The food that we eat provides us with more than the nutrients to fuel our bodies and ensure that our cells are getting the nourishment that we need. Food that is derived from nature can also provide us with emotional, physical or energetic benefits. This concept, is referred to as food energetics and is derived from traditional Chinese medicine. The environmental conditions that are present when a plant or animal is alive can influence the effects to humans when they consume them. The way in which we process these foods (i.e. cooking) can also influence their effect on the human body.
1. Foods that grow under the ground
According to food energetics and Traditional Chinese Medicine, foods that grow in the ground provides humans with the greatest grounding benefits. Roots provide a deep connection the the earth that they grow in. The job of roots in nature are to anchor plants into the Earth and that’s the same role they play in the human body.
2. Foods that grow on top of the ground
Similar to roots, vegetables that grow on top of the soil have a direct connection with the Earth and yield grounding properties to those who consume them. Examples of foods that grow on top of the ground include: mushrooms, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and squash.
3. Teas, tinctures and extracts made from roots
Roots that aren’t often consumed as food can be used to make teas, tinctures and extracts that provide humans with calming energy and can assist with ailments of the lower body (digestive and reproductive systems). If harvesting your own roots to use to make tea, make sure to use the whole root and avoid using roots from plants that have been sprayed with pesticides. You can also purchase dried roots from a reputable herb retailer (my favorite is this one for bulk herbs and this one for smaller quantities). Here is a short list of my favorite grounding herbs along with their other benefits:
- Astragalus root – used to promote healing, reduce fatigue and boost overall vitality.
- Dandelion root – used to promote digestion and support liver health.
- Licorice root – assists with digestion and detoxification
- Marshmallow root – supports gastrointestinal health (including healing a leaky gut) and healthy kidney function
- Kava root – traditionally used to support emotional balance and promote relaxation
4. Spices derived from roots and rhizomes
A rhizome is similar to a root in that it is part of a plant that grows underground but the botanical definition is that it’s a stem that grows under ground, (also known as a creeping root stalk or rootstocks) and then the roots grow out from that stem. Common rhizomes that are often used as spices include ginger and turmeric. A less common rhizome that is used in Asian cuisine is galangal which is related to ginger but it’s the flavor is stronger and more zingy.
Other spices that are derived from roots of plants include: celery root, horseradish, and garlic.
5. Naturally red colored foods
The color red represents the root chakra which is the energy center associated with safety, security and grounding. Root vegetables are great for balancing this chakra but you can take the benefits even further by incorporating tomatoes, strawberries, red potatoes, red onions, cherries, and beets. Red meat from beef, bison and buffalo is another red food that is naturally grounding, especially if the animal is chemical-free, grass-fed and raised in a free-range environment.