Viewing entries in
nutrition

Keeping the spleen strong

Keeping the spleen strong

Paul Robin and Paul Brecher in, “Practical TCM”, say, “To keep the spleen strong we eat millet, beef and apricots. Then in late summer when it is humid our spleen can stay balanced.”

Keeping the heart strong

Keeping the heart strong

Paul Robin and Paul Brecher in, “Practical TCM”, say, “To keep the heart strong we eat millet, sheep and plums. Then in summer when it is hot our heart can stay balanced.”

 

Mullein

Mullein

Latin: verbascum thapsus

Chinese Traditional Medicine (TCM): Jia Yan Ye

 

“A demulcent expectorant” (Menzies-Trull in "The Herbalist's Prescriber").

“A very beneficial respiratory remedy useful in most conditions that affect this vital system.” (David Hoffman in “The New Holistic Herbal”).

Unani Tibb: For, amongst other things, coughs, colds, chest and haemorrhoids (Robert Thomson, in “The Grosset Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine” (1980).

 

Buchu

Buchu

Agathosma betulina

 

A “stimulating urinary tonic” (Menzies-Trull in "The Herbalist's Prescriber").

“Buchu may be used in any infection of the genito-urinary system, such as cystisis, urethritis and prostatisis. It’s healing and soothing properties indicate its use together with other relevant remedies in any condition of this system.” (David Hoffman in “The New Holistic Herbal”).

 

Rice

Rice

We have mentioned rice before.

Ibn Sina in “The Canon of Medicine” says, “The temperament of rice is hot and dry; the dryness being more pronounced than hotness. Some physicians, however, hold it to be hotter than wheat …Rice gives good nourishment but also causes dryness. When cooked with milk and almond oil, it gives more and better nutrition. Its properties of causing constipation and desiccation are lost when it is soaked in bran water and left over night. This process endows rice with a property to cool and cleanse … Rice produces some constipation when cooked with water. If cooked with milk, it increases the production of semen. It does not cause constipation except when boiled with its husk and an attempt is made to remove the moisture of the milk. The dryness may be removed by soaking the rice in bran-water.”

 

 

Full Meals

Full Meals

Ibn Sina is quoted as saying in “Avicenna’s Medicine” that “The best way to eat full meals is to eat only one a day and two the day after (morning and evening). The schedule should be strongly followed since a person who gets used to two meals will become weak and lose strength. A person with weak digestion should eat two meals and reduce the amount of food each time.”

 

Keeping the liver strong

Keeping the liver strong

Paul Robin and Paul Brecher in, “Practical TCM”, say, “To keep the liver strong we eat wheat, chicken and peaches. Then in spring when it is windy our liver can stay balanced.”

 

Raisins

Raisins

The Prophet (pbuh) said eat this [raisins], it is a healthy meal, removes tiredness, cools the anger, gives strength, makes food sweet smelling, reduces phlegm and brightens the face. (Dr Mohammed Shakeel Shamsi in, “Tibb-e-Nabawi, Medical Guidance & Teachings of Prophet Muhammed (pbuh)”)

 

Keeping the kidneys strong

Keeping the kidneys strong

Paul Robin and Paul Brecher in, “Practical TCM”, say, “To keep the kidneys strong we eat beans … and dates. Then in winter when it is cold our kidneys can stay balanced … instead of saying a food is healthy, we say it is either appropriate or inappropriate. For example, in winter we would choose to eat more foods with warm and hot properties …”

Using Food for health preservation

Using Food for health preservation

Ibn Sina is quoted as saying in “Avicenna’s Medicine” that “One who is seeking health preservation should endeavour not to have the essence of their food as medicinal foods such as green, leafy vegetables and fruits, and alike. 

"The attenuant food [that which thins or dilutes the fluids] chars blood (i.e. oxidizes), and heavy food causes phlegm and weightiness of the body.

"Food should be composed of meat, especially that of the young goat, young beef, and young lamb; wheat that has been cleaned and is free from contamination … sweets that are suitable to [the individual’s] temperament [mijaaz]; and good drinks made of fragrant herbs.

Other than that is used for treatment and preservation.”

Wild Rue

Wild Rue

Peganum harmala, commonly called esfand, wild rue, Syrian rue, African rue, spilani, harmel, or aspand.

Not related to rue (ruta graveolens).

