Growing up as a kid, we always had a 'medicine cabinet', it was full of colorful pills, funky pink liquids that tasted like 'bubblegum', cough drops that went down like candy and vitamins shaped like The Flintstones.
Every time I was under-the-weather my mom would bring the basics: Sudafed, Mylanta and a big glass of Canada Dry Ginger Ale . I would be sent to bed to rest (and watch TV), maybe brought some Campbell's chicken noodle soup later for lunch, and then small plastic cup of Nightquil before bed.
I'd usually wake the next day feeling somewhat better and then hurried out the door to make my way to catch the school bus.
But as I got older, I took notice of this over-the-counter quick fix cycle, and that I never really 'got better', it was just enough to get me by until about few weeks later, when I would be dealing with the same sickness again.
Now, bless my mom's heart for taking care of me when I was sick (and for most days of just wanting to skip school)... I wouldn't change these memories for anything. But now as a young adult, my 'medicine cabinet' is also the same cabinet I'm constantly in and out of for cooking throughout the day.
It's now filled with dark earthy colors from dried green leafs that smell of summer, to cute little brown bottles filled with infused mushrooms and rum.
So how can you collaborate your medicine cabinet and spice cabinet into one?
Just ask yourself,
What do I like to eat?
What do I enjoy cooking?
What is my body craving at this moment?
I truly feel that cooking with herbs & spices is really a refection of what your body is needing at that moment in time.
For an example, some days I really crave Mexican food, you know that deep aroma of tacos in the air? Well, I now know that Cumin is the main cooking spice in authentic Mexican food and It's considered a good source of Iron, Manganese, and other vitamins and minerals. Some research shows that it may also stimulate the production of pancreatic enzymes and help digestion. So I take it as a hello from my body that I'm definitely needing some tacos ;)
Start to play around with different herbs and spices that call your name, use your intuitive senses when pairing spices with meals, you'll never know what kind of masterpiece you might create!
Here's my top herbs and spices I use just about everyday in multiple dishes, drinks, baked goods etc. :
- Cayenne Pepper
- Mustard seed
- Nettle Leaf
With incorporating more herbs and spices into your cooking, you'll be nourishing your body in multiple ways to keep your body functioning at it's best!
This way of preventive medicine works best for me and my lifestyle, it keeps me from falling into a 'illness cycle' and activates healing on many different levels.
And the best part of creating your own 'medicine cabinet', is you can start it right in your backyard.
I'll be back in a few weeks with how to create a herb garden for basic cooking spices and herbs to use all year long!
"Let food by thy medicine and medicine be thy food. -Hippocrates"
*Disclaimer : This article does not replace the advice of a medical doctor, registered dietitian or other medical provider or treatment. Please consult with your doctor before trying any new dietary changes.