Nutrition & Nourishment
You are what you Can digest and absorb
A medical herbalist will usually talk about nutrition as part of your consultation. If your diet needs attention they will aim to help you to adapt your eating habits so that your diet shifts to one that supplies you with the nutrition that you need. This ensures that your mind and body are nourished, and your energy and stamina levels are maintained at optimal levels.
Herbalists often say that rather than just “you are what you eat” it’s more a case of “you are what you can digest and absorb”. Without good absorption it is still possible to be undernourished – even if you eat a well balanced, healthy diet. Herbs are excellent for improving the absorption of nutrients from the food by toning and strengthening the digestive tract. Sometimes dramatic improvements can be seen in a person’s energy and vitality from improved digestion and absorption.
Let Food Be Our Medicine
Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, advised us to let food be our medicine and medicine be our food. He also distinguished between herbs as medicine and herbs as food on the basis of taste; herbs as food would be bland and herbs as medicine would often have strong specific tastes in order to be effective as a medicine. And that is pretty much what herbalists several thousand years later still understand as a truth.
Some herbs are used as healthy foods and work well to maintain health, while others have no food use but act as powerful medicines. A medical herbalist will know when your body is in need of nutritive support and when a more powerful medicine is needed.