Flavors of Life

by Brigitte Mars

Sweet and salty are the flavors that get emphasized in Western culture. Avoiding one flavor is like omitting one of the rainbow’s colors. There are five flavors according to Chinese medicine and six in Ayurvedic, all of which affect various physiological functions. When we taste, the brain processes that flavor and causes physiological reactions in our bodies.


Chew well, to improve the sense of taste, and allow more molecules to interact with the smell and taste receptors. Take time to savor. For those with a truly impaired sense of taste, consider taking a supplement of 25 mg. chelated zinc daily. No flavor is absolute, most being a combination of tastes. The sour taste is cooling, drying and astringent. Sourness is usually is due to the presence of acids, such as ascorbic, citric and malic. Sour increases saliva production, stimulates the liver, gall bladder, and appetite, tonifies the tissues, and aids fat metabolism. Sour may benefit conditions such as varicosities and hemorrhoids. Sour foods include lemon, raspberries, Rejuvelac (a fermented grain beverage), rhubarb, sour cream, strawberries, tomatoes, yogurt, and vinegar. Sour herbs include hawthorn berries, lemongrass, rose hips, and sorrel.


Those with muscle weakness, diarrhea, hyperacidity, broken capillaries and dark circles under their eyes should be careful of overdoing the sour flavor. Astringent is a more powerful version of sour. Astringent foods contain even stronger acids such as gallic, oxalic and tannic. Astringent is drying, diuretic, cooling and antiseptic. Astringent tightens tissues, and reduces excess secretions such as sweat and diarrhea. Astringent foods include green apples, beans, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, chard, cranberries, lemon peel, lentils, pears, pomegranate, and spinach. Cinnamon, cranesbill, white oak bark, orange peel, and witch hazel are astringent herbs. Those experiencing dryness, gas, constipation, tension, contraction and irritability should minimize the astringent flavor.


The Bitter flavor is considered cooling, strengthening, draining, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and drying. The bitter flavor usually indicates the presence of alkaloids. Bitter stimulates the small intestines, pancreas and digestive secretions. It helps strengthen the heart, lowers cholesterol, reduces inflammation, deters parasites, and reduces fever. Bitter aids fat metabolism and help strengthen those with food allergies. Bitter is beneficial for people who are lethargic, hot, crave sweets, and act aggressively. Use more bitter foods to aid weight loss, detoxify the blood, clear the mind and improve the skin. Examples of the bitter flavor include celery, unsweetened chocolate, eggplant, endive, escarole, hops, kale, and spinach. Bitter herbs include agrimony, angelica, centaury, chamomile, coffee, coptis, dandelion leaf, gentian, globe artichoke leaf, goldenseal hops, mugwort, parsley, green tea, and yarrow. Excess bitter can be drying, and contractive. Minimize bitters for those who are deficient, cold, have heart problems, anemia, low blood pressure, insomnia, cold, vertigo, and constipation, skin dehydration, ulcers, hair loss, and premature wrinkles.


The sweet flavor is regarded as a warming tonic, nourishing to the stomach and spleen. The sweet flavor usually indicates the presence of carbohydrates. Sweet slows down acute symptoms and raises one's tolerance to stress and pain. Sweet is energizing, yet calming. They tonify the person who is dry, frail, and has a weak immune system. The sweet flavor is rejuvenating, builds tissue, nourishes fluids, heals and tones the muscles. Sweet foods include almonds, avocado, banana, dates, figs, honey, prunes, mango, peach, pear, raisins, winter squashes, sweet potatoes, and yams. Sweet herbs include codonopsis, fennel seed, licorice, marshmallow root, rehmannia, slippery elm bark, stevia, and licorice root. Though white sugar tastes sweet, it lacks nutritional value and is considered “empty sweet.” Excessive sweet can lead to lethargy, congestion, clogged pores, slow down digestion and cause aching in the bones and joints. People that are damp, sluggish, phlegmy, have blood sugar disorders, and overweight should use sweet foods sparingly.


Pungent, or spicy is dispersing and affects the lungs and large intestines. Most pungent plants contain some sort of essential oils with antimicrobial activity that move internal energy to the surface (including pathogens). Pungent is cooling to the interior and warming to the exterior of the body. Pungent induces perspiration, hydrochloric acid production, stimulates the nerves, promotes circulation, digestion, helps relieve pain, and imparts a healthy glow to the skin.


Arugula, garlic, onions, mustard green, and radish are pungent foods. Pungent herbs include basil, cayenne, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, horseradish, seeds, marjoram, mint, mustard, nutmeg, oregano, peppermint, rosemary, and wasabi. Excess pungent can decrease flexibility, impair digestion, cause dehydration, and exhaustion. Avoid excess pungent if one is generally debilitated, dehydrated, has broken capillaries, redness of the skin, dry cough, dizziness, burning sensations,neuralgia or is pregnant.


