the flax seed more water soluble and thus more usable to the body.
Below is the correct diet that Dr. Budwig advocated. There are many variations of the Budwig diet floating around the Internet; however, the diet below is the one that is contained in Dr. Budwig’s writings. I urge caution in following a protocol that is different from the one below, unless patient success can be provided. What “should” work and what “does” work can be two entirely separate things! Remember as with any natural health protocol: halfhearted implementation = halfhearted results.
While Dr. Budwig did not recommend the use of supplements, many people following the diet add food-grade supplementation to the protocol with success. I would recommend that one do their “due diligence” when implementing supplements in making sure any supplements consumed are food-grade with no chemicals, toxic binders or excipients added.
Appliances needed Before Beginning the Budwig Diet
- Coffee bean grinder to grind the whole brown flax seeds sold in health food stores or online. Freshly ground seeds are a must.
- Immersion hand-held mixer (a stick-shaped mixer) to blend and bond (emulsify) the flaxseed oil [FO] & cottage cheese [CC] together so that they become one food, making the oil water-soluble and more absorbable. It’s important to use an electric mixer rather than stirring the two ingredients together.
- Vegetable Juicer. A masticating type juicer is said to give a more healthful juice than a centrifugal type. Research Green Star & Omega 8005. However, many have used other less costly juicers with success.
NOTE: It’s a good idea to purchase and read Dr. Budwig’s books Flax Oil As A True Aid Against Arthritis, Heart Infarction, Cancer And Other Diseases, The Oil-Protein Diet Cookbook and Cancer The Problem and The Solution either before or in the very beginning of implementing of the FOCC diet. All of these books can be found on amazon.com. This is necessary for complete explanation and understanding of the whys of the protocol. Being completely informed about what you are doing will most likely help to keep you on-track.
FLAX SEED OIL and COTTAGE CHEESE (FOCC) or quark
Each tablespoon of Flax Seed Oil (FSO) is blended with 2 tablespoons of low-fat organic Cottage Cheese (CC) or quark. This is a ratio of approximately 1:2. Cold-pressed refrigerated liquid Flax Seed Oil is recommended, for example, Barlean’s & Spectrum. The Flax Seed Oil must be organic, fresh, cold-pressed and unadulterated flax oil (no Vitamin E or other preservatives added). It’s suggested to buy regular FSO instead of High Lignan FSO. Healthier lignans are obtained at a lower cost by using freshly ground flax seeds (grind right before use) [used instead of Linomel]. Important: Ground flax seeds must be used within 20 minutes.
TO BEGIN THE DAY
An hour before breakfast, enjoy a glass of organic sauerkraut juice. It has cancer-fighting benefits and improves digestion. Homemade is best in order to get the digestive enzymes. Use this link for a video on making sauerkraut. Press the arrow to start video.
To get sauerkraut juice, run the finished homemade kraut through your juicer. Some people prefer to use digestive pancreatic enzymes instead of the sauerkraut juice because of digestive distress, this has been done with success although Dr. Budwig did not specifically recommend this.
Start with a cup of green tea or herbal tea. It provides warm liquid required for the ground flax seeds to swell properly. That’s important. Then, eat your Muesli [Muesli in the Budwig diet refers to the recipe below. We often call it FOCC]. Besides cottage cheese or quark, you could use organic homemade yogurt cheese or kefir cheese with cow or goat milk.
BUDWIG FOCC RECIPE
[Make enough for 1 meal only, avoid storing. Eat immediately. Use organic foods. JB’s cookbook has varied recipes]
- Blend 3 Tbs flax seed oil with 6 Tbs low-fat CC or quark with a hand-held immersion electric blended for up to a minute. If needed, add 2 Tbs organic milk. Avoid adding water or juices when blending Flax Seed Oil with CC or quark. The mixture should be like rich whipped cream with no separated oil visible in the mixture or on the sides of the bowl.
Layer or stir in the following ingredients
- Grind 2 Tbs whole flax seeds and add. [This replaces Linomel that JB talks about in her books.] Freshly ground seeds become rancid within 20 minutes, eat recipe immediately.
- Add various fruits such as fresh [or thawed-out frozen if necessary] berries, all kinds, which contain strong cancer-fighting Ellagic Acid.
- Add other fresh fruit if you like, totaling 1/2 to 1 cup of fruit.
- If mixture is too thick, add 1 or 2 Tbs of organic fruit juice [e.g. dark grape, blueberry] or organic milk. Fruits & their juices are proven cancer fighters.
- Add organic raw nuts such as walnuts or Brazil nuts [no peanuts] and a bit of raw honey. For variety, try organic vanilla, cinnamon, lemon juice, pure cocoa or shredded coconut. Try various fresh organic fruits & flavorings. Afterward, you can have whole grain bread (something other than wheat, which is harder to digest) with cucumber, tomato, radishes or other raw veggies.
Freshly-pressed vegetable juice from carrots and/or beet, celery, lemon, apple as well as green vegetables – lettuces or spinach [carrot & beet juices are especially helpful to the liver & are strong cancer fighters] Vary vegetables each day. Omega juicers – http://www.discountjuicers.com/omega8006.html
Dr. Budwig emphasized that getting daily sunshine is very healthy for vitamin D production. Avoid burning & avoid sunscreen & sunglasses.
