There are claims that if you eat or make a special drink from a canary seeds it could heal diabetes, hypertension, and help you lose significant body fat. But is this just another one of those bird-brained fads?
The answer is no if you listen to those who practice homeopathic medicine. In fact, they suggest the health benefits are almost miraculous.
"They use it for hypertension. They use it for cholesterol," said Botanica Eleggua's Janet Zenteno. "They use it for anything to do with the heart. It has a lot of omegas in it that helps deal with the skin."
Zenteno has worked in homeopathic medicine for almost two decades, and she said canary seed's benefits are vast. She isn't the only one who touts the seeds' potential. Spanish television commercials laud the bird feed as one of the most powerful seeds in the world. A simple liquid mixture with the canary seed known as leche alpiste or canary seed milk could allegedly heal diabetes.
The birdseed milk is also supposed to help with pancreatic ailments, liver psoriasis, and have a very powerful enzyme recharge. Subsequently, the enzymes are supposed to be ideal for swollen internal organs like the liver, pancreas and kidneys. Other benefits are extremely high amounts of protein as much as 2 to 3 kg of red meat. In addition, it reportedly helps gout, edema, gastritis and stomach ulcers.
Moreover, the canary concoction is said to aid fat burning and helps purify fat in veins, arteries, or simply fat deposits which allegedly makes it a great remedy for obesity.
But does it really work?
"It depends on the individual," Zenteno said.
Recipes all over the Internet simply call for five tablespoons of the canary seeds to soak in water overnight. According to online recipes, remove the seeds from the water in the morning. Place them in a blender, add soy milk, and honey. The sites recommend drinking, at least, twice a day for three months. They also advise giving the milk a rest one day a week. There are also recipes that include the canary seed milk in eggplant and salad dressings.
There is some negative data about the human consumption of canary seeds out of Canada. It suggests certain canary feed has been linked to esophageal cancer.
"I think I would to research and be sure," said Jeannie Davis.
Davis is a Naturopath who works with herbs, holistic and alternative medicines, iridology, applied kinesiology and acupuncture. She said she's never heard of canary seeds in her practice or studies. However, she admits people are discovering different uses for herbs and other natural items every day.
"The herbs help naturally repair and rebuild glands and the organs in the body," said Davis.
But her suggestion is before starting to eat or drink like a bird seek professional guidance first.
"I like to work with people one-to-one and make sure I'm getting the right thing for their body," Davis said. "It (canary seeds) might be wonderful for 99 people but not for the 100th person,"
Zenteno and Davis said they have used other proven herbal supplements for diabetes as well as hypertension. Zenteno recommended alfalfa seeds and a flax seed liquid similar to the canary seed mixture. They advise never abandoning the medical regiment prescribed by a doctor without talking with the physician first.