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Serial Lesson 225
From Course XXI, Personal Alchemy, Chapter 10
Original Copyright 1949, Elbert Benjamine (a.k.a. C. C. Zain)
Copyright 2012, The Church of Light
Subheadings: The Gonad Glands Venus and the Ovarian Hormone Venus and the Thyroid Gland Venus and the Veins Use Harmonious Saturn Thoughts and Harmonious Sun Thoughts to Neutralize Discordant Venus Thought-Cell Activity Mars and Testosterone Mars and the Red Blood Corpuscles Mars and the Proteins Mars and the Adrenal Cortex Use Harmonious Moon Thoughts to Neutralize Discordant Mars Thought-Cell Activity
Charts: Best Sources Vitamin A Chart Best Source Iron Chart Best Source Copper Chart
What to Eat When Venus or Mars is Afflicted
IN observing the influence of the thought-cell activity mapped by the two social planets we are quickly struck by the similarity of their effect upon certain functions, and by the opposite trend of their effect where other functions are concerned. Both have a direct influence upon the kidneys, both are progressed constants of heart disease, both influence the blood pressure and the gonad glands. It is difficult to draw hard and fast lines differentiating their influence on the condition or functioning of the kidneys, the blood pressure, or the sex organs.
Broadly speaking, Venus is the planet of love and affection, and Mars is the planet of energy, violence and passion. Yet without the energy of Mars present in some degree any expression of love is a weak, sickly thing. It has no force or vitality. The higher expression of love requires abundant energy from Mars, directed by the affectional trends of Venus.
The Gonad Glands
It is the hormone from the gonad glands which determines the sex characteristics. The hormones of the other glands play a part in hastening or retarding sex development, and some also give directivity to the hormone of the gonads. The hormone of the pineal gland and the hormone of the thymus gland tend to retard and neutralize the hormone of the gonad glands. Hormones of the front pituitary gland contribute to the development of masculine characteristics, and a hormone of the back pituitary gland contributes to the development of feminine characteristics. If the gonad glands are removed the woman becomes masculine and the man becomes feminine. It is the male gonad hormone which makes a man manly, and the female gonad hormone which makes a woman womanly. And if the secretion is weak the normal manliness or womanliness is lacking.
Because the hormone of the male gonads is responsible for those characteristics which we recognize as male, we might be sure the energies of the planet Mars have a strong influence over them, and this is borne out by astrological research. And because the hormone of the female gonads is responsible for those characteristics which we recognize as female, we might be sure the energies of the planet Venus have a strong influence over them, and this also has been borne out by astrological research.
But we must not hastily conclude that a progressed aspect involving Mars, or birth chart afflictions of Mars, has no influence upon the ovaries or their internal secretion. And we must not hastily conclude that a progressed aspect involving Venus, or a birth chart affliction of Venus, has no influence upon the testes and their internal secretion. The thought-cell activity of Venus and Mars is too closely associated in their influence upon the reproductive functions and upon the kidneys to permit any such clear cut separation. The thought-cell activity mapped by either planet has some influence upon the gonads of both sexes, although that mapped by Mars has more influence over the male, and that mapped by Venus has more influence over the female. Also, thyroxin, adrenaline and cortin all stimulate the heart and increase the blood pressure.
Some years ago the hormone of the gonads gained much notoriety in connection with experiments in rejuvenation. Transplanted glands from monkeys and goats apparently renewed the youth of aged men and women in a marvelous manner, so that those previously sterile were reported to have been able to enjoy the blessing of children. Gland extracts were prepared for a similar purpose with varying success. It became a fad, and as fads do, attracted many incompetent persons who marketed worthless preparations. And, as fads do, it ran its course and sank largely from public notice.
The difficulty encountered in such rejuvenation is chiefly that the endocrine hormones are an interlocking system, each affecting, and depending upon, the action of others. As other glands which are necessary to support the gonad activity also usually had become weakened with age, or were not sufficiently strong to maintain the necessary chemical balance when the gonad hormones were suddenly added to the bloodstream in quality, the rejuvenation usually was but temporary.
Yet it is the secretion from these gonad glands which keeps up the tone and strength of the other glands of the endocrine system. Its action extends to every cell of the body, not merely stimulating, but tending to restore and give youth to all the tissues, including those of the skin, muscle, nerve and bone. Its action is typical of the creative energy of Mars, the builder, together with the harmonious binding together of the love qualities of Venus.