If you feel up to exercising, individualize it according to your strength – DON’T OVERDO IT. Dr. Budwig wrote: “Often yoga or sport is very important, but sometimes the patient should not do this” and “I would never allow a cancer patient with metastases to jog, ride a bicycle, or to practice yoga. His body must relax.” One form of exercise that is beneficial for most people is using a rebounder [a mini-trampoline] because it can help clear the lymph system and promotes better drainage. If one is very weak, they can sit on the rebounder and bounce.
A cup of warm green or herbal tea. Use honey if desired (no sugar). Also suggested, one Tbs whole flax seeds, freshly ground and added to a glass of champagne, known to help digestion & absorption. [1999 book]
RAW vegetable salad with various home-made salad dressings which may include one or more Tbs FSO blended with 1 or 2 Tbs organic low-fat CC plus one Tbs organic apple cider vinegar or lemon juice and spices. Or, for sweeter dressing, try FSO & grape, orange, apple or another juice. You can vary the salad dressings based on the recipes in the Oil-Protein Diet Cookbook. Several recipes do not include cottage cheese at all. The body can utilize 1 or 2 Tbs oil without cottage cheese. Avoid commercial salad dressings. Pumpkin seed oil can also be used. Experiment with spices or honey for variety.
If still hungry, make steamed or boiled veggies and grains. [See “DINNER”]
It’s IMPORTANT to have a SECOND SERVING of FOCC with varied fresh raw fruits (organic). Again, use 3 Tbs FO & 6 Tbs CC with fresh fruit but NO flaxseeds. If there are issues in digesting this amount of oil, begin with smaller amounts of FOCC and increase it slowly. Chew very well to optimize digestion. Pre-digestion starts in the mouth by mixing saliva with the foods. Try to have meals in a peaceful atmosphere. Relaxing is important.
Two Tbs whole flax seeds, freshly ground, stirred into a glass of sparkling wine or Champagne OR one Tbs flax seeds, ground and stirred into a glass of fruit juice: grape, cherry or pineapple. Chew the ground flax seeds for better digestion. Repeat 1/2 hour later.
Relax in the sunshine every day for 30-40 minutes. Empty the mind of worries, angers, fears. Focus on nature, music, sounds of nature, deep breathing & positivity. Think kind thoughts about yourself & others. Dr. Budwig said that relieving stress is extremely important.
One Tbs whole flax seeds, ground and added to pure blueberry or papaya juice. Both papaya & pineapple [above] have digestive enzymes if they are fresh. When making the juice, drink it immediately after preparation before the enzymes are lost by air and light. You want to get as many natural enzymes as possible [as well as electrons from flax seeds & oils]. [Note: Instead of the fruit juices, some members heal using homemade vegetable juices as described at 10 a.m.]
Vegetable soup or a variety of organic vegetables and starch-containing foods, well spiced. Add Oleolux (recipe found in Dr. B’s Oil-Protein Diet Cookbook book) and nutritional yeast flakes after cooking. Nutritional yeast adds important B-vitamins which boost energy & mood. Choices of cooked starchy foods – buckwheat (JB’s top choice-digests well & very nutritious), millet, brown rice, lentils, beans, peas, yams & potatoes. Add lightly cooked vegetables such as kale, tomatoes, spinach, beets, carrots, chard, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, onions, artichokes, asparagus, peppers, green beans, etc. Also, add healthful spices such as cayenne pepper, paprika, turmeric, sea salt & others. AFTER COOKING, add homemade Oleolux ‘to taste,’ which adds even more nutrition. Use also on bread [whole or sprouted grain, homemade or Ezekiel].
A glass of organic red wine if desired.
The above diet can be varied by the many recipes in Dr. Budwig’s book, The Oil- Protein Diet Cookbook, sold on Amazon for about $10.
THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS VERY IMPORTANT
- AVOID UNHEALTHY FOODS such as hydrogenated oils, trans-fats, animal fats [meats, chicken, fish, eggs,] butter, cane sugar, preservatives, processed foods, pesticides and chemicals, even those in household products & cosmetics. She also stressed to drink chemical-free water.
- Avoid leftovers – food should be prepared fresh and eaten soon after preparation to maximize intake of health-giving electrons & enzymes.
- Drink warm green or herbal teas, unsweetened or sweetened only with honey.
- Vegetable Juicing. Consuming two or more glasses of organic vegetable juice each day is important. Freshly juiced vegetables contain important vitamins, minerals, enzymes, water and oxygen for the body. They are literally living and LIFE = LIFE. By juicing one is able to consume many more times the amount of vegetables than by eating vegetables. Take advantage of the healing and repair properties that organic, in-season vegetables offer to the body.
