We rely on our regular diet for enjoyment and satisfaction: we take pleasure in the appearance, smell and taste of our daily meals. But regular foods do not provide enough nutrients to maintain a continuous state of health. They
must be supplemented with stronger foods, or herbal foods, which constitute the second level of diet, or Tao of Forgotten Food Diet.
Over the ages, Taoists thoroughly studied the healing composition of herbs and became highly proficient at the use of herbs. For example, several thousand years ago, surgeons were able to anesthetize their patients for six
hours without side-effects just by using an herb tea. (Surgery was very popular at that time. The surgeons often removed the organs of the patient, washed them in herbal solutions, and reorganized them inside the body. This practice eventually died out as these doctors came to realize that it was an inefficient and incomplete treatment for illnesses and that the final answer lay in illness prevention. They realized that any illness, including tumors, was the result of a particular lifestyle; constant surgery could not prevent the recurrence of tumors, whereas a change in lifestyle could prevent the recurrence of tumors.)
Herbs have many properties that modern science has yet to discover. The Academy of Sciences currently estimates that there are approximately one million plant varieties in the world. As yet, only an insignificant portion has been examined by modern means of analysis. The food we buy in the supermarket is the weakest food available. The selection there is very limited if one considers the varieties of food actually available in the world. God created leaves, branches, trunks and roots for our consumption, but they were completely overlooked by most people.
Called “forgotten foods” by Taoists, herbs were forgotten because they were eliminated from our ancestors’ diets through a process of selection which, over the course of thousands of years, rejected foods that were unappealing to the eyes, nose or mouth. When man learned to cultivate his own food, he naturally chose to cultivate only those foods that appealed to his senses. As the saying goes, we are what we eat. If we eat stronger foods, we become stronger ourselves.
If we eat better foods, our health improves. But, if we eat weak foods, we become more vulnerable to diseases. When we compare a magnolia tree to a bunch of celery, we will see that the tree is much stronger than the little
clump of celery. Investigating further, we will find that the tree is of greater medicinal value than the celery. In fact, the various properties of the magnolia tree build up the stomach tissues and strengthen the female sexual organs.
Ginseng is another example of a strong food. It grows in cold and harsh mountainous regions, yet it can survive for than a thousand years. Imagine what such great vitality could do for you body. Please use discretion when ingesting ginseng. It must be balanced with other herbs, since it produces strong side effects as well as benefits. In sharp contrast, a carrot grows only in temperate climates and its lifespan is about three months. If you do not unearth it within three months, it will decay and disappear. Herbs give everlasting strength, whereas regular foods give only temporary strength.
The foods we commonly eat and love are also eaten and loved by the germs in our bodies. They utilize this food (organic or junk) to maintain their lives just as we do. Fortunately, herbs do not nourish germs and human beings equally. Human beings, exercising their will power, are able to ingest sometimes distasteful herbs. Germs, not being blessed with will power, are simply repelled by herbs. When human blood is permeated with herbal nutrients, the germs in the body will starve to death, and the human body will be naturally cleansed and purified. The cleansing and purifying qualities that allow herbs to last for years without rotting are the greatest benefits to be gained from herbal diets. The Complete System of Self Healing, by Dr. Stephen T. Chang.