Whenever there is a progressed affliction involving either Venus or Mars the thought-cell activity set in motion tends toward an imbalance in the secretion of the gonad hormone. This imbalance may be in excess secretion which through strain results later in depletion, as when a fiery planet such as the Sun makes the affliction, or it may be a poverty of secretion and lack of creative energy, as is the case when a cold planet such as Saturn takes part in the affliction. Furthermore, the progressed afflictions involving Venus are more serious in this particular respect in a woman’s chart, and the progressed afflictions involving Mars are more serious in this particular respect in a man’s chart.
Such imbalance of the gonad secretion has a powerful influence to direct the thinking. And, of course, thoughts of sex directly and powerfully affect the gonad secretion. If the hormone of these glands is present in the blood in normal amounts the thinking, especially as it relates to all affectional and social matters, is much more easily directed into the proper channels. Yet in spite of any amount of thinking, if certain factors are lacking in the food there can be no normal secretion of these rejuvenating hormones.
Venus and the Ovarian Hormone
Within the ovary the eggs are surrounded by follicles. It is the follicle which secretes estrone, the typical hormone of the ovaries. The active principle of estrone, Alphaestradiol, was synthesized in 1932 by Schwenk. The corpus luteum which forms where the follicle ruptures manufactures the hormone of pregnancy, progestin.
Estrone, secreted by the ovaries, acts as a brake on the secretion of the front pituitary gland, helping to maintain a proper balance among the other glands which the pituitary controls. It also influences the growth of the feminine bodily contours and the womb, and has a marked influence on the mental and emotional outlook of women.
When the egg matures the follicle ruptures at the surface of the ovary, and the egg travels through the oviduct toward the uterus. In this passage it may become fertilized. Due to one of the two back pituitary hormones—not pituitin—the follicle where the cavity was ruptured is transformed into the corpus luteum which secretes progestin. This, in turn, prepares the lining of the womb for the reception of the fertilized egg. The fertilized egg is thus embedded in the womb and menstruation ceases. If the egg is not fertilized, considerable of the lining of the womb is sloughed off in the process of menstruation. Progestin has been successfully used to overcome sterility in women when due to insufficient development of the organs involved.
Estrone has been valuable in treating women who suffer depression after their ovaries have been surgically removed, and other women at the time of menopause. The irritation, emotional instability and other difficulties that often arise at that time are due to lack of balance among the hormones. Estrogenic hormone also has been used with some success in treating men for cancer of the prostate gland.
But its indiscriminate use should be discouraged; for it has become evident that its use after menopause, or too liberal dosing after forty, or liberal doses given men for prostate difficulty, encourages cancerous growth. It seems that its power to promote cell development turns toward the growth of wild cells if the other hormones which encourage and assist pregnancy are not present. The influence of estrone on the breasts is striking, bringing about enlargement and change of color.
Of the foods which are particularly important when Venus is afflicted the most important is vitamin E. Extensive experiments on animals show that when the diet is otherwise well balanced but is deficient in vitamin E the normal cycles do not occur in the female and the ova becomes fertilized but abortion always occurs. There is a deficiency of the gonad hormone which prevents the growth of the placenta. Without vitamin E the female is clinically sterile.
Sterility is also produced in the male when the food is deficient in vitamin E. But the effect is first noticed on the sperm, which loses its fertilizing power. Then, if vitamin E deficiency is continued, there is complete absence of the sperm, and this is followed by complete loss of sex interest, degeneration of the glands, and complete and incurable sterility.
Vitamin E, which is of chief importance when Venus is afflicted, and which also should be considered when Mars is afflicted because the relation of Mars and Venus is so close, is to be found in the foods given in the table on page of Chapter 6 (Serial Lesson 221). It is fat soluble, and its activity is rapidly destroyed when the fat or oil containing it becomes rancid.
