In the free Moonflower class, Cooking with Medicine, Herbalist Emily Stock taught how to incorporate herbs into food and how using herbs in food can be medicine.
Stock introduced some food for thought with the Chinese medicine practice of finding a person’s affinity for certain flavors or cravings being directly associated with the organs these flavors constitute; salt cravings to the kidneys, sweet to the spleen and stomach, sour to the liver, bitter to the heart and acrid flavors to the lungs.
Stock showed the class while making tea with roots, it is best to use a cold infusion to extract minerals from the roots and release the mucilage. The mucilage supports the mucosa; a membrane rich in mucous in the sinuses, urinary tract or genitals.
The cold infusion process requires more time and should sit overnight or up to 12 hours.
When making tea from leaves or flowers the process changes to hot infusion. The delicate compound needs to be covered to keep in the volatile oils that will want to evaporate.
Stock's favorite way to make hot tea is with a French press. “Herbs like to be moved and teased,” Stock said, as she moved the French press up and down with the tealeaves dancing around in the mixture.
She listed some foods that should be in every person’s pantry and are vital to health: honey is antibacterial and moistening; lemon is a Chi regulator, it clears phlegm and the stagnation of mucosa; kelp is an abundant source of all known vitamins and 50 percent of its weight is concentrated minerals and it’s an indispensible electrolyte replacement; mushrooms nourish the shin spirit (heart) and help with low immunity by stimulating the immune system by putting the body on high alert because it is neither plant nor animal. Regular consumption of mushrooms help with cancer, autoimmune diseases and thyroid disorders.
Stock then spilled the beans about beans! Before soaking, beans have about 15 percent protein, after soaking and germinating they pack in a whopping 85 percent protein! They are blood sugar regulating and great for breakfast because they keep you full all day.
Stock achieves a harmonizing balance in her cooking through the ancient Ayurveda teachings and using Indian cooking traditions as a guide.
“One plus one can equal three,” Stock said, a stronger effect may be achieved with certain food combinations.
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