Food and Tradition

Here we contrast western nutrition science with a traditional view of food as medicine to treat the sick and stay healthy.

Believe in the healing nature of food

Have you ever asked yourself how food nourishes and maintains the health and function of the skin, bones, hair, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, teeth, digestive system, liver, lungs, heart, red and white blood cells, nervous system, brain, kidney? People have done so for thousands of years. Every culture has a tradition to use food to restore health and well-being. It is these traditions that still have a strong hold on our daily lives. They are often put in contrast to modern nutritional science and medicine. The line between what is food and what is food that promotes health is part of both lines of thoughts. We make use of both supplements that are medically evaluated (vitamins, minerals, essential lipids, nutraceuticals) as well as medicinal herbs that have represent alternative medicine.

Seek the benefit of nutritional balance

Western medicine does not rely on food as a central aspect of healing. It uses surgery, antibiotics, and pharmaceuticals to intervene during illness. Alternative medicine, in contrast, relies heavily on 'food' including plant products and herbal extracts that have been found to facilitate healing. Despite their seemingly different approaches, their is a simple connection between medicinal herbs and pharmaceuticals because both ultimately rely on plant metabolites (ingredients) that have an effect on our cells. The biggest challenge for the scientific approach is to measure the effect of simple food items as opposed to active ingredients, the purified extracts with pharmacological potency. Traditional medicine makes use of the effect individual plants and plant products have on sick people. One of the oldest tradition in Asia is the use of warm and cold foods originating some two to three thousand years ago. Warm and cold refer to humoral qualities of the blood reflecting an early approach by physicians to equate illness with internal changes of body function. If the humorals are not in balance, they can be readjusted by eating corresponding warm or cold foods.

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