Harmonious Cooking with Herbs to Eradicate Insomnia.
A culinary delight using herbs and spices.
We are all familiar with herbs and spices in our foods. Have you ever wondered why foods had herbs and spices added?
Many centuries ago Chinese Taoists went to the highest mountains to contemplate nature, strengthen their bodies, empower their minds and develop their spirit. From those studies and cultivation, they gave China alchemy and chemistry, herbology and acupuncture, the I Ching, astrology, martial arts and T'ai Chi Ch'uan, Chi Gong and many other useful kinds of knowledge. The most important of all, they handed down in secrecy methods for attaining longevity and spiritual immortality. One of these approaches was to use a collection of food herb formulas. They used these herbs to increase energy and heighten vitality. This collection of prized herbal secrets stayed within the Ni family for many centuries.
One other most notable person in history for compiling over 400 herbs was Hippocrates and many of these are still used today. Dioscorides who lived in the first century quoted aloes mixed with wine as a good hair restorer. The oldest medical manuscripts refer to many herbs. Thomas Tusser wrote a poem in 1573 quoting vinegar tart, rose water and treacle for the heart. Nicolas Culpeper mentions oats fried with bay salt and applied to the sides takes away the pain of stitches and wind. Oats boiled with vinegar was supposed to take away freckles and spots.
To create harmonious foods it’s important to remember how our stomach digests food. It secretes certain enzymes to digest and breakdown the foods that we eat. Unfortunately today we have an excess of processed foods that goes against the natural consumption for our stomach.
A successful combination of herbs and spices can give the most tantalising dish of food. When herbs were used in cooking many hundreds of years ago it was to make for better digestion of certain foods.
Why do we have oranges with duck? Why sage and tomatoes? Rosemary used for chicken or game birds, why? Why do we add cinnamon to rice puddings and other starch based desserts?
The reason that oranges were used in the preparation of duck.
Lemons and oranges act as an antiseptic and they both have these fantastic properties. Lemon dissolves fat and cleanses meat and fish. The flesh off a duck can be particularly dangerous as it’s the only bird that likes to eat excrement. Using orange removes the poison from the flesh and aids digestion.
Ginger also dissolves fat in advance during cooking. It also dispenses with the need for salt and enhances the flavour of the meat.
Rosemary has several properties, as it is an anti-putrefactive plant and is also anti-rheumatic. So adding a few sprigs of rosemary in the belly of a chicken or game bird will combat all the toxins of putrefaction. Rosemary was also added to marrows, aubergines or tomatoes to stop them retaining too many liquids while cooking.
Sage is also anti-putrefactive and works on the liver and kidneys. It also prevents tooth decay. When added during cooking it combats the poison cadaverine, which is present in any meat dish. Sage added to a dish of Provencal tomatoes will inhibit the acids that develop during cooking and ensure that they are dissolved and therefore creating a fabulous dish of food.
Cinnamon is a great stimulant for the nervous system and also can neutralise the starch in rice and semolina puddings.
Basil with its antiseptic properties is a great herb to use raw with mushrooms and salads.
Cumin is a great cure for flatulence and indigestion. A must have herb when cooking cabbage and cauliflower and better added before cooking.
Bay added to soups can help soothe a stomach after indigestion and in particular potato soup.
Vanilla added to a dish will alleviate heavy wind after a meal.
Fruits should always be eaten and not drunk as the stomach contains peptin and muriatic acid. Fruit juice without water is transformed into bad quality alcohol in the stomach. Many people are considerably affected by this but are led to believe that pure fruit juice is healthy. Quite clearly when you see the chemical reactions in the stomach it does not create harmony.
It’s also important to understand how our stomach works best. It is definitely in the morning, at noon and up to early evening. So it would be advisable to have a small light meal during the evening. This then ensures that you are not going to bed with a heavily laden stomach. Thereby creating symptoms of insomnia as the body is working so hard to digest all the heavy food.
So to create a harmonious culinary food, try to eat foods with these glorious herbs and spices. Eat fruit and avoid drinking juices. Ensure that your meals are not processed as much as possible. Make sure that the last meal is not heavy and try to eat the heavy meal at noon. You may find that you sleep much better and have a more settled stomach than reaching for those antacid tablets.