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Low Iron

Rob Young


Joined: May 11, 2011
Posts: 28
Location: Washington DC Metro (VA) Fairfax zone 7b
    
    6
Howdy,  Everytime I go to give blood    I am low in iron and usually can not give. Totally bulking on iron + foods does not help.
Any thoughts?


This is what I was thinking at the time I typed this, it could change with better facts.
Len Ovens
pollinator

Joined: Aug 26, 2010
Posts: 1315
Location: Vancouver Island
    
  18
permabuzz wrote:
Howdy,  Everytime I go to give blood    I am low in iron and usually can not give. Totally bulking on iron + foods does not help.
Any thoughts?


Try the celiac (not sure of the spelling) diet of no gluten. (probably no starch or polysaccharides may be even better - look up SCD) My mother was always low iron even with lots of supplements etc. was tested for celiac - positive - no gluten - iron went up.... as did bone density. I would suspect some kind of digestive problem is keeping your body from absorbing iron. The best known diets for that are SCD and GAPS(a variation), but you may need something different again. We are all different.... just look up some of the threads on diets   ... and require different things in our diet to make us work. Number one thing though is stay away from processed foods. Pretty much everyone agreed on at least that much... stay out of the aisles when shopping as they say. CLO(Cod Liver Oil) is also a help.
Lisa Allen


Joined: Mar 25, 2011
Posts: 198
Location: San Diego, CA USA
The herb highest in absorbable iron I know of is Yellow Dock (Rumex crispus) root - and don't take with coffee since it would cancel.  Nettle would also help, along with these suggestions - keep us posted!


Lisa, the AstroHerbalist
http://astroherbalist.com
Jeanine Gurley
steward

Joined: May 23, 2011
Posts: 1392
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
    
  10
I used to be horribly low in iron and both my kids were born anemic.

Then I started cooking in cast iron, it's got to be the old fashioned kind - not the new 'non-stick' stuff.  Cooking in cast iron leeches some of the iron into your food, especially slow cooked tomato sauces.

I also drink a glass of red wine every day, eat lots of deep dark vegetables and greens.  Molasses is another good source, love it on cornbread (cooked in cast iron).

My blood went from being watery red to a thick deep red, almost black.  It took a while though. 


1. my projects
Jonathan 'yukkuri' Kame


Joined: May 23, 2010
Posts: 488
Location: Foothills north of L.A., zone 9ish mediterranean
    
    3
Keep in mind, folks, that you can get iron toxicity.  If you know you are deficient, by all means go ahead and supplement, cook in iron, choose foods with iron.  But if you are not deficient, don't take iron supplements.  Same with copper.  JMO.
                                  


Joined: Jul 15, 2011
Posts: 1
Location: 73 Armstrong Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07305
Deficiency of Vitamin C results in Low Iron in the body. Increase the consumption of vitamin C with your meals.You can eat green vegetables like spinach and potatoes.






Tim Manning
Amber Westfall


Joined: May 26, 2011
Posts: 13
Location: Ottawa
    
    1
Many herbalists now believe that yellow dock doesn't contain lots of iron, so much as it makes iron more available and easier for the body to assimilate. 

I made this yellow dock and molasses syrup when my last blood test revealed that my iron is low.  The Dr. also mentioned the importance of consuming iron and vitamin C together.

Here's a video on how to make the syrup: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yW1ijUGnbX0

Other herbs high in iron include: dandelion, mugwort, chickweed, burdock root, and red raspberry leaf


"Forgive me if I never visit. I am from the fields, you know, and while quite at home with dandelion, make a sorry figure for the drawing room" ~Emily Dickinson
ronie dee


Joined: Mar 04, 2009
Posts: 588
Location: Cosby MO
    
    2
permabuzz wrote:
Howdy,  Everytime I go to give blood    I am low in iron and usually can not give. Totally bulking on iron + foods does not help.
Any thoughts?


Don't donate blood.


Sometimes the answer is not to cross an old bridge, nor to burn it, but to build a better bridge.
                            


Joined: Jun 10, 2011
Posts: 55
Low iron has complications as far as dietary concerns go...

Many things that were listed have iron in them, yes. But you should know there are two types of iron; heme and non-heme.

Plants only have non-heme. In order to absorb it you need vitamin C at the same time. For example broccoli (highest source of vitamin C) with leafy greens, blackstrap molasses, etc.

Animals have heme and non-heme. This means you can get iron with only the meat. The richest source of available iron is Lamb (also the most environmentally friendly to raise). It is rich in many things.

