Suggestions for Patients with Cancer or Other Serious Illnesses
The following points are additional recommendations for those with serious problems. However, depending upon the type of illness and the degree of one’s condition, some modifications may be needed.
- Flour products and baked goods are to be minimized or totally avoided.
- The intake of fats and oils is best minimized, and all nuts and nut butters should be avoided completely.
- It is best to minimize or avoid fruits, fruit desserts, and juices. A small volume may be used (if appropriate) when craving sweets.
- The use of microwaves or electric cooking is best totally avoided.
- Proper and specific cooking instruction is essential for all serious illnesses. Contact your local qualified macrobiotic center and arrange for classes in preparing food to suit individual needs.
In addition to dietary adjustments, some patients who have developed tumors or growths may be helped further by using one of the external treatments as a home remedy (see the Home Remedies page). For serious conditions, medical attention from medical professionals will also be necessary. We encourage everyone to begin the dietary suggestions and attend Kushi Institute educational programs and any additional macrobiotic classes that may be directed to their personal needs.
In addition to dietary adjustments, some patients who have developed tumors or growths may be helped further by using one of the external treatments as a home remedy . For serious conditions, medical attention from medical professionals will also be necessary. We encourage everyone to begin the dietary suggestions and attend Kushi Institute educational programs and any additional macrobiotic classes that may be directed to their personal needs.
This simple method of preparing vegetables is helpful in restoring strength and vitality to someone who has become physically weak. It is recommended that this dish be included anywhere from 2–4 times per week.
- Use a heavy pot with a heavy lid or cookware specifically designed for waterless cooking.
- Soak a 5–7-inch strip of kombu until soft and cut into one-inch-square pieces.
- Place kombu in bottom of pot and cover with water.
- Add sliced carrots, daikon, turnip or burdock root, lotus root, onions, hard winter squash (acorn or butternut) and cabbage. These should be cut into 2-inch chunks, except burdock, which should be cut smaller and layered on top of the kombu. (Root vegetables will retain their shape even if cooked for a long time; however, squash may dissolve and lose its shape if cooked too long, so it may be added after other vegetables.)
- Sprinkle a small volume of sea salt or tamari soy sauce over the vegetables.
- Cover and set flame to high until a high steam is generated. Lower flame and cook peacefully for 15–20 minutes. If water should evaporate during cooking, add more water to the bottom of the pot.
- When each vegetable has become soft and edible, add a few drops of tamari soy sauce and mix the vegetables.
- Replace cover and cook over a low flame for 2–5 minutes more.
- Remove cover, turn off flame, and let the vegetables sit for about two minutes. You may serve the vegetable juice along with the dish, as it is most delicious.
Try one of the following suggested combinations:
- carrot, cabbage, burdock, kombu
- carrot, lotus, burdock, kombu
- daikon, shitake mushroom, kombu
- turnip, shitake mushroom, kombu
- onion, cabbage, winter squash, kombu
- kombu, onion
- kombu, daikon
Note: It is not advisable to cook only carrot and daikon or carrot and turnip together, except when using additional vegetables.
Aduki, Kombu, and Squash Dish
This dish is helpful in regulating blood sugar levels, especially in those who are diabetic or hypoglycemic. This dish may be included from 1–3 times per week.
- Wash and soak one cup of aduki beans with a one-inch square piece of dried kombu for 3–5 hours.
- Remove kombu after soaking time and chop into one-inch-square pieces.
- Place kombu in bottom of pot and add chopped hard winter squash, such as acorn, butternut, or hokkaido. If squash is not available, substitute carrots or parsnips.
- Add aduki beans on top of squash.
- Cover with water and cook over a low flame until the beans and squash become soft.
- Sprinkle lightly with sea salt.
- Cover and let cook another 10–15 minutes.
- Turn off flame and let sit for several minutes before serving.
Steamed Greens Dish
Lightly cooked green vegetables can be eaten every day. It is important that the vegetables do not lose their green color.
- Wash and slice the green, leafy tops of vegetables such as turnip, daikon, and carrots, or kale, watercress, chinese cabbage, and parsley.
- Put vegetables in a small amount of boiling water.
- Cover and steam for 2–5 minutes, depending on texture of vegetables.
- At end of cooking, lightly sprinkle tamari soy sauce over the vegetables.
Basic Miso Soup
- Soak wakame or kombu for 5 minutes, then cut into small pieces.
- Boil wakame or kombu and, while boiling, cut vegetables into pieces.
