FOOD – Folk Medicine

Arcimboldo's oil painting: Summer

Arcimboldo's oil painting: Summer

Top Chefs know that how they handle food affects our health. Kitchen safety and careful cleaning are a must during and after each meal. Nutritional cooking has become part of standard health routines for our clients, but not all are knowledgeable of TIPS that certain foods may provide for various maladies.

According to the Food Museum in France, Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s painting Summer (circa 1527-1593), a corn ear (introduced from the Americas after 1492), a brown eggplant (introduced from Asia by the Arabs and arrived to Europe in the 15 th century), and a prickly artichoke similar to several Italian local present day varieties. These tidbits are part of a wonderful historical composition of how food travelled from different parts of the world to cross cultural cuisine.

In France, the Kings Medicine Garden contained a variety of foods and herbs brought from all over the world. Today we concentrate on TIPS from one of the most basic of all foods: the amazing ONION.

Kings Medicine Garden in France

the Kings Medicine Garden in France

In 1919 the flu killed about 40 million people. There are several differing philosophies about it involving western or eastern approaches. Folk Medicine has lots of applications for ONION. According to lore a doctor came upon a farmer and to his surprise everyone was very healthy. The wife explained she had placed an unpeeled onion in a dish in each room of their home (probably no more then two rooms at that time). When the doctor examined the onion under his microscope, he found the onion absorbed the flu virus.

Vintage: Onion Cartoon 1900's Germany

Vintage: Onion Cartoon 1900's Germany

Our TIP today is have bowls of onions in your home, office, or other place of work to mitigate getting flus. It works! My husband and I haven’t had the flu in ages (we also take extra Magnesium, which keeps upper respiratory health optimal). If someone you know is ill with pneumonia or flu,  it may help them heal faster by cutting the ends of a large onion, place it in an open jar with a fork in it next to the bed for quicker recovery. These food TIPS are not meant to be considered medical advice. You should at all times consult with your health practitioner and never let any condition go unattended. However, onions can’t hurt, and less expensive then a doctor visit for prevention. Some people are onion sensitive so be alert to that.

Another TIP about onions: never feed them to your dog. Animals don’t digest them which causes infection or other adverse reaction to their digestion. I’ve also read that leaving a raw onion in your refrigerator (even in a baggie) will absorb whatever bacteria or mold is in the air, so don’t eat leftover onions. If you slice one up and don’t use all of it, cook it with a variety of vegetables in water and have the broth as a base for next days cooking, or use for a delicious onion soup the French swear by like some folks stand by chicken soup.

I am a big proponent of raw food and try to have lots of it. Raw onion is one of the best medicines, along with garlic, which keeps us healthy and strong. To prevent onion/garlic breath I carry a small vile of organic Peppermint Oil in my purse (an essential oil my longevity doctor also recommends to his patients); wonderful for digestion and also for headaches. Use couple of drops on your tongue to refresh the breath and aid food absorption (or have fresh mint tea which works as an age old remedy). To revitalize, or treat a headache naturally, rub a drop gently on your brow at your hairline. Make sure to keep away from eyes and if your skin is very sensitive, mix with a little carrier oil like EVO (extra virgin olive oil) or Jojoba (which is actually a wax not an oil).

Have fun with folk medicine and send us your TIPS of those you like sharing with others.

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