Monthly Archives: February 2017

Food as Medicine: Cumin (Cuminum cyminum, Apiaceae)

History and Traditional Use Cumin (Cuminum cyminum, Apiaceae) is a delicate, herbaceous annual in the aromatic parsley family.1,2 It is native to the eastern Mediterranean region and southwestern Asia.1 While Iran and India are the largest global producers and exporters of cumin, it is cultivated in areas of the Middle East, Europe, Asia, and northern Africa as well.1,3 Cumin is

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Food as Medicine Ginger (Zingiber officinale, Zingiberaceae)

History and Traditional Use Range and Habitat Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a tropical perennial herb native to Southeast Asia and widely cultivated in China, India, Nigeria, Australia, Jamaica, and Haiti.1 Its subterranean stem, known as a rhizome, is the edible and medicinal portion of the plant.2 Ginger root is characterized by its knotted, beige exterior and its yellow interior. The

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In The Raw: To Cook Or Not To Cook?

Imagine never again savoring the smell of baking cakes or charbroiled steak. Could you? Why would you? Yet some people worldwide are turning away not only from meat and processed food but also from cooking. Fresh fruit and vegetables…why spoil them with cooking? Welcome to the raw food diet. As the Standard American Diet becomes more fat-laden, sugar-sated, and processed,

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Food as Medicine: Rutabaga (Brassica napus subsp. rapifera, Brassicaceae)

Rutabaga (Brassica napus subsp. rapifera, Brassicaceae), also known as “swede” or “Swedish turnip,” is a natural hybrid between cabbage (B. oleracea) and turnip (B. rapa).1 It can also be found under the subspecies “napobrassica.” Considered a root vegetable, the rutabaga is actually the enlarged base of the stem of the plant.2 Most commonly, rutabagas have a pale yellow or white

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Food as Medicine: Tomato (Solanum Lycopersicum, Solanaceae)

History and Traditional Use Range and Habitat Tomato (Solanum Lycopersicum, Solanaceae) is, botanically, a fruit. Nevertheless, in the 1893 Nix v. Hedden decision, the United States Supreme Court classified tomatoes as a vegetable, which created an economic advantage for US producers, because taxes were levied on vegetables, but not fruits, imported into the US.1 The Supreme Court decided that “in

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Food as Medicine: Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo, Cucurbitaceae)

History and Traditional Use Range and Habitat Cucurbita pepo is a species in the gourd family which includes many varieties of winter squash and summer squash. Any round and orange fruit yielded by any variety or cultivar (there are many cultivars) of the species is usually called a pumpkin, even though the word has no real botanical meaning.1,2 The species

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