Western Medicine & Psychiatry  ~ Learn from the Past ~ the True Hippocratic Oath ~ ‘Let Food Be Thy Healing’ ~  NOT ‘FACTORY’ GMO FOOD! Give up for Lent & Life!

Nutrition Lessons From Saint Hildegard Von Bingen

Western Medicine & Psychiatry  ~ Learn from the Past ~ the True Hippocrtic Oaty ~ ‘Let Food be thy healing”  NOT FACTORY GMO FOOD!

Nutrition Lessons From Saint Hildegard Von Bingen Thomas Lohnes / Getty Images  ~ Shawnee News-Star Sunday Article January 28th 2018

Table of Contents

  • St. Hildegard’s Life Rules
  • St. Hildegard’s Influence
  • Foods’ “Healing” Capabilities
  • How and When to Eat
  • Nutritional Tips

By Jennifer McGavin

Updated January 29, 2020

Saint Hildegard von Bingen lived from 1098 to 1179 in Germany. She joined a Benedictine convent in Disibodenberg and became the Abbess at the age of 35. St. Hildegard had visions all her life, which helped her see God’s wisdom and be seen as a prophet. She wrote down what God told and showed her through these visions and published many volumes on science, medicine, and theology.

She was also very outspoken, going on missionary trips and preaching in other cloisters and in market places. Today, there is a revivalist culture around her teachings, especially her teachings on how to eat to stay healthy and many of her medicinal and herbal remedies.

Saint Hildegard’s Amazing Parsley Wine  By beckycarlberg   Posted Jan 30, 2018 at 9:17 PM

Shawnee News-Star Sunday Article January 28th 2018 Becky Emerson Carlberg Pardon me as I find my way around a new keyboard and laptop. Make that a double pardon. My next few days involve sorting out and updating the Oklahoma Master Naturalist (OMN) membership list. Our OMN webmaster disappeared early last year and took our entire […]

Nutritional Tips from Saint Hildegard

  • The first meal should be warm
  • Healthy people should eat late
  • 2 to 3 meals per day FAST FROM LAST MEAL – in the late afternoon to Breakfast at 10 AM
  • Drink at mealtime
  • A short nap at midday is healthy!!
  • Do not eat too much and make sure your food and drink is neither too warm or too cold
  • Raw foods are hard on the stomach (need to be Soaked (baptized) to remove Vital glutens & lectins in the peel)
  • Cook your dishes (avoid fast & convenient FACTORY FOODS)
  • Take a walk after the evening meal
  • Avoid all Modern Day Factory Foods – GMO & GMO fed to animals (soy, corn & alfalfa fed to animals) & the modern Over Milling – removing the Plant protein from Nut & Grains (NOT SOAKED) ~ Over-heating – dairy & nuts – MAKING THEM DEAD FOODS (UNCLEAN) – causing ALLERGIES & INFLAMMATION & ‘MOTOR-LIKE’ UNHEALTHY OILS  ~ ALL FOR SHELF-LIFE (PROFIT) – MEDICARE MAKERS! RETURN TO LIVE ‘CLEAN’ FOODS.

Source: http://www.hildegardvonbingen.d Becky Emerson Carlberg

Pardon me as I find my way around a new keyboard and laptop. Make that a double pardon. My next few days involve sorting out and updating the Oklahoma Master Naturalist (OMN) membership list. Our OMN webmaster disappeared early last year and took our entire website and pages with her, the cad. It has been an experience creating a public website using my pictures and adding brief descriptions of the Master Naturalist program. The good thing is many of our devoted naturalists have stayed with us while the system is being tediously reconstructed. All people that dig nature are great.

Over 900 years ago lived a nun who believed that nature should not be mangled or destroyed. She wrote 72 songs, 70 poems, 9 books and 360 letters to people in and out of the church filled with parables, metaphors and visual images. The woman’s lettering and artwork showed a curious Celtic influence. Born in 1098, Hildegard was the 10th child of a knight. One story is the noble family’s baby daughter was pledged to the church in lieu of a tenth of their income! So, at eight years of age little Hildegard was taken to the Benedictine Celtic Monastery at Disibodenberg for her education and training. Saint Disibod was an Irish monk on a pilgrimage who ended up in western Germany about 640. The monastery honoring the saint was built after he died. Hildegard took her vows at the age of 18 and lived at Disibodenberg for forty years. After having a vision demanding her to move, Hildegard, with 18 nuns in tow (over strong objections from the monks), traveled to Rupertsberg near Bingen to establish her first convent that was completed in 1150. Their mission was to care for the sick. Hildegard wrote two outstanding medical works. The monastery outgrew its bounds and in 1165 the 67year old Abbess founded a second monastery (upsetting more monks) across the river near Eibingen.

This extraordinary mystic wrote copious articles, drew, and even composed music, putting boring chants to beautiful melodies. Hildegard was one of the earliest to write about the natural history of Germany. She studied organisms and their environment, learned about medicinal properties of plants, animals and minerals, spoke of social injustices, and felt every human being should be given a chance to achieve their full potential. She exclaimed ‘Humanity, take a good look at yourself. Inside, you’ve got heaven and earth, and all of creation. You’re a world”everything is hidden within you.’

Disibodenberg and Rupertsberg are now in ruins, but the Parish and Pilgrim Church of Saint Hildegard in Eibingen, completed in 1935, stands at the exact place as did Hildegard’s abbey. In 1941 the Benedictine Abbey of St. Hildegard was built higher on the hill on the former monastic lands. Concerts are held periodically. The nuns make wine and various craft items and sing ancient songs written by Hildegard.

For years I have admired Hildegard. We had something in common: migraine headaches. She had remarkable visions; I just hope to survive to see another day. The wax plaque picture is a memento of a Volksmarch we did outside Bingen. Hildegard remains popular in many circles. I am not the only one fascinated with her; Dr. Michael DeBakey was in awe of Hildegard’s amazing knowledge of medicine.

The Recipe

Dr. DeBakey was the cardiac surgeon (Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX) who operated on my dad at a time the bypass operation was considered somewhat experimental. The triple bypass and my father’s adjustment to a new lifestyle added 15 additional years to his life. Dr. DeBakey himself had used Hildegard’s remedies with great success. He felt the spicy root of galangal strengthened his heart. His research indicated seventy percent of all heart attack patients die in the first few hours after a massive heart attack. His advice was try galangal because it may improve blood supply to the heart and blood vessels. Hildegard described galangal as a good heart medicine for whoever had pain or weakness in the heart.

Galangal root (Alpinia galangal) resembles its cousin ginger but its flavor is biting with citrus or camphor overtones. The root is used in Thai cooking. I may have eaten galangal in some Pad Thai, but the Hildegard tonic I often prepare not only helps the circulatory system but strengthens general health, especially during cold and flu season. Hildegard’s Parsley Honeywine is easy to concoct, no caldron needed.

Getting Prepared

Purchase white wine, bunches of parsley, vinegar and raw honey. Certain times of the year my parsley is rather sparse or non-existent. Parsley (Petroselinum sp.) is a familiar herb of Mediterranean origin that finds its way into all kinds of dishes. Not only does it add fresh flavor, the herb is an effective diuretic with anti-inflammatory properties that can quell arthritis and even boost the immune system. Unfiltered and unpasteurized honey too has antioxidant properties and can lessen allergic reactions. One caveat: a no no for kids younger than 1 year of age. The few Botulism spores that may be present do not cause us big people problems, but can for the rug rats.

l wash 2 bunches of parsley (even better if it has stems and roots) and put into a small Dutch oven; cover with one quart of wine and 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Boil for about 10 minutes. To the happy inebriated parsley add ¾ to 1 cup raw honey. Stir and let sit overnight. Remove the parsley and bottle the tonic. Refrigerate. See, simple. Recipes vary. Some use the minimum in parsley sprigs, but I say go for the gusto; use a small forest. Others say add the honey after just 5 minutes of boiling and then boil the honey mixture another 5 minutes. If using valuable raw honey, why boil it? If that be the case, any cheap pasteurized honey would do. Thus, my honey is added after the parsley wine has cooled. The nectar of the gods can then spend the night, have a few drinks and discuss world issues with the parsley. Take one to three tablespoons each day.

Bottled Parsley Honey Wine

Hildegard wrote, spoke and practiced preventive medicine. Take it from Hildegard”Good nutrition and healthy life style will take you a long way. She lived 81 years. Michael DeBakey made it to 99 years.


A Time Before Hops

Hops weren’t always used in beer brewing—in the earliest days, brewers used all kinds of plants to flavor beer.   Generally, a beer created without the use of hops is called a ‘gruit’ or ‘grut’. ‘Gruit’ (or ‘grut’) can also be the term used for the mixture of spices working as a bittering agent in the beer.

Some herbs commonly used in gruit:

  • sweet gale
  • mugwort
  • yarrow
  • ivy
  • horehound
  • heather
  • juniper
  • ginger
  • aniseed
  • carraway

and really, anything else a gruit producer thought would taste good in their brew. Gruit fell out of common usage in the last century or two, but is seeing a bit of a revival these days, so there are lots of resources available like Gruit Ale and Unhopped beers website.

But this article is about hops, not gruit,  so according to this excellent Short History of Hops by beer historian Martyn Cornell, one early mention of the usefulness of hops comes from a surprising source: Abbess Hildegard von Bingen, the German mystic whose latin texts inform some of what we know about Medieval Europe.  I

Historical Perspective

About 1150, Abbess Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179), mystical philosopher and healer, published a book called Physica Sacra, which translates best as “The Natural World”. Book I, Chapter 61, “De Hoppho”, or “Concerning the hop”, says of the plant:

“It is warm and dry, and has a moderate moisture, and is not very useful in benefiting man, because it makes melancholy grow in man and makes the soul of man sad, and weighs down his inner organs. But yet as a result of its own bitterness it keeps some putrefactions from drinks, to which it may be added, so that they may last so much longer.”

