Medicinal use of ordinary foods

Medicinal use of ordinary foods

These methods are known as family medicine or folk medicine. They have all been developed through the real-life experience of people over many centuries; they are simple and easy to use, so that anyone can practice them without breaking the bank in their daily lives. They’re also highly effective, so people no longer need constant medical attention.

The only products used for such treatments are, in many cases, common household foods and implements, readily available at any time. All traditional cultures have relied on such natural healing methods, and some of them are more effective than modern medicine, without producing any side effects. They are also much more economical than modern treatment methods. Here are a few examples of such medicinal uses of ordinary foods that have been traditionally used for many centuries in the Far East:

1) Ginger compress
(application of warm ginger) – to stimulate circulation of blood and body fluids and dissolve stagnation.

Grate fresh ginger and place in a cloth bag (cheesecloth or buttercloth). Squeeze ginger juice into hot water (keep water just above boiling point). Soak a towel in ginger water, wring it tightly and apply it – very hot – directly to the area to be treated. Every 2 or 3 minutes, apply a new hot towel until the skin turns red.

2) Mustard plaster
– to stimulate circulation of blood and body fluids and relieve stagnation.

Add water to dry mustard and stir well. Spread this mixture on a paper towel, and place it between two bath towels (thick cotton towels). Apply to skin. Stop application once the skin has become hot and red.

3) Tofu plaster – more effective than ice cubes in suppressing fever.
Squeeze the water out of the tofu; mash the tofu and add 10-20% white flour and 5% grated ginger. Mix all ingredients well. Apply directly to the body. Change every 2 to 3 hours.

4) Taro potato plaster
(Arbi plaster)* – for extracting pus and stagnant blood from tumors, boils, etc.

Remove the hairy skin from the taro potato and grate the white interior. Mix with 5% grated fresh ginger. Spread a 1.5 cm thickness of this mixture on a piece of cotton cloth and apply the potato side directly to the tumor or skin. Change every 4 hours. Before and after this application, a ginger compress can be used to warm the body.

* an ordinary potato can be used, but its effectiveness will be inferior to that of taro. It contains more water and is not as sticky as the Taro potato, so you’ll need to add a little more flour to bind it together better. In this case, add green leafy vegetables such as Chinese cabbage, Swiss chard and turnip greens. This greenery must be finely chopped, crushed in a mortar and mixed with the potatoes in a proportion of 50% potatoes and 50% leaves or 60% and 40%.

5) Lotus root plaster
– to drain mucus from the sinuses, nose, throat and bronchi.

Grate fresh lotus roots and mix with 10-15% white flour and 5% grated fresh ginger. Spread a little more than a centimetre thick of the mixture.

on a cotton cloth. Apply the lotus root side, directly to the area to be treated. Keep for several hours or overnight. Repeat these applications daily for several days.

6) Buckwheat plaster
– to eliminate water retention and other liquids.

Mix buckwheat flour with sesame oil and hot water to form a stiff dough, just over a centimeter thick. Apply directly to swollen area. When the liquid is released, the dough becomes soft and watery. Replace it with a new, harder plaster. Change every 3 to 4 hours.

8) Salt plaster
– to warm any part of the body, e.g. the abdominal area in case of diarrhea.

Toast the salt in a dry pan until very hot. Wrap this heated salt in a cotton cloth or towel. Apply to the area to be treated. Change when it starts to cool *. *Do not use this salt in cooking.
9) Daikon (Long white radish) – Drink n°1 – to bring down fever by inducing perspiration.

Mix half a cup of grated daikon with a tablespoon of Tamari soy sauce and a quarter teaspoon of grated ginger. Pour hot 3-year-old tea over the mixture and shake well. Drink hot.
Drink n°2 – to ease urination.

Grate daikon and extract the juice using buttercloth. Mix two tablespoons of this juice with 6 tablespoons of hot water. Add a pinch of sea salt. Boil all ingredients together and drink (never use without boiling). To be taken only once a day and used no more than three times without supervision.

10) Ranshio
– to strengthen the heart, stimulate heartbeat and blood circulation.

Break a raw egg into a bowl and mix with a tablespoon of Tamari soy sauce. Drink slowly (use only once a day for three days).

11) 3-year-old Tamari tea
– to strengthen acidic blood and stimulate circulation; to relieve fatigue.

Pour a hot cup of three-year-old twig tea over one or two teaspoons of Tamari soy sauce. Stir well and drink hot.

Kukicha: Green tea twigs

(In French Kukicha (茎茶) translates as twig tea (Kuki: twig or stem and Cha: Tea). It is sometimes called Bocha (棒茶). Under this Japanese name we understand either green tea or fermented tea, which mainly consists of green tea twigs and stems mixed with a small quantity of leaves).

12) Three-year-old salted tea – to clear the nasal cavity and cleanse the vaginal area.

Put enough sea salt in hot (body-temperature) three-year-old tea to make it a little less salty than seawater. Use this liquid to thoroughly cleanse the nasal cavity through the nostrils, or as a vaginal douche. This salty tea can also be used to wash away irritated eyes.

13) Ume-Sho-Bancha
* to strengthen the blood and improve circulation by regulating digestion.

Pour a cup of three-year-old tea over the flesh of a half or whole umeboshi plum, with a teaspoon of Tamari. Stir well and drink hot.

*Ume for Umeboshi, salted plum – Sho for salt or tamari – Bancha for 3-year-old tea.

14) Kouzou drink
(Kudzu in the USA) – To improve digestion and vitality and relieve general fatigue.

Bring to the boil a cup of water in which a heaping spoonful of kouzou powder has been dissolved. Heat, stirring constantly, until gelatinous and transparent, then pour in a teaspoon of Tamari sauce. Drink hot.

