Monday, November 23, 2009

Day Two-Galenical Menu-making

Herbs/food-then and now and those few who knew the deeper connection and took the extra step to research, practice, and preserve the information for the future generations...we owe them a debt of gratitude.

Galen was a 2nd century physician, who wrote extensively about the body's four "humors"-blood, phlegm, black bile, and yellow bile-and classified herbs by their essential qualities: as hot or cold, dry or damp.

These theories were later expanded by the 7th-century Arab physicians such as; Avicenna and today Galenical theories continue to dominate.

This is a rough blue-print of his model classification which extended to the patient.

*Cold ( water )...Temperament: (phlegmatic) Fluid ( phlegm ) Season ( winter )
The phlegatic nature was dominated by "cold and damp" with typically illnesses including phlegm and chest problems.
~Warm, drying herbs, such as thyme and hyssop's were used to restore, balance, and clear phlegm from the chest and throat area.

*Dry ( Earth )...Temperament; ( melancholic) Fluid ( black bile ) Season ( Fall )
The melancholic nature was "cold and dry" so typically illnesses could include constipation or depression and gloom.
~Hot herbs such as senna and hellebore was used to purge excess black bile and restore balance.

*Damp ( Air )...Temperament; (sanguine) Fluid (blood) Season (spring)
The sanguine person was a Galenical ideal: good humored and amusing, but inclined to
Gout or diarrhea could be a problem.
~Cool, dry herbs such as burdock or figwort were used to cleanse the system.

*Dry (Fire)...Temperament ( choleric ) Fluid (yellow bile) Season (summer )
The choleric was prone to an up and down mood, bad temper, and liver disorders.
~Rhubarb, violets, and dandelion were used to clear yellow bile.

Now....if one has the understanding of any natural health care such as homeopathy, naturopathy, etc, then you will better relate to the info just shared.
It's akin to the astrological model that we are familiar with today.

They both push the thought that our body, our system is connected to and functions in direct relation with the universe and the elements.

This is where "eating in season " draws from. To be our best from our food, our system is designed to function in any given season on the foods that match the properties of said season.

When we eat foods out of season, our system treats them as an alien substance and goes into the flight or fight mode...hence all the problems we so often end up with.

( turnip greens, collards, kale, pumpkin and turnips are some of the fall/winter foods that will balance our system for the season's requirements.)
Our body goes into a rest mode in the fall and winter, it requires the foods that nourishes this mode.

(Wednesday...the influences that built the bridge from then to now.)

Makes me want to wrap myself in a warm blanket and sit by the fire with a bowl of thick pumpkin soup and a cup of thyme tea....

Thanks for reading~

Bea Kunz


Susan said...

Oh yes! pumpkin soup and a warm fire:) What about squash? This feels so wonderful to eat when it is in season in the fall...

This gets me wondering...and thinking that I freez a lot of squash to make soup later in the winter, but the appeal of eating it in February is not as strong...hmmmm...

What are your thoughts on freezing food to be eaten later?

Edmond said...

"Makes me want to wrap myself in a warm blanket and sit by the fire with a bowl of thick pumpkin soup and a cup of thyme tea...."

Since I live in Florida, the blanket and fire part don't really apply, but the soup and tea sure sounds good! I agree with you and make every effort to buy seasonal fruits and veggies.


Prosper and Be In Health said...

This is so interesting. I did learn about food and seasons a few years ago, trying to eat the right foods, the right seasons. It does make a difference in our bodies.
Having a fun time learning and refreshing.


BeaK. said...

Sharon, I lived on the Mississippi Gulf coast for almost 30 years, I understand.

I do love the seasons here, but miss walks on the beach and the sea gulls, shrimp boats, etc.

Glad to have you with us.


BeaK. said...

Susan, squash is my favorite this time of year. I peel, cut them into small chunks, mix a olive oil and seasoning on them and roast in the oven just until starting to brown...yummy.

Freezing in season foods are wonderful as far as the nutritional content. But freezing , canning, any process will change something about the food...the texture, the taste, the it's not the same as eating it before it has been altered in any manner.

Because farms and growing one's own food is not a way of life for the majority anymore....the next best thing is fresh frozen.

That means buying it locally in season and freezing as soon as possible.

Had the most interesting conversation with a local vegetable market owner today..will share that later.

Enjoy your squash ~


Susan said...

Thanks, Bea! We have joined a CSA (a few years back) and I just LOVE the fresh veggies! Plus, getting out as a family to plant and support the wonderful, young couple that is running this farm. We are truly blessed to have them so close!

So, yes! I am truly enjoying the plethora of veggies...and have to freeze or can to keep up with the supply!

As Vanessa posted on having enough...I am amazed at how many fruits and veggies our CSA yeilds...that anyone goes hungry in the USA is frightening to me...there is so much....

Thank you for all that you do to support local farming. I am hoping to continue to connect with the local farmers and learn ways to teach others to have small gardens. We really need to go back to sharing and learning together to hold our communities together.

Whew! Had a moment there...joyful thanks and sharing!

BeaK. said...

Susan, my good friend and neighbor...2 miles away, are CSA farmers. It is so amazing to me how much they produce, they are certified organic and grow a lot of heirloom.

Yes, people lacking in good food in this country is hard to get the mind around. So sad...

Most of our Thanksgiving meal is coming from the gardens...I trust your holiday is just what you want it to be.

Bea Kunz

Dina said...

Bea, I LOVE this. I was always interested in the the historic classifications of maladies (Chinese medicine still uses something like this, right?) However, this is the first time I've seen it applied to food in season and it makes total sense - like another piece of the puzzle was snapped in.

Thanks for the great information, as always and I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

BeaK. said...

Hi Dina, so good to see you!

Yes, Chinese medicine is still very uch aligned with the ancient practices, as are many other countries.

It does all fall into place when we have all the right pieces Dina.

Thanks for reading and so happy you enjoyed...

Bea Kunz