Book Review: The Healing Power of Flax- The Definitive Guide
Stacie Deyglio, ND
Linium usitatissimum, the flax plant, has been a benefit to global civilizations for centuries. From its ancestral role as the textile resource of linen to the now modern health advantage of providing the richest vegetable source of alpha lipoic acid, the plant base for omega-3 fatty acid, humans have harvested the power of flax.
In Herb Joiner-Bey’s book, The Healing Power of Flax, the nutritive, biochemical and health-related effects of flax seed oil are cohesively explored: “There may not be a single nutritional supplement today that can surpass the level of protection against cancer and other diseases as delivered by the combination of flaxseed oil and lignan precursors. It is most unfortunate that so many people are truly missing out by failing to take advantage of this nutrition powerhouse – Mother Earth’s richest and most cost-effective source of omega-3 fatty acids” (p. 8).
Dr. Joiner-Bey’s book is compartmentalized into three sections. Part I is comprised of the essential healing power of flax. This includes a discussion of how flax seed oil clinically relates to the prevention of such primary causes of death in the U.S. as cancer and heart disease. Part II comprises the bulk of the book; it is an impressive and comprehensive discussion of how flax seed oil affects human health, disease and illness. Effects discussed include how flax seed oil benefits polycystic ovary syndrome, arthritis, weight loss, asthma, diabetes and mood disorders, to name just a few. “Nearly every biologic function is somehow interconnected with the delicate balance between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. … the omega-3s are intimately involved in the control of inflammation, cardiovascular health, myelin sheath development, allergic reactivity, immune response, hormone modulation, IQ and behavior. A seemingly minor, yet major change in omega balance dictated by dietary ingestion has absolutely deleterious health effects. The rapid change in dietary fat ingestion within only the last 50-100 years has bewildered human bio-physiology created to function optimally on equal proportions of polyunsaturated fats” (p. 26).
Part III is a worthy compilation of recipes that encourages the reader to “Put the Fat Back” in their diet … the omega-3 fat, that is!
This book is a worthy investment, not only for the valuable information stocked in the chapters, but also for the significant ease of the recipes that promote the ability to apply knowledge found in the book directly in the kitchen.
Dr. Joiner-Bey has compiled a noteworthy mass of information that is easy to interpret from a clinician or patient perspective. The book encourages the individual to embrace self-responsibility of his or her diet as well as embody the positive change necessary to act on sound clinical resources of effective natural medicine.
Stacie Deyglio, ND received her baccalaureate degree in biology with a minor in chemistry from the College of Mt. St. Vincent in New York. Her personal health issues paved the way to discovering naturopathic medicine in 1999. Resonating with the philosophy and principles of naturopathic medicine, Dr. Deyglio graduated from the University of Bridgeport, College of Naturopathic Medicine in 2003. As a medical student, she was involved in student government, fundraising and the generation of two successful student-run health fairs. Dr. Deyglio’s interests include relating integrative therapeutics to the health of pediatric and geriatric populations. Currently residing in Phoenix, Dr. Deyglio is an avid bookworm, and is actively creating her practice.