Venus, in addition to affecting the gonad secretion, rules the skin, the hair, the venous blood and the veins. People who have suffered from hemorrhoids and varicose veins often have been greatly relieved soon after starting to take tocopherex (vitamin E). Wheat germ is an excellent source of vitamin E. And many persons who have had an unusually sensitive skin, being frequently annoyed by skin rash, have become free from this trouble shortly after ceasing to eat pastries, and each day sprinkling several tablespoons of wheat germ on their cereal, dessert or salad. It can also be eaten with fruit juice or milk. And all that many women who suffer from irregular periods, or from excessive or deficient flow, need to restore them to normal health in this respect is sufficient vitamin E. When vitamin E was discovered in 1922 by Dr. Herbert M. Evans of the University of California, it was labeled the fertility vitamin because of its pronounced influence upon reproduction. Women who had lost three or more babies, when supplied with abundant vitamin E—of which normally there is more in the body than all other vitamins put together—were able to bear healthy children 80 per cent of the time.
But later it was found that rabbits, guinea pigs, turkeys and puppies fed diets lacking in vitamin E became paralyzed. Examination showed this was due to changes in the muscles. This led to the successful use of vitamin E in the treatment of fribrositis and other types of muscular pain.
The present view is that this vitamin protects fats and certain vitamins from being oxidized when they are being digested in the body. The human body is saturated with oxygen, and it is believed that vitamin E may act like a fire sprinkler system, keeping oxidation under control.
The muscles are ruled by Mars. But Venus in most of their functions cooperates closely with Mars. And if the present view is confirmed by later experience, that vitamin E not only is essential to keep the muscles healthy, but that it has a preservative effect on bodily processes by keeping them working at the right speed and thus preventing premature aging, and that it is of great benefit in treating heart trouble—the heart being the most important muscle of all—it will indicate still other instances of their close cooperation.
Next in importance when Venus is afflicted is to provide vitamin A. A diet deficient in vitamin A upsets the feminine cycle, tending to make it continuous instead of periodic, with a reduction in the ova and lowered fertility. Some of the vitamin B factors are also essential to reproduction. A table of the best food sources of vitamin A is given on page .
Venus and the Thyroid Gland
The function of the thyroid gland and the necessity of supplying it with iodine in the food was discussed under the heading, The Sun and the Thyroid Gland, in Chapter 8 (Serial Lesson 223). As the thyroid gland, and its hormone, thyroxin, respond with alacrity to the thought-cell activity mapped by Venus as well as to the thought-cell activity mapped by the Sun, what was there said is equally applicable when Venus is afflicted. Special pains should be taken to insure iodine in the food during the time there is a progressed affliction involving Venus.
Venus rules the carbohydrates (sugars and starches), the more readily available fuel, but the Sun and Venus exercise control over its combustion. The general rate of fuel combustion is directly under the influence of thyroxin, the hormone of the thyroid gland; and thyroxin is released in response to one front pituitary hormone which is secreted under Sun thought-cell activity and in response to Venus thought-cell activity. The front pituitary hormone which responds to the Sun works powerfully to maintain energy production; but the thyroid responds with more readiness to the thought-cell activity mapped by Venus; for the thyroid is really an accessory sex gland.
In fact, in certain lower forms of life it is a sex gland; vitality and sex power in these forms being almost identical. It thus becomes the transformer also; for without it a tadpole never becomes a frog, yet by feeding thyroxin to a tadpole less than a day old it may be transformed into a frog, a miniature frog, yet mature in all its functions. Not that we are interested in frogs and other animals which have been experimented with; but a human cretin is one who has insufficient thyroxin to develop, or transform, into a normal person. And this is quite important to the neophyte striving for adeptship because the electromagnetic radiations essential to the higher states of consciousness cannot be attained and maintained by one whose body is deficient in thyroxin.
Pride and shame, self-display and self-effacement, superiority complexes and inferiority complexes are directly related to the thyroid, as are the feeling of love and affection. It has been noticed, for instance, that women having fibroid tumors are prevalently those whose love life has been unusually distressing. And in these cases thyroid disturbance is present. Thus it is that a healthy thyroid manifests as symmetrical features, beauty of hair and skin, alertness of mind, grace of movement, buoyancy of life in general, all related to the planet Venus. And for these there must be a constant supply of iodine to maintain the proper amount of thyroxin in the tissues. And it is curious to note that for hundreds of years the Chinese have used sponges in the treatment of cretinism. But we do not need to eat sponges to get iodine; for practically all sea foods are rich in iodine, and fruits and vegetables grown on marine deposit soil contain it.
