What did people do before the giant pharmaceutical corporations took a stronghold on the ‘health and wellness’ field, trying to convince us that the best way to heal our bodies is to ingest chemical cocktails packaged in pretty little pills? It is simple. They used food as medicine instead, and in many traditions such as Ayurveda, traditional Chinese medicine and American folk medicine, food is still used as a powerful way to strengthen, cleanse, and heal the body from the inside out.
Using food as medicine is fairly straightforward once you learn to tune into both your body and nature. And if you eat seasonally, you will automatically have a great start on offering your body what it needs, when it needs it.
Think about it – after an indulgent winter of hibernating indoors, what does nature offer us? Greens – loads of bitter greens which stimulate the system (especially our livers which help cleanse out excess from our bodies). Bitter greens also refresh and renew, doing a spring cleaning of our blood with chlorophyll, a cellular powerhouse. In the summer, nature provides us with a bounty of fresh fruits and veggies, encouraging us to eat raw, simply, in a way that allows us to keep our bodies naturally cool and buoyant with energy for the active summer months. In autumn, root vegetables abound, whose action on the body is to draw our energy inward, to ground and center us, ‘root’ us, strengthening our systems, preparing us for the cooler months.
If the body does get out of balance, certain foods can help encourage the body back to health. You may have heard of raw garlic’s ability to purge the body of parasites. Wheatgrass can help to purify the blood and oxygenate the body deeply. Dandelion greens (and the roots) are powerful in helping to cleanse and rebuild a damaged liver. Chillies can help to quickly stimulate stagnant circulation, ginger can cure nausea, and honey soothes a sore throat like none other. Cranberry juice is a powerful diuretic, figs can ease constipation.
Does it seem counterintuitive to load your body up with synthetic chemicals when you are sick, at a time when your body is already weak? It could be a time when you consciously choose to treat your body more gently, more lovingly. And think about it – many pharmaceutical companies get their ides from nature – looking at what foods and plants have powerful healing properties around the world – then they try to recreate that action in a lab so that they can market and make billions of dollars from the synthetic pills they formulate. Why not go straight to the source and use nature as your pharmacist?
Our bodies are amazing machines with a desire to self-regulate. By eating seasonally and looking to food options as medicine when you need a little nudge to get back in balance, you can support your body from the inside out, inexpensively and easily.
When do you turn to a professional for help? We can help you answer that question. Book a complimentary 30 minute consultation wit one of our Naturopathic Doctors at Root at Root Whole Body to see which movement and healing modalities works best for you (nutrition, meditation, acupuncture, chiropractic). Our dedicated team will support you with knowledge and compassion on your path to natural healing and health.
Check out these sites for additional reading.
Healing with Whole Foods – web portal for Paul Pritchford’s classic bible on using food as medicine.
Macrobiotics – an introduction to macrobiotics, guidelines, food for thought.