If you are familiar with the traditional medicine of China, India, or Tibet you have come across powdered formulas. Ancient recipes made from plant, animal, and mineral ingredients that are sometimes toxic and need to be consumed with knowledge and care. Powders can be taken as part of a tea, in capsules, or mixed into water. Ideally the ingredients are prepared and consumed in elaborate/specific ways based on the condition, properties in the herbs, constitution, and result the practitioner wishes to achieve.
Client compliance can be an issue due to taste, texture, and hassle. When there is flexibility, I like making a paste. I start with a base of sweet/pleasant tasting, nutrient dense ingredients, some of which support digestion. A paste adds “energetics”, hides grit/dryness, and can be more user friendly than say a tincture or bitter tea . I like to spread it on fruit, bread, or crackers. Balls can be rolled in cocoa or carob powder and eaten like a truffle. If you have an herb dependent on a certain process for extracting the medicinal/chemical constituents pastes may not be the way to go. But if your recipe has a lot of “culinary” or “building” plants, this can be a great option for children or long term use. A bit like combining a tonic with an electuary or pastille. Since my practice is shifting more towards preventative care and rejuvenation, the use of pastes is becoming a way I really prefer to dispense my herbs. For this recipe, I personally would use only “tonic” plants that can be safely consumed longterm to prevent or support chronic health issues.
1/4 cup of dried currants or raisins chopped
1/4 cup of dried papaya chopped
1/4 cup of candied ginger chopped
10 chopped dried apricots, cut and chopped
10 soft whole dates without pits, chopped
1 tsp of coarsely powdered fennel seed
1 tsp of vanilla extract
1/2 cup of nut or seed butter of choice
Dose-1 TBSP daily after lunch
In a large food processor add your dried fruit. Pulse until you have a coarse substance that is finer and sticky.
Add in the fennel, vanilla and nut/seed butter. Process until you have a smooth paste that holds its shape well.
1/2 cup of powdered herbs are added when you do the fennel seed. This amount can be adjusted depending on dose, age/life status, and the properties of the plants chosen.
Dose: 1 TBSP daily after lunch or as a “snack”.
I would love to hear about your experiences with powders and pastes.