Over 2000 years ago, Hippocrates (the "Father of Medicine") used "the healing power of nature" ("vis medicatrix naturae" in Latin) to cure his patients. His belief was that the body has its own means to re-balance and heal itself (physis). Hence, hippocratic therapy focused on simply easing this natural process.
Last month I stumbled upon one of the sayings attributed to Hippocrates: "Let food be your best medicine" and I asked myself how can it be.
The answer came from yet another famous person - Masanobu Fukuoka founder of no-till no-herbicide grain cultivation from Japan (1913 - 2008).
In his book "The One-Straw Revolution", he said that "edible herbs and wild vegetables, plants growing on the mountain and in the meadow, are very high in nutritional value and are also useful as medicine.
Food and medicine are not two different things: they are the front and back of one body. Chemically grown vegetables may be eaten for food, but they cannot be used as medicine."
Why natural and organic farmig are better for us?
Herbs and vegetables grown through natural farming have an increased content of "medicinal" components like volatile oils, saponins, tannins, alkaloids. Many of these chemical components are produced as part of the plant's own immune system to protect the plant from insect damage and disease.
When we use pesticides and other chemicals to kill the pests, herbs don't need to defend themselves anymore and thus grow to have a low nutritional and "medicinal" value.
How to make the most of this?
Look in your area an "organic producers association” which promotes organically grown products. Usually, producers deliver fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts based on customers' orders. This way they know how much food to grow and nothing is wasted. You also have the guarantee of fresh high value nutritional food.
If you don't have an association in your town, search for farmers' markets or greenmarkets. Buy seasonal vegetables and fruits, fresh dairy and meat products from farms located near your town. This way you will take care of your health and be eco-warrior at the same time :)
Did you ever think of food as medicine?