- Stress is damaging and disease-causing. Avoid stress-producing people & situations. This may mean that for a while one may need to change jobs, friends, etc. Take time to relax & enjoy each day. Listen to beautiful music, read up-lifting books, laugh, practice deep breathing, take walks in nature, spend time with supportive friends and family. Eliminate anger, jealousy and sadness through EFT [see emofree.com] or counseling. Practice forgiveness toward yourself and others. Do not dwell on the past or the future.
- ELDI oils (Electron Differential Oils) are oils for external application or enema. Dr. Budwig had her patients use them as needed. She suggests that the use of ELDI oils should be executed by a specialist who also has knowledge of the significance of the electromagnetic field in the sick person’s environment.
- Dr. Budwig did not include drugs or supplements in her protocol guidelines. In her 1999 book, she spoke against them. Flax seed oil is known to thin the blood so be careful about using blood-thinning drugs, including aspirin. It could be dangerous. Some supplements, especially high amounts of man-made antioxidants, can seriously interfere with how well the diet works, as can some drugs and treatments such as chemo and radiation, cortisones, hormones & pain killers. She also warned against the dangers of oxygen therapy for the cancer patient and indicated that the cells are not ready to absorb oxygen but are healed through diet.
- The foods in the Budwig Protocol give your body what it needs daily to stop cancer. Dr. Budwig warned that one should follow the diet strictly for five years before relaxing a little, but one can never stop the healing foods for more than a few days nor can one regularly eat damaging foods or supplements. Doing so will allow cancer to return in those who are prone to this disease.
- Take care of your teeth. Infections can interfere with your improvement.
Dr. Budwig’s book Flax Oil as a True Aid Against Arthritis, Heart Infarction, Cancer and other Diseases offers an understanding of the scientific principles behind this protocol and can be ordered here. Her cookbook The Oil-Protein Diet gives practical diet information and recipes. Both of these books can be ordered from http://www.amazon.com/
Her newest (and last) book, Cancer-The Problem and The Solution, written in 1999, is available here.
Tips on Purchasing and Using Flax Seed Oil
Be sure to purchase Flax Seed Oil that has been cold-processed and refrigerated in dark glass bottles, as heat, light, and oxygen destroy the nutritional benefits of the oil, both during processing and storage. Encourage Flax Seed Oil manufacturers to package their products in glass and not plastic. Internationally, where people know and expect good quality oils, highly sensitive oils such as Flax Seed Oil would never be placed in plastic bottles. In America we should encourage the same knowledge and practice. The safety of placing liquids in plastic bottles is a concern of mine even though plastic manufacturers would have us believe otherwise. They do not have a good track record when it comes to being completely truthful.
When using Flax Seed Oil as a condiment or in cooking, never heat the oil.
It takes most people about six weeks or so before seeing positive results from using flax seed oil, so be patient, stay focused and enjoy this gift of nature creatively!
Health Benefits of Flax Seed: More Information and Research
Dupasquier CM, Weber AM, Ander BP, et al. Effects of dietary flaxseed on vascular contractile function and atherosclerosis during prolonged hypercholesterolemia in rabbits. Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol. 2006;291:H2987–96. [PubMed] [Ref list]
Singh RB, Niaz MA, Sharma JP, Kumar R, Rastogi V, Moshiri M. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of fish oil and mustard oil in patients with suspected acute myocardial infarction; the Indian experiment of infarct survival – 4. Cardiovasc Drugs Ther. 1997;11:485–91. [PubMed] [Ref list]
Takeuchi H, Sakurai C, Noda R, et al. Antihypertensive effect and safety of dietary alpha-linolenic acid in subjects with high-normal blood pressure and mild hypertension. J Oleo Sci. 2007;56:347–60. [PubMed] [Ref list]
Zhao G, Etherton TD, Martin KR, West SG, Gillies PJ, Kris-Etherton PM. Dietary alpha-linolenic acid reduces inflammatory and lipid cardiovascular risk factors in hypercholesterolemic men and women. J Nutr. 2004;134:2991–7. [PubMed] [Ref list]
Lemay A, Dodin S, Kadri N, Jacques H, Forest JC. Flaxseed dietary supplement versus hormone replacement therapy in hypercholesterolemic menopausal women. Obstet Gynecol. 2002;100:495–504. [PubMed] [Ref list]
Conklin SM, Harris JI, Manuck SB, Yao JK, Hibbeln JR, Muldoon MF. Serum ω-3 fatty acids are associated with variation in mood, personality and behavior in hypercholesterolemic community volunteers. Psychiatry Res. 2007;152:1–10. [PubMed] [Ref list]
Chen J, Stavro PM, Thompson LU. Dietary flaxseed inhibits human breast cancer growth and metastasis and downregulates expression of insulin-like growth factor and epidermal growth factor receptor. Nutrition & Cancer. 2002;43:187-92.
Fukumitsu S, Aida K, Shimizu H, Toyoda K. Flaxseed lignan lowers blood cholesterol and decreases liver disease risk factors in moderately hypercholesterolemic men. Nutr Res. 2010 Jul;30(7):441-6.
Yari Z, Rahimlou M, Eslamparast T, et al. Flaxseed supplementation in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: a pilot randomized, open labeled, controlled study. Int J Food Sci Nutr. Jun 2016;67(4):461-469.