Hei Mahi Māra
Angels in the Māra Kai
A beginner’s guide to growing organic vegetables
Nā Tremane Barr
In my summer holidays I was fortunate enough to read two new books which opened my eyes to the power of the old saying of Hippocrates: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” While this concept is nothing new to me, the books by Anthony William: Medical Medium: Secrets Behind Chronic and Mystery Illness and How to Finally Heal, and Life-Changing Foods: Save Yourself and the Ones You Love with the Hidden Healing Powers of Fruits & Vegetables have led me to a new level of understanding of the saying. They have informed the ways I can use this information for my health and that of my whānau, and apply it in my māra.
The Holy Four [foods] contain life-healing and life-repairing nutrients and phytochemicals. Some are already known, and others are newly discovered.
Anthony William works as a medical medium. He is able to converse with the Angel of Compassion (who has trained him since he was four-years-old) to psychically diagnose and treat people with chronic illnesses with quite some success, using mainly organic food and supplements. Apparently, the Angel of Compassion has been sent to help humanity deal with the epidemic of (so-called) autoimmune illnesses that increasingly afflict us in the 21st century e.g. Alzheimer’s, Lyme disease, multiple sclerosis, infertility, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, thyroid disease, fibromyalgia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, autoimmune disease, Crohn’s disease, colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, insomnia, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorders, etc. From his perspective, these health challenges are growing in the human population due to a combination of mainly four toxic causes, which he calls the Unforgiving Four:
1. Radiation fallout from nuclear bombs, nuclear power stations pollution, Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters, medical radiation (e.g. x-rays and CT scans) and wireless/mobile phone radiation etc.
2. Heavy metals: in the air, water, soils and food from industry.
3. Pesticides: which also contain heavy metals, and are present in our air, water, soils, and food.
4. Viruses: added into this toxic mix, a new breed of viruses that have become established and proliferated due to the toxic load in our bodies from the above three. Of particular concern: the human herpes viruses including the Epstein-Barr virus, which have many more types afflicting human health than the medical system currently has knowledge of.
Anthony believes these Unforgiving Four are playing havoc with people’s immune systems. That is the bad news. Now for the good news: It is possible to avoid these health threats and/or recover one’s health with the help of the foods which he calls the Holy Four. The Holy Four contain life-healing and life-repairing nutrients and phytochemicals. Some are already known, and others are newly discovered ones identified by Anthony.
• Vegetables: radishes, kale, broccoli, potatoes, kūmara, sprouts, etc.
• Herbs and spices: coriander, parsley, garlic, ginger, etc.
• Fruits: apples, avocados, berries, kiwifruit, lemons, pears, etc.
• Wild foods: aloe vera, seaweed, coconut, dandelion, nettle, raw honey, etc.
However, it is not just the physical benefits that the Holy Four can provide, but also the positive emotional and spiritual influences they bring with them as well.
I have completely underestimated the healing power of the humble radish. From Anthony’s perspective, radishes help replenish the immune system as the sulphur they contain helps repel all types of pathogens, as well as killing intestinal worms and parasites. They can also help prevent heart disease. The skin of radishes helps repel nearly all types of cancer so that it cannot start its growth cycle. The leaves have a multitude of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, alkaloids, and enzymes, as well as having antibacterial and antiviral properties. As such they are one of the most beneficial leafy greens for promoting health. Radishes can also help cleanse heavy metals (mercury, lead, arsenic, and aluminium) from the body, which helps with conditions like Alzheimer’s. Anthony also believes that the chemical effects of various nutrients extend to positive impacts at an emotional and even spiritual level. In this light, he says, an intake of the nutrients in radishes can help people get out of a rut of despair and the doldrums, while spiritually, they can teach us the value of choosing the right moment for important conversations and decisions and to persevere.
The best way to take advantage of the radish is to plant by seed a few each week in the growing seasons, so you can have a weekly supply of fresh radish roots and leafy greens.
Kūmara are well-known for being high in vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids, and are abundant at this time of year. However, Anthony points out that they have many more healthy aspects to them: their high lycopene and amino acid content helps detox radiation from the body; they promote productive bacteria in the digestive system while starving the unproductive bacteria and mould; they have anti-cancerous phytochemicals; and help rid the body of destructive oestrogens that come from plastics, pharmaceuticals, food, and environmental toxins. They can also help with insomnia and irritable bowel syndrome. At an emotional level, eating kūmara can help give the feeling of shutting off the world around you in a way that makes you feel safe and soothed like in a hug – a “comfort food”, if you will. At a spiritual level, they are sweet enough and a complete gift in and of themselves, yet end up being adulterated with butter, cream, sugar etc. This can teach us to reflect on when we have been given complete gifts, yet ended up fearing that they are not enough.
Helping angels in the māra
The old tohunga knew the importance of using karakia for calling on the help and protection of the atua and kaitiaki as part of growing kai in the māra. I don’t have any of this old knowledge, so am grateful for people like Anthony who remind me of the benefits of consciously engaging with angels to help in the māra and life in general. In order to engage the help of a particular angel, he says we need to speak their name out loud stating the request for help we would like from them, for example:
• Angel of Abundance: helps with productively growing our own food.
• Angel of Enrichment: helps with enhancing the nutrition of the Holy Four, helping to turn food one grows into personal medicine.
• Angel of Synchronicity: can help provide insight into how to care for the plants you are growing.
• Angel of Insight: this is the angel leading the organic, seed-saving, and health food movement, and can provide magical inspiration to help stay on track.
Maybe a new version of Hippocrates’ “food as medicine” quote could be something like: “Let thy māra kai be thy medicine.”
Anthony William’s website:
Twice-baked sweet potato (kūmara)
Tremane Barr is Ngāi Tahu/Kāti Māhaki ki Makaawhio. He has been gardening organically for more than 20 years. Tremane is currently a Research Fellow based at the Ngāi Tahu Research Centre at the University of Canterbury and is working on the Raumanga Rōnaki Mahinga Kai project.