In Physica, Hildegard described the preservative qualities of hops when added to a beverage like beer. In the same book, she also mentioned that hop increases melancholy or “back bile,” one of Hippocrates’ “four humors” of physiology; the others are man’s choleric, phlegmatic, and sanguine dispositions. Today we know that hops can relax the nervous system and thus have a calming, sedative effect, which promotes sleep. This insight made Hildegard a progressive in her time, given that her contemporaries recommended hops as a treatment for exactly the opposite affliction, depression. Hildegard also wrote extensively about barley, which she considered beneficial for the stomach and intestines; she recommended a drink made from barley as a restorative after a cold or stomach flu.

Modern thinking

Jay. R. Brooks of Brookston Beer Bulletin in his researched article on chasing down the origins of Hildegard being consider the patron saint of beer,  comments “If you made it through all of the accounts of her life, including her Wikipedia page, one thing you’ll notice is that none of them mention her contribution to the brewing sciences, or indeed anything about her mention of hops. That appears to be a more modern interpretation, though I’m not sure of its origin. One thing seems clear, however, and that it’s an association that here to stay.”

German farmers were doing good business selling hops to breweries across Northern Europe by the 13th century.

While I like the idea that Hildegard has something to do with the idea of the homeopathic benefits of using hops in beer,  her way of thinking about things continues to support the idea that she is the patron saint of creativity.   Who doesn’t want a beer after finishing their creative pursuit?  Especially one called Naughty Hildegard (tongue in cheek)?

Naughty Hildegard ESB from the Driftwood Brewery in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

The Health Benefits of Beer and Hops

Research continues to support the health benefits of beer and the moderate consumption of alcohol, including wine. Many of these health benefits are associated with hops, though some are also linked to trace elements like silicon or the affect of low-levels of alcohol.

Healthy Hildegard gathered a few of the most well-documented health benefits of beer to help you feel better about your nightly pint.

More on hops here.

St. Hildegard’s Influence

Hildegard von Bingen had many ideas on how to eat healthily. Some people have decided to eat by these rules in the modern-day and there are whole internet clubs devoted to her nutrition teachings. Hildegard’s lessons still influence German cookery to an extent and these rules have helped shape some of the cultural food ideas that you may encounter when in Germany.

Foods According to Their “Healing” Capabilities

  • Healthy foods: beans, butter, spelt, sweet chestnuts, fennel, spice cakes, roasted spelt porridge, lettuce salad with dill or garlic or vinegar and oil. honey, carrots, garbanzo beans, squash, and its oil, almonds, horseradish, radishes, raw sugar, red beets, cooked celeriac, sunflower seed oil, wine vinegar, cooked onions.
  • Healthy meats: poultry, lamb, beef, venison, goat. (not modern Factory )
  • Healthy fish: grayling, trout, not farmed GMO,  bass, cod, pike, wels catfish, pike perch.
  • Healthy fruits: apples, cooked pears, blackberries, raspberries, red currants, cornels, cherries, mulberries, medlar, quinces, sloe berries, grapes, citrus, dates.
  • Healthy drinks: beer, spelt coffee, fruit juice thinned with mountain spring water, fennel, rosehip or sage teas, wine, goat milk.
  • Healthy spices: water mint, mugwort, Spanish chamomile root, nettles, watercress, burning bush root, gentian root, fennel, psyllium, galangal root, raw garlic, spearmint, cubeb, lavender, lovage, fruit of the bay tree, saltbush, poppy, nutmeg, cumin, clove, parsley, polemize, wild thyme, tansy, sage, yarrow, licorice root, rue, hyssop, cinnamon.

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  • Stay away from “Kitchen Poisons“: eel, duck, peas, strawberries, fatty meat, cucumbers, domestic goose, blueberries, elderberries, cabbage, crabs, leeks, lentils, nightshades (like potatoes), olive oil, mushrooms, peaches, plums, refined sugar, millet, raw food, tench (a fish), plaice (a fish), pork, white wheat flour, sausage. In the case of a disease such as cancer, no animal protein should be eaten at all.

How and When to Eat

Your first meal should be a warm one, to warm the stomach. This meal helps the stomach function well over the rest of the day. A good meal is toasted spelt bread, spelt coffee or fennel tea, and warm, roasted spelt porridge with dried fruit.

The first meal should be taken late in the morning, shortly before midday or around midday. Only the sick and weak should eat earlier, to gain strength.

Chew fennel seeds before eating to aid the digestion and freshen the breath.

Drink in moderation. Drink with your meals but not too much, or you can thin out the good juices in your body too much. Water alone is not a healthy drink, but water mixed with fruit juice or made into herbal tea can be healthy.

Raw food can hurt the body. Hildegard warns against incorrectly made dishes that are not cooked.

St. Hildegard’s highest-rated foods are spelt, chestnuts, fennel, and chickpeas (garbanzo beans). “Spelt creates healthy body, good blood and a happy outlook on life,” she writes. Meat should be from animals which eat grass and hay and don’t have too many offspring. Butter and cream from the cow are good, but milk and cheese are better from the goat. Sunflower seed and pumpkin seed oils are good; olive oil is reserved for medicinal purposes.

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