What makes the spelt so extraordinary and highly recommended by St. Hildegard above all other grains? This medieval nun described the healing powers dormant in seven species of grains, but it is spelt that deserves the most attention, and modern science confirms St. Hildegard’s assessment. This grain has been subjected to scientific research at numerous symposia, which have confirmed that spelt is the most valuable grain and contains everything a human needs to live a healthy life.

Spelt is unique not only because of its richness in nutritional value but also in terms of cultivation. Farmers who grow spelt do not have to worry about fertilization or certificates confirming ecological cultivation, because the ease with which this grain grows means it does not need fertilizers or a special soil. It grows well in various terrains, even those located above 1000 meters above the sea level. It is robust and resistant to cold and diseases. It is a winter species, sown in autumn, and harvested at the end of summer in August. It is the purest food item because it grows wonderfully without the use of chemicals. It is not sensitive to droughts or excessive rainfall. It is not demanding in terms of soil; it yields good harvests when planted in the same place year after year. The grain husk protects it from acid rain or radioactive air contamination. The husk is so tight that after the Chernobyl explosion in April 1986, spelt was contaminated with radioactive fission products at a value of 5 to 7 becquerels (Bq) per kilogram, with an allowable contamination of 600 becquerels per kilogram of grain. It was ten times less contaminated with radioactive fallout than wheat.

While Hildegard does not disregard wheat and its whole grain products, it is spelt that reigns among all the grains described by her. Following her advice, Dr. Hertzka and Dr. Strehlow made this ingredient a staple in the diet and treatment according to the principles of St. Hildegard. It has been observed that success in treating various ailments is 90 percent linked to consistent replacement of wheat with ancient spelt. Thanks to spelt, they could help all patients regardless of their health condition, as it contains all the basic ingredients needed for a healthy life: high-quality proteins, complex carbohydrates, minerals, trace elements, and vitamins. This grain is the most stomach-friendly and intestinal-friendly because, without straining the digestive system, it can be absorbed and transported in the bloodstream. It is possible due to its excellent water solubility, it results in nutrients being quickly absorbed and distributed throughout the body. Eventually this process leads to optimal nourishment and strengthening of all body cells: nerve, bone, muscle, and internal organs. With systematic nourishment by the spelt, the body is practically “flooded” with vitamins and active ingredients, leading to the expansion of blood vessels, what supports digestion.

Another property of spelt that gives it a clear advantage over other grains is the fact that it has a triple set of chromosomes n=3, with 14 chromosomes each (totaling 42 chromosomes). Whereas common wheat has 2 x 14= 28 chromosomes, and spelt wheat has only a simple set of 14 chromosomes.

Thiocyanate is another exceptional component of spelt, previously mentioned but deserving more attention. It protects against allergies and cancer. By stabilizing cell walls, it prevents substances that cause cancer from penetrating into the cells, thereby protecting them from the development of cancerous changes. On the other hand, patients suffering from food allergies respond well to spelt, which has the advantage that it does not produce stress proteins under environmental stress (heat, cold, humidity), unlike wheat and other grains. It is precisely these indigestible proteins that are responsible for allergies, usually accompanied by disturbed intestinal flora. Dr. Strehlow notes that with proper regeneration of the intestines according to St. Hildegard’s recommendations, accompanied by the spelt diet, even difficult-to-treat chronic allergy conditions can be cured. In his medical experience, he notes a 70-80 percent success rate in treating these conditions. Exceptionally good results were achieved in the treatment of chronic intestinal inflammation, atopic dermatitis, rheumatic diseases, wheat intolerance, celiac disease, and sprue. In case of celiac disease, spelt diet is introduced very cautiously, adding one tablespoon of softly cooked spelt to the diet every day. Prior intestinal regeneration with Hildegard’s diet is an important introduction to treatment.

Spelt originated before wheat, over 8000 years ago. It was first cultivated in the Transcaucasia region (areas northeast of the Black Sea). From 2500 to 1700 BCE, it was cultivated in central Europe. It was valued in Greece and the Roman Empire, where it was a staple food for gladiators. Later, spelt was cultivated on poor soils in valleys and foothills of the Alps. Until the 20th century, spelt was widely cultivated in southern Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. However, it was pushed out by wheat due to its low yields. Even today, this factor causes its higher price compared to wheat. Its properties, however, are incomparably more beneficial than those of wheat, which has been genetically modified multiple times over the past century. The balance of benefits experienced by a person eating spelt far exceeds the slightly higher cost of acquiring this product. On the other hand, the balance of health losses incurred by a person consuming wheat that has been repeatedly modified over the past century, cultivated using pesticides, far outweighs the financial savings. These savings are ultimately spent on medical visits, examinations, and pharmacological treatment.

Based on book by Wighard Strehlow “Healing Food”

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