We Thank the Ancestors for Folk Medicine…

About a year ago, my dad and I had a conversation about folk medicine remedies. My father will be 79 years old this year, is a Doctor of Philosophy in Physics and retired after almost 35 years as a reliability engineer: so any talk my father has with me I am honored because he doesn’t waste time talking about just anything!

Our conversation centered around how would anyone know, in general, of how or even if most folk remedies would work: Also, how would anyone know, in general, of which natural remedies to use or avoid.

I suggested to my dad that perhaps many, many moons ago there was a person of lower rank in a village or tribe selected for the medicine man, midwife or shaman to test out which remedies “might” work.

Instead of schooling me on theories, my dad sort of agreed: “maybe.”

So, this blog post is to think about — and not jokingly — the ancestors who were the testers of most or all folk remedies (ancestors are those who have lived before us: direct relatives or not).

Have you ever thought about the long history of folk medicine and who the essential individuals were that might have risked their lives (or died) testing out which natural remedies to use?

Spring Recipe: Maitake Mushroom and Blackberries

-Sautéing (not pan frying) Maitake Mushroom and Blackberries-

I have battled, and have won, against the common cold this week — needless to say that I incorporated the usual folk medicine kitchen remedies:

-Rest

-Hydration

-Black Seed Oil

-Garlic

and

-Praying

to the great Creator, that the cold and the discomfort that goes along with the common cold ends fairly soon.

However, I also did something else: While in my weakened state, I purchased maitake mushroom and blackberries.

The maitake mushroom is also known as the “hen of the woods” or “sheep’s head” (however I think it looks more like a turkey tail — but –).

The maitake mushroom is full of Vitamin D that acts like a hormone for the body and helps the body with important processes, such as building stronger bones.

This mushroom is utilized in Eastern medicine and in recent years, used in some Western medicinal practices.

Blackberries are a healthier option for anyone with a sweet tooth. It is also convenient that blackberries are a good source of Vitamin C and manganese, which are needed to help your immune system become stronger to fight off icky cold and flu viruses.

Now — for the sauteing part.

I added…

  • 1/4 teaspoon of ghee to pan (if you do not have ghee, you can use a little butter)
  • washed a half head of maitake mushrooms – then placed the ingredients in a small skillet.
  • and set my stove top temperature on a low setting.

In the video I posted, I first let the ghee melt with the ingredients, thus the frying and the display on the pan for aesthetic purposes, but I gently tousled the mushroom(s) in the melted ghee and the blackberries with the mushrooms and melted ghee for about 10 to 15 mins.

Maitake mushrooms have a earthy flavor that isn’t too rich. The ghee brings that savory flavor out and the blackberries, have a tart sweetness that mellows out the the earthiness; making it in my humble opinion, gentle on the stomach, yet still flavorful!

Now, you do not have to only enjoy this little appetizer when you are not feeling well, you can enjoy it anytime.

Hopefully you are all well and I hope you try this recipe.

Once you try it, tell me your experience and what you think.

Enjoy your weekend!

-Heather

A Folk Medicine Staple All of You Should Be Using…

I am sure a few of you have grown up with some type of folk medicine ingredient to help make your daily life a little easier. A couple of common folk medicine ingredient examples is the use of honey as cough medicine and olive oil drops in the ear canal to soothe the pain for ear infection relief. However, there is one ingredient that I believe everyone should have as a folk medicine staple in their kitchen.

Drum roll, please…

Distilled vinegar.

So, why is distilled vinegar a folk medicine staple that I think all of you should have on deck?

For a few reasons, of course: Distilled vinegar can be used to clean glassware and windows. It can also be used as a fat loss aid. Hell, even hospitals are now using distilled vinegar as a way to disinfect and sanitize their emergency rooms!

So, what makes distilled vinegar a beneficial staple? Well, the vinegar contains a powerful ingredient called acetic acid which has been proven to kill certain types of harmful bacteria, lower blood sugar, decrease high cholesterol levels and decrease instances of high blood pressure for some individuals.

Now — you will want to purchase the type of vinegar that has low acidity. The safest distilled vinegar has a maximum of 5% acetic acid, and even then, you do not want to take a spoonful of it without first diluting it in water, or it will literally take your breath away.

For example, I take a half teaspoon of distilled vinegar and combine it with 6 to 8 ounces of purified water first thing in the morning. I also use distilled vinegar to wash my raw meats before cooking to remove excess goo and to add a little flavor to my food.

Now, like anything else, you want to use caution when ingesting vinegar(s), since vinegar’s acid can erode tooth enamel and can cause ulcers when taken in excess.

You can purchase vinegar at nearly any and every store, and it is relatively inexpensive. So, if you have no distilled vinegar in your home, think about investing in some — it is a folk medicine kitchen staple that you will be glad to have around.