| Sarah Lesslie
There are different potencies to plants. If you’re reading this you’re probably thinking, “well, duh” because you’re most likely a savvy (or at least semi-savvy) plant person yourself. Here’s the thing, a lot of us think of food as food and herbs as supplements and never the twain shall meet. (Certain regulatory agencies think along these lines too, but that’s a different rant entirely….) For now, I want to look at the space between, the place many fear to venture, the area that’s seemingly no-man’s (or plant’s) land- The Food/Medicine plants.
First of all, I LOOOOVE this category, but that’s probably pretty obvious because I founded a Chocolate + Herbs company. Also, I love this name for the category, which was first introduced to me by my herb teacher, Michael Cottingham. He liked to describe plants within a few different categories to give us an idea about proper usage. There are the categories of food plants, medicine plants, and food/medicine plants.
~Food plants are obviously safe to eat whenever (depending on your personal constitution, of course).
~Medicine plants are plants that should be used during a partial condition that the body is experiencing and then stopped upon alleviation of that condition.
~Food/Medicine plants can be consumed like food with the awareness that they are medicinal in nature.
So, what are some Food/Medicine plants you ask? The most common ones are……drum roll please……. SPICES!
Yes, spices have been used through the centuries for certain conditions. For example, you may be familiar with drinking chai tea for digestion. Chai is such a great example because it is so commonly used, we can forget that it consists of herbs with functionality. We may not even reach for it because of its health benefits, and simply reach to a warm cup of chai for flavor enjoyment alone. Ok, so now we’re thinking along the lines of food/medicine herbs, but tea is more of a drink than a food, right? What kind of foods have food/medicine herbs in them?
Literally any food you add a spice to is a food/medicine experience.
Adding some black pepper to your chicken? Pepper- Food/medicine plant-
Adding cinnamon to your latte? Cinnamon- Food/Medicine plant-
Adding Cayenne to everything you eat because you like to burn your face off with spice just like me? Yup, Food/medicine
Food/medicine plants are seeing a trend right now too. I’m noticing ashwagandha and maca in so many more foods I hadn’t before. (Perhaps we’re collectively needing more of their stress-relieving/adaptogenic properties?) You may have also noticed one very popular kombucha company adds florals to their seasonal kombuchas. (Which, btw guys, the elderflower and violet one- OMG!)
Food/medicine plants are a safe way to include more botanicals and herbal benefits to your lifestyle in moderately small, dare I say bite size, doses. This is why I am so passionate about adding food/medicine herbs to chocolate. You can have a daily dose of herbal benefits with the blissful experience of exotic flavors of chocolate. What was that song, in that one movie? “A spoonful of coconut sugar helps the ……. go down?”
That being said, please make sure you check in with your health practitioner about any herbs you decide to ingest on a regular basis if you are unfamiliar with their effects on your body. Food/medicine herbs are all considered safe, but just like foods, we can have reactions to them because our bodies are all different.
I also want to nudge you to do some research on the herbs that are in the chocolate you are consuming. For example, damiana has been prized as an aphrodisiac for centuries, and what else does it do, right? Look it up! As we consume plants more often and consume information about them, we create a connection with them. We become more mindful of what we put into our bodies and the effects thereof, and maybe, just maybe, we can embark upon a love affair with a plant. It’s a truly special thing to experience. I myself am in deep love with chocolate, and I’m truly grateful for the opportunity to share with you the synergistic combinations of chocolate and food herbs. I am consistently overjoyed with your stories and feedback of how Chocolita has positively affected your lives because of this combination.
That being said, if you’re sitting there like what chocolate and food herb combination are you even talking about, Sarah? Here’s some links you can go to for more info:
Still stuck on that part of the blog about Aphrodisiacs and damiana? Check out our Strawberry Passion bar
There’s also our Blueberry Bliss bar
Our Morning Matcha bar (which has cinnamon in it! Yum!)