Too much iron is a problem if your body can not get rid of any of it. The body may need to learn how to detoxify itself. This is often genetically inherited though. I would not worry too much about it.

There are a lot of people that use iron as an antioxidant in their system. These people will always be low on it if they regularly consume wheat (sprouted and spelt are different for them), sugar (cane), heavy metals (eat cilantro), COFFEE, and other things like potentially chicken (naturally high in certain, I think, phytotoxins). Not everyone fits this "chemical sensitive" set of issues, that is low on iron.

*Coffee is often good for some people that are fast acetylators. They can drink it at night and fall asleep. The carcinogens from red meat are likely to be bad for them, but soy is the opposite.

If you like Goji berries they are good for people that battle with anemia because they are a powerful antioxidant (but much more gentle than soy so they won't plug your kidneys since people with iron issues are typically slow acetylators), rich in iron, and rich in vitamin C.
Maine Aaron


Joined: Oct 24, 2010
Posts: 31
Just a comment on cooking on cast iron. I LOVE my cast iron and am very particular about keeping seasoned (ie i never wash it with soap or abrasives), that seasoning keeps things like egg from sticking and makes it nicer to cook on, it also keeps it from leaching iron into the food, so if your trying to get some extra iron into your diet start scrubbing your cast iron with soap and abrasives and cooking acidic foods in them.
Len Ovens
pollinator

Joined: Aug 26, 2010
Posts: 1315
Location: Vancouver Island
    
  18
MaineAaron wrote:
Just a comment on cooking on cast iron. I LOVE my cast iron and am very particular about keeping seasoned (ie i never wash it with soap or abrasives), that seasoning keeps things like egg from sticking and makes it nicer to cook on, it also keeps it from leaching iron into the food, so if your trying to get some extra iron into your diet start scrubbing your cast iron with soap and abrasives and cooking acidic foods in them.

Or cook high iron foods in them... then iron will become part of your seasoning... But then one would already be eating high iron foods...
George Lee


Joined: Mar 15, 2011
Posts: 537
Location: Athens, GA/Sunset, SC
    
    1
Vit C / Iron absorption go hand n' hand. I often brew some pine needle tea to drink along with my meat / vegetable / fruit meals. Pine tea has 5x as much vitamin c than an entire (whole) lemon. I believe our body has great difficulty in absorbing synthetic vitamin c, for this reason I source all organic vit. c. After a meal complete with the tea I always feel rejuvenated. It will squash fatigue after a long workday. With greater iron absorption from your food intake, you're energy levels will improve greatly (noticeable effect).

How are you doing these days? Have you had a blood analysis lately?

Peace -


South Carolina Hemp | Seed Swap via Letter | Livingwind.tumblr.com | sustainable seed co
Dale Hodgins
pollinator

Joined: Jul 28, 2011
Posts: 4334
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
    
  65
       I had a garden that was low in iron. I added rusty nails and some clay to capture nutrients.   When cooking in a cast iron pan I found that scrambled eggs turn black when left for a short time. I assumed this was iron.


Dale's picks - These are some of my favorite threads. Greed - http://www.permies.com/t/10736/md/unbridled-greed-ambition-compatible-permaculture My garden - http://www.permies.com/t/27910/projects/Dale-Day-Garden ethics - http://www.permies.com/t/11534/permaculture/frustration-ethics Good wood bad wood http://www.permies.com/t/12206/hugelkultur/Hugelkultur-Good-wood-Bad-wood Alder - http://www.permies.com/t/10609/plants/Alder-nitrogen-fixation-native-tree Bees - http://www.permies.com/t/10917/bees/time-replace-European-honey-bee Pulling nails - http://www.permies.com/t/10249/natural-building/Removing-nails-recycled-wood-techniques
                            


Joined: Aug 21, 2011
Posts: 79
i had iron deficiancy problem few years ago and i used capsules with realy lot of iron which gave me months of stomach problems. now is ok i think, i eat lot of netles all the time and yes i guess this for vitamin c is true, since i eat more and more raw food i guess this is solution......
Jocelyn Campbell
steward

Joined: Nov 09, 2008
Posts: 2706
Location: Missoula, MT
    
  74
Lots of great tips in this thread!

I'm wondering with Len, are you any better Permabuzz?

