Food as medicine is one of our favorite ways to bring herbalism into our everyday lives. After all, at its core, herbalism is about the healing power of what we put in and on our bodies.
Food as medicine is an approach to healing that emphasizes the everyday act of feeding ourselves and the people in our community with joy, abundance, and medicinal plants. Interacting with food as medicine means receiving culinary and medicinal herbs and spices as powerful agents of healing. This outlook transforms the kitchen into a bountiful medicine cabinet: a place where we can seek and access meals, snacks, and beverages that help to better connect us to ourselves, each other, and the earth.
The best thing about building a functional pantry is that it’s completely customizable.
A functional pantry is first and foremost one that makes sense for you and your needs. Each person has unique food needs and so while your functional pantry might share some similarities with others, expect that it will also definitely look different. Building a functional pantry at home centers the kitchen as the medicinal hub: it’s where we can find whole food ingredients on our shelves, in our cabinets, and in the refrigerator. A functional pantry is where we can turn culinary and medicinal herbs and spices into delicious meals or potent extracts, and where we keep special treats that bring us joy and comfort us. The best thing about building a functional pantry is that it’s completely customizable. We can fill our pantries with foods that connect us to our ancestral traditions; stock our refrigerators with meat, vegetables, fish, dairy, nuts and more from healthy, ethical environments; and find ways to venerate the common culinary herbs and spices we might take for granted every once and awhile.
A functional pantry is also the site of experimentation: a super important part of taking care of ourselves! Experimenting permits us to be light, have fun, and go with the flow of what it means to care for ourselves. A functional pantry makes it easy to try out new healing plants and traditional remedies you’re learning about. Great examples of functional pantry items include our Elderberry Elixir, Fire Cider, and Herbal Coffee. Adding a shot of Elderberry Elixir to sparkling water, turns a regular afternoon beverage into an immune boosting herbal remedy. Fire Cider turns otherwise super regular kitchen vegetables and herbs into a tasty, medicinal meal. Our Fire Cider is a blend of immune supportive veggies and herbs infused in organic raw apple cider vinegar. Mixing a couple of spoonfuls of Fire Cider with olive oil transforms a robust salad into an immune supporting meal. Adding a glug to your bone broth infuses each bowl-full with gently stimulating blood-moving plants to warm you from head to toe. And while you can totally have a cup of coffee as a pick me up in the afternoon, why not include a spoonful of Herbal Coffee? Your gut microbiome will thank you years form now for feeding it so well with chicory, dandelion, and burdock root. Because what we need is on hand, a functional pantry makes it a little bit easier to put healing plants in our body every meal of every day.
A functional pantry that prioritizes the strength of food as medicine means nothing if it’s full of stuff that you’re unfamiliar with, don’t like the taste of, can’t afford, or feel no connection to. Your functional pantry should be accessible, sustainable, and joyful to you. Instead of inducing guilt or shame about your food choices, your functional pantry can be a place where we can challenge expectations about what we should and shouldn’t put in our bodies: a mix of foods that sustain us, help heal us, and permit us to live a little - or a lot! - should all be present. The kitchen is a place where we bridge ancient traditions with modern life, and like upholding our good health, building a functional pantry is about balance. Using a functional pantry to prioritize food as medicine is a powerful act for ourselves and our communities. We are so grateful to be able to craft the formulas that can help you uphold these very, very old traditions of care.