As the season of overindulgence fast approaches, we here at the Asylum thought we’d send along our tonic to assist when you’ve indulged in more than you wished you had, or just have had your fill of holiday madness.
Sometimes gems of sanity and inspiration can be found from ages long ago. You know, times long since past that are rarely mentioned, especially if it might be provide pure goodness to each of us.
Hildegard of Bingen, a German mystic of the 12th century, who was also an Abbess, artist, author, composer, pharmacist, poet, preacher and theologian, devoted much of her life to promoting our relationship with the Divine but she was also a gifted healer, primarily using the four-element and four-humor system dating back to the ancient Greeks to practice medicine and learn the art of healing.
The Four Humors are responsible for the nutrition, growth and metabolism of the organism. They originate in the digestive process. – via greekmedicine.net
The four humors and the elements they serve are:
Blood – Air
Phlegm – Water
Yellow bile – Fire
Black Bile – Earth
Humors, or vital fluids, are present in the bloodstream. The proper balance and purity of them is essential to good health. The ancient Greeks believed these four humors were responsible for good health, all of which originated in the gut. This leads us to Hildegard’s favorite herb – fennel.
Hildegard had what she called a “happy mixture”, consisting of fennel seeds or tea taken three times a day. “Fennel seeds are 100 per cent good for your health”, she notes, supporting healthy skin color, good digestion and a pleasant body odor among a host of other benefits.
We have taken fennel fairly religiously for the past couple of years. Unable to pick our physical temperament pre-birth, some of us were born with a very temperamental stomach. We have tried all sorts of different remedies to quell the sour stomach. From pharmaceutical concoctions prior to our discovery of herbs and natural remedies – to peppermint, chamomile and other herbs – all take a back seat to the benefits fennel has provided us. Granted, we eat as organically as possible and take other wonderful herbs but have seen that every time there has been a period of fennel abstinence, our sour stomach comes back.
And it’s not just stomach issues that fennel regulates: anemia, heart disease, blood pressure, brain functionality, colic and boosting one’s immunity are just a few more of the equalizing benefits of this miraculous herb.
Fennels’ interesting history includes the Romans using it for its savory edible roots. Medieval types, spooked by witchcraft and the evil of the day, hung it over doors to ward off the spirits roaming about. Longfellow and Milton even wrote of its’ wonderful qualities in poems – in stark contrast to the offerings today of squeamish practitioners of music and art who leave us depressed, running for a vodka tonic to fend off the deadness from their “art”…but that’s for another dispatch.
The most active vitamin in Fennel is vitamin C. Joint degeneration, inflammation and arthritis are a few of the unpleasant issues fennel can play an active role in treating. Other important vitamins and minerals in fennel combat high blood pressure. Cholesterol build-up is limited, water is absorbed in the gut and carcinogens eliminated from the colon by this licorice scented herb.
As all herbs, fennel is another wonderful gift from the Divine, promulgated by a wise and masterly mystic hundreds of years ago. And with all herbs and natural remedies, always good to consult with a Naturalist, Naturopath, Herbalist or some other holistic guru to assess your individual body temperament.
Imagine, if we had such healing mystics as Hildegard among us today, holed up in their cosmic laboratories, communing with the Divine on a daily basis, securing heavenly wisdom about all the wonders of the herbs growing and the ways yet discovered how they can help us? Oh wait, we do…they’re just not showcased, and in some cases are publicly castrated and outcast as kooks or misfits while those who would have us believe that good health can be obtained through a vat of chemicals and a needle are heralded as angelic swami’s.
Tonight’s musical offering (having nothing to do with a German mystic from the 12th century):
Erik Satie – Once Upon A Time In Paris
Photo credit (front page): See page for author [CC BY 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Photo credit: (Hildegard):By Gerda Arendt (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Photo credit: By Howcheng (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY-SA 2.5 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons