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,


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,


St. Hildegard of Bingen’s Diet: Recommended Vegetables

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


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

  1. Beans: green beans, soy beans, kidney beans, all other beans.
  2. Fennel: however eaten, fennel makes us happy, produces beautiful skin, good digestion, and good body odor.
  3. Celery: cooked
  4. Chickpeas
  5. Pumpkin
  6. Watercress
  7. Red Beets
  8. Lettuce: only with dressing; strengthens the brain and provides good digestion.
  9. Chestnuts: fill empty brain; strengthen heart, liver and stomach.
  10. Onions: cooked
  11. Corn-on-the-Cob
  12. Broccoli


(recipe from Saint Hildegard’s Kitchen: Foods of Health, Foods of Joy)

6 fennel bulbs, trimmed and cut into halves
1 tsp dill
1 tsp galingale
coriander, salt, pepper to taste
3 tsps agar
3 eggs
3 tbsps heavy cream

Cook the fennel for 20 minutes in boiling salted water. Drain and grind in a food mill to make a purée. Season the purée with salt, pepper, coriander, dill, galingale; add the agar. Add the eggs and cream beaten together. Pour into a mold and cook for 30 to 45 minutes in a hot (400 degree F) oven. Remove from the mold and serve with the sauce of your choice. Serves 6.

In Viriditas,





St. Hildegard of Bingen’s Diet: Whole Grains

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

spelt bread

Here is St. Hildegard’s take on whole grains:

  1. Spelt: the most ancient grain – the very best; use for cooking and baking.
  2. Oats: only good for healthy persons; promotes beautiful skin; leads to health and happiness (PL 1130 C)
  3. Wheat: only good as whole wheat or graham, and only for baking.
  4. Rye: only good for healthy persons; excellent for those who tend to have heavy fat deposits (hard workers); detrimental for persons with weak stomachs (gastritis) (Pl 1130 A)
  5. Barley: injures healthy persons and those with anemia and poor circulation, for barley lacks the values which are found in the other grains. (PL 1131 B)


(recipe from Saint Hildegard’s Kitchen: Foods of Health, Foods of Joy)

2 lbs spelt flour
4 cups water at room temperature
1 ½ cups yeast
1 tbsp olive oil
salt (optional)
fenugreek seeds (optional)
galingale powder (optional)

Thin the yeast in some tepid water. Make a well in the center of the flour and add the thinned yeast, a little at a time, as well as the salt, oil, water, and eventually the seasonings. Knead until the mixture forms a smooth ball and all ingredients are well incorporated. Let rise for at least 2 hours, covered, in a warm place. Knead the dough for 30 minutes on a floured surface, adding flour as needed, up to 10 ounces. Shape into 2 long loaves and let rise again, covered, for 15 minutes.

Brush tops with a small amount of tepid water and bake in a pre-heated 450 degree F oven for 25 to 30 minutes. It is important to ensure that there is a pan of water on the lower rack of the oven while the bread is baking to prevent hardening of the crust. Remove finished bread from the oven and cool on a rack.

In Viriditas,



St. Hildegard of Bingen’s Diet: The Spelt Diet

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


“Everything you eat and drink either strengthens or harms your health and vitality, just as your positive or negative thoughts strengthen or harm your spirit. But how do we know what strengthens or weakens us? Hildegard shows us a nutritional way to better health as presented in detail in the book, The Kitchen Secrets of Hildegard’s Medicine. Hildegard’s diet is superior to the many contradictory man-made diets of today, because of its divine origin.

Proper nutrition is more important than medicine, including drugs, surgery and physiotherapy. The spelt diet, especially, builds and maintains healthy cells, good blood, tissues, glands, organs and body functions, and even a happy mind and a joyful spirit. Orthodox medicine is not the best hope for future health; it is diet that will define our destiny.

The Hildegard diet is based on viriditas, or the life energy found in nature. This life energy is able to rejuvenate our cells and keep us alive. The secret of life itself is found in the cereal grain, spelt, the heart of the whole Hildegard diet.

Hildegard admires spelt over every other grain, writing: Spelt is the best grain; it is warming, fattening, strengthening, has a high quality, and is milder than any other grain. Spelt produces firm flesh and good blood, provides a happy mind and a joyful spirit. No matter how you eat spelt, either as a bread or in other foods, it is good and easy to digest.

Spelt is the food of the future. It has been thoroughly analyzed and contains all required nutrients: proteins of high biological value (essential amino acids), fatty acids (lipids) for the nervous system, carbohydrates, vitamins, a gold mine of minerals, and a rich source of dietary fiber.

Spelt, as the basic food, provides a constant energy flow, because the carbohydrate chain is slowly broken down in the intestine, molecule by molecule, and is burned completely, leaving water and carbon dioxide, which are easily eliminated. You will not feel as tired or as emotionally drained as you do when you eat denatured, refined grain – the so-called “empty calories,” i.e. white sugar in candy, and white flour in bread. Refined starch and sugar are immediately assimilated into the blood – not broken down like spelt – causing a “high” or rush of energy which is quickly burned, leaving no sugar in the blood. This is what causes hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, hyperactive children, or even obesity. The “empty calories” are being stored as body fat, while the body is starving to death for a lack of all essential nutrients.”

