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Fiction

It seems there is a food that makes people love people. Well, it's not love in the romantic sense, because everybody knows about that kind of food - it's called an aphrodisiac, a love potion number 9, something like that. The sentiment in question is more like when people show generosity, kindness, insane levels of empathy. 

"I don't believe you."

Is this really possible, you might be asking? It's true that people aren’t so nice anymore. They carry out drive-by shootings, shoot up discotheques, kneel on somebody’s neck and break their windpipe. All that and more. No time for love now. You know, haters gonna hate, right? 

"There is no edible that will cure what's wrong with the world and all its aggression. Nothing."

"We'd have to ban all action films and videogames. Stop series like Survivor and maybe it would help to curb bodybuilding."

"Competition is to blame. Everybody wants to win, even if it means walking over the backs of others to get to the finish line first."

"Capitalism has created this dog-eat-dog world and we all know it. We just don't want to admit it."

As you can see, not too many agree with my statement.

"Well, are you talking about flower power, weed, things like from the sixties, like Woodstock?"

"I'm not in favor of everybody going out and getting high. Or staying home and doing it. "

I was not even remotely suggesting that, everybody. Calm down! This is food, or something that you can put in food, and I don't mean controlled substances. Don't even go there.

The fact is, this food has appeared and somehow is able to quash all the violence people in today’s society are prone to cultivate. It’s a mystery how this is happening, and it’s a slow process. The world isn't going to get completely zoned out any time soon. We have to be patient. Good things happen very slowly, sometimes. They aren't fads, like all those diets and pills promising drastic weight loss. This is the real deal.

There are lots of theories about what could be causing this recent wave of peacefulness. We should consider some of them, because a sense of calm and centeredness isn't all that's happening, albeit at a snail's pace. 

The consumers of this food, which still hasn’t been accurately located or identified, have more than a new-found feeling of peacefulness. (No, I've already stated that this isn’t about special brownies. That’s absurd and would be easy to spot.) The consumers of whatever edible it is also have a sense of balance, calmness, and mental clarity. They are not oblivious to what's going on around them.

Some researchers, fortunately, have come up with partial answers, at least. There are some really good things in store for the world if everybody wants to give this food a try.

The magic substance can also used for preventing early aging, meaning it's capable of increasing the lifespan. For those in need of it, the ingredient can normalize blood sugar and regulate blood pressure,. People are finding that their immune systems work much better, so they get far fewer colds and flu. They might even be able to avoid pneumonia and shingles if they consume this. It's rather a miracle, don't you think?

Doctors suggest that this food (or ingredient) can speed recovery of patients after surgery. Very important as well is that it is used for treating liver disease such as hepatitis and has been seen to protect the liver from poisons of various sorts.

"We eat so much poison, drink it, have terrible environmental policies. How can we avoid the contamination from poor eating or drinking habits and the chemicals forced on us by big companies?"

Other effects of this mysterious substance include the treatment of elevated cholesterol levels, relief from asthma, and calming coughs. It has been proven to cure sleep disorders such as insomnia. And when we sleep better, we suffer less from fatigue and irritability. The latter two health issues may be associated with emotional disturbance, neurasthenia, PMS, intestinal dysfunction, and much more.

"We really think this sounds like Dr. Quack's Magical Elixir. Not buying it."

"Is this an ad by Dr. Oz or Oprah?"

This is a true story. The food also combats night sweats or uncontrollable sweating in general, thirst, ED, physical exhaustion, and excessive urination.

"That's often a bladder issue."

"Are you saying this can stop children from needing diapers? Haha, of course not, and we're not stupid. This is just a lot of hype. Somebody must be getting rich off this publicity stunt."

The substance in question really is effective in curing depression, bad moods or crankiness - all that stuff that makes us shy away from people and prefer dogs or nature to human company. It can even reverse the loss of memory. It's not ginkgo biloba, however. It's much broader in it applications. 

More than the other good results when consuming this item, we should note that it is also used in children to reduce the frequency of attacks of fever caused by an inherited disease. The disease, called familial Mediterranean fever, is not limited to that part of the world. It's genetic autoinflammatory disorder with fever and very uncomfortable inflammation of the abdominal region, lungs and joints. A red rash on the legs and chest pain add to the discomfort.

"What's wrong with aspirin and antibiotics? Are we giving those up now for something we don't even know what its name is? We're not totally gullible, you know."

"I never heard of the Mediterranean disease thing, so it can't be a big deal. Just don't live in the Mediterranean and there's no problem."

"What was that about loss of memory? Maybe I ought to look into this thing you're talking about, whatever it is. I can't recall what you said it was."

Some people use this ingredient or plant or whatever it is to improving their eyesight and muscular function. Others see it as protecting against radiation, which is admittedly quite a serious claim. Whether or not research backs this statement up, nobody who has eaten the food containing this element has suffered from motion sickness, nobody has had any serious infections, and every body has felt a real surge of energy. If there were an endocrinologist around, she or he might be able to affirm the supposed positive effect on the adrenal glands.

"I'm not an endocrinologist, but my friend is. I'm going to see what my friend says."

"How do I know when my adrenal gland has experienced a positive effect? I mean, I never think about it, or them."

We definitely are in a quandary about the type of nourishment being discussed here. It's not entirely clear if it's a certain type of dish, an ingredient used in certain recipes, or an additive that is included somewhere during the preparation process. It's not clear where a specific flavor is to be associated with this substance or if it's tasteless, or if it has any color. We are drawing a complete blank.

Apparently it all began as a dish made at home, using an everyday recipe for a cake or a pie. Well, maybe it was a cake or a pie or some sort of dessert, but there’s another theory that suggests the intense feeling of well-being and centeredness comes from eating baked chicken or a steak. However, that would exclude vegetarians from the nice feeling, so clearly that suggestion can be discarded.

