Do you remember entering your grandmother’s kitchen and being greeted by the aroma of fresh bread in the oven? How about the smell of a hot apple pie, the spicy pungency of your dad’s aftershave, or the scent of the earth right after a spring rain? I have a friend who has, with age, lost her sense of smell and she often tells me how much real joy has been lost in her life as a result.
For several years I taught a ten-week course on herbs for the various body systems and every time we got to the digestive system I asked, “Where does the digestive process begin?” Obvious answers are “on the tongue” or “in the mouth.” But the real answer is “in the nose.” That’s right. As soon as we smell our food, in anticipation, our bodies begin to secrete digestive juices in both the mouth and the stomach. That’s one reason it is so important to “prepare” to eat our meals. Smell the aromas. Savor the smells. Take time to chew and enjoy the food.