15) Ume-Sho-Kouzou – drink to improve digestion, boost energy and restore intestinal functions.

Prepare the kouzou drink as above, adding the flesh of a half or whole umeboshi plum to the soy sauce. You can also add 1/8 teaspoon of freshly grated ginger.

16) Umeboshi,
or roasted umeboshi or roasted umeboshi almond powder – to neutralize excess acidity and relieve intestinal problems, including those caused by micro-organisms.

Take 2 or 3 umeboshi plums with three-year-old twig tea; or roast plums or their kernels in the oven until they turn completely black. In the case of almonds, grind them to a powder and take a tablespoonful with a little hot water or tea.

17)Denshi (Teeth)
– To prevent tooth problems and stop bleeding by causing dilated blood capillaries to contract.

Bake an eggplant, especially the swollen part, until it turns completely black… Grind to a powder and mix with 30-50% toasted sea salt. Use as a toothpaste, or apply to any bleeding, even in the nostrils in the case of nosebleeds (using a moistened pad dipped in the dentine).

18) Gomashio (Sesame and salt)
– to improve digestion and intestinal absorption as well as blood quality, and relieve general fatigue and aches and pains such as headaches or toothaches.

To use as a home remedy, mix 3 to 4 parts toasted sesame seeds with one part sea salt. (For everyday use as a meal condiment, use 8 to 14 parts sesame seeds to one part sea salt). Crush slowly and evenly in a suribachi (mortar and pestle), to crush all the seeds but not completely to powder. Take a teaspoonful of gomashio once or twice a day for a few days. It can be taken with three-year-old twig tea or hot water, or sprinkled on cereals with meals.

19) Sesame oil
– to promote elimination of stagnant faeces or to remove retained water.

To help eliminate stagnant faeces, take one or two spoonfuls of sesame oil cure. To eliminate water retention in the eyes, put one or two drops of pure sesame into the eyes with a dropper, preferably before going to bed. Continue for several evenings or weeks, until the condition of the eyes improves. For this purpose, pure sesame oil should be boiled and filtered through sterilized gauze to remove any impurities.

20) Ginger and sesame oil
– to activate blood capillaries, circulation and nerve reactions; and to relieve pain.

Mix grated fresh ginger with an equal amount of sesame oil. Soak a cotton cloth in ginger sesame oil and rub it into the affected area.

21) Whole-grain rice and raw seeds
– to eliminate various types of worms.

Skip breakfast and lunch. When your stomach is empty, take a handful of raw brown rice and half a handful of raw pumpkin or sunflower seeds, for example, and another half a handful of finely chopped raw onion, shallot or garlic. Chew well and swallow. Repeat for two or three days.

22) Cream of Wholemeal Rice
– to provide nutrients and energy to someone who is exhausted or can no longer digest.

Brown the brown rice evenly until all the grains are golden brown. For one volume of rice, add a very small amount of sea salt and 3 to 6 volumes of water, and cook in a pressure cooker for at least two hours. Pour into butter cloth and extract the creamy part of the rice. Consume with a small amount of condiments such as umeboshi, gomashio (salt and sesame), tekka, kelp or other seaweed powder.

23) Grated daikon (Long white radish)
* – to aid digestion, especially of fatty, oily, heavy, animal and other foods.

Grate fresh daikon, or if you can’t find any, use black radish, turnip or red radish, and take a tablespoon or so with a few drops of tamari sauce. Traditional uses for grated daikon: in Eastern countries, it has been customary for many centuries to serve freshly grated or minced daikon with vegetable or fish fritters (tempura), sashimi (fresh raw fish in pieces), mochi (sweet pounded rice cakes) and other strong foods.

24) Dried Daikon leaves – to warm the body; particularly useful for women’s skin and sexual metabolism. It also helps to remove body odor and excess lipids, as well as various skin diseases caused by animal products.

Dry a few fresh daikon leaves at home, away from the sun, until they turn brown and brittle. If you don’t have daikon leaves, you can use turnip greens. Boil four or five bunches of leaves in four to five liters of water, until the water turns brown. Add a handful of sea salt, stir well and use one of the following methods:
– 1° Soak a cotton cloth in this hot liquid, then wring it slightly. Apply it to the affected area of the skin. Apply repeatedly until the skin is completely red.
– 2° Pour this hot liquid into a hot bath. Mix well and immerse the body in the water.
– 3° To treat disorders of the female sexual organs: sit in the bathtub with a bath prepared as above only up to the waist, for about 10 minutes until the whole body becomes warm and begins to sweat, covering the upper body with a towel. Repeat several times a day, up to 10 days if necessary. 4° This liquid can be filtered and used for a shower to remove mucus and fatty deposits from the uterus and vagina.

25) Salt water –
cold salt water can be used to contract the skin surface, particularly in the case of burns; hot salt water can be used to cleanse the rectum, colon and vagina.

– 1° after a burn, immediately soak the burned area in cold salt water until the irritation disappears completely; then apply vegetable oil to the affected area to isolate it from the air.

– 2° for constipation or accumulation of mucus and fats in the rectum, colon and vagina, use warm salted water (at body temperature) for an enema or shower.

26) Shallot, onion or daikon juice
– to neutralize toxins caused by bee stings and other insect bites.

Chop the shallot, onion or daikon, or their leaves, and extract the juice. If you don’t have these vegetables, you can use red radish. Rub the affected area with the juice.

le Livre de la Macrobiotique by Michio Kushi published by Editions de la Maisnie

Important note: This information is not intended to replace medical care but to inform you about the possibilities of plants; if in doubt about their use, always seek advice from a health professional (doctor, pharmacist or herbalist).