In Chapter 8 (Serial Lesson 223) the effects of thyroxin deficiency were mentioned. But too much thyroxin causes quite as much trouble. This difficulty, called hyperthyroidism, is a nerve-fraying and body-wasting ailment resulting from too swift metabolism. The individual suffering from too much thyroxin is in a perpetual state of excitement, no matter how much he eats he remains frail and thin, and his nerves are in a constant state of jitters. In the past this condition has chiefly been treated by the surgical removal of about seven-eighths of the gland. But it is now being treated with radioactive iodine, and with a newly discovered chemical compound known as 6-n-propyl thiouracil.
The cause, unless due to toxins in the blood which thyroxin is trying to neutralize, is overemotional reaction to some condition. People with Venus prominent and severely afflicted at birth may require no special shock to develop it, as they may be temperamentally emotional. Thyroxin regulates energy production, and emotions call for more energy. Thus other people develop it only after some harrowing experience, such as being in an auto crash, seeing some other person killed, suddenly losing their life’s savings, or when involved in recurrent family discords. A great many women developed it right after their sons entered the service in World War II; and it was reported that during the Nazi occupation of Denmark hyperthyroidism among the Danish people increased 500 or 600 per cent.
Venus and the Veins
The arterial blood and the arteries are ruled by Jupiter. The venous blood and the veins are ruled by Venus. The red blood corpuscles in the bloodstream are powerfully affected by Mars which rules the proteins and the iron which are essential to their formation and functioning.
When a vein is dilated, knotty and tortuous, it is called varicose. Tortuosity may be due to the lengthening of the vein, and the veins more commonly affected are those of the lower limbs, although veins in almost any location may become varicose. The most common vein to become varicose is the long saphenous one which passes up on the inner side of the leg and thigh.
Anything which impedes the circulation in a vein may influence it to become varicose, and the weight of the blood itself in a long vein may lead to a varicose condition in a person who stands long hours on his feet. But the immediate cause is a weakness in the vein walls which permits them to become damaged by whatever strain has been placed upon them. As the predisposition to varicose veins is indicated by Venus afflicted in the chart of birth, and as at the time the difficulty develops there is a progressed aspect involving Venus, with other progressed afflictions, usually involving Mars, we may be sure that the thought-cell activity mapped by Venus is largely responsible for this condition.
However, we cannot entirely overlook the action of Mars, as the Mars thought cells and the Venus thought cells are so interlocked in their influence over the kidneys, the blood and the gonad secretions. It is evident that irritants in the bloodstream weaken the walls of the veins. If the adrenaline supply becomes depleted, under discordant Mars thought-cell activity or discordant Saturn thought-cell activity, the acids and toxins in the blood are not properly neutralized by adrenaline. If the thyroxin supply is depleted, due to discordant Sun thought-cell activity or discordant Venus thought-cell activity, the acids and toxins in the blood are not properly neutralized by thyroxin. If, under discordant Venus thought-cell activity or discordant Mars thought-cell activity the kidneys are unable to handle the acids and toxins, they remain in the blood in sufficient strength to irritate the walls of the blood vessels, and weaken them. Under such conditions if the Sun thought cells are powerful, high blood pressure (hypertension) may result, or if the Venus thought cells are active varicose veins may develop. If the Venus thought cells are heavily discordant the food should contain ample vitamin A, vitamin E, iodine and copper.
While the Mars thought cells chiefly determine the ability to handle the proteins, the dose association between the influence of the Mars thought cells and the Venus thought cells is illustrated in relation to thyroid activity in that the presence of ample thyroxin stimulates the combustion of proteins, and protein stimulates the activity of thyroxin. Animals without a thyroid cannot develop a fever when infected or poisoned. Thus Mars, as well as Venus, contributes to the strength of the veins.
And as Venus rules the skin and the veins, the importance of vitamin A and vitamin E not only for a healthy skin but for strong vein walls is apparent. In the absence of vitamin A the skin gets dry and scaly and may lose its sensitivity to touch, and the lining of the organs and the vein walls suffer. And many people when there is insufficient vitamin E acquire skin blemishes.
Iron, copper, manganese, zinc and aluminum are sometimes called “the Little Giants of Nutrition,” because they are present in such small amounts, yet are so essential to the proper functioning of the body, and are so important in blood formation. Of these minerals, iron is present in the largest amount, and is the only one of the group which has a structural as well as a catalytic function.
