- 2 tsp. extra virgin olive or toasted sesame oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 pinch Sea Salt
- 1-inch ginger root, grated
- 1 tsp. turmeric
- 1 cup yam or sweet potato
- 1 cup parsnip
- 2 cups winter squash
- 6 inches wakame
- 4 oz. salmon* (fresh or smoked) or 1/2 cup cooked garbanzos*
- 5 cups filtered water or enough to cover
- 1 tsp. Sea Salt or miso
- 1 Tbsp. kuzu
- Fresh ground black pepper
In a medium-sized pot, sauté onion and Sea Salt in oil until translucent. Add ginger root and turmeric. Cook for 2 minutes, and then add wakame.
Scrub root vegetables with a vegetable fiber brush. Peel vegetables only if not organic. Remove seeds from squash. Cut vegetables in 2 inch chunks.
Layer root vegetables in the order listed above. Add optional salmon/garbanzos and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered approximately 30 minutes until very soft. Season with Sea Salt or miso (unless using smoked salted salmon).
Reserve ¼ cup of the soup liquid, allow to cool. Mix in the kuzu, stir until dissolved. Add this mixture to soup, stir through very gently and heat to thicken the broth.
* Salmon or garbanzo beans are optional.
Health Benefits of Ingredients
Cardiomyopathy is helped by Kuzu:
For CARDIOMYOPATHY, kuzu has a protective effect against myocardial ischemia and may increase cardiac function, according to clinical research. A member of the legume family, the kuzu root produces a starch-like powder that can be used as a thickening agent in place of cornstarch or arrowroot powder. Kudzu contains glycosides sterols and isoflavones including puerarin, daidzin, and daidzein. Puerarin has been proven to have strong antioxidant properties, much more than vitamin E.
Animal research and reviews suggests that the puerarin flavonoids in kuzu may reduce both systolic and diastolic blood pressure, decrease arterial pressure, and diminish myocardial oxygen consumption.1, 2 In human research, kuzu root altered left ventricular function, and a combination of sage and kuzu improved vascular function and structure. The kuzu constituent daidzein may have antiarrhythmic properties. These effects may be related to its inhibition of Na+ or Ca2+ influx and its blocking beta-adrenergic receptor. Kuzu increases nitric oxide content in the heart, brain, liver, and kidney. It may have vaso-relaxant properties, possibly by blocking beta-adrenergic receptors, and the active constituents in kuzu decrease plasma renin and angiotensin II activity. Kuzu may also reduce the risk of blood clots: In clinical research, kuzu displayed antithrombotic activity. It may inhibit the increase of platelet aggregation and blood viscosity. Puerarin in kuzu increased superoxide dismutase activity, decreased lipoprotein levels, and enhanced the activity of fibrinolysis. In human research, tPA activity prior to and during venous occlusion test significantly increased (p<0.05, p<0.01, respectively) in the kuzu group versus the control group.
Clinical studies in China also show that kuzu root reduces high blood pressure, relieves chronic migraine headaches, reduces the risk of blood clots, and protects against heart disease. In fact, in China, kuzu flavonoids have successfully treated sudden deafness caused by restricted circulation, have been shown to lower cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of blood clot formation, and protect against heart disease.3
Recommendation: One tsp. of kuzu daily.
- Fan Li-Li, DD.O’Keefe~* and W J Powell, Jr~*.(Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Beijing; ~*The Departments of Medicine and Surgery of the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.02114,USA);Effect of puerarin on regional myocardial blood flow and cardiac hemodynamics in dogs with acute myocardial ischemia[J]; Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica;1984-11
- Cheng W., Wu P., Du Y., Wang Y., Zhou N., Ge Y., Yang Z. Puerarin improves cardiac function through regulation of energy metabolism in Streptozotocin-Nicotinamide induced diabetic mice after myocardial infarction (2015) Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 463 (4) , pp. 1108-1114.
- Ka H. Wong, George Q. Li, Kong M. Li, Valentina Razmovski-Naumovski, Kelvin Chan Kudzu root: Traditional uses and potential medicinal benefits in diabetes and cardiovascular diseases
Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Volume 134, Issue 3, Pages 584-607
Inflammatory Arthritis is helped by Ginger:
For INFLAMMATORY ARTHRITIS, ginger has pain-relieving effects that can calm the underlying inflammatory process causing joint damage. Ginger has been used medicinally for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine as a natural anti-inflammatory food. Dr. Krishna C. Srivastava, a world-renowned research on the therapeutic effects of spices at Odense University in Denmark, has conducted extensive research into the pain-relieving effects of ginger. In one study1, Dr. Srivastava found that small amounts of ginger given daily for three months to arthritic patients resulted in significant improvements in pain, swelling, and morning stiffness. This was superior to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) because NSAIDs only work to block the formation of inflammatory compounds. Ginger, however, blocks the formation of the inflammatory compounds prostaglandins and leukotrienes, and its antioxidant effect breaks down existing inflammation and acidity in the synovial joint fluid.
