The ancient Greek philosopher Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. Part of the Hippocratic Oath reads, “I will apply dietetic measure for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment. "Hippocrates is also quoted as saying, “Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always”.
Growing up I was always taught to use food as medicine to cure, treat and prevent illness. My great-grandmother was the one who passed this knowledge to me. I'm fortunate in that I was able learn by her side for many years, but I also learned so much from my grandmother and my mother. One thing I remember is that their foods were always delicious and very comforting. My g-grandma would always ask, "did that make you feel good?" And it always did make me feel good.
Comfort foods call to mind such dishes as mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, or one of my favorites, green pea soup. Those are indeed very comforting mostly due to the memories that are associated with them. However, the true comfort is in the medicinal foods. Medicinal foods impart such lovely, vibrant fragrances and flavors, such as garlic, onions and ginger. When combined with other medicinal foods, also known as vegetables, they create a comfort and flavor heaven but ultimately the result is a treatment or cure.
Listed below are some foods that are a constant staple in my kitchen and some of their healing effects:
• Apples – anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antibacterial. Apples are cooling for the body, ease thirst and reduce fever. Green apples are especially effective for cleansing the liver and gallbladder and softening gallstones. Apples are also a detoxifying fruit, great for constipation and promotes intestinal flora.
• Avocado – helps inhibit certain bacteria in the intestines. It is high in antioxidants, high in potassium and fiber and is a great moisturizer and very beneficial for lowering cholesterol levels. The pit is also edible and is also loaded with fiber and phytonutrients.
• Burdock Root – not very common in American kitchens, but this is a root veggie that I love. Cooked or raw it is a sweet and earthy heaven. Burdock is good for diabetic conditions. It is a powerful agent for restoring the body by cleansing and purifying the blood, supporting digestion and eliminating toxins. It is an excellent source of protein, calcium and potassium. Do not peel as most recipes instruct, simply scrub clean, cut and cook.
• Cabbage – Raw cabbage has the most health benefits. It has excellent antibacterial and antiviral properties, but when cooked treats inflammation substantially. The entire cabbage family contains powerful anti-cancer compounds.
• Garlic – anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, antioxidant, antiseptic, anti-fungal, anti-microbial and anti-carcinogenic. It stimulates metabolism, stabilizes blood sugar levels, blood pressure and lowers fever. It is also a natural mosquito repellant.
• Ginger – In ayurvedic medicine, ginger is known as a universal medicine. It is warming for the body, stimulates digestion, boost circulation and respiration. Helps to relieve congestion, inflammation, increases metabolism and helps to effect a systemic cleansing. Great for treating colds and fever.
• Onions – anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and antiviral agent. Also helps remove parasites and heavy metals from the body. Onions improve kidney function and lowers cholesterol.
The list for me goes on and on, so I'll include more at a later time. My interest in food as medicine began at an early while spending time with my great-grandmother who often spoke of using herbs for healing, so we will definitely have to talk about herbs later as well.
I was also taught to cook with love which included keeping the health and well being of those who would eat my food in mind. My g-grandma said that having loving and compassionate thoughts and feelings while cooking was also part of the medicinal power because your energy goes into the food you prepare and into the person who eats it.
The point here is that the medicinal power of food includes nutritional powerhouses, love and compassion to ensure great food, great health, great love and comfort always.
Your words and thoughts program the mind in the same way that commands and scripts program a computer.
Over the past few weeks I've been posting a daily affirmation on my facebook page, www.facebook.com/HallsofHealing. However, I've been asked a number of times to explain what an affirmation is and also asked is "Do affirmations work". Well here is my answer based on research and my experience.
Positive affirmations are positive statements that declare a desired situation, such as "I am strong and unwavering in my values". These statements are to be repeated, until they become impressed on the subconscious mind. Your subconscious mind accepts what you repeat as true and attracts circumstances that make your statements true. Affirmations are positive statements that condition the subconscious mind which helps you develop a more positive perception of yourself. Affirmations can help to change harmful behaviors or accomplish goals, and they also help undo the damage caused by negative self-talk, the internal talk where we repeatedly tell ourselves (or others repeatedly tell us) that contribute to a negative self-perception.
To understand a bit more about the subconscious mind: the mind consists of conscious and subconscious, I think most of us know this. Our subconscious is in control of the functions we do on a daily basis without much thought, such as breathing, However, we are able to take control by training our subconscious mind and lead it in the direction we wish to go. The subconscious likes repetition, it's actions/functions are based on repetition. Your subconscious mind records that message that it is given repetitively and it begins to believe that message and as your mind and body work together simultaneously, your body begins to follow that message.
The subconscious is a bottomless storehouse of our memories, thoughts, and experiences - good and bad. So in order to over-ride the bad that has been imbedded in our subconscious, which causes the negative thoughts, behaviors and attitudes that we have, we have to repetitively and aggressively (aggressive being a positive thing in this case) use positive statements over and over again to train our subconscious to respond with positive thoughts, behaviors and attitudes. According to Dr. Phil Shapiro, "positive thoughts act like medicine released from the brain’s own pharmacy. This thought-medicine cannot do its work, however, if negative ideas, beliefs, or attitudes neutralize its healing power. When a positive affirmation is stated, there is often an attack of negative thoughts or beliefs, which emerge from their storage place in the subconscious." Because of this the medicine - positive affirmations- must be taken repeatedly and consistently in order for it to take hold in the subconscious. As a result when something negative happens, the positive actions, thoughts and behaviors will dominate.
To ensure positive results here are some tips for affirmations:
Affirmations work but it requires time and patience.
When I first began saying affirmations, I would say it first thing in the morning but my immediate response was negative which is the subconscious mind trying to hold onto the negative that we've lived with for so long. That is why is why it so imperative to say affirmations daily but also numerous times throughout the day. I found that they worked really well to relieve stress. Whenever I find myself in a stressful situation I say my daily affirmation, whether it relates to that situation or not, and it helps me calm down enough to reflect on the positives.
When deciding on your affirmations, it is best to concentrate on a just a few to begin. My advice is to start with only 2 or 3 to rewrite those negatives that you most want to remove. Once you have improvement there add more positive affirmations.
There are some who are skeptics about positive affirmations, but my best advice is to do your own research and come to your own conclusions.