I, too, have been chronically anemic since I began having menses and gave up years ago on giving any blood. I second the recommendations above, plus added another one or two in my coping list (pardon the repeats, but I like lists! ):

  • [li]cooking with cast iron[/li]
    [li]avoiding gluten (myself plus also had a friend who became severely anemic from celiac disease)[/li]
    [li]adding vitamin C[/li]
    [li]avoid coffee - thanks KullConquered, for the explanation on why this seems to work for me![/li]
    [li]adding B vitamins / reducing sugar and stress - B vitamins also help iron absorption, sugar and stress deplete the B's [/li]
    [li]don't take calcium supplements at the same time as iron - blocks absorption[/li]
    [li]leafy greens, leafy greens, leafy greens[/li]
    [li]if you need/can afford a supplement, Floravital (GF) / Floradix is the best - herbs, B's, B12 + iron[/li]
    [li]for women with excessive bleeding - find whatever means possible to stem that red tide![/li]


  • Thanks, Amber for the herbmentor video on yellow dock! I might have to try that one, but with something else in place of the molasses, since I don't think agrees with me. (I recently followed their video instructions on making comfrey poultices which was fun.)

    Hands-on workshops in all shades of green - Cascadia & Seattle Eco Events Calendar | QuickBooks Consulting and Accounting Services - www.jocelyncampbell.com
    nancy sutton
    volunteer

    Joined: Feb 22, 2010
    Posts: 333
    Location: Federal Way, WA - Western Washington (Zone 8 - temperate maritime)
        
        9
    These all sound like great solutions to low iron - going to get some pine needles right now   I do want to mention, though, that too much iron can be a problem for some folks.  A neighbor's mother, in her 80's, died of undiagnosed hemochromatosis.  My neighbor had brought an article on the condition to the doc, who said it was not the problem - but the autopsy requested by the family showed otherwise.  So,  something to keep in mind, especially for us women deep into menopause.


    It's time to get positive about negative thinking    -Art Donnelly
    Corin Royal Drummond


    Joined: Dec 26, 2011
    Posts: 18
    Nettles are the premier herb for anemia. They're full of iron, minerals, B vitamins, and are 5% protein by weight. Drink with peppermint to make a tasty tea. One handful of dried leaves per liter of hot water, steeped 30 min and drunk within 24 hours.
                                


    Joined: Jun 10, 2011
    Posts: 55
    Corin Royal Drummond wrote:Nettles are the premier herb for anemia. They're full of iron, minerals, B vitamins, and are 5% protein by weight. Drink with peppermint to make a tasty tea. One handful of dried leaves per liter of hot water, steeped 30 min and drunk within 24 hours.


    And no vitamin C.... Goji berries are more potent. Nettles however have superb ability for fighting bad microbial life (like candida). Among other things...

    "Proper hormone balance: Nettle root that has been used in Germany for more than a decade to treat prostate enlargement, has been shown to reduce symptoms by 86% after 3 months of use. This effect has been confirmed by numerous supportive studies. Some chemical agents of nettle root are able to block the enzyme 5a-reductase, which is responsible for the formation of DHT from testosterone - the main villain involved in the development of male-pattern hair loss in men and stress-induced hair loss in women." - D'Adamo
    Rachell Koenig


    Joined: Jan 08, 2012
    Posts: 69
    Someone told me that too much yarrow (meaning drinking too much yarrow tea) would cause your body to stop taking in iron.
    Lori Crouch


    Joined: Sep 26, 2011
    Posts: 104
    Location: Amarillo, TX.
        
        1
    You stated that bulking up on high iron foods has not increased your body iron levels. Something you should consider is that your body is unable to process iron that you intake from the Fe3+ form to the usable Fe2+ form. If this is the case, then eating more iron fortified foods will create a level of toxicity in your body as you have an inability to render it useful.

    I would strongly suggest that you get some blood work done as in a CBC-complete blood count analysis before you attempt to remedy this on your own. This will let you know what your levels are, if you are anemic, iron deficient due to diet or due to defect. Low iron should be able to be corrected in one to two weeks time maximum by diet alone if you have a dietary deficiency. For carnivores this means eat some liver for a quick boost or just increase your meat consumption for the time frame. For vegans and vegetarians you eat dark leafy greens such as kale and spinach.

