Food as medicine.

Hippocrates was on to something big when he said about 2400 years ago, “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.” I’m sure there are many good reasons why he is called the father of medicine, and this must be one of the best.

I heard this wise quotation so long ago that I don’t remember not being vaguely familiar with it. Thus, my children were lucky enough to occasionally hear it from the lips of their well-meaning but sometimes rather wordy mother. Little did I suspect how they would eventually find it a fitting means of (good-naturedly) mocking me at family meals… About a decade ago, when I was first experiencing some health conditions (such as  glossopharyngeal neuralgia and chronic migraine) I was in the habit of swallowing a great number of pills, several times a day in an effort to keep pain at bay. Sitting down to eat dinner together one day, my astute young son tossed out those often-heard words of  Hippocrates, remarking that he was pretty sure this sage advice wasn’t meant to be taken in the way I was ‘following’ it (referring to the little heap of meds next to my yet empty plate). Thank you, Jack.

This evening I actually felt like I was getting it right. I woke up early this morning with a sore throat, and throughout the day had little appetite, but drank several cups of soothing herbal tea which goes down a treat with some lovely local raw honey. By about 7pm I was hungry for more than a little fresh fruit. So I warmed up some sliced poultry patties I’d prepared the other day from free range organic ground turkey and the same quality of chicken livers. It was actually yummy tonight; sliced and heated up until a little crispy in coconut oil and bone broth powder. I dined on these delectable morsels, with a large bowl of spinach salad dressed in homemade ACV, olive oil, and honey dressing. But the piece de resistance of my simple meal was yet to come; fresh beets, carrots, onion, garlic, and ginger all chopped up and cooked in olive oil and ACV with fresh squeezed lemon juice and sea salt.

I may never be the same.

In the last year I’ve thought and read more about the gut, and gut health, than in all the rest of my life combined. Easily. One clever book which I actually found interesting enough (almost) to call ‘entertaining’ was GUT, written by Giulia Enders. Really, I’d say this is about as fascinating as such a subject can be made to the average person.

Gut book cover

So, after reading much and listening to several podcasts on this easily overlooked subject, I’ve come to understand just a little, why and how food is/ can be/ should be our first and best medicine.  This is clearly not a scientific blog; I’ll just say that the wee bit I’ve gleaned has certainly persuaded me to take this all much more seriously, and literally than I ever thought I would.

#Hippocrates #GiuliaEnders #GUT #guthealth #food #medicine

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