Food equals Medicine: Ginger

Food equals Medicine: Ginger

I’m a fan of ginger ale. Its the one thing settles my yucky stomach. Canada Dry is my brand. It has real ginger in it. Having said that -its extracted and lots of not so good stuff in ginger ale.
I don’t know why i have never included grated real ginger in my food. It’s delicious, not expensive, easy to deal with. Just grab and grate.
Ginger, aka Zingiber officinale, is a rhizome, a thick underground stem that sprouts roots and shoots.
Ginger as medicine
Ginger is one of the oldest medicinal foods.
Since the herb originated in Southeast Asia, it’s not surprising that ancient Chinese and Indian healers have made ginger a part of their toolkit for thousands of years.

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shoh wu chi a tonic and Lili Von Shtupp

When ever I think of “tonics” I think of the wild west and the guys in their wagons touting the latest cure. One of the more popular tonics like Hostetter’s Celebrated Stomach Bitters had an alcohol content of 44.3% by volume. Others, like Parkers Tonic had 41.6% and Peruna had 28%.
From the 1850’s to the early 1900’s, cocaine- and opium-laced elixirs, tonics and wines were broadly used by people of all social classes. Yes folks , there was cocaine in coke.

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Food equals medicine MUNG BEANS

Food equals medicine MUNG BEANS

The only beans i ever really liked were Boston Baked Beans.  Delicious but probably not good for you. With my hotdog and some potato salad.  On my old sailboat in eel pond in woods hole.

I digress…
This stuff you can get the bean or also in vermicelli noodles.
These guys are packed with lots of protein and very easy to cook. I like that it helps to lower cholesterol. As nurses we should be encouraging our patients to eat better.  A total plus that these little guys contain phytoestrogens which aid in the production of collagen and elastin which improve skin tone.

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food equals medicine SEAWEED

food equals medicine  SEAWEED

This was another one of the foods i said ugh to.  Now i can’t enough of it.  I just bought some iodine. We don’t get enough Iodine.

Salt does not naturally contain iodine. “No salt, table or sea, in its natural state contains iodine.  This mineral was added to salt in the early 1900s when scientists discovered that an iodine deficiency in American diets was causing thyroid goiter, a mass in the neck that could press on the trachea and esophagus. This discovery led to “iodized” table salt and a significant reduction of goiters. Subsequently, lack of iodine in pregnant women was found to cause a form of mental retardation in infants called Iodine Deficiency Disorder (IDD).  This disorder remains a problem.  According to UNICEF (2007), “over 1 billion people in the world suffer from iodine deficiency, and 38 million babies born every year are not protected from brain damage due to IDD.”

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Food equals medicine Kimchi

Food equals medicine

Kimchi

This one of the foods my acupuncture  doc turned me onto.
I’m very lucky to be able to pick up home made at my local Chinese grocery store. You can also buy in Publix.

Effective in preventing cancer and  detoxifying heavy metals in the liver, kidney and small intestine. Slows down the aging process ,contains way more lactobacillus than yogurt, lowers cholesterol.

When I looked at it I thought it was gross but it grows on you. Reminds me of that jewish sauerkraut i grew up with and I look forward to going home and having my little bowl. I thought i was going get heartburn and I didn’t and boy my belly feels good.

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Integrative recovery and being your own advocate

Integrative recovery and being your own advocate

A few weeks ago I had a headache. Actually it was more like a head pain. Like my brain was on fire.  There are thousands of reasons for a headache. I’m not a headachy type of person. I just thought I had some kind of virus took some advil and carried on.

Five days later a red blotch appeared in the inner canthus of my right eye. “This can’t be good.” I called my sister who is a PA and she thought I may have shingles and I needed to see a MD ASAP.

It takes an act of congress to get me to the doctors office. When I lived in Boca I had a wonderful network of MDs that were always happy to see me if need be.  I knew these folks and they knew me so it was an easy interaction. Most of them were integrative docs so not only would I get what I needed – I would get extra advice on “alternative” therapies that could be helpful.

Off I went to urgent care. The person at the front desk told me to type my name into her program. No eye contact. Very gruff. My heart was sinking. This is everything I hear about on a daily basis but can’t talk about. Front office people. They have heard it all. “Take a breath.” I told myself ” You have to be here. Just get though it. This is what it is these days.

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