Tan Chin? No Energy? You May Have Iron Deficient Anemia. Sometimes I see clients with that characteristic tan mark around their cheeks and chin indicating early iron deficient anemia. When this happens the client is feeling run down, but not run down enough to cause them to go to a doctor’s office–yet.  It’s my job to help the person supplement their diet so they don’t have to take iron pills, which can be harmful on the system…especially for iron, if a little is good, a lot is not better! 

Iron supplement overdose can cause stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, black stools, lethargy, weakness, collapse, weak/rapid heartbeats, shallow breathing, convulsions and coma. Try getting those same symptoms from eating parsley and taking a couple teaspoons of blackstrap molasses every now and then. THAT won’t happen. 

A safe preventative dose of blackstrap molasses is 1-2 teaspoons per day for a full-sized adult. Three teaspoons per day would be a maximum dosage if you have that characteristic tan on the cheeks. For children, give 1 teaspoon up to three times a week as a preventative, mineral supplement, and to give color to the face. Both parsley and blackstrap molasses are packed with minerals (including those trace minerals we need.) 

Iron overload is linked to some cancers, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and endocrine dysfunction. It is easy to overload when taking iron pills. It is much safer sticking to natural food sources for iron. 

Other foods high in iron, besides blackstrap molasses and parsley include: Cherries, prunes, leafy green vegetables, poultry liver, legumes (peas/beans/lentils), eggs, fish and whole grains. If you crave these foods, it may be an indication that you are low in iron. You have to be REALLY low before it will show up on a blood test, so do your body a favor and eat more of these foods.  

Herbs high in iron include alfalfa, bilberry, burdock, catnip, yellow dock root, watercress, sarsaparilla (in root beer) and nettles.  I think your safest choices are nettles (also for itchy skin disease and low calcium,) catnip (also good for sleep disorders,) burdock (also a good liver cleanser,) and alfalfa (a bit over used—I see some allergic reactions with this.)  

Helpful Handouts:

Natural Iron Sources: /Diet_Nutrition/iron.htm