Preparation of substances for medicinal use §266- §268 Organon §266

The substances of the animal and vegetable kingdoms are the most medicinal when they are in their raw state. 212Comment

212 All animal and plant substances have more or less medicinal power and can alter a person’s condition, each in its own manner. The plants and animals used for food by the most enlightened peoples have these advantages: They have a larger concentration of nutrients, and the medicinal power of their raw states (already not very violent) is decreased by culinary and domestic preparation. Processes that partly destroy and dissipate the medicinal part of substances include:

1. Pressing out the detrimental juice, as with the cassava root of South America.

2. Fermentation of the flour in dough for making bread, of sauerkraut prepared without vinegar, and of brine-cured pickles.

3. Smoking of foods.

4. Heating of foods by boiling, stewing, toasting, roasting, baking or, for potatoes, by steaming.

5. By the addition of salt (pickling) and vinegar (sauces, salads), the animal and plant substances indeed lose much of their malignity, but they receive other disadvantages from these additions. However, the most medicinally powerful plants do lose their medicinal power, in part or entirely, by such treatments.

6. By complete dessication, all roots of the iris-species, horseradish, arum and peony lose almost all of their medicinal power.

7. Through the heat used in ordinary extract preparation, the juice of plants with the most violent medicinal action becomes a pitch-like mass which is quite inert.

8. By long exposure to the air, the pressed out juice of the deadliest plants becomes quite powerless. At moderate air temperatures, it soon ferments by itself, like wine, and thereby loses much of its medicinal power. It proceeds directly to another stage of fermentation, like vinegar, and then putrefies, thereby losing all of its peculiar medicinal power. If the starchy sediment [the fecula] it deposits is collected and washed, it is then completely harmless, like any other starch.

9. Even by the transudation that takes place when a quantity of green plants are piled on top of one another, the largest part of their medicinal power is lost.

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