Medicinal Cookery

May 25, 2011

Food as a healing tool is not new: “Let your food be your medicine” said Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, although many of the medical profession have chosen to forget it. If you would like to swap pills and potions for ingredients from your garden — or at least an organic supermarket — then the new book by Dale Pinnock is just right for you.

Apparently he is the U.K.’s only medicinal cook and the first to bring together three distinct strands; herbal medicine, nutrition and cookery to create a radical new way to help combat a wide range of common health problems. The idea is to literally eat yourself better and I have to admit the recipes look delicious and are not aimed at those who don’t much care what they eat as they have been designed to stimulate the palate and indulge your appetite for gourmet food.

Conditions that he addresses include digestion, heart and circulation, immune and nervous systems, joints and skin disorders. You don’t need a degree in biochemistry either as this book is accessible to all readers with simple, practical recipes with ingredients that are easily accessible to everyone. Indeed he is frequently seen on television and in magazines explaining his philosophy and showing how the compound in food work in a similar way to medicinal plants, and even the pharmaceutical drugs, but without the side-effects.

One of my favourites is the anti-rheumatoid risotto — and I do think he could have come up with a morecatchy name — that is both simple and absolutely delicious. This is no mean spirited cookery as you get to add a dash of wine to the risotto and are encouraged to have another one for working so hard in the kitchen! If this hot weather continues then you might also feeling signs to make some of the Omega ice lollies that are a wonderful combination of yoghurt, mixed berries, flax seed oil and honey and probably take about 30 seconds to make.

If you want to give your skin a boost seek out the red/orange vegetables for their high beta carotene level so get the darkest red peppers you can find and combine with sweet potato to make a tasty skin enhancing soup. If hayfever and allergies are bothering you then add red onions to your daily diet for their high level of quercetin to damp down allergic reactions.

In addition to the simple recipes he also gives the medicinal properties of the ingredients for each one which is not only informative but also extremely interesting. Medicinal Cookery would make a great addition to any kitchen and if you want to know more about the man himself then visit his website at or see him in action at


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