I had a colleague of mine, who works abroad for the health industry, tell me that the plants of roots can cure many diseases, if not all of them some day. He stated it was due to rare compounds created in the roots of some plants. Does anyone know more about this?
Also, i know that roots are quite healthy in their vit/min content, but you don't really see many often other than the most common variety. What kinds are there and how could they be used?
asked byLivio_A (183)
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on January 22, 2011
at 10:08 PM
Turmeric and ginger are both excellent roots that are fairly easy to find. Turmeric is a magnificent anti-inflammatory, and ginger works wonders for gastrointestinal complaints.
on January 22, 2011
at 09:39 PM
I drink chicory root 'coffee' which is a great detoxifier for the liver and good for 'regularity' of the bowels.
It is such a shame that we have nowadays only a handful of well known roots in Western shops; potatoes, carrots etc. which actually have great vitamin content (I believe that more vitamins are to be found in the water the roots have been boiled in than in the boiled roots themselves). Have you tried visiting an African/Asian or Chinese food market? You will be amazed at the number of 'exotic' looking roots for sale there and I have done some experiments with very bizarre sounding and looking roots in the past and though some of them can be bland, they are great for curries ;)
Alternatively, if you are that way inclined, you could grow some heritage vegetables, which are more traditional and forgotten varieties of vegetables that have long since fallen out of favour for commercial food production, but may have been around and eaten regularly by people as little as 50 years ago. Look up on the internet 'heritage seed collection online catalog'.
Of course if you grow your own organically you will have more control over the nutritional content of the produce, directly related to the quality of the soil they are grow in.....also, producing a hand-crafted crop will more readily replicate the roots found in the wild, which are not so large, watery or fleshy as mass produced supermarket crops and will have a stronger and more distinctive taste and higher vitamin content.
Grieve's Modern Herbal has information on the medicinal properties of plants and their roots, for instance the dandelion, whose root is also good for liver complaints. Here is the online site: http://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/comindx.html and it is just a question of looking through the site for plants available in your area, alternatively this book has some good root medicines (relevant for European plants, most also found in the U.S. I believe).
I believe you should contact a specialist (such as a Chinese herbalist - who use roots extensively alongside other plant compounds) if you want to cure a specific disease, but for general well being, use the info from these books and sites and visiting the international food markets will certainly introduce you to more unusual and healthful roots.
on January 23, 2011
at 05:35 AM
It seems to me like pathogens are involved in many disease, both acute and chronic. Plants have a great deal of experience and adaptation to dealing with microbes. Maybe humans can consume those plants and hijack/utilize their adaptions to our own needs, killing pathogenic or otherwise undesirable disease-causing microbes that make have taken root within us.
So i believe in the idea of plants as potentially therapeutic. The thing is, I don't actually have any wisdom regarding the issue, and I don't know who to trust. I get the impression there's good potential, but i am very much lost in the woods. This is an issue when plants can also be potentially toxic.
"The ethnobotanical knowledge of the San is immense. They have intimate knowledge of hundreds/thousands of plant species both as sources of food and for medicinal/???spiritual??? purposes. The collection, preparation and application is often very complex and tailored to the individual plant species."
on January 23, 2011
at 02:14 AM
I think a lot of 'diseases' are just nutrient deficiencies and imbalances or are caused by a body that is too weak to fight them off because of nutrient deficiencies and imbalances. The classic case is that if you give up sugar, and assuming all the N-1s from here are a correct trend, you will find you get less colds and flus. Plus other so called 'illnesses' also seem to go away. So I would not be surprised if the intake of foods rich in missing nutrients would be a kind of 'medicine.' Of course, the other side of the coin is cutting out the consumption of toxins. Both should help most people. You do not need to directly target a disease to eradicate it. The alternative option is to directly target the health of your body so that your own natural immune system can do the eradication for you. IMO, that's what healthy foods can do for you. However, I think in time we will discover that there are no magic special ingredients in any of these foods, just things that some of us are probably missing from our current diet and so our health benefits from the addition of that nutrient to our food intake.