All posts filed under: Nutrition


The Doctrine of Signatures: Healing Foods

In ancient Greece, physician-philosophers were struck by how many plants looked like a body part. They wondered if nature was trying to tell them something. From this observation, they developed the ‘doctrine of signatures’—a claim that certain plants could heal the organ that they resembled of an illness. It may seem like nonsense, however, says nutritionist Jane Hutchens of Lemongrove Road Holistic Health in Penrith, it’s not so far-fetched. Two thousand years ago there was no division between the sciences as we understand them today and other areas of enquiry such as medicine, philosophy and astrology. Early physicians like Dioscorides (40–90AD) and Galen (129–200AD) knew that plants had medicinal and health properties. They understood that prescribing the right plant for the right ailment was a task made easier by the appearance of the plant—the ‘signature’ (distinctive mark) of the illness or organ could be matched to the ‘signature’ of the plant. “For example,” says Jane, “plants with yellow flowers, like gentian and dandelion, would be used to treat conditions that caused jaundice (yellowing of the …


Life Time: A Better Burger

We all have the intention to eat healthy, right? The knowledge is there, the healthy options are available, the consequences of failure writ large in the obesity statistics… but what do we do when we’re short on time and inspiration —and just in need of something comforting and quick? Penrith-based nutritionist Jane Hutchens at Lemongrove Road Holistic Health asked her typical Aussie male partner that question. “Tell them to buy better burgers,” he said. Be thankful—there is such a thing as a healthy burger! Burger purists will tell you that a hamburger is a single 100% beef patty sandwiched in a soft bread bun, typically with lettuce and onion, and with optional (and much argued over) condiments, like tomato or barbecue sauce or mayonnaise, pickles, cheese, bacon or tomato. Australian purists might also insist on a slice of beetroot—a thing that would horrify most other nations’ purists. Non-purists will happily add almost anything else to the basic recipe—and experiment with all kinds of non-beef patties like chicken or fish, and veggie options like falafel, lentil …