Science and history have converged in the rainforest, with an unusual outcome: change. Trade in traditional remedies from around the world give us the unique opportunity to stack and bio-hack with several products that complement each other to increase longevity and of course health.
While I was investigating oil infusion, extraction and essential oils, I came up with a nu-traditional Devil's Club infusion that would be several times more effective than those used today. This sunny side approach to getting more bite out of its bark applies to most oil-based herbal preparations so I thought I'd share the basics.
Although water solubles that remain in any oil infusion, including in a Devils Club oil infusion, must be somehow preserved or they rot and speed rancidity of the oil, the traditional practice of canning Devil's Club merits deprecation as it ruins the potency of the remedy. Cooking flashes off essential oils that weigh 40% of the total; follow the research in the files section of the Crowrainforest resource site on Facebook to see the health benefits of the essential oils tat are not captured. Devil's Club tea is even more wasteful; researchers commented that almost none of the medicinal value of the plant is water soluble.
In lipids science, many oils and solvents have the property to pick up oil-affinity medicines from a material. The problem is that all unsaturated fatty acids of the solvent oil are inflammatory to the body and irritants to the skin. They also rancidify quickly on their own, producing the most potent free radical molecules known, while saturates don't rancidify appreciably. Unsaturated oils are so hazardous that research found the longevity of long-lived mammals was reduced in proportion to the unsaturated and polyunsaturated oil in their diet, and the higher the degree of exposure via unsaturation and contact time, the shorter the lifespan.
An analysis of arterial plaque published in Lancet in the early '70's revealed that it is 74% rancid dietary unsaturated oils. Plant oils in the diet. The balance is foam cells, dead blood cells and all the other debris, cholesterol and saturated fat, the latter which, although held there by its attraction to the rancidifying cholesterol, is itself reluctant to oxidise so can not form the sticky arterial plaques the unsaturated oils are known for. And of course any inflammation makes the rancidity process much worse.
With that said, its obvious that we're not keen on myth here in Crow Rainforest. We may appear to be out of step with the rest of the valley, but we couldn't very well follow the traditional health formula and were compelled to replace the unsaturated olive oil, beeswax and lard with extra virgin coconut oil and little else. EVCO is an excellent saturated solvent that dissolves more medicine at raw (under 104F) temperature, yielding high potency and long shelf life, and it penetrates the skin or stomach properly and without irritation.