St. Hildegard of Bingen’s Diet: Recommended Beverages

(Excerpt from Hildegard of Bingen’s Medicine by Dr. Wighard Strehlow & Gottfried Hertzka, M.D.)


St. Hildegard recommends one drink in moderation during the meal.

The best tea is fennel tea, which is 100-percent good for your health. You can also use lemon balm or rosehips for your tea.

Beer is a beverage especially good for the underweight. It is a good muscle builder and provides a healthy skin color.

Wine is also good in moderation – almost a remedy for the sick. But do not forget to add a squirt of water in order to “humanize” the wine. The quenched wine is especially helpful to keep you happy.

Spelt coffee, a roasted-grain coffee substitute, is recommended for the digestion, especially as a breakfast coffee.

Spring and well water are normally better than mineral water. As a general rule, a good mineral water should contain as few minerals as possible, in order to cleanse the body of waste products. Mineral water is not always good as a main drink, especially if it contains too many minerals.

Orange and lemon juice are good for your health, especially when fever is present.

Quenched Wine

St. Hildegard says that blood chemistry goes through a tremendous change as a result of negative influences: weather sensitivity, mood changes, and heart problems are all precipitated by sadness. One will observe two general reactions, both detrimental to health: the choleric disposition indicates explosive behavior, whereas the melancholic disposition indicates repressed anger. Repression (“that really bugs me” attitude) affects the body’s weakest organs, such as the stomach (peptic ulcers), or the heart (heart attach). Repressed anger can lead to violence, which is why quenched wine is such an important catalyst in eradicating anger. It is almost like a fire extinguisher.

Hildegard offers a very fine art for regulating the cause of these disturbances:

“If anyone has been  provoked to anger or sadness, he or she should quickly heat up wine to boiling, then mix with a small amount of cold water. This is how the anger-causing substances are neutralized.” (CC 198,5)

The wine can save an otherwise lost day. In addition, it prevents sleeplessness resulting from the tension of the day. We recommend the following procedure:

Take one glass of the best wine available.
Heat to boiling in a pan.
Put aside ½ glass cold water.
When bubbles surface in wine, add the cold water with one motion.

Pour back into the glass and sip. Try it once and you will never give it up. In severe situations, it is wise to prepare a thermos bottle for the day ahead. The quenched wine has less than two percent alcohol as a result of the boiling. For those sensitive to this amount, two or three tablespoons is sufficient.

(Recipe from Hildegard of Bingen’s Medicine by Dr. Wighard Strehlow & Gottfried Hertzka, M.D.)

In Viriditas,


Viriditas Newsletter, October

Dear Viriditas Community,

What a gift our five senses are! St. Hildegard reminds us of this again and again. Soak in the words of the following text. In it St. Hildegard encourages us to delight in sights and smells and uses words like ecstasy and delight! I want to encourage you to read these words every day for a month and to notice how your experience of life changes.

I saw a mighty and immeasurable marvelousness.

It had such a fierce shine
I could only behold it
as if through a mirror.

But I knew that within it
was every manner of sweet blossoming,
every manner of good aromas and lovely scents.
It was to be enjoyed
with unbounded delight.

Here were the blessed, happy ones
that moved God in their time on earth,
stirring God with sincere striving and
just works.

Now in all this marvelousness
they can enjoy the sweetest ecstasy.
                              – St. Hildegard of Bingen

Have you ever felt like you were immersed in the “marvelousness” St. Hildegard is describing? Have you ever been surrounded by sweet blossoming and every manner of good aromas? Were you able to enjoy them with unbounded delight? It is this experience that I tried to capture in the mural that graces my studio wall. Here is a photograph of that mural. Enjoy. Studio MuralTruly, one of the things I love most about St. Hildegard is how she teaches us to enjoy our senses, constantly encouraging us to connect with delicious and healthy food, wonderful scents and beauty in all its forms.


In recent weeks I have delighted in the beauty of the musical creations of Randy Macintosh, musical director for the Kutandara Center. In addition to performing Randy’s arrangement of the song Kuri Kwedo at the upcoming Moon and Stars event, I am also joining a group of singers and marimba players who will be performing two of Randy’s compositions for chorus and marimbas. The first is Zvenyika Ino and is inspired by a poem written by Aids Orphans in Zimbabwe. The second is the Gloria from Randy’s Misa Tariro (Mass of Hope). For a real treat for your ears and soul, listen to the Boulder Chorale and Kutandara’s recording of the Gloria. (Click here to listen to Gloria as performed by Kutandara and the Boulder Chorale.)

I always feel St. Hildegard’s sensual presence when David and I host our monthly Tap Into Transformation. October was no exception. Again, I shopped at Whole Foods for the event’s food. This month I didn’t know what I was going to get until I walked into the store.  I just hold the theme of the month in mind and see what food “speaks” to me. This month things like lobster bisque, broccoli crunch salad, and cherry pie with fresh whipped cream graced our table. cherry_pie_

Our ears were tickled by the voice of David Bowie and the sound of our taps. As always I had some essential oils for people to enjoy. An essential oil blend called, Joy is my personal favorite. For me, the most beautiful moment of the evening came after dinner. David asked our group to answer the following two questions in the form of a drawing.

What are the changes in your life?

Where and how do you feel them in your body?

