Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Food as medicine

They say chicken soup is perfect for a cold. I agree, to a point ... what I agree with more is that food can be powerful in curing what ails us.

I had a stomach ache this morning after breakfast- there was no reason for it, just felt nauseous. Our home remedy for such things is ginger ... luckily we had some ginger chews in the cupboard. A few minutes later, I felt just fine!

And so came about my inspiration for today's post. What are your home remedies? What are the tried-and-true things you do at home to stay healthy and comfortable? I could write a novel about this, but I figured I would share just a few with you as a starting point. I also want to share some books that Mark and I invested in that have changed the way we look at getting healthy.

1) Ginger Tea
     *Ginger has a way of making everything right in the world. When a cold is lurking, a stomach ache is rumbling, this is the stuff to turn to. We boil some water and add a strainer full of freshly ground ginger, a slice of lemon and a spoonful of honey. It's a delicious brew that warms you from the inside out. Should help nausea, congestion, respiratory rattling, etc. This tea is also helpful when having trouble getting your extremities warm on a cold winter morning (New Englanders, you know what I'm talking about).

2) Apple Cider Vinegar
     *I am a huge fan of this stuff as both a health supplement AND as an ingredient. Slightly briney, super delicious, you can't go wrong. Two teaspoons full of apple cider vinegar added to 8oz of water (1 cup) is said to help promote healthy bacteria in the digestive system, boost your immune system and help you loose weight. I use BRAGG Organic, which you can learn more about here.

3) Clove Oil/Lavender Oil ... extracts in general
    *Using Clove Oil was a no-brainer after a friend used it directly on a sore tooth to cure his toothache before going to the dentist. His testimony was all we needed to try it ourselves. Mark has used Lavender Oil to help ease my migraine symptoms. When we feel a cold setting in, we start adding some Grapefruit Seed Extract to our juice in the morning. It helps boost our immune system and keep harmful colds at bay. When helpful foods are present in a high concentration they're incredibly effective. Our go-to-gal on the subject of such things is Rosemary Gladstar, the mother of modern herbal-ism and food as healing. We keep a copy of this book within reach at all times:

The woman is a genius. We've been able to watch her speak and create some of her more famous remedies when we went to a Samhain (pronounced sou-wain) festival in Peterborough, NH last fall. Come to think of it, it is that time of year again. Time to get my kitchen altar in working order. :-)

I could go on and on about using food as medicine, but I think by now you get the point ... A lot of food remedies lean toward prevention rather than resolution. Eating right and keeping tabs on your homeostasis is important in keeping your healthcare costs low. Before we go to our doctor we try to find an at-home remedy that might alleviate symptoms. If we do, we are richer for it. 

**Just a caveat, I do not advise that you not see your Personal Care Provider should you have a medical ailment. We use these remedies for conditions that are not serious. If you have a serious health problem, see your physician immediately.**

I hope everyone enjoyed their "holiday" weekend. It's nice to have the day off, but we all know Columbus was a jerk. 

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