Taste of Autumn

What does autumn taste like?  I think autumn tastes like cinnamon, nutmeg, & cloves.  They pervade the foods of fall.  We cheerfully add them to pie, to soup, to cider, to eggnog but we probably don’t think about them as medicine.  At least I didn’t until I started studying herbs.  It turns out that these familiar spices are pretty powerful remedies, particularly for the digestion.  It is no accident that we find them laced throughout our autumn and winter foods.  Those foods tend to be heavier, more difficult to digest.  These spices really help our digestive system to rise to the challenge.  All three of them will ease gas buildup, relieve nausea, and warm up the digestive tract.

Thinking about this leads me to think about traditional cooking.  Often, traditional recipes will bring together foods in ways that aid their digestion and assimilation.  These days we turn to nutritional science and chemistry labs.  Our ancestors had to rely on personal observation.  They observed the effects of different foods and they went with what worked.  To me, this seems like a much better system for figuring out what foods you should eat.  How do they affect you?  Not anyone else, you.  If you have problems digesting a particular food – and it’s not due to an allergy or real intolerance – you might find out how the food was eaten traditionally.  Was ii cooked and you’re eating it raw?  Was it cooked with lots of spices and you’re having it with just salt?  Did it have particular condiments like cheese or milk or a bit of raw vegetable?  Was it soaked before cooking?  What season does this food belong to?  Is it a food your ancestors ate?  Does it grow locally?  Grow your awareness and you may find your digestion begins to improve.

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