Why is food considered medicine? Food is sunlight; it is water and earth in condensed form. The sun, the moon, the planets and stars—all the elements of the Universe come together to create food. So in the very highest sense, food is pure Universal medicine. We’re just not taught to look at it this way, from a spiritual perspective.
Each food or herb exists for a specific purpose. It grows from a tiny seed to the fullest peak of its energy—where it has fulfilled its destiny. At this point, it is capable of transferring the message of Universal love to anyone who eats it.
We can connect to the spirit or essence of food because we come from the same source: Nature. In our genetic code, we all have the memory—from many, many generations—of how to use foods and herbs to sustain our bodies. Our bodies have the wisdom to process the food’s energy and use it for healing.
At this invisible level, our bodies know the unique language of food. And the energy or consciousness of food can help stimulate the memory of our own innate healing ability.
The Energy Essence of Foods
For thousands of years, TCM has prescribed foods and herbs as medicine. It has long understood that the spiritual aspect of food—the true healing “ingredient”—goes far beyond the physical qualities of nutrients, calories and vitamins. Each food has an energy essence that travels to and through specific meridians (energy pathways) in the body to heal particular organs. Through their deep connection to Nature and high level of personal spiritual practice, ancient practitioners were able to perceive exactly how foods and herbs move in the body. They “saw” just how each one affects the body, mind and spirit.
TCM classifies healing foods into two categories. The first includes foods that are part of a typical diet, such as broccoli, celery, carrots, apples, pineapples and pears. The second includes foods such as ginseng, goji berries and coix seed (sometimes called “Chinese barley”). These foods are often prescribed in certain amounts, for specific periods of time.
The Healing Connection Between Mind-Body-Spirit and Nature
With the understanding that we—as humans—are connected to Nature, the healing power within Nature is available to us as a great gift to use during our lives here on Earth. Its energy and changes impact us, as we impact it. We are so deeply connected to this unlimited power source. So why can’t we make full use of this tremendous healing potential? Why do we get sick? How do we become overweight?
To get support from the Universe, our bodies must be in balance—all organs must work in harmony. When things function in harmony, there is a continual, unconscious exchange between them. This energy transfer happens naturally within our bodies and between our body-mind-spirit and Nature. So if we want to maximize the healing potential in food and be truly healthy, we must first find our balance.
Without a strong digestive system, you will not be able to extract and then process even the physical nutrients needed for healing. The digestive system refers to several organ systems that must work in harmony. The Stomach processes foods. Then the Spleen extracts the nutritive essence and sends it to the Lung, which sends the essence to all other organs. The organs are interdependent in how they function and they depend on good digestion to gain the right amount of energy to function properly. The entire process can become impaired if one organ is weak or out of balance.
You Are What You Think
How do we fall out of balance and harmony to begin with? The answer is always there, if you believe you can find it. The expression, “You are what you eat.” is true, yet there is higher level of awareness: “You are what you think.” Sometimes, we feed ourselves a steady diet of negative thoughts and emotions which we then have to digest and process. Our thoughts feed our spirit, just as our emotions impact our body and health. We can ask ourselves how we really want to feel. And we can create what we want in our lives: we all create our own reality.
If we look at food from a spiritual point of view, there is no need to force anything, to feel guilty about what we eat, to deny or ignore the important messages our bodies are trying to send us through symptoms of internal imbalance. This approach to eating deeply changes our relationship with food—and with ourselves. Eating for healing creates many benefits, especially on the mind-body-spirit level. Food is medicine because it is Light, and ultimately comes from the source of all true healing.
Learn more about eating for healing in an upcoming Dragon’s Way Qigong® program.