1. Have you ever had spelt bread? Try it some time and see if it “provides a happy mind and a joyful spirit”!

In Viriditas,



St. Hildegard of Bingen’s “Good Food’s”

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


 “The simplicity of the Hildegard diet does not require measuring the complicated data of calorie charts, vitamin tables, fat percentages, or fiber content. This simple diet is totally complete. Supplementation through additional vitamin or mineral pills is not only unnecessary, but is not recommended. Hildegard’s frugal diet contains fresh vegetables and fruits in season, preferably grown in the immediate area. Instead of an overabundance of various foods from exotic lands, and the cultivation of gourmet tastes, Hildegard advocates a plain diet which can nevertheless be delicious and healthful.

The characteristic, important, and fundamental substance of a food is its essence (essential), its subtility. For the Hildegard diet, this is the scale which weighs and selects the foods. On the basis of subtility we can select “good” foods from the various food families for our diet. All things 100-percent “good” have health-promoting, health-sustaining, revujenating, and vitalizing qualities as a part of their fundamental nature.

1. What fresh vegetables and fruits are currently growing in your immediate area?
2. Do you have a local farmer’s market? Check it out!

In Viriditas,

A Proper Diagnosis According to St. Hildegard

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

Physica: St. Hildegard’s Book of Healing Methods

Physica: St. Hildegard’s Book of Healing Methods

“According to Hildegard, there are not 6000 illnesses, as the modern medicine of today would have us believe. This diagnostic chaos is resolved in a clearly understandable basic principle in the medicine of Hildegard. In the process, one can look for guidance to the developmental history of a human being, just as modern science does. The three germinal layers from which the human body develops (ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm) form the basis for three large categories of illness:

Ectodermal Illnesses

The illnesses of the outer germinal layer have to do with the segmental structure of the body and the nervous system, that is, roughly within the skin. After all, the skin is a sense organ with many receptors which transmit a multitude of messages to the nervous system: sensations of temperature, pain, touch, and pressure. These illnesses affect the organs and are listed by Hildegard from head to toe: head, eyes, ears, teeth, heart, lungs, liver, spleen, stomach, kidneys, abdomen, sexual organs, gout of the big toe. These localized illnesses are inherited illnesses, with the typical weak points (Achilles heel) which a person brings into the world. They range from the scalp to the big toe. There is a specific treatment for each of these organs enumerated.

Mesodermal Illnesses

The mesomorphic illnesses of the middle germinal layers have to do with the connective tissue and the vessels. They are principally rheumatic and degenerative illnesses, colds, and the illnesses connected with elimination.

Endodermal Illnesses

The so-called serious internal illnesses, such as cancer, jaundice, dropsy, and intestinal illnesses, can be traced to the inner germinal layer, with a systematic listing of about forty types of illness. These internal ailments are largely connected with disturbances of the stomach and intestines, and can in part appear as eruptions of the skin. Likewise skin ailments can be projected onto the intestines.

  1. Do you have any illnesses which you feel you have inherited?
  2. What is your Achilles heel?

In Viriditas,



The Key to Healing According to St. Hildegard.

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

blog image

“For Hildegard, the elements are the key to understanding the whole art of healing. The number four is not only significant in the construction of the cosmos, but also in the make-up and function of human beings, for example in the theory of the four humors, the four blood types, and the four temperaments and their characteristic variations in man and woman.

As has already been shown a number of times, just as the four elements hold the world together, they also form the structure for the human body. Their distribution and function in the whole human being are such that they constantly sustain the person, just as they are spread throughout all the rest of the world and have their effects. Fire, air, water, and earth are in humankind, and humans consist of them. From fire they have the warmth of their bodies, from air they have their breath, from water they have their blood and from earth their bodies (the materials of muscles and bones). They can thank fire for their sight, air for their hearing, water for movement and earth for their ability to walk. (Causes and Cures 49,29)

The four elements determine the constitution of the humors in a human being and thus the state of health. No one exists outside of this cosmic principle. Everything works together in this order, in balance and harmony, and thus a person remains healthy and alive.

When the elements fulfill their purpose correctly and orderly, so that warmth, dew, and rain come separately and in good measure and at the proper time, and maintain the earth and its fruits in health, and thus bring bountiful harvests and good health, then the world will prosper. If they all come suddenly and at the same time, and not in their season, they would tear the earth apart and make it sick. Likewise, the elements maintain the health of a person when they function in an orderly manner. As soon as they stray from this order, they make the person sick and cause death. As long as the flow of the humors in a person functions properly, and maintains warmth, moisture, blood, and flesh, then the person enjoys good health. But as soon as they flow all at once in excess and without caution, they create sickness and cause death. (Causes and Cures 49,40)”

What is your relationship to the four elements?

In Viriditas,