Multiple cell culture studies show that ginger has anti-inflammatory action by inhibiting prostaglandin and leukotriene synthesis as well as pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1, TNF-α, and IL-8 all of which are proteins that are usually elevated with inflammation arising from anything from diabetes to arthritis. Adding to that evidence, a rat model of rheumatoid arthritis2 proved that ginger significantly increased anti-inflammatory cytokines and decreased pro-inflammatory cytokines.
The discovery that ginger shares pharmacological properties with non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs was investigated in this abstract3. Ginger suppresses prostaglandin synthesis through inhibition of cyclooxygenase-1 and cyclooxygenase-2. More importantly, it was observed that ginger also suppresses leukotriene biosynthesis by inhibiting 5-lipoxygenase and this pharmacological property distinguishes ginger from nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and also makes it effective with less side-effects.
Recommendation: One inch of cut root per day or at least 1 gram up to about 5 grams
- Ginger (Zingiber officinale) in rheumatism and musculoskeletal disorders. Srivastava, K.C. et al. Medical Hypotheses Volume 39 , Issue 4 , 342 – 348
- Gamal RamadanEmail authorMohammed Ali Al-KahtaniWael Mohamed El-Sayed Anti-inflammatory and Anti-oxidant Properties of Curcuma longa (Turmeric) Versus Zingiber officinale (Ginger) Rhizomes in Rat Adjuvant-Induced Arthritis Inflammation August 2011, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 291–301
- Reinhard Grzanna, Lars Lindmark, and Carmelita G. Frondoza. Journal of Medicinal Food. July 2005, 8(2): 125-132.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome & SIBO are helped by Kuzu:
For IBS & SIBO, the root of the kuzu plant, a member of the legume family, is prized in Oriental Medicine as the traditional digestive remedy for intestinal irritation. For more than two thousand years, kuzu has been part of the cuisine of China and Japan as a starch that makes an outstanding jelling and thickening agent. Its complex starch molecules are able to enter the intestines and relieve acidity, bacterial infection, and excess water and bloating, relieving abdominal aching and intestinal irritation.
Kuzu also contains a high concentration of the naturally occurring plant flavonoids, puerarin which is a powerful antioxidant that inhibits the contraction of smooth muscle, thereby increasing blood flow and relieving intestinal spasms and cramping, and easing diarrhea.
Recommendation: One tsp. of kuzu daily.
Kuzu has been used in Traditional Eastern medicine for centuries for colitis, IBS, and IBD. In our clinical experience with many patients, kuzu has soothing and alkalizing benefits, and helps repair the bowel lining.
Stress & Adrenal Depletion are helped by Yellow/Orange Vegetables:
For STRESS & ADRENAL DEPLETION, yellow/orange vegetables like winter squash are a classic adrenal support food. This includes buttercup, butternut, and kabocha squash with its dark green skin and richly-flavored orange flesh. In both Five Seasons (macrobiotic) and Five Element teachings derived from traditional Eastern medicine, sweet root vegetables including squash are classified as Earth foods when there is great abundance of hardier foods and life seems to balance. A hearty squash soup or casserole is grounding and replenishing when the adrenal glands have been taxed to release a large or persistent amount of cortisol and other stress-managing hormones.
Adrenal glands play a huge role in stress response to the brain’s message of a perceived trigger–whether it’s environmental pollutants, processed food, or life’s boundless pressures. The adrenal medulla releases adrenaline hormones like cortisol to react to the physical or mental threat–the fight-or-flight response–rushing blood to your brain, heart and muscles. The adrenal cortex then releases corticosteroids to dampen processes like digestion, immune system response, and other functions not necessary for immediate survival.
In a healthy state, adrenals adjust your metabolism to maintain an optimum weight. Common examples of cortisol disruption include weight gain when starting college, getting married, traumatic illness, shifting to a more stressful job, becoming a parent, or undergoing hormonal changes later in life.
Adding unrefined, low-glycemic carbohydrates like winter squash to your diet helps the body to overcome adrenal insufficiency. The Ancient Chinese divided the world into five vibrational elements of Water, Wood, Fire, Earth and Metal. These Five Elements are the roots of Traditional Eastern Medicine which in turn represent the five major organs necessary for survival: kidneys, liver, heart, the spleen/stomach/pancreas, and the lungs. It is important to balance these elements within and without for optimum health. Learning to balance through food helps ensure that you receive enough nutrients from what you eat to support the corresponding organs. Winter squash is categorized as an Earth element along with other sweet and starchy foods, particularly yellow, orange, brown foods and root vegetables.
Recommendations: 1-2 cups of winter squash three times weekly.
Our clinical experience with many patients supports Traditional Eastern Medicine and we find that foods in the Earth category slow down acute symptoms and neutralize toxins supporting adrenal function and reducing stress.