Many adults recall lining up as children with their siblings while Mom administered a daily spoonful of cod-liver oil to each. The fishy taste of this nutriment is strongly imprinted on their memories, leaving the impression that the worse something tastes, the better it is for you!
Cod-liver oil ranks high in health benefits not only for children, but also for adults, containing more vitamins A and D per unit weight than regular fish oil. (See also Jan-Mar 2011 Venture Inward) The oil is extracted from the liver of the cod and other related fish, most of which are harvested from the waters off the coast of Norway. The stringently regulated Norwegian processing plants plus careful U.S. testing ensure a purity level that is safe for consumption, since the oil sold in most stores contains no preservatives. With its beneficial vitamin content and omega-3 fatty acids, cod-liver oil contributes to healthy brains, hearts, eyes, and nervous and immune systems.
It is mentioned in nearly 140 readings, about 50 of which recommend a simple and easy way of consuming it: in a concentrated tablet form. White’s, the preferred brand at that time, is no longer available. (Ed. note: Cod-Liver Oil softgels may be found at baar.com, the official supplier of Edgar Cayce Health Care Products to the A.R.E.)
For Children’s Health
Not surprisingly cod-liver oil gets an endorsement in a number of readings given for infants and children (often described as a “developing body”). For one nine-year-old girl: “…Cod Liver Oil is a part of a normal development…” (Cayce); to a 15-year-old girl, it “is an addition to a developing body in making for not only the structural activity, but throughout the lymph and all that necessary to supply the vitamins needed.” (Cayce)
A further reference to vitamins was given to a nine-year-old boy: “[Cod-liver oil] is always good for developing bodies, for it carries those vitamins that are not found in but very few foods.” (Cayce) The oil also “aids in creating resistance” (Cayce); this for a four-month-old boy who was advised to have the oil three times a week, rather than daily, in keeping with his age level. A six-year-old girl was told that cod-liver oil “carries the properties necessary for the developments of the digestive system, see?” Cayce)
In several instances, mostly for those less than a year old, the oil was even to be massaged into the body. The mother of a one-month-old boy suffering from a cold wanted to start the cod-liver oil for his tooth development. “This should not be in great quantities,” the reading advised. “However, if there will be used a little of the Cod Liver Oil in that rubbed over the body not just baby oil but a combination of same with the Cod Liver Oil, you see it will be most beneficial.” (Cayce)
A nine-month-old boy was given that an external (rather than internal) application of the oil would be better: “…at the present the absorption of [cod-liver oil] through the rubs will be more efficacious for the system. A little bit later the taking of it internally would be better.” (Cayce)
In keeping with its blood-building properties, cod-liver oil is recommended in cases of anemia, for it “would carry the vitamins and sufficient of the iron’s creations for the food value, better than iron taken in the system.” (Cayce) For those tending toward anemia, cod-liver oil “will assist the body in overcoming [this] tendency… counteracting with the forces of the body in replenishing and rebuilding nerve energy for the system.” (Cayce)
When a 28-year-old woman asked for suggestions for building up her blood, the reading advised: “As a tonic for the body… we would give rather the White’s Cod Liver Oil Tablets.” (Cayce) Comments from other readings refer to its usefulness in nourishing and stimulating the blood, even helping to “rebuild the tissue of the digestive and of the blood supplying system, especially through those portions where blood is turned into chyle for the replenishing of new blood in the body.” (Cayce) Chyle is formed in the small intestine from the stomach’s digested food, is absorbed by the lacteals, and passes into the bloodstream by way of the thoracic duct, the main channel of our lymphatic system.
As with any Cayce remedy that one uses to treat a disease process, the recommended item is not taken singly but is almost always incorporated with other treatments, often in a cyclic fashion, in conjunction with other remedies and activities.
The importance of nutrition in relation to health plays a prominent role in the readings, putting Cayce far ahead of his time in this regard. According to Dr. Harold J. Reilly, the word assimilation, as Cayce used it, “is the individual’s capacity to utilize the food and the body’s performance of the complicated metabolic processes of digestion and elimination of indigestible material.” (The Edgar Cayce Handbook for Health Through Drugless Therapy available at baar.com).
A 48-year-old woman was told: “White’s Cod Liver Oil tablets [would] create better assimilations and give to the gastric forces of the digestive system those incentives and elements that will make for sustaining and resuscitating forces in that assimilated.” (Cayce) For a 23-year-old male, the tablets would “be effective in creating the proper assimilation, and giving the general strength, vitality and virility necessary for the developing forces of the body…” (Cayce)
In cases of general debilitation, fatigue, and digestive issues, the readings recommend the use of cod-liver oil, again emphasizing its body- and blood-building properties. As a stimulant to the digestive and assimilating systems, it builds resistance in the body, keeps away colds, regenerates the liver, and causes better thyroid functioning.
For preventing colds, cod-liver oil “carries the greater amount of the vitamins necessary to aid in producing in the activities of the blood supply resistances against cold; provided the diets are kept alkalin[e] rather than a tendency towards acids.” (Cayce)
Along with other oils (such as olive oil), it gives “a new coating to the portion of the intestinal system from stomach to the colon” (Cayce). When feces remain too long in the colon, infection may result; cod-liver oil keeps the digestive tract “well irrigated necessary to prevent infections throughout the system” (Cayce)
In tablet form the readings suggest from one to three daily; that is, one tablet after each meal: breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner. In one instance Cayce specified one-half hour after the meal. Others were advised to take two tablets in the evening prior to retiring; or one tablet every other day; or two tablets twice daily. Sometimes a series was suggested; for example, take the recommended dosage three to five days in a row, rest for the same length of time, then repeat; or take for three to four weeks, then one week off, and repeat.
In liquid form the recommendations include one dessert spoon once or twice daily (a dessert spoon is approximately 10 ml or about 2 teaspoons); or one tablespoon every morning; or 1/2 teaspoon daily.
One gentleman was told: “Take as much cod liver oil as the body can assimilate.” (Cayce) How do you know when you’ve reached that point? Too great a quantity may cause the oil to become “rancid in the system, or disagreeable to the body. [If this occurs,] leave off until the body is able to assimilate more…” (Cayce) “…for [it] is detrimental when not being assimilated by the system, for it acts as an irritant to the gastric and to the juices of the intestines and digestion, when not assimilated.” (Cayce)
Cayce suggested starting with small amounts; however, if you are getting sufficient doses of sunlight on a regular basis or enough oils (olive, calves’ liver, tripe, etc.) in your diet, you may not need cod-liver oil – or only need it “until there is a change in the appetite, in the strength, in the vitality and virility of the body.” (Cayce)
Today, to combat its unpleasant taste, cod-liver oil can be taken in softgel capsules. To reword an old proverb, a capsule a day will keep the doctor away![Ed. Note: Baar.com, A.R.E.’s supplier of Cayce-related health products, has Cod-liver oil in softgels.]
Call to place an order: 1-800-269-2502 USA
Call Customer Support: 610-873-4591
[Mon -Fri: 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. EST]
Elaine Hruska is a therapist at the A.R.E. Houston Spa and former teacher at the Cayce/Reilly* School of Massotherapy. This article is reprinted with permission by Venture Inward Newsletter, Virginia Beach, VA.