In spite of any amount of iron salts in the diet an individual may become anemic unless there is also copper; for in some way copper, ruled by Venus, is the companion metal of iron and helps transform iron from the food into the blood and hold it there, and good red blood cannot be formed without it. Zinc, aluminum and especially manganese also perform a function, as mentioned; but the foods supplying copper commonly also supply these in sufficient quantity. Copper is the essential harmonious binding metal and, when Venus is afflicted, especially by progressed aspect, care should be taken that it is present in the food. The table on page indicates the best food sources of copper.
Use Harmonious Saturn Thoughts and Harmonious Sun Thoughts to Neutralize Discordant Venus Thought-Cell Activity
Excesses of emotion, and discordant emotions which arise in relation to the affections are most quickly and effectively modified beneficially by the application of thoughts of caution, system and foresight which are ruled by Saturn. The Saturn thoughts are the natural antidotes of the Venus thoughts, but in applying them care must be exercised that no trace of selfishness, greed or fear creep in; for these Saturn tendencies are basically discordant and to whatever thought-cell compound they are added they tend to attract loss and disappointment.
It should be recognized that the Venus thought cells cannot build strong veins, insure proper combustion of fuel in the body, support fertility and contribute to rejuvenation unless vitamin A, vitamin E, iodine and copper are furnished in the food. But it should equally be recognized that however abundantly these food materials may be supplied, the Venus thought cells will be unable to do the mentioned work if the individual is in a recurrent state of emotional excitement, or if he keeps emotionally upset due to discords arising where friendship, affection or the love life is concerned.
Few things are more important than a harmonious love life; but love is a harmonious emotion that may express satisfactorily on a wide variety of levels. When felt for children the secretion of the back pituitary gland assists in developing the electrical condition. The electrical condition permitting the more refined types of love and affection are linked with the thyroid gland. Those of sexual attraction are generated chiefly by the secretion of the gonad glands. The gonad hormone acting upon the nervous system generates electrical energies in the nervous system which build up a certain tension which is felt as physical attraction toward the opposite sex. This electrical energy, however, is capable of being diverted, much as the electrical current flowing over an ordinary power line is, and it is capable of being stepped up or stepped down in voltage, so that it can be made to sustain discord and gross passion, or tender love, ecstasy, and the highest and noblest feelings of which man is capable. But to feel any of these things there must be appropriate electrical energies in the nervous system; for it is their action which is felt.
When electrical energies are present in the nervous system and the Venus thought-cell activity is harmonious, the life is filled with joy and happiness which tends to prolong youth and give health. But when electrical energies are present in the nervous system and the Venus thought-cell activity is discordant, the person easily becomes emotionally upset, and the health suffers from the chemical imbalance induced by the oversecretion or depletion of thyroxin and the gonad hormone.
The Saturn thoughts mentioned provide a satisfactory antidote; but these as well as the Venus thoughts tend to increase the negative condition, and thus decrease control. To handle the electrical energies, and thus control the emotions, rather than be controlled by them, it is necessary for the brain to have at its command electrical potentials higher than those generated by the emotions. Even as when the negativeness is due to Saturn thought-cell activity or Neptune thought-cell activity, Sun thoughts of power, vitality and self-respect should be employed, and the feeling maintained that the energies of the mind and body are slightly pressing outward.
And whether it be this Sun mood of power and control which does not permit any situation which may arise to create emotional discord, or some less desirable condition, it should be remembered that the more often a given emotional state is experienced and the more intensely it is felt, the easier it is to experience it again, as through repetition the energies become conditioned to flow into a given channel.
Mars and Testosterone
The male sex hormone testosterone, secreted by the testes, has been given great publicity as a generator of male virility. Estrone in the lives of women, and testosterone in the lives of men have the natural function of toning up the other glands and rejuvenating the whole body. And in addition to their action extending to all the cells and tissues, tending to restore them, they exercise a profound influence upon the generation of electrical energies by the nervous system.
Testosterone has been successfully used to bring about the masculine change in boys who still have high-pitched voices and feminine attitudes after they have reached the age of puberty. It will change a thirteen-year or fourteen-year-old boy of the feminine type, whose sex glands have failed to develop, into a fairly competent male. It will also bring about a trend toward masculinity which is important in giving a happier life to effeminate young men of adult age. But its use also has its dangers, for too much can cause sterility and stop the growth of bone.
