Like Cures Like: What Is Glandular Therapy?

Like Cures Like: What Is Glandular Therapy?

Are you looking for a new way to boost your health and wellness but don’t want to be grabbing some raw liver for breakfast? Then look no further than glandular therapy - the latest trend in holistic health and one that is picking up speed rapidly. By supplementing with glandulars, you can harness the power of organ meats, which are considered to be the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet, but reap the benefits in supplement form. While the practice may seem unconventional, glandular therapy is actually an age-old solution for modern-day health challenges, with a history dating back thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine. While it may initially take a little while to get your head around, organs are an *incredible* source of heme iron and protein, and contain a variety of forms of vitamin K2, making them a unique and valuable addition to a balanced diet. They’re a true ancient remedy. But, what is glandular therapy?

Glandular therapy involves supplementing with extracts produced from specific organs or glands of animals in supplement form. It involves using animal tissues and cells to enhance physiological function and support natural healing. As well as being incredibly nutritious and healing for the body, glandular therapy is based on the belief that “like heals like”. So, taking a liver supplement can help heal your liver, or taking spleen can help heal the spleen. As well as that certain glands in our bodies work together across the body as a whole, so taking extracts from certain glands can have positive effects on other glands and physiological processes too.  Another belief is that some glands can compensate for underactive glands, leading to reciprocal activity within the body. This means that glandular therapy can be really effective for individuals who have a particular gland that is not functioning properly.

So, which glandular is right for you, and why would some people pick some glandulars over others? Here’s some info on the key glandulars and the effect that they can have on the body, to help you better understand which one might be right for your own personal and bio-unique health journey:

  • Liver: As we all know, this is a central organ responsible for detoxification and many other functions but many people believe that out of all the organs, liver is by far the most nutritious (and maybe this is why we see people eating it for breakfast!). When used in glandular therapy, it can be effective to help nourish the liver and promote detoxification. It's also been called “nature's multivitamin” as it contains a full spectrum of bioavailable nutrients for all bodily processes, including proper methylation. 
  • Adrenal: This contains all constituents, precursors, and hormones present in the adrenal gland. It is used to nourish adrenals and promote a proper response to stress and help with malfunctioning or burnt out adrenals
  • Kidney: Kidney is used to promote healthy kidney function and detoxification of the blood. Beef kidney is particularly interesting. It is a remarkable superfood due to its impressive nutrient profile. It's an abundant source of essential nutrients such as Vitamin B12, selenium, and heme iron, and it offers a healthy balance of copper and zinc. Additionally, the kidney contains the rare amino acid L-ergothioneine, which supports kidney health in those who consume it. It also contains the elusive amino-acid Ergothioneine, which promotes fertility.
  • Pancreas: This is a relatively large gland with two functions: releasing hormones such as insulin into the bloodstream and releasing digestive enzymes and bicarbonate into the digestive tract. It is often used to treat malabsorption and malnutrition in those with insufficient pancreatic enzymes. 
  • Pituitary: This is the Master gland that regulates the function of a large number of glands in the body. Anterior pituitary extract plays a role in growth, breast milk production, sex organ functions, thyroid gland function, water balance, temperature regulation, and endorphin production within the body. The Posterior pituitary extract plays a role in blood pressure control, orgasm, and increasing muscle tone. Some more pituitary-based extracts in glandular therapy have been theorized to increase growth hormone rates and reduce physical aging but more research is needed here.
  • Thymus: The thymus is a powerhouse for your immune system and is the gland responsible for immunological development during childhood, particularly of T-cells involved in fighting infections and cancer cells. As adults, it's directly tied to our immunity so thymus extract is used as a possible support for immune function, to boost the immune system. Consuming it can provide you with essential immune-supporting peptides like thymosin fraction 5, thymosin alpha-1, and thymic humoral factor.
  • Thyroid: The thyroid regulates the majority of the body's metabolism and so glandular therapy involving thyroid glandular extract provides nutrients, precursors, and lesser-known hormones produced by the thyroid. It’s often used to treat symptoms of hypothyroidism.
  • Tripe: Tripe, which is made from the lining of a cow's stomach, is a highly nutritious organ meat. It is packed with essential nutrients such as vitamin B12, selenium, and zinc. Moreover, tripe is a good source of cholesterol, a critical component for hormone synthesis.
  • Spleen: Spleen extract is frequently used by individuals with low white blood cell counts or cancer due to its potent immune-boosting properties because it is an incredibly good source of iron, as well as being rich in vitamin C and vitamin B5. The nutrients found in spleen extract may have cosmetic benefits by aiding in skin oxygenation.

Chicken cartilage is also considered a glandular and is incredibly rich in collagen. This nutrient-dense substance has been shown to have amazing benefits for the human body. In fact, oral collagen derived from chicken sternal cartilage has been used to treat a variety of conditions, including multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. In a study conducted by Dr. Weiner and Dr. David Trentham, patients with severe rheumatoid arthritis were given pure collagen type II derived from chicken sternal cartilage. The results were astounding - those on the collagen treatment experienced a significant decrease in the number of tender and swollen joints compared to the placebo group, with four patients even experiencing complete remission and no side effects. 

IMPORTANT - like with any supplements, sourcing the highest quality glandulars is critical. The best glandulars are typically sourced from freeze-dried extracts of organically raised cows in New Zealand. The cows are raised on grass without the use of pesticides, hormones, or antibiotics. They are government inspected to ensure high-quality standards. I love Ancestral Supplements as well as Heart & Soil. And what else is important? It is crucial to work with an expert practitioner when engaging in glandular therapy rather than just self-dosing. An expert practitioner can provide guidance on the appropriate dosage and frequency of glandular supplements to make sure the protocol is right for you.

So, if you're after the most nutrient-rich supplements on the planet, maybe you need to consider glandulars - I think we’re going to be seeing a lot more of these in the coming months and years.