In “wealthy” countries, like America, the vast majority of disease arises from excess – overeating of rich, greasy, highly seasoned, denatured and/or intoxicating foods, an excess of meats (especially red meats), eggs, cheese and other dairy products, too much fried food, salt and extremely sweet food, refined and rancid flour and oil products, chemical ingredients, drugs, and alcohol.
Only about a third of Americans eat food from all food groups regularly. When the body can no longer tolerate any further “excess”, it begins to malfunction and then you have excess plus deficiency. This results in deterioration of all your organ systems.
In our excess, there is hyperfunction caused by blockages in the arteries and other systems. Generally these blockages stem from an extreme diet together with a stressful lifestyle. When systems are blocked, our bodies tend to develop such conditions as high blood pressure, constipation, over weight, heart disease, or stroke.
The main remedy for excess is cleansing and purging. Pungent and bitter herbs and foods are used for cleansing the arteries and the heart. Legumes, grains, vegetables – like radish, horseradish, hot peppers, onions, leafy greens, mushrooms, asparagus, bell pepper, and celery – and a few fruits like citrus and banana. Whatever has caused the excess must be eliminated. As a general rule, bitter foods and herbs are used to reduce excess through cleansing. This explains the popularity of such extremely bitter herbs as echinacea, goldenseal, chaparral, and chamomile. Eating fruits and drinking at least eight glasses of water per day accomplish purging.
Western medicine has emphasized extremely powerful remedies to counter excess – synthetic drugs, surgery, and radiation. The treatment for excess on the level of a diet would be avoiding the foods that caused the excess and replacing them with foods that will purge them – whole vegetal foods, grain and legumes (as previously mentioned). The majority of these foods should be eaten raw or lightly cooked.
When excess has become deficiency you need to build up as well for greater vigor, strength and energy. In this case, proceed more slowly. Cleansing and building is the remedy for deficiency. More sweet, nutritive foods need to be added to your diet with the bitter foods less often. Especially good for deficient conditions are rice, oats, millet, barley, soy, black beans, parsnips, rutabaga, winter squash, and small amounts of nuts and seeds. Sweet foods such as dates, yams, molasses, barley malt, and rice syrup help to build strength.