Last weekend was the Southeast Wise Woman Conference. This was my first year as a participant and a partial volunteer. Despite the rain, wind, and cold weather, women still gathered from near and far to learn, to share, to heal, and to be present with each other. I learned so much about physiology, nutrition, herbal healing, and community herbalism, and have weeks of inspiration to draw from for this Blog project that I’ve been working on for over 5 months. Thank you to all of the presenters!
First and foremost, I want to share some things about a nutrition based lifestyle, specifically, as it relates to an anti-inflammatory lifestyle. A proper diet is the center of health and healing as we know it. This aspect is growing in importance as our food security within the global community is jeopardized by large agriculture business, genetically modified foods, overpopulation, and fossil fuel scarcity. Food security, in my opinion, is the root of healthcare.
On the cellular (and chemical) level, that which we ingest becomes a part of us. In addition, that which we put on our skins is integrated into the body’s system as well. I heard a lot of women this weekend say, “don’t put anything on your skin that you wouldn’t eat.” Wow!
Just like the most basic cycle that we all learned about in elementary school, The Water Cycle, our bodies are cycles of input and output. Each chemical message that our body receives, it responds to, either with a normal functioning response or with an immune response.
Our bodies utilize the nutrition it receives to send messages, to contract and relax muscles, to think, to talk, and function each day and night. The body’s immune response is a defense mechanism. Similar to the nervous system response to threats (ie: “Bear! Run!”), antigens prompt white blood cells to travel through the body to a site of inflammation, irritation, and distress. The stress response and the immune response are different, but so very linked.
Back to inflammation. Depending on someone’s propensity to inflammation, the body may be in a feedback loop of continually responding to messages of distress. We need nutrition to help soothe this imbalance and to nourish the body so that it may reorient from a mode of distress back to normal functioning. Easier said than done, but not completely out of reach.
Without going into many details, below are some supplements known to assist in this healing process. Tumeric, black pepper, fish oil, antioxidants! Antioxidants include foods with color such as blueberries, sweet potatoes, greens, fruits, and so on; spices such as: cayenne, cumin, mineral salt, garlic, ginger; aromatic herbs: marjoram, rosemary, thyme, mint, sage; and green tea is known to have antioxidant powers. These foods need to be consumed with regularity and consistency to have a serious effect on the body. Once you start a routine incorporating antioxidant rich foods, it will be hard to go back to the absence of this nutritious regiment.
If you’re in an emergent situation of imflammation, then the body should be flooded with more than a typical amount. For instance you might want to intake higher doses per day of tumeric with black pepper to increase its absorption. Make a change, from coffee to green tea. Changing your regular patterns is a necessity.
Undergoing the change into living a healthier lifestyle centered around nutrition will bridge the gap between natural healing and emotional or spiritual growth. This is because it is not easy to relinquish old patterns, and emotions and emotional patterns surrounding food run deep.
The conversation on this topic is ongoing and, as always, you wonderful readers are welcomed to leave comments, thoughts, suggestions. I wish you happy days and healthy foods!
Love and Light…