“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” – Hippocrates
There can’t be many who haven’t heard this famous quote but how many people actually pay attention to it? We live in a society of convenient over-the-counter and prescription medicines, so it’s easy to forget these wise words.
People accept that whole, natural foods have a big part to play in maintaining good health but what about healing, repairing the damage after the event? I must admit a few years back I wouldn’t have given it much thought, but over recent years I have questioned how much medical intervention we really need. Don’t get me wrong, modern medicine is amazing and there will always be a place for it, but have we come to rely on it too heavily?
I watched a lecture given by Dr. Frank Lipman, an expert in the field of integrative medicine. The lecture was brilliant and I could talk about it endlessly but I’ll keep this as simple and brief as I can.
Early in his training to become a doctor he became interested in the differences between western and eastern approaches to healing. He explained that in his western, medical training in a hospital the whole approach was to look at the body as a mechanical structure. He acknowledged this this was undoubtedly effective in dealing with heart attack victims for example, but there were then no tools for how to help the patient find wellness and good health beyond that point. There were only drugs or surgery.
His eastern training however, taught him to understand the body in a more natural way, viewing it as a garden and himself the gardener, to identify underlying causes, so that once fixed, the problem would not reoccur.
This caused a degree of conflict for him because he could see benefits of both approaches but he needed to understand his place in all of this. What he concluded was that the west are great at trauma care or replacing joints and organs but not good at chronic diseases, helping patients with diet and stress and preventative measures. Whereas in the east their strengths are the exact opposite.
He went on to establish a practice which combines western treatments with ‘alternative’ therapies to offer optimal results for his patients and so promotes lifestyle changes through diet, nutrition, exercise and stress management and non-invasive methods such as acupuncture, physical therapy, chiropractic etc.
Through my interest in nutrition over the last few years I have very much become a believer in food being a cure or preventative measure for many ailments. Over my lifetime I have suffered many, many throat infections, every year, that would always end in a course of antibiotics. Nowadays at the first sign of a sore throat I gargle salt water and literally within 10 minutes I can feel the inflammation reduce and an infection never develops! Salt water is pretty disgusting but it really works for me and I’d rather do that for 1 minute than feel crap, visit the doctor, take antibiotics for a week…
Another favourite of mine is green tea. If I feel groggy after a glass or two of wine the night before, I have learnt that a green tea works wonders. I won’t say it always works but 8 times out of 10 I can lose that groggy, sluggish feeling, within 10 minutes. No need for pills! I’m not going to say we never take the odd paracetamol, but as a family we rely on conventional medicines much less, which can only be a good thing!
I also recommended a family member use apple cider vinegar on a wart as I’d read it could work well. This wart was the size of a pea and had been growing for some time. Less than a week of applying the vinegar at night and covering it with cotton wool and a plaster, it was gone – no need for a trip to the pharmacy, no nasty chemicals and a super quick result!
Into the kitchen, with the beetroot crisps being such a success I tried an apple version but have to admit I prefer the beetroot ones, in fact we all did which was a surprise. I also created a delicious veggie meal that included spicy roasted chickpeas and cauliflower (sorry forgot to take a photo). Once Stu and the kids had got over the fact there was no meat they actually admitted to really enjoying it…
That’s it for another week, I’d love to know your thoughts on using food and alternative therapies as medicine. And if you’ve created a new recipe recently feel free to share it.
Thank you for your support as always. x