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~