The gonad secretion, testosterone or estrone, is essential to creative work of any kind. The artist, the inventor, and the writer must have it abundantly. Whenever it is overabundant it should be put to constructive use through diverting the energies into wholesome creative effort of some sort. When deficient, it should be encouraged by a wholesome love life and the cultivation of harmonious but strong affections. It responds to the activities of both the Mars thought cells and the Venus thought cells, but the secretion of testosterone responds with greater alacrity to the thought cells mapped by Mars.
For the manufacture of testosterone the body should be supplied with vitamin A, vitamin B-1, vitamin E, and the proteins in sufficient variety to insure the presence of the amino acids required in this substance.
Mars and the Red Blood Corpuscles
Discordant activity of the thought cells mapped by Mars tends to imbalances which affect the adrenal glands, the gonads, the kidneys, the red corpuscles of the blood and the blood pressure. The Mars thought cells in particular govern the ability to handle the protein foods, chiefly through the action of cortin, the typical Mars secretion of the cortex of the adrenal glands. And they also govern the handling of iron.
Iron enters directly into the construction of hemoglobin in the red blood corpuscles which carry the oxygen from the lungs to the tissues. When there are too few red blood corpuscles, or too little of the red hemoglobin in the red corpuscles, not enough oxygen is delivered to the cells of the body, and they are unable to breathe properly. Such oxygen starvation takes place in anemia.
Iron, ruled by Mars, is not merely essential for blood building, but it is the carrier of oxygen to all the cells, and must be present for their continuous oxidation and life. Brain and muscle cannot carry out their functions in the absence of iron.
The red blood cells live about thirty days, and new ones are being created all the time to take the place of those worn out. If these new cells are to have the proper amount of the red hemoglobin there must be an adequate iron supply present. In the case of a deficiency of calcium, the system begins to use the reserve stored in the bones, when additional fuel is needed the liver is called upon to furnish the sugar, and when there is great need of salt (sodium chloride), that which is stored in the skin is requisitioned. But there is no such provision in the body for a reserve of iron. Consequently, if the daily iron intake does not equal that lost through the wear and tear of the life processes the blood becomes poor in hemoglobin and an anemic condition develops.
Because milk is nature’s sole food for the young mammal during the sucking period it has been too common to assume that milk constitutes the perfect food. But such is by no means the case as it lacks one of the essential proteins and is decidedly deficient in iron.
Guinea pigs and such other mammals as feed on green leaves and other iron-containing food immediately after birth, being born with teeth to chew coarse food, have no reserve store of iron in their livers. But in the case of the human infant there is taken from the mother’s body, during the last three months before birth, iron and the other minerals necessary for blood building, and they are stored in the liver of the unborn child. The amount of iron thus stored in the liver of the human infant at birth is about enough to carry it through the first year.
If the mother has had an iron deficient diet before the birth of the child, if the child is born prematurely before sufficient iron has been stored, or if a case of twins in which the mother is unable to supply iron for both, anemia will develop unless additional iron is supplied in the diet. In certain sections where herbage is rich in minerals due to the underlying soil, such as in the Blue Grass Country of South Carolina, the milk of the cows contains considerable iron; but the general run of cow’s milk is decidedly deficient in it. Furthermore it must not be overlooked that there must be the Venus metal, copper, present in order to utilize the iron. A table is given on page showing the best food sources of iron. Calves’ liver of recent years has come into much demand because in it has been stored iron enough to carry the calf through the suckling period.
Mars and the Proteins
But the minerals are not the only requisites for the formation of hemoglobin and red blood. Hemoglobin is a compound of red iron-containing pigment, called hemastin, and a certain protein, called globin. It takes the hormone cortin, ruled by Mars, to handle the proteins satisfactorily; and for the manufacture of globin the amino acid called histadine is essential. And very little histadine is contained in milk.
It is true the proteins are abundant in milk. But the human system requires for its proper functioning four different protein compounds which it seems unable to manufacture from other proteins. Therefore, the proteins taken should not be confined to a single food, but be given sufficient variety to afford all four types. Milk, for instance, as indicated, does not afford all four in sufficient quantity. Being deficient in histadine, a straight milk diet, even on milk containing the mineral elements, leads to impoverished blood.
The proteins form the structural material of all cells. Forming the muscles and the glands they are composed of various amino acids, twenty of which are known. When protein foods have been eaten, the digestive juices tear them asunder into their various amino components. Thus broken up these amino acids are absorbed into the blood, and the proteins of the body are built from them.
