Carrots up closeWhen I think of carrots I automatically think of Bugs Bunny, he and Mr. Spock on Star Trek were my idols as a child. In fact I consider myself to be sort of a warped cross between the two.

I remember Bugs always had a great time outsmarting Elmer Fudd, and he always had a carrot. All animals seem to know instinctively what their bodies need to heal sickness and nourish.

A monkey will run around collecting just the right combination of plants to cure illness and eliminate parasites. If you have watched a dog chew grass it is not because the dog is hungry, she probably has a stomach ache and this is how they clean their teeth.

With Easter right around the corner we all hope the Easter Bunny will find us. They are a root vegetable and so are believed to have connections to the powers under the earth. Root vegetables in Buddhist myth embraced the belief that body parts of humans or animals after death are transformed into plants, conveying the ancient belief that all life including plants have souls.

This is an example of a progression in thought:

Patient:  “I am sick”….

Physicians respond:

  • 3500 years ago – “Here eat this root”
  • 2500 year ago – “That root is heathen – say this prayer”
  • 150 years ago – “That is superstition – drink this potion”
  • 50 years ago – “That potion is snake oil – take this pill”
  • 15 years ago – “That pill is no good, take this antibiotic”
  • Today – “that is not natures way – here eat this root”

Carrots, according to American folk medicine are therapeutic against general nervousness, asthma, dropsy, and especially skin disorders. Carrots are rich in alkaline elements which purify and revitalize the blood. They nourish the entire system and are particularly revitalizing and beneficial to the liver. For centuries the seeds were boiled and drank as a tea (1tsp. seeds per 1 cup boiling water) as an aid for fluid retention, colic, and an appetite stimulant and to alleviate menstrual cramps. The leaves mixed with honey were used for buns, sores, and wrinkles.

Chewing carrots immediately after a meal kills harmful germs and prevents tooth decay. The Doctrine of Signatures which is derived from two words, “sign” and “nature” is the belief that god has marked everything he created with a sing, or signature that indicates the purpose for the creation. Ancient people saw patterns in certain whole foods that resembled human body parts and used them to choose specific foods for specific cures.

The carrot when sliced with its radiating lines looks like the pupil and iris of the eye. That is the signature of the carrot. So our ancestors believed carrots were good for the eye. Modern science has proven this to be true. Carrots don’t look like lungs but they are the best thing for the lungs. Another excellent lung nutrient is spinach; studies now show that spinach slows the aging of the lung. Pliny the Elder believed carrot juice was a potent Love potion and Galen goes on to claim that carrots “procure lust”. Grated carrots at one time were fed to children to expel worms. Science has also proven only one carrot a day can cut the risk of squamous cell carcinoma of the lung, the most common cancer from smoking cigarettes.

Research has determined that beta-carotene found in carrots may retard cancer progression as well as disrupt the cancer mechanism that first turns cells into growing malignancies. Pancreatic cancer, can be curtailed by eating just one carrot per day. In lab studies feeding carrots to rats blocked liver tumors. Eating cooked carrots is best as cooking them releases two to five times more beta-carotene. Studies have also shown eating raw carrots lower cholesterol. Carrots are high in fiber which helps prevent constipation keeping the colon healthy and prevents colon cancer.

High beta-carotene foods lower the risk of cancers of the cervix, larynx, esophagus, prostate and bladder. Back in the 60’s a few hippies believed they could live on carrot juice alone. These poor mislead people were easy to spot, they were orange. Too much carrot juice will change your skin color so don’t over do it. Carrots contain Carotene which is converted into vitamin A, they are also high in B and C vitamins and potassium and fiber. So eat a lot of carrots, I have an old recipe my children loved, Rick likes them to!

24 Carrot Cookies

Preheat the oven to 350

Beat together 1 egg, ¼ cup soft butter, ½ cup applesauce,1/2 cup honey, 1 tsp. vanilla, ½ tsp lemon extract.

Add 2 cups whole wheat flour pastry

2 tsp. baking powder- I have switched to arrow root powder, baking powder contains aluminum.

½ tsp. sea salt

1 ½ c. grated carrots

Grease cookie sheet drop dough on sheet about the size of a golf ball and bake 15 minutes.

Enjoy

Crystal Hayes can be reached at Crystalhayes@peak.com