Know Your Nature, and Take Your Thyme

Did you by any chance grow up with the idea that vegetables must be second rate because they were never advertised on TV? Maybe that was just us, although they do seem to occupy the culinary category of ‘unsung heroes’ across our society, so somewhere along the way, they have been successfully shielded from their deserved limelight. We, Henry & Henry, are thoroughly enjoying shining more light on them and other plant-based foods. They are spectacular!

Our most recent class (co-hosted with April Birch) had a lot to say on the sheer fabulousness of edible plants, used either directly as food or as potent essential oils. Most of us have possibly learned to see the world through the eyes of modern medicine which, at times, is superb, but it plays no role in maintaining peak wellness and cannot replicate the level of diversity found in nature. Take the simple flax seed (linseed) or better still, take a good handful. Whilst it’s providing the body with some valuable omega 3 oil, it may also be binding to any excess oestrogen and removing it.

Terrific Thyme

And on the subject of omega 3 oils, emerging evidence seems to be pointing at a new-found talent of that cute little herb thyme; it may help in delivering one of these omega 3s to brain cells, wow! Due to the powerful oils contained in this plant, there are plenty of other benefits to be enjoyed, not least the antibacterial properties that have a role to play in treating respiratory conditions. And what about the humble Brazil nut? Don’t wait for Christmas to enjoy a few of these. You probably think this is a reference to the mineral selenium, found in abundance in these nuts … well, yes, you’d be right, but selenium merits special attention anyway! While it works on immunity, particularly in inflammatory conditions, it simultaneously helps to detoxify harmful chemicals and even heavy metals before they get to cause damage to cells. Brazil nuts are so rich in this mineral that it’s possible to overdose! (Six nuts seems to be about the upper limit at any one time).

All of this is just scratching the surface, for one very good reason, or rather two: the multiple compounds available both individually and collectively in natural foods perform so many functions that we’d be here forever, and secondly that only refers to what we know about! We can probably assume you’ve heard the term ‘phytochemical’ (antioxidants belong to this group)? But had you heard of them in the 1970’s? The answer to that is quite simply, no! Either you hadn’t yet made your debut in the world, or you just didn’t hear about them, because they weren’t discovered until the 1980’s!! How much more do we not know?! The point we’re making then, is that maybe partnering with nature is a good idea … a really good idea; it’s almost as though we forget that we’re ‘nature’ too and maybe it’s because we forget all this that we get so excited when we realise that plants and their compounds do terrific work for us, even acting adaptagenically according to what we need from them, and all this is happening without us even knowing the full extent of their capabilities. What an exciting world!

If you want to share any of this excitement with us, we have more classes coming up in September (the emphasis for August is all about providing lunches for various guests who have booked with us – that’s exciting, too!) We’re repeating the Power of Natural Food Class Series at Clements Hall in York, and just before that, there will be an Introductory class again here at Derwenthorpe. The details for these can all be accessed via our Calendar and Events page.

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