Gardening for Health

It has long been established that cooking at home is the cheapest and most effective way to nourish our bodies and maintain health.  People who cook at home use less salt and fewer processed ingredients.  However, there are so many short cuts that we, as a society, are forgetting how to cook.  Simple things like condiments seem to be beyond us.  The easiest way to get away from preservatives, dyes, and other harmful additives is to get re-acquainted with the simplicity of making food at home.

Dr_R_Garden

These garlic chives for example cost $1.50 at Green Acres and have come back year after year.  The flowers and stems are delicious and mild and make a fetching ornamental in the garden.  When added to a few eggs, some lemon juice, and a pinch of sea salt, these chives make a lovely homemade aioli (fancy mayonnaise) that will last in your refrigerator for a week.  Or they can be spread out on a mesh and dried for a few days and will last all year long.

The latest alternative medical conferences I have attended have had one trend- there seems to be a lecture on “Forest Therapy” every time.  The data suggests that those who spend more time in nature have healthier immune systems, lower levels of stress hormones, and suffer fewer and milder chronic disease.  When spending time in nature is incorporated into the treatment plans of those with serious and chronic illnesses their outcomes are much better.  Your garden may save your life!!!

If you are looking for motivation I would recommend picking up Animal Vegetable Miracle By Barbara Kingsolver, or for a shorter read by a local from Davis, CA – The Quarter Acre Farm: How I Kept the Patio, Lost the Lawn, and Fed My Family for a Year By Spring Warren.  The nice thing about the latter is that the plants she discusses will do nicely in your own yard.  Happy flower picking!!

Dr. Michele Raithel, ND