It was very moving for me to hear about the changes in everyone’s lives and to be able to share about some of the current changes I’m experiencing. Every single drawing touched me deeply. As our tap dancers were leaving that night I thought to myself, “What a blessing to get to spend an evening in such sacred company.”

Next month we will be doing country western line dancing in tap shoes. Yee Haw! groupe dansantYou do NOT want to miss this one if you like to have fun!

In Viriditas,




St. Hildegard of Bingen’s Diet: Recommended Dressings and Spices

(Excerpt from Hildegard of Bingen’s Medicine by Dr. Wighard Strehlow & Gottfried Hertzka, M.D.)


The standard dressing for St. Hildegard’s salad contains one tablespoon pure wine vinegar, three tablespoons sunflower oil, and a little bit of brown sugar to neutralize the sour taste. Lemon juice, as well as yoghurt, can also be used.

ABC of St. Hildegard’s spices:
bay leaves
cinnamon – universal spice for sinuses
cubeb pepper – clears the intellect
cumin – makes cheese more digestible
curled mint
fennel – “happy-making” spice, good for bad breath
galangal – activates entire organism; especially heart
hyssop – chicken spice; excellent for liver colic and melancholy
mother of thyme – good for skin disorders
pellitory – universal spice; aids digestion of all nutrients
stinging nettle


1 tbsp ground almonds
1 tbsp sherry or wine vinegar
2 tbsps nut oil
pinch of galingale and dill
salt, pepper to taste

Mix ingredients together well. Refrigerate.

(Recipe from the book From Saint Hildegard’s Kitchen: Foods of Health, Foods of Joy by Jany Fournier-Rosset)

In Viriditas,



St. Hildegard of Bingen’s Diet: Recommended Meats

(excerpts from Hildegard of Bingen’s Medicine by Dr. Wighard Strehlow & Gottfried Hertzka)


Here is St. Hildegard’s list of recommended meats:

1. Fish: good for healthy and sick – pike, perch, roach, and grayling. Good only for healthy – salmon, herring, carp, and trout.

2. Poultry & Chicken: easy to digest; St. Hildegard recommends its use all year round; prepare without skin.

Turkey – though Hildegard is silent on turkey, it is easy to digest and is lowest in cholesterol of all meats.

Wild goose, wild duck – only for the healthy.

Ostrich meat – excellent for obese persons.

3. Lamb: in spring and summer; good for healthy and sick; especially good for varicose veins. St. Hildegard writes: Whoever is failing in his whole body and whose veins are withered should often sip the juice of lamb and of the soup in which it was cooked. Also he should eat some of the meat and, when he improves, he can eat even more meat if he wants. (PL 1324 A)

4. Goat: in spring and summer; good for healthy and sick. In St. Hildegard’s words: If goat meat is eaten often, it heals obstructed and malfunctioning weakened intestines and heals and strengthens the stomach. (PL 1325 A)

5. Venison: in fall and winter; good for healthy and sick. St. Hildegard says:Whoever eats of this meat frequently is cleansed of slime and filth. Whoever is plagued by precancerosis (vicht) should eat often from its liver and it will devour the vicht in him. (PL 1321 D)


1 lb zucchini, coarsely grated
2 tbsps butter or oil
1tbsp heavy cream
pinch each of galingale and cumin
salt, pepper to taste
1 cup blue cheese, crumbled
4 perch filets
parchment paper or aluminum foil

Quickly blanch the grated zucchini in boiling, salted water. Immediately plunge into ice water and drain well on absorbent towels. Brown the drained zucchini in a small amount of butter or oil. Add the cream, seasoning, salt, and pepper. Let simmer for a few minutes, then add the crumbled blue cheese. Place each perch filet onto a buttered sheet of parchment paper (or aluminum foil), and cover with some of the sauce. Close each packet (papillote) tightly and place on a baking sheet. Back the packets in a hot oven (425 degrees F) for 15 minutes. Serve with remaining sauce. Serves 4

Perch is more hot than cold, says St. Hildegard. “It likes the day, dwells freely in the sunshine, and lives happily in clear waters. Its flesh is sound and good for healthy and sick people to eat.”

(Recipe from the book From Saint Hildegard’s Kitchen: Foods of Health, Foods of Joy by Jany Fournier-Rosset)

In Viriditas,




St. Hildegard of Bingen’s Diet: Recommended Fruits

(Excerpts from Hildegard of Bingen’s Medicine by Dr. Wighard Strehlow & Gottfried Hertzka)


Here is St. Hildegard’s list of recommended fruits:

1. Apples: raw for healthy only; cooked or well baked for sick and healthy; old, wrinkled, raw apples also good for sick.

2. Cherries

3. Quince: especially good for rheumatism and arthritis.

4. Red and Black Currants

5. Grapes

6. Rasberries, Blackberries

7. Citrus Fruits

8. Cornel Cherries

9. Melons

10. Dates: in moderation.


1 cup spelt flour
¾ cup brown sugar
1tsp baking powder
pinch each of licorice powder and salt
3 eggs
1 tbsp rum
4 apples, peeled and finely chopped

Mix the dry ingredients together. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the rum. Place the apples in the bottom of a pie plate and cover with the batter. Bake in a moderate oven (325-400 degrees F) for 30 to 45 minutes. Serves 6.

(Recipe from the book From Saint Hildegard’s Kitchen: Foods of Health, Foods of Joy by Jany Fournier-Rosset)

In Viriditas,