Saturday, 29 September 2012

St Hildegard - Replacing wheat in your diet with Spelt

I have been thinking a lot about Hildegard recently.

Hildegard of Bingen said: “spelt is the best grain, warming, lubricating and of high nutritional value. It is better tolerated by the body than any other grain. Spelt provides its consumer with good flesh and good blood and confers a cheerful disposition. It provides a happy mind and a joyful spirit. No matter how you eat spelt, either as bread or in other foods, it is good and easy to digest.”

Spelt ( Tricitum spelta) is not wheat (Tricitum sativum), it is one of the original natural grains known to man. Spelt was grown in Europe over 9000 years ago.

Those seeking better health as they age have to look at their diet and can remove wheat, dairy and sugar.

Besides regular consumption of my beloved onions I swear by a bread loaf made from spelt.     It is very filling, tasty and the perfect substitute for the white loaf.  I buy my loaf in a farmers market in Warwick.

Spelt is one of the original grains known to man. It was commonly used until the 19th century, until wheat took the world of bakery over, being more suited to mass production as it contains more gluten.

Nutritionally, spelt is:
Rich in proteins
Rich in Essential Amino Acids
Rich in Essential Fatty Acids
Rich in B vitamins
Rich in high quality fibres
Rich in quality carbohydrates
Low in Gluten

Its high water solubility combined with its low level of gluten. It means it is easily and slowly digested. Its energy reaches every cell in the body effectively and reduces the tendency to snack throughout the day to boost energy. The nutrients are also made available to the entire organism with minimum of digestive work.

It seems like a lot of things the change to white flour was motivated by ease of mass production not what was most healthy. Much inflammatory illness seems to come back to mass produced bread, sugar and dairy. If you have a flavoursome satisfying spelt bread to enjoy then you dont need to spread anything on it so goodbye to butter and sugar containing jams.

On the spiritual aspects generally a great book which can be scanned through online is Dr Wighard Strethlows book on Hildegard of Bingens Spiritual Remedies. St Hildegard didnt have much in the way of essential oils available to her but she points the way. The book takes in our knowledge of anatomy and physiology, the human condition, diet and remedies. Inspired spirituality of this sort does have great authenticity and is easy to understand. Dr Strethlows book sets out St Hildegards visions and thinking very well. You might like to think of emotion as a balance the body strikes between vice and virtue according to the internal and external circumstances perceived.

I have always found books on the emotional aspects of aromatherapy rather unsystematic and so hard to follow perhaps because we start with the oils and then relate them to emotion and mood via the physical/mental body rather than the other way round. (I know maybe the oils defer systemisation not least because they share components and Gabriel Mojays work is solidly grounded in understanding the mind/body ).

However starting from the spiritual aspects of received spirituality and the anatomy of the nervous system as it relates to the organs maybe helps point the way to the linking of the oils, emotions and spirituality.

Ian Brealey

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