The proteins which constitute the cells of the body are not all alike. In fact, there is a great variety of proteins in the human body. Yet these, as well as thousands of others of vegetable and animal origin, all are composed of the twenty amino acids in various combinations. As there are twenty of these protein builders, and they may combine with each other not only in various amounts but in various relations to each other, the number of proteins that might be formed is beyond computation. With twenty bricks, how many different combinations of bricks may be had, two bricks or more to each combination? This can be answered mathematically. But if each of the bricks were capable of being given an unlimited variety of sizes, the problem would become complicated.
And thus the amino acids are present in various quantities as well as in various unions with some of the other amino acids.
The really significant thing about these proteins insofar as we are concerned is not their great variety, but that the human body is incapable of building up certain proteins out of certain other proteins. In order for the body to build its necessary cells there are four different amino acids which must be present, as it is not equipped to manufacture them from the raw materials.
The red cells of the blood not only require iron for their manufacture, but protein; and new ones to take the place of those disintegrated must be manufactured from the bone marrow about every thirty days. Skin, hair, nails, and the cells of the intestines and kidneys are constantly lost, and along with other cells, must be replaced. To take care of this constant protein loss, there should be a certain protein intake in the food daily. New living matter is constructed all the time to maintain the balance between the blood cells, the skin and nails, and the cells of the internal organs. And unless the proper proteins for this replacement are furnished in the food the body itself supplies them, destroying less necessary cells to provide material for the cells which are most essential.
This replacement of lost tissue, however, is not the sole function of protein. It also has a stimulating function. This is due to the liberation of certain of the amino acids during digestion. These stimulating amino acids are not the four which are essential to the replacement of outworn tissue; but are usually present whenever sufficient protein is eaten for replacement purposes.
This influence of protein to accelerate combustion of sugar and fat in those with strong thyroid and front pituitary glands, and the lack of such acceleration in those with weak thyroid and pituitary glands, ruled by the Sun, was commented on in some detail when considering proteins in Chapter 3 (Serial Lesson 153), Course XIV, Occultism Applied. It has been demonstrated experimentally that in the absence of the secretion of the thyroid the stimulating effect of protein is not present. And as already mentioned, animals without a thyroid cannot develop a fever when infected or poisoned. Thyroxin stimulates the destruction of protein, and protein stimulates the activity of thyroxin.
As indicated in Chapter 3, Course XIV, Occultism Applied, there is a wide variation in the ability of people to handle protein. Not only thyroxin, but cortin, the typically Mars hormone, is involved; and the activity of the kidneys, ruled by Venus and Mars, must be considered. But other things being equal, when the thyroid gland is too active, as when the Sun or Venus is unduly stimulated by a progressed aspect, a diet high in protein (Mars) tends to accentuate the excitable tendencies. Under such conditions, therefore, the diet should be low in proteins and high in sugars and starches. But other things being equal, when the thyroid gland is sluggish, as when the Sun or Venus is unduly depressed by a progressed aspect, there is little ability to handle sugars and starches, and a higher intake of protein (Mars), within the limit of the thyroid’s ability to respond to such stimulation, will stimulate the thyroid to increased activity. That is, more protein (Mars) gives the thyroid the energy to perform its work, if its responsive power has not become too depleted.
Mars and the Adrenal Cortex
Adrenaline, the secretion of the medulla of the adrenal glands, responds with equal alacrity to the thought-cell activity mapped by either Saturn or Mars; but cortin, the secretion of the cortex of the adrenal glands does not respond to Saturn, but primarily to Mars, and in less degree to Pluto. It also responds to the stimulation of one of the two front pituitary secretions that are released by Sun thought-cell activity. The secretion of the pineal gland and the secretion of the thymus gland tend to check, suppress and neutralize the action of cortin, the typically Mars hormone; and it is the relation of the cortin supply to the adrenaline supply which determines in an emergency whether the reaction is to be combat or flight. The front pituitary hormone ruled by the Sun and the front pituitary hormone ruled by Pluto have the opposite effect on cortin that the hormones of the pineal gland and the thymus gland do. They not only assist and stimulate the secretion of cortin, but they contribute stability and poise and sustaining power to the courage they thus aid.
