Andrea Beaman, HHC, AADP, Herbalist (www.andreabeaman.com) and internationally renown health and nutrition coach/chef offered a special online class on April 8, and I want to introduce you to some of her suggestions.
By focusing on ingredients from the kitchen, she demonstrated foods, even regular kitchen herbs that can help heal/remedy viral infections or prepare the lungs and support bodily systems for prevention or reduction of symptoms. Her recipes and suggestions are all backed up by scientific references and long historical use.
According to Chinese medicine, and Ayurvedic (Far Eastern Indian) and to a certain extent, the American Indian LIFEstyles, the body is more than the sum of parts. All systems human, animals and our earth and universe work together and do not simply operate individually on an “everyday usage” of our bodies. Inter-connectedness is the foundation of this approach.
“Eating Locally” is much more involved than just what part of the country or world you live in. It is “local” to your individual bacterial and viral biome or constitution. The word “local” really means specifically how a food and lifestyle can affect you individually depending on your health status both present and past history and condition. Eating habits from many years ago can probably still affect how you metabolize food physically, emotionally and spiritually. Even foods your ancestors regularly consumed and when affects you as well.
In Chinese medicine, the five most recognized flavor categories, sweet, salty, sour, bitter and unami all help to balance our bodies well-being. There are some other newer categories that scientists are bringing to the table for discussion, that include minerals and metals and how we perceive them with our taste receptors. These newer categories are different in scope and offer limited application for most people in everyday life.
In culinary terms, when cooks and chefs create cuisines, they are innately conscious of the balance of these five qualities. Some of the best and most flavorful meals are simply designed to balance all of the flavors within the first one or two bites of the meal to appreciate the forethought into creating a wonderful nourishing and flavorful experience.
Now, take that approach to wellness in the body. In Chinese medicine, this categorization of flavors and their physiological traits has a very thorough and long historical background. The qualities of each of the five flavor profiles help create the protection and balance of the body. So, in simple terms, if you are unbalanced physically and suffer from a disease or disorder, the system is out of whack, not just the one organ.
Since we are currently experiencing a viral attack on our lungs with COVID-19, it means the support systems, (according to the Chinese protocol), the kidney system and the liver system need support.
Certain foods, categorized spicy, acrid and pungent are three main ordinary foods that help the supportive kidney and liver do their jobs.
I highly recommend enrolling in her online classes because of the simple and practical recipes. This approach for self-care is easy to understand and apply to your daily life even for amateur cooks. These simple foods can be shared with children of all ages to increase the interest and continued appreciation of “Food is thy medicine and Medicine is thy food” for continued life-long use.
I will just share a few photos I took from the online video so you can see for yourself the recipes are easy to follow. There is a Vitamin C Bomb which is a daily sort of herbal tea tonic which includes Vitamin C crystals (ascorbic acid) and a second garlic syrup that can be used by adults and children over 3 years of age. (If ascorbic acid is not in your pantry, some of you may have camu-camu or amla powder which are both tropical fruit derived powders with extremely high amounts of vitamin C naturally and have supplied Vitamin C historically in various parts of the world.) Both these powders are great to have on hand to boost green smoothies. The garlic syrup contains honey which is anti-viral, anti-bacterial and contains vitamins and minerals. Keep in mind, babies should not have honey too soon in life. In her video Andrea explains which of her recipes and adaptations can be made for very young children.
To give myself a plug, I want to remind the reader that Midwest Mermaid Muse culinary products, as an example, our Land & SEAsoning all purpose spice mix, follow these Chinese Medicine guidelines that Andrea explains in her video. The warming spices of cumin, onion, dried red peppers, dried mustard along with the minerals in the sea salt and other spices comply with these ancient remedies. The seaweed combination powder supplies minerals, vitamins and iodine that also support all of the systems of the body. Remember, all ages can include a bit or frequent use of the Land & SEAsoning in everyday foods for an inclusion of more vitamins and minerals to the diet.
Because our food sources are not grown with the rich systemic nutrients from the soil since the Industrial Age and commercial farms and overuse of pesticides and antibiotics, herbs, spices and vegetables from the sea can all help boost our balance of nutrition.
In wellness & beauty,
Note: I apologize for the photo quality, as I took them throughout the class , but wanted to share the great ideas Andrea has. These are copyrighted photos of Andrea Beaman.