"FOODS AS MEDICINE"
What did you have for supper last night possibly mixed greens dressed with an oil, vinegar and garlic, a vegetable of asparagus or beets or a stir fry dish with lots of ginger, or some sweet well ripened fruit and berry compote? Did the parsley twig on your plate get pushed aside or did you at least wave it between your teeth? These are only a few of mother natures most powerful and best food medicines.
History teaches us that herbal medicines were not always taken for granted as they often are today but used to treat and curtail ailments. Healing roots, leaves, berries and flowers were incorporated into daily meals to promote general wellness. Grown and gathered in the wild plants were boiled in soups, tossed in fresh salads or used as spice. Each season provided a bounty of foods and herbs to prevent illnesses associated with that season.
Dandelions, abundant in the spring then blooming again in the fall treat the symptoms of allergy that comes with warmer spring and the cooler fall weather. They cleanse the liver and the blood of its accumulations of heavier foods eaten over the winter months and provide energy for the physical demands we place on our body during the warmer season to come. Dandelion greens commonly found in mixed green salads along with beet greens are also good for the liver, sugar imbalances and iron deficiency anemia.
Garlic is good any time of the year especially in the food toxic environment in which we live. Try garlic in soups, pastas or with beans, in baked dishes and casseroles. Garlic works as a natural antibiotic, a flu and cold.
Another natural antibiotic Echinacea known to us as the purple cone flower stands ready to help us fight the on coming season of cold and flu. If you have ragweed allergies try Cats Claw or Astralagus instead.
Natural apple cider vinegar and locally grown honey mixed one tablespoon each in an eight ounce glass of water thirty minutes before meals helps fire the digestion, settle the nerves, relieves joint aching, and helps with allergy symptoms. Apple vinegar contains a healthy dose of malic acid and magnesium. These two coupled together are now prescribed to patients suffering with the aches and pains of fibromyalgia. Magnesium, one of the three most missing minerals in todays diet plays a major role in the bodies ability to utilize calcium. The honey from local bees works to relieve the symptoms of hay fever and allergies.
Ginger a favorite of mine works to relieve most gastrointestinal symptoms including nausea, indigestion, diarrhea and heartburn. Grate a teaspoon of fresh ginger, steep in two cups of water sweetened with honey then sip a Chinese tea cup full for symptoms.
Remember the parsley twig on your dinner plate? That little twig is a powerful biennial herb indigenous to this area and is one of the most powerful foods on the face of the planet. One bite into that little twig gives your body a sublingual dose of most of the B vitamins as well as the antioxidant vitamins A,C, E. Parsley will continue to grow well into the colder weather if just given a little bit of protection with a layer of leaves.
Mother Nature in all her wisdom intends for us to be well year round and provides all that we need to do so. We as humans evolved over eons of time eating with the seasons. It naturally strengthens the body and the immune system. It is only up to us to use these wonderful healing foods as they were intended. Till next time, Rebecca.