June 07, 2004

Wheat Germ, Worm Medicine and Cod Liver Oil

Snapshots In My Time, Of My Time.....Hauntings.

Wheat Germ, Worm Medicine and Cod Liver Oil. These were some of the staples of my youth.

My mother swore by each of these things for different reasons and for all of my child hood years and those of my brother, we had ample doses of all of those things all year long. We grew up thinking that these things were normal. Some other kids I spoke to did not have to have these things as a basic part of their diet. Lucky them? Maybe.

Wheat Germ

My mother loved wheat germ and it went into our foods all day long. In the morning it was sprinkled on cold cereal, stirred into hot cereals and poured into batters for pancakes, bisquits and muffins. It was also sprinkled into flour that was used to fry chicken. It also was stirred into yogurt. I grew to love it's nutty flavor. And in fact somethings just do not taste the same without wheatgerm.

Today I also use wheat germ. Not to the extent that my mother did but I do use it in all things involving backing: muffin mixes, pancake mix. You know. We always bought Kretschmer® Wheat Germ and that is what I buy today. It tastes good and is very good for you.

What is Wheat Germ?

It’s the “heart” of the wheat kernel - a concentrated source of several essential nutrients including Vitamin E, folate (folic acid), phosphorous, thiamin, zinc and magnesium.

A two-tablespoon serving of Kretschmer® Wheat Germ with added Vitamin E and Folic Acid may help to improve your vitality and promote a healthy heart.

Wheat germ adds a delicious taste and healthy crunch to virtually any recipe, and it's an easy way to add extra nutrition. Wheat germ can also replace up to 1/2 cup of the flour in recipes for muffins, breads, pancakes, and many other baked goods, making it even easier to work into your diet.

Kretschmer® Wheat Germ, manufactured by The Quaker Oats Company, is the oldest and most widely available wheat germ. Unlike wheat germ sold in bulk, Kretschmer® Wheat Germ is toasted to enhance its natural, nutty flavor and vacuum-packed to preserve freshness. Make sure to try the healthy crunch of Kretschmer Wheat Germ in the recipes featured on this site, or add it to your old favorites. Two varieties are available: Original Toasted and lightly sweetened Honey Crunch. You’ll find both in the cereal aisle of your local grocery store.

Worm Medicine

Every July or early August the yearly ritual of drinking down small cherry flavored bottles of worm medicine would roll around. My mother gave us worm medicine every year as a preventative measure. We did not have worms that i knew of. She said that because we played outside in the grass with no shoes, we could pick them up. So it was a ritual.

She would bring home 6 little bottles of worm medicine. It was a three day dosing. I hated that acrid, cherry taste. Once you drank it, your stomach would begin to hurt and cramp after a little while. Soon after that you would be going to the bathroom for the rest of the day. After the 3 days, my mother was assured that we were worm free. We were free of that awful stuff for another year. Now a little about the little buggers!

What are pinworms?
Pinworms are small, white worms that live in the intestines. Pinworm infections are common in young children and are easily treated.

If your child is infected with pinworms, you may notice him or her moving around a lot in bed at night or being unable to sleep because of an itchy bottom. The itching is caused by the female pinworm that comes out of the rectum to lay eggs around the anus (the opening to the rectum). Sometimes tiny white worms (shorter than 1/2 inch) may be seen on the child's bottom at night or they may show up in the child's bowel movement.

Pinworms are easy to get. Pinworms are usually spread from child to child, and the eggs can be picked up on children's fingers when they are playing. Eggs can stay or your child's skin for several hours. They can survive for 2 weeks on clothes, bedding and toys. If the eggs are on your child's hands or toys, and your child puts their fingers or toys in their mouth, the tiny eggs can enter their bodies. The eggs stay in the upper part of the intestine until they hatch. After they hatch, the worms move down the length of the intestine, and then out the anus where they lay eggs.

Cod Liver Oil

Cod Liver Oil was something my mother gave us everyday. Like a liquid vitamin. I love Cod Liver Oil! I love it! Yes I do.
I came in three flavors that I can remember. They are flavorless, Mint and Cherry. I was never happy with cherry. Back in those days, all childrens medicines seemed to be cherry flavored. It was the only flavor. I loved the plain and the mint! My mother believed Cod Liver Oil could cure all things. When she saw other kids that were sickly she would always comment to us that that child was like that because they did not take cod liver oil.

I take cod live oil now from time to time. I have a large bottle in the fridge-plain that I give to my household. A teaspoon a day is all you need! Cod live oil is good for you due to all the vitamins and omega fats. A little about the benefits of Cod Liver Oil-and there are many!

In the late 19th century, cod liver oil was used to treat youngsters with rickets, a disease in which bone softens and weakens due to lack of vitamin D (abundant in cod liver oil). Rickets has all but disappeared thanks to fortification of milk and other foods with vitamin D.

Cod liver oil is now one of the most popular dietary supplements in Europe because it is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. And recent research in this country has shown that a daily teaspoon of cod liver oil combined with a multivitamin containing selenium seems to prevent middle ear infections (otitis media) in children. In a study at The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, investigators found that the youngsters prone to otitis media had lower than normal levels of EPA (an anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acid), vitamin A, and selenium. When they gave the youngsters cod liver oil, a multivitamin, and selenium, they found that the children suffered fewer ear infections. The findings were published in the July 2002 issue of the Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology.

Meanwhile, researchers in Wales have found that the omega-3s in cod liver oil may delay or even reverse the destruction of joint cartilage and the inflammation and pain of arthritis. Their studies showed that these essential fatty acids blocked the action of an enzyme responsible for destroying cartilage and also blocked the action of other enzymes that cause inflammation and joint pain.

Have you had your wheat germ, worm medicine and cod liver oil today? Chop, chop, hop to it! Go get some!


  1. Well, it's been a few years since you've written this piece. I was wondering why you didn't put any recommendations for worm medicine.

  2. Yes, seeing as you did mention pin worms, was cod liver oil supposed to be a treatment for them? Or was there something else?