It is the amount of cortin in the blood, however, which chiefly determines whether the reaction is to fight or to flee from the enemy. Fighting animals have abundant adrenal cortex, while timid animals have this portion of the gland small. Depleted cortin, in relation to the amount of adrenaline—and it may be inadequate due to the action of pineal hormone or thymus hormone—gives the typical fear reaction. But when cortin is abundant in proportion to the adrenaline, especially when the front pituitary hormones ruled by the Sun and Pluto are active—for these not only tend to stimulate the secretion of cortin but seem to cooperate in some way with it—no fear is felt, and instead there is a strong desire present to attack and destroy the opposition.
Cortin is more effective in neutralizing acids and toxins in the bloodstream than adrenaline, and much more so than thyroxin. It is the most powerful chemical the body possesses to fight invasion and neutralize the waste material from the life processes of protozoa, bacteria and viruses. And it is intimately connected with the handling of the proteins. The removal of the adrenal glands is followed in a few days by death from toxic poisoning. But injections of cortin into the bloodstream will enable the animal thus poisoned to survive as long as the injections continue.
Experiments have shown that vitamin A is unusually important in the maintenance of the normal cortin production, and that vitamin C also plays a part. And as adrenaline, which also responds to Mars thought-cell activity seems basically composed of the amino acid tyrosin, protein food containing it is needed under Mars afflictions, and this may be insured through variety of proteins. Vitamin C is one of the vitamins which should be provided under afflictions involving Saturn; but it is also called for under afflictions involving Mars. And here again the action of Mars and Venus are difficult to separate; for vitamin C deficiency affects the skin and the walls of capillaries, which become fragile and bleed; and vitamin E deficiency affects adversely the muscles, which are ruled by Mars.
Many years ago when the main diet of seagoing vessels consisted of salt meat and hardtack, a disease was prevalent known as scurvy. And at later dates Arctic explorers, denied fresh vegetables and fruits, developed this disease. There were hemorrhages of the mucous membranes, skin, joints and marrow, ulcerated gums, pains and swellings in the joints and limbs, fragility of the bones due to loss of calcium, and the teeth loosened and fell out.
The British Navy carried out experiments as early as the middle of the eighteenth century in the endeavor to find the cause and cure of this disease. They found that dried vegetables and dried fruits would not prevent or cure scurvy, but that fresh vegetables and fruits would. This resulted in the adoption of lemon juice syrup as part of the regular rations of all their sailors. Limes came thus to be used on all sailing vessels as a means of preventing scurvy, and such vessels, because of the regularity of lime juice in the rations, came to be known as “limejuicers.”
Arctic explorers were quick to note that the first manifestations of this dread disease were lassitude combined with quarrelsomeness. This was followed by blue, spongy gums, and complete loss of endurance. Vitamin C, which acts to bind the tissues together (it is the function of Venus to bind harmoniously) cured this condition, and is essential in the food for normal tooth formation and maintenance. Recent studies also indicate that vitamin C is essential for the proper handling of calcium.
Of course, we do not expect, even under Saturn, Mars and Venus afflictions, scurvy to develop where the diet is even near the common standards; but vitamin C deficiency has an influence on both the health and the thinking, even when the deficiency is not unusually marked. It manifests in these instances as listlessness and laziness combined with irritability. A table showing the best sources of vitamin C is given on page of Chapter 9 (Serial Lesson 224).
Use Harmonious Moon Thoughts to Neutralize Discordant Mars Thought-Cell Activity
When Man is afflicted it makes the work of the thought cell easier in the effort to maintain health if the food contains plenty of vitamin A, vitamin B-1, vitamin C, iron, not too much protein, but plenty of variety of protein. Yet for the Mars thought cells properly to handle these foods they must not be discordant. The best way to harmonize them is to add harmonious Moon thoughts to the compound of which they are composed.
These Moon thoughts have to do with helping the weak, helpless and unfortunate. They may be applied harmoniously to the Mars thought cells through devising some plan, project or work in which pleasure can be experienced, having to do with the comfort of the family, or which contributes to the welfare of the aged or young or those otherwise helpless. Then when anger, irritation, lust, the feeling of antagonism or the tendency to strife, undue haste, or undue expenditure of energy begins to be felt, turn the attention to thoughts of this work. Not only use the Mars energy in some constructive effort, but think about and do something to benefit those unable to help themselves. The thought antidote thus provided will enter into the compound of which the Mars thought cells are composed and these thought cells will then attract much more fortunate events into the life, including better health.