[a medicinal cooking blog: using food as medicine to treat whatever may ail you]

Monday, April 20, 2009

Welcome to my chili-obsessed world!

So, I recently came to terms with being insanely addicted to chilies and before I delve into this realization I want to point out that chili can be spelled chile or chilli, and some people go so far as to spell it chili with one L (yep, that's what I just did). So, back to the addiction I am referring to in which I likely indulge in two if not three times a day. While I do appreciate subtle and beautiful cuisines such as the French (and being married to a half Frenchie I have to even more so!), I miss my chilies when I am there...

Consequently, I am a licensed Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbalist and incorporate medicinal cooking into my practice. What does this mean you ask? Well, it means if you come to me with a particular ailment, be it simply indigestion (though this is often not that simple) or something more chronic such as diabetes, I teach you about the foods that specifically treat that "ailment" - it is NOT a diet, it's more of eating your medicine and having fun with it (most of the time this is the case, though picky eaters aren't always thrilled)!

Chilies are one of the so-called medicinal foods. They are particularly good in treating disorders related to the lungs as the spicy element travels and pertains to the lungs in TCM (Traditonal Chinese Medicine). They even did a study in Texas where they were finding that there was a lower incidence of asthma amongst the Mexican communities and they attributed it to the spice in their diet (this was a case study done by the U.S. funded N.I.H. - a purely western medical perspective - as soon as I find a good link to it I will post it). This is not to say one should ever run out and buy a bunch of chilies and eat them if you have asthma!!! You need to consult someone who knows how to cater to your particular and individual constitution and eat with caution. Chili has as much of an adverse affect as it can a positive one if eaten too frequently. I can attest to this as also in TCM, if you eat too much spice you can end up with a case of poor digestion.

I am going to be featured on a cooking show this May (2009) where I will discuss the medicinal qualities of chilies and everything they are good for along with demonstrating one of my favorite recipes that is spicy from northeastern Thailand (Isaan), Larb Moo (pronounced LaaP Moooo). More on all this later.

For the time being, welcome, and enjoy - there will be a lot on here about all types of food and spices, not just the aforementioned chilies!

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