Alchemy In Taoist Practice
Alchemy in Taoist practice takes two general forms: (1) internal alchemy and (2) external alchemy. Included in the former – internal alchemy -- are all variety of qigong practices which have the effect of transmuting Jing (creative energy) into Qi (life-force energy) into Shen (spiritual energy) – and the reverse: condensing spiritual energy into the more dense aspects of our being. Included in the latter – external alchemy – are practices which involve ingesting minerals, herbs and the like – with the hope that these external substances will then act as catalysts for specific internal transformations.
Herbs & Food As Medicine
One time-tested example of external alchemy is Chinese herbal medicine. Though single herbs are sometimes used by themselves -- as stand-alone herbal prescriptions -- it’s much more common for several different herbs to be combined into a more complex formula. The effect of such a combination is not only additive, but also alchemical. In other words, the combination of, say, four different herbs, results in an herbal formula whose effects are greater that the mere sum of the effects of those four herbs, when taken individually. The herbs affect each other synergistically.
Now of course the same is true when combining various foods – as any good chef knows! Tastes and textures and temperatures combine to produce something utterly new (and hopefully delicious). Less well known is the fact that certain “foods” can also act as potent “medicine.” The Budwig Protocol is an example par excellence of food-as-medicine, as a kind of external alchemy which has proven amazingly potent in alleviating a host of chronic degenerative conditions, including cancer, heart disease, and arthritis.
What Is The Budwig Protocol?
The Budwig Protocol is named after Johanna Budwig, who was a German biochemist, pharmacologist and physicist. Dr. Budwig discovered (or perhaps simply confirmed) that most saturated fats are nutritionally “dead” -- they not only fail to nourish but also end up destroying the electrical charge of the cells of our human body. Without this electrical charge, the cells are not able to assimilate oxygen, and so, quite literally, suffocate.
More specifically, such saturated fats are “dead” in the sense that they don’t contain pi-electrons, which function like cellular spark-plugs, allowing the cells to “breathe” properly – to assimilate and transport oxygen – as well as to detoxify cellular waste. As the body accumulates larger and larger numbers of functionally dead cells, the resulting de-oxygenated and toxic cellular environment becomes ripe for various forms of physical dis-ease. So this pretty much defined the “problem,” as Dr. Budwig saw it.
Dr. Budwig also knew that the best source of the pi-electrons needed for proper cellular oxygenation was in two essential fatty acids found in flaxseed oil. She knew that these essential fatty acids could both re-oxygenate the cells as well as repair their lipid membranes. The conundrum was that only water-soluble solutions are able to enter cells directly, and oils are not water-soluble. So, while flaxseed oil contained the medicine (aka the essential fatty acids) that the cells most needed, there was no obvious way to make it immediately available to the cells.
Johanna Budwig’s brilliantly simple solution to this conundrum was to combine the flaxseed oil with cottage cheese, whose sulphurated amino acids render the flaxseed oil water-soluble, and so immediately available for use by a human body’s cells. This, then, was the external alchemy that birthed what is now known as the Budwig Protocol.
Flaxseed Oil Plus Cottage Cheese Equals Cellular Rejuvenation
The basic Budwig spread is created by combining one part flaxseed oil with two parts low-fat cottage cheese, and then adding some freshly-ground flaxseeds. So for instance, to make a single serving:
(1) Place three Tablespoons of organic cold-pressed flaxseed oil into a small mixing bowl.
(2) Add six Tablespoons of organic low-fat cultured cottage cheese.
(3) Use an immersion blender to mix the two ingredients thoroughly, until it looks like thick whipped cream, or yogurt. There should be no oil remaining, separate from the creamy mixture.
(4) Use a small coffee-grinder to grind one or two Tablespoons of flaxseeds into a fine powder. Use a spoon to blend the ground seeds into the creamy mixture.
To this basic mixture you can then add fresh fruit (berries are especially recommended), organic raw nuts, a little raw honey to sweeten, a little spice (cinnamon with a pinch of cayenne is nice, for its warming effect) – to make what ends up looking and tasting very much like a delicious fruit/nut custard or parfait. Eating this once or twice a day is the foundation of the Budwig Protocol/Diet.
The other dietary portions of the full program include eliminating highly-refined sugars and flours, along with a number of other foods that tend to have stressful effects upon the body; and replacing these with what basically is a whole-foods vegetarian diet. For details on how to apply the Budwig Protocol to your unique circumstances, please visit the Budwig Center website.
Not surprisingly, Dr. Budwig’s protocol has met with no small amount of resistance from western medical and pharmaceutical industries – who stand to lose huge amounts of money as people discover that two simple and relatively commonplace foods – cottage cheese and flaxseed oil – can go far in alleviating and even reversing the major, chronic and degenerative dis-eases -- with equal if not superior effectiveness, and without any negative side-effects -- that MD’s are in the habit of prescribing expensive pharmaceuticals to address.
Nevertheless, the treatment protocol is becoming more and more well-known. Like any dietary or herbal rehabilitation program, it’s not for everyone – but has the proven potential to be greatly beneficial for many. A victory in external alchemy!
See Also: Elizabeth's fruit & nut & superfood variation of the Budwig Protocol.
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