    If you have tried all of the above and your iron has not risen, then STOP. You are doing damage to your body and need to see what is going on internally in order to treat it correctly and avoid severe anemia and septicemia.
    George Lee


    Joined: Mar 15, 2011
    Posts: 537
    Location: Athens, GA/Sunset, SC
        
        1
    Corin Royal Drummond



    "Proper hormone balance: Nettle root that has been used in Germany for more than a decade to treat prostate enlargement, has been shown to reduce symptoms by 86% after 3 months of use. This effect has been confirmed by numerous supportive studies. Some chemical agents of nettle root are able to block the enzyme 5a-reductase, which is responsible for the formation of DHT from testosterone - the main villain involved in the development of male-pattern hair loss in men and stress-induced hair loss in women." - D'Adamo


    Isn't it true some rub nettle leaves together and make a lather to put on the scalp surface as well? I have a lil thin spot and I wonder if nettle roots/leaves could help to stifle this regression?

    Rob Young


    Joined: May 11, 2011
    Posts: 28
    Location: Washington DC Metro (VA) Fairfax zone 7b
        
        6
    I fixed this with this regime: From Doc Shillington http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/Herbal_Remedies/

    1 – Pint of Organic Blackstrap Molasses

    1 – Pint of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

    3 - Dropperfuls of Black Walnut Tincture

    All you have to do is mix the three ingredients together and then stir.
    Store your mixture in a mason jar or some other glass container.
    Refrigeration is not necessary but can be done if you prefer it cold
    as some do. The suggested dosage is between two and three tablespoons
    a day. If suffering from Arthritis, Osteoporosis or Migraine, I’d
    recommend starting off with three, (one before each meal) and continue
    for a month. After the first month it would then be best to cut back
    to two tablespoons (one in the morning, and one at night) which is
    the maintenance dosage.

    This formula works and has saved many an expensive trip to the Medico.

    It is also advisable to take Vitamin E with this formula, to compensate for
    the effects of the organic Iron in the Molasses.

    Thanks to all who offered helpful advice!!
                                


    Joined: Jun 10, 2011
    Posts: 55
    Blackstrap Molasses is good, but you want vitamin C at the same time.

    I would not use that much vinegar unless ulcers are your thing.

    Your problem is more likely that your body is not absorbing enough, or even more likely, using iron to detox. Your regular diet may be making you lose all your iron.
    George Lee


    Joined: Mar 15, 2011
    Posts: 537
    Location: Athens, GA/Sunset, SC
        
        1
    Kull Conquered wrote:Blackstrap Molasses is good, but you want vitamin C at the same time.

    I would not use that much vinegar unless ulcers are your thing.

    Your problem is more likely that your body is not absorbing enough, or even more likely, using iron to detox. Your regular diet may be making you lose all your iron.


    So I've read in university study. If you ever do eat foods that we're sprayed with 'cides they're chelaters in the body
    and bind and can draw out iron and other useful mineral ions. Sad especially since most of conventional foods are minerally-limited
    to begin with...
    jeniffer cluff


    Joined: Mar 28, 2012
    Posts: 3
    i was anemic person from my child time.
    the doctor sad to me that Iron Deficiency is the most common blood disorder and it is caused by lack of iron.
    Without a sufficient amount of iron the body can not produce enough hemoglobin.
    I tried to use something that will help my body to produce more hemoglobin.
    Almost all life of battle with anemia and it seems now i stopped to be anemic, my last researches was good.
    All people who have same problem keep trying, never give up!

    I tried many iron rich foods diets, and many supplements pills, but i figure that only good way is just organic rich iron foods are the best!
    Wilson Foedus


    Joined: Nov 07, 2011
    Posts: 43
    Location: NW Montana
    Lisa Allen wrote:The herb highest in absorbable iron I know of is Yellow Dock (Rumex crispus) root - and don't take with coffee since it would cancel.  Nettle would also help, along with these suggestions - keep us posted!


    I know this is weeks after you posted the initial question, sorry, I just saw it. I like Yellow Dock but does have some unpleasant side effects if you use it consistently or in large quantities--so I take Raspberry Leaves! When I harvest the raspberries I harvest leaves too, and then dehydrate. I mix some in with my favorite herbal tea blends. They are not very tasty by themselves.


    pantryparatus.com - homesteading supplies
    Wilson Foedus


    Joined: Nov 07, 2011
    Posts: 43
    Location: NW Montana
    HAHA...the last post was really by me, CHAYA--it appears hubby forgot to sign out and I hijacked his account. I suppose this is where I should say something about how wonderful I am.


    Peony Jay


    Joined: Mar 24, 2012
    Posts: 145
    Location: B.C.
    I love this website for foods, instead of supplements.
    http://whfoods.org/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=70

    When you just got to know the food sources of nutrients.
    http://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/vitamins-and-minerals-good-food-sources


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