Nobody knows why eating certain foods has the effects mentioned above. It doesn't seem as if one ingredient can be so beneficial. Maybe if we actually knew what it was... Maybe if somebody could tell us what amount is needed to see any results. They say it's only used in certain dishes, though. We really need to know which ones.

"How can we trust any of the things said here?"

"There's something fishy about this story."

"Where did this all start, anyway?"

The answer to the last question is easy. There was a family in upstate New York that started a small restaurant and served food with this ingredient we have yet to mention. They had no high aspirations other than to make enough for mortgage and utilities, but gradually they realized their small place was a success . They were doing something right, because that's all they knew, and the business thrived. The entire family was proud of what they were doing and everybody helped out. The kitchen was a fun place to spend a few hours.

The restaurant was so popular the family expands to a couple of other locations. It was only two other towns, and they did it because it was perfect employment for family members. While not exactly the same, each one of the trio of eateries showed its ties to the original. Recipes were shared, nobody was overworked, nobody got really rich. Perfect.

Perfect, until a big company wanted to buy the family out and offered a huge sum of money. The company was convinced the family's way of cooking and doing business was a goldmine. The plan was to put up twenty more restaurants inside the state within two years.. Simultaneously, there would be three sites in each of the neighboring states. The family refused an enormous offer to transfer the business. They refused. It seemed immoral to profit on something as unique as the family had created.

The big company went away angry and empty-handed. It didn't matter. The family had won out, and had not given away the secret of its success. That was another thing: some items can never be sold, and one of these is integrity. If the three small restaurants had become a chain, they would have failed. They would not have known the secret, the ingredient that sent customers away feeling pure bliss..

People have speculated on the reason for the popularity of the family's little place, to the point where the authorities really did want to know if there was something in the water or something the menu concealed. That would certainly be some sort of crime.

Somebody did find a reddish-brown powder in the kitchen. Suspicions arose immediately. Was it a drug? A lot of dangerous ones look like powders, too, but tend to be white or clear, according to those who've seen such things. It was hard to believe it would just be there in the kitchen, pretty much out in the open.

The people with the authority and knowledge to do so declared that the powdery substance was definitely not any illegal. It was also determined that it was not placed in any one dish but rather only in certain items from the menu. The same investigators determined that the flavor was multifaceted, that it belonged to a plant. However, they could not trace the plant. 

Then the scientists analyzed the content of the dishes. They were able to determine the recipe used, and even made their own desserts, soups, sauces, main courses. None of those in charge of preparing the food produced the same results. 

Meanwhile, the family business was thriving so much, or rather its customers were, that other families became interested and wanted to serve means that would bring more love to the world, as they saw it. Not just love, but also the end of dry cough, dull skin, fatigue, shortness of breath, and overall weakness. People would have a hearty meal and leave with plans to go for a hike, to paint, or to watch a good movie. They didn't feel heavy and bloated, grumpy and in need of a long siesta.

The additional families experimented a bit. They matched the ingredient with other herbs to reduce sweating, relieve thirst, and to treat male fertility issues, and cure urinary incontinence. Customers also reported have better functioning of the heart, lungs, and kidneys, Some even made vague reference to having more control over the central nervous system and uterine function. Always, bile secretion was improved, and gastric secretion lessened.

"This still doesn't tell us anything about the magic ingredient. We want to know what it is so we can buy it."

"It still seems too good to be true."

All right, I agree. It does sound too good to be true, which is why I've decided to tell you what it's called so you can go do your own research on it. It's called Chinese magnolia vine, although it's not related to any magnolia that one knows of. The vine produces bright red berries that can be consumed in several forms, one being powder.

The dried fruit of schisandra is considered to be completely balanced in Chinese medicine. It has all five flavors used in Chinese herbalism, and for this reason its Chinese name means 'five-flavored fruit' .One source explains how this can occur: "The skin and pulp are both sweet and sour; the seed is pungent and bitter; and the fruit overall is salty." Just thinking about a salty fruit ought to tell us something is highly unusual about this plant.

"I was just going to mention that."

"Sounds like you've got to eat it all, though, including the seed."

"Is schisandra its Chinese name, then?" 

There's a linguist in every crowd. You can see online that in André Michaux named it, creating the name from the Greek words schizein ('to split') and andros ('man'),. Apparently this refers to the separate anther cells on the stamens. How it occurred to the namer to see male anatomy in the blossom is obvious, but it kind of ruins it for those of us in favor of gender equity in language. Schis- is also linked to schiz- and we know the implications of that word root.

It would really be a lot better if people would think before demanding answers. Without the Greek roots explanation, we just have a rather flowing, three-syllable name that even would work for naming a daughter: Schisandra, or Schizandra. Healthy, peaceful, not malfunctioning or violent.

Let the berries do their work, please.

Anyway, now the family's secret is out, but this is how they wanted it. A gradual spread of a healthy, edible substance, one that works both as a tonic and as a sedative. One that can be used to treat anxiety, asthma and coughs, diarrhea, poor sleep, frequent urination, insomnia, night sweats or nightmares, plus heart palpitations.

It's even said the hunters in Siberia ate the red berries to have stamina, develop night vision, and that may also de true. 

However, there may also be something that goes beyond the geoherbalism of schisandra and the Chinese. It may be that schisandra works not only because of what its own curative properties are, but also because of how it is used, by whom.

That may be the most accurate theory.

P.S. How the original family discovered schisandra is a whole other story, which we would be happy to tell at another time. It's worth hearing. 

July 02, 2021 22:59

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