The salty taste is cold, softening, draining and diuretic. The salty flavor indicates the presence of mineral salts. The salty flavor can help soften hardened masses in the body such as tumors. If used in moderation it can have a moistening effect. It especially affects the nerves, kidneys and bladder. It aids fluid metabolism, strengthens the nerves, opens blocked channels, improves circulation, awakens the mind and senses, and strengthens the heart. Craving salt excessively may indicate adrenal exhaustion. Salty foods include celery, miso, olives, and tamari. Salty herbs include dill, nettles, and especially the sea vegetables kelp and dulse. If salt is overused, it can contribute to fluid retention, balding, gray hair, loose teeth, eczema, skin discoloration, high blood pressure and kidney damage. Minimize excess salt in cases of wrinkles, thirst, hyperacidity, heartburn, erectile dysfunction, premature aging. White refined salt, much like sugar, is an “empty food” from which most of its minerals have been removed except sodium.


All the flavors help keep the body in balance. Enjoy an adventurous palate, and savor the many flavors of life!

“The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.” ~ Thomas Edison


Food is synonymous with nutrition, which is why it is my strongest passion. Being a chef at heart, I use my knowledge of ingredients with the natural healing aspects of wholesome organic foods. I love working as a chef with people and families who want to learn more about nutrition and eating healthier. I am experienced in cooking everyting from simple and delicious comfort food to gourmet spa cuisine, but my speciality is organic and healthy.


I would llike to take this opportunity to tell you a little about where I come from. I grew up in Mexico, where I attended school in Spanish through 8th grade. I then attended boarding school for all four years of high school at the Colorado Rocky Mountain School. After graduating I moved to California on my own to pursue my culinary career, I worked as a nanny and personal assistant to save money for college. After a few years I attended the Art Institute in Santa Monica and earned my AS in culinary arts. I worked in several restaurantes and catering while finishing my degree to gain field experience, and was fortunate to work at Nic’s in Beverly Hills where I created a foundation of knowledge and skills that started me on my path. After graduating college I moved back to Mexico to be close to my family, it was then I stareted in the private cooking business. It came so naturally to me using my bilingual skillls, and my knowledge of fresh organic California cuisine combined with traditional cultural dishes and comfort foods. One family I cooked for in Mexico eventually hired me to be their private chef full time in Aspen, and I was able to travel with them between Mexico and Aspen regularly. Having spent quality time with the family it became time to move on. I am a cheerful, loving, and hard working chef who values the importance of food and health.


A love affair with natural food

by Holistic Nutrition Chef Wendy Davis

Healing Sexual Abuse

 I met Sensei Imetai Henderson 🙏 as my a Acupuncture teacher, in the Japanese tradition of O'Sensei M.M. Nakazono, when he, not before strictly reviewing my volition to serve others in the light of medicine, opened his portal to me as an apprentice. For which I am eternally grateful and great-full.

A decade has passed, and today, almost in the middle point of a long cycle of Mercury retrogrades, the Universe finds me a this portal one more time, to channel his teaching regarding - Healing, in a panel dedicated to the #metoo movement in which (in case you were not paying attention) a whole world of women opened up and arose to speak about their experience of #sexual abuse, in all forms, in all ages, in all environments. 

You will be perhaps surprised, perhaps not if you followed the MeToo movement, to hear that more than 90% of his patients have experienced #sexualabuse 

perhaps at home, perhaps at school, perhaps at church, perhaps at work, perhaps by a family member, a father, an uncle, a cousin, a brother, a sister, a mother, a grandmother, or aunt; perhaps by a neighbor, perhpas by a friend, by a co-worker, by a boss, by teacher, by a stranger; and in some cases a combination of many. More than 90% of women; and even though they hide it in deeper streams of hurt, a great percentage of men spoke up and said: Me Too.

So, perhaps it is not the demons that attach to those who commit the abuse, as much as the fact that nobody wants to talk about it making the abuse the collective "secret" in many families, what allows those entities to continue oppressing the collective spirit as a collective family. Protect yourself and others by purifying your mind. Then talk about it.  As she who has been enlighten advise,"When anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light." And light is healing... so it is the protective love that emanates for the light of our mother. Heal your connection with the mother. 

Imetai Henderson's book Falling Together is a gem. May you make the effort to read it. While you meet me there, I introduce you to his talk about the subject in the light of How #men can support women to speak up and heal their experiences of sexual abuse. May this be helpful to all, as we heal the #collectiveconsciousness. May this video be helpful to all, as we heal the #collectiveconsciousness.


Cafe de la Culture: The Venue for Visionaries‎ to Courageous Vulnerability: How Can Men Support Women to Speak Up


Meet Featured Panelist Imetai Henderson, L. Ac:

Imetai Henderson has practiced Oriental Medicine and martial arts for over 30 years. The author of 'Falling Together' a book exploring the meeting of spirit and natural medicines with the body's intelligence, Imetai co-owns an acupuncture clinic serving lower income patients in the Boulder area.

Due to a primarily female clientele, he has garnered a large body of experience in the field of women's health.

You can buy his book in English here: https://www.amazon.com/Falling-Together-M-Imet…/…/0615193676


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