Cited by Robert Thomson, in “Natural Medicine” (Wildwood House, London, 1981) as one of the top herbs for a natural medicine herbalist to stock.

It is said to have antioxidant and antimutagenic properties and has been used as an emmenagogue and abortifacient agent. Also as an anthelmintic.

Image: By Lazaregagnidze (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Sweet Wormwood

Sweet Wormwood

Wormwood, also known as sweet wormwood, sweet annie, sweet sagewort, annual mugwort or annual wormwood.  In TCM it is Qing Hao.  The latin name is artemisia annua.

A December 2016 study found that, “A centuries-old herbal medicine, discovered by Chinese scientists and used to effectively treat malaria, has been found to potentially aid in the treatment of tuberculosis and may slow the evolution of drug resistance.”

In fact, wormwood is well known not just within the TCM system but also in western natural medicine and Unani Tibb.

Menzies-Trull, in "The Herbalist's Prescriber" says it is an anti-infective with cautions for diarrhoea, headache and tinnitus.

Robert Thomson, in “The Grosset Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine” (1980), says, of wormwood (artemisia absinthium), “The tops and leaves are used as a tonic, a stomachic, a stimulant febriluge, an anthelmintic, and a narcotic … it is a first-rate treatment of enfeebled digestion and debility … It is also treated for [amongst other things] loss of appetite … diabetes … obstinate diarrhoea.”

 

 

Image

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AMing_herbal%3B_(painting)%3B_Sweet_wormwood_Wellcome_L0039414.jpg

Marshmallow

Marshmallow

Robert Thomson, in “Natural Medicine” (Wildwood House, London, 1981) refers to it on several occasions including as part of a formula for roughness of the lungs from smoke or dust, or loud shouting.

In TCM marshmallow root is Yao Shu Kui and is classified as sweet, neutral, and pungent.

 

Liquorice

Liquorice

Robert Thomson, in “The Grosset Encyclopaedia of Natural Medicine” says, “… prescribed for a variety of ailments, including dropsy, coughs, sore throats, and catarrhal conditions of the urinary tract. The dosage of the powdered root is ½ to 1 teaspoon, as a tea.”

In Tibb (Islamic Medicine), it is classified as hot and moist: food qualities.

It is Gan Cao in TCM.

In Arabic it is called al-Sus and also Urq al-Suws

Chickory

Chickory

Robert Thomson, in “Natural Medicine” (Wildwood House, London, 1981) says, “All the Hakims I consulted were in agreement that chickory is the best remedy for bad temperament of the liver.”

Chickory root, is al-hindubaa al-baria in Arabic, and Ju Ju Gen in TCM.

In Tibb it is classified as a tonic, diuretic, hepatic and laxative. It removes phlegm. It is good for the liver. 

In TCM it is classified as bitter and diuretic and considered as good for the liver.

 

Turmeric, Memory and Mood

Turmeric, Memory and Mood

In a study published in January 2018 it was found that, “… people who took curcumin experienced significant improvements in their memory and attention abilities, while the subjects who received placebo did not, Small said. In memory tests, the people taking curcumin improved by 28 percent over the 18 months. Those taking curcumin also had mild improvements in mood, and their brain PET scans showed significantly less amyloid and tau signals in the amygdala and hypothalamus than those who took placebos.” (Source: EurekAlert!, the online, global news service operated by AAAS, the science society.)

In Tibb (Islamic Medicine), turmeric is classified as hot and moist: food qualities.

Yoghurt and Heart Health

Yoghurt and Heart Health

A February 2018 study published in the American Journal of Hypertension, published by Oxford University Press, suggests that, “higher yogurt intake is associated with lower cardiovascular disease risk among hypertensive men and women.” (Source: EurekAlert!, the online, global news service operated by AAAS, the science society.)

In Tibb (Islamic Medicine), yoghurt is classified as cold and dry: food qualities.

Strengthening the stomach

Strengthening the stomach

“Include in the diet: pomegranate, quince, orange and orange peel, cinnamon, gur, senna, cloves, cardamom, and mint … Everything that strengthens the stomach also strengthens the intestines and throat.”

Chishti in "The Traditional Healers Handbook" 

Strengthening the Liver

Strengthening the Liver

“Include in the diet: chickory, roasted chickory root, pomegranate, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves. Liver weakness comes mainly from things that cause coldness and moisture.  Therefore, including heating [garmi] foods and spices.”

Chishti in "The Traditional Healers Handbook"