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Herbal Medicine and the Raw Food Diet

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Dear Mizpah:
What do you think about traditional herbs along with the raw food diet?

Is toasted Dandelion as good for detox as dried root? Fresh? Many of the herbal formulas have the herbs boiled down(until what’s left almost eats a hole in the crockpot).

I looked up oats and Kale, for example, and found that there were more grams of protein cooked than raw (Laurel’s Kitchen, 1976), any thoughts on this?

Regards,
Edward

Thanks for your question, Edward. I am a big proponent of herbal medicine when it is used appropriately and under the direction of a qualified herbalist. Personally I experienced noticeable improvements in my condition with Chinese herbal medicine when I had chronic fatigue syndrome. I also trained as a herbalist, have a great appreciation for the potential healing properties of herbs, and include a variety of common herbs in my lifestyle on a daily basis.

Yes, it is true that many herbal prescriptions, such as those from a Chinese herbalist, will involve boiling the herbs. In my opinion, any possible negative impact of cooking is overweighed by the positive effect that the herbs can have on your total wellbeing. It is also important to recognize that in most cases boiling the herbs increases our ability to absorb their active components and is actually preferable to consuming them raw.

In regards to roasted vs. raw dandelion, I would say that the raw is slightly better for detox since you are eliminating the possibility of ingesting toxic compounds produced with the high temperatures present during the roasting process, although both of them are beneficial. Conversely, when preparing the raw herb in hot water, it is exposed to much lower temperatures, where the potential for toxic compounds is very low and there is no risk of leucocytosis.

The differences between the values listed for the protein content for raw and cooked kale are most likely related to the way they were calculated. Gram for gram they should measure very similarly (although more recent studies show that cooking reduces absorbable protein by 50%).

My guess is that the measurements are by volume so in this case, a cup of cooked kale will have more protein than a cup of raw kale, simply because cooking softens the cell walls and in this process, its volume is reduced. If you have ever cooked leafy greens you will realize that a huge bunch wilts down considerably in the cooking process.

3 comments

  1. Thankyou for the reply; one might also expect that some traditional scientific studies were biased…not willing to give up their eggies on Sunday mornings in the first place : )

  2. Herbal diets are very helpful because not only loosen your weight because of quick digestion and anti oxidant but also it helps your mind and body to relax. Your post is wonderful thanks a lot.

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