A Perspective on Red Blood Cells

Posted to Subscribers on 26 September 2007


Several people have asked me lately what I actually see when I am looking at red blood cells in the microscope. This is a difficult question to answer because I see so much and yet so little. For me, the blood is a sort of microcosm of the macrocosm so when I look through the scope, there is often a feeling of falling into inner space . . . but inner space looks, in some respects, like the night sky. When I try to explain something to someone, whether a doctor or patient, I am often so clear about what I am seeing but for others, I might as well be pointing upwards and saying, "see that star" when other skywatchers are totally clueless as to which star I mean because getting one's orientation on the slide is a lot like trying to find one's way in the sky.

My observations lead me to believe that each cell has a kind of sentience and red blood cells are tissues or cells, not liquids. They are not spherical but more donut shaped except there is no hole in the middle, just a depression. I believe the thickness of middle part of the cell is a clue to nutrient load the erythrocytes are carrying. If the cell is thin, it's hungry, and this, in turn, means that it cannot deliver much of a payload to the other tissues of the body.

Many people are aware that red blood cells transport oxygen and that the iron in the hemoglobin is what makes the cells efficient in this work, but few have stopped to think about how the food and herbs and supplements we take find their way to the tissues that need more than just oxygen to thrive. So, the first point I would like to make is that hungry cells are like empty containers on a cargo ship. Think of the waste: the ship crosses the ocean, uses fuel and manpower to do this, but there is nothing in the hold but empty containers. I think it's quite possible to have blood vessels with lots and lots of traffic but no meaningful transport occurring. If you look at the red blood cells, you start to feel responsible for what you feed them, not because they serve you in return but because it's probably thankless to take for granted that they will work without good food and water.

Most people think red blood cells need a lot of iron in order to have good hemoglobin, but I think they need a variety of trace minerals. In fact, I am sure about this because if you provide them a nice trace mineral cocktail, they look better the next time you take a sample. I like any trace mineral that is natural and clean. One can take deep ocean water and evaporate the moisture or volcanic ash or shilajit from the Himalayas or fossilized sea vegetables from the Great Salt Lake. These are good because they provide a range of essential minerals that are often in short supply in food because our food is grown in depleted soil. Willard Water, seaweed, dolomite, and rock salt are also useful sources of minerals as are powdered pearls and coral, but we really have to be environmentally responsible when harvesting from the sea.

In general, we do not need a lot of minerals because even when a red blood dies, the contents are recycled unless the kidneys are overactive and minerals are excreted before the body has had a chance to reabsorb them. The kidneys are often too hasty in passing water when people are nervous or very stressed. All stress is attended by adrenal responses and the hyperactivity of the adrenals puts the kidneys into a dither . . . or quiver.

During times of stress, it helps to take adrenal tonics because these increase coping margins and preserve nutrients that are necessary for regeneration of ravaged tissues.

Red blood cells are vulnerable because they swim in plasma so whatever is in the plasma affects them. This was the one of the points I was making with the mushroom flash presentation. In that case, the erythrocytes wanted to escape the plasma. On the slide, this is not entirely impossible but you can imagine there are few avenues of escape inside veins. It makes me think.

To resist the irritation of microbial forms and pH imbalances, good membranes help the red blood cells and I have told many, many people over the years that most of us on the Earth today could make a 30% improvement in health simply by choosing our oils properly. I put ghee at the top of the list because my observation is that those using ghee have better looking lipid surfaces. Sunflower oil and sesame oil would come next. Udo Erasmus may have other ideas, but this is what I have seen, and when I suggested to patients that they try one of these cooking oils, their blood improved in a matter of days, not weeks or months, but days.

The other function of these marvelous workers is that they cart off carbon dioxide and toxins, this at the staggering rate of 6-10 liters per minute. Now, you realize that if you are detoxifying following an illness or pursuant to some effort to reclaim health that support of the lungs can be a critical part of of the success or failure of the attempt. I have often wondered if the reason cancer often metastasizes to the lungs or liver is that these two organs bear so much of the burden of detoxification.

In the past, I have invited people to have a look at the pictures on:


There are many new subscribers so please do have a look. I hope that after looking at the pictures, you will not think it safe to ignore what you offer your blood for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

Many of you are waiting for Part III of the mushroom story. I finished that hugely distracting project and hope to write the sequel this weekend.


Darkfield Microscopy






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