- Add vegetables to the boiling broth and boil all together for 2–4 minutes, until all vegetables are soft and edible.
- Dilute miso, add to soup, and simmer for 2–4 minutes.
Miso Soup with Daikon and Wakame
This soup helps eliminate excess mucus from the body.
- Wash and slice 1 1/2 cups of daikon into 1/2-inch slices and add to 4 cups of water.
- Allow to cook for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, soak 1/2 cup of dried wakame for 3–5 minutes, then chop into small pieces.
- Add the wakame to the pot.
- Cook over low flame until the vegetables are soft.
- Add one teaspoon of miso diluted in soup stock.
- Simmer (do not boil) for 3 minutes.
- Garnish with chopped scallion.
Dried Daikon with Kombu and Tamari
This dish helps dissolve fat deposits throughout the body.
- Soak one 4-inch strip of kombu for 10 minutes; slice lengthwise into
1/4-inch strips and place in bottom of heavy pot with a heavy lid.
- Soak 1/2 cup dried daikon until soft, about 10 minutes. (If dried daikon is very dark in color, please discard soaking water.)
- Place dried daikon on top of kombu in pot.
- Add enough kombu soaking water to just cover top of daikon.
- Cover pot, bring to boil, lower flame and simmer 30–40 minutes, until kombu is tender.
- Add a small amount of tamari soy sauce and cook away excess liquid.
Pressed Salt Pickles
A small serving of pickles at the end of the meal aids digestion.
- A heavy ceramic or wooden crock or keg will be needed.
- Wash two large daikon and their leaves under cold water, making sure all dirt is removed, especially from the leaves.
- Set aside and let dry for about 24 hours.
- Slice the daikon into small rounds.
- Sprinkle sea salt on the bottom of the crock.
- Next, layer some of the daikon leaves.
- Next, a layer of daikon rounds.
- Sprinkle with sea salt again.
- Repeat this until the daikon is used or the crock is filled.
- Place a lid or plate that will fit inside the crock on top of the daikon, daikon leaves, and salt.
- Place a heavy rock or brick on top of the lid or plate.
- Cover with a thin layer of cheesecloth to keep dust out.
- Soon water will begin to be squeezed out and rise to the surface of the plate. When this happens, replace heavy weight with a lighter one.
- Store in a dark, cool place for 1–2 weeks or longer.
- Remove a portion, wash under cold water, slice, and serve.
Rice Bran (Nuka) Pickles
These pickles help restore a healthy environment in the digestive system.
Long Time (ready in 3–5 months)
10–12 cups nuka (rice bran) or wheat bran
1 1/2–2 cups sea salt
Short Time (ready in 1–2 weeks)
10–12 cups nuka
1/8–1/4 cup sea salt
- Combine roasted nuka or wheat bean with salt; mix well.
- Place a layer of bran mixture on the bottom of a wooden keg or ceramic crock.
- A single vegetable, such as daikon, turnips, rutabaga, onion or chinese cabbage, may be used.
- Slice vegetable(s) and layer on top of the nuka.
- If more than one vegetable is being used, layer one on top of another.
- Sprinkle a layer of nuka on top of the vegetables.
- Repeat this layering until the nuka mixture is used up or the crock is filled
- Always make sure that the nuka mixture is the top layer.
- Place a wooden disc or plate inside the crock, on top of the vegetables and nuka. (Plate should be slightly smaller, so as to fit inside the
- Place a heavy weight, such as a rock or brick, on top of plate.
- Soon, water will begin to be squeezed out and rise to the surface of the plate. When this happens, replace heavy weight with a lighter one.
- Cover with a thin layer of cheesecloth and store in a cool room.
- Before serving, rinse under cold water to remove excess bran and salt.
A refreshing way to prepare vegetables in place of raw salad.
- When making a boiled salad, boil each vegetable separately. (All of your vegetables may, however, be boiled in the same water.
- Cook the mildest tasting vegetables first, so that each will retain its distinctive flavor.
- Place several inches of water and a pinch of sea salt in a pot and bring to a boil.
- Drop 1 cup sliced chinese cabbage into water and boil 1–2 minutes.
- All vegetables should be slightly crisp but not raw.
- To remove vegetables from water, pour into a strainer that has been placed inside a bowl, so as to retain the cooking water.
- Place the drained water back into the pot and reboil.
- Boil 1/2 cup sliced onion.
- Drain as above, retaining water and returning to boil.
- Boil 1/2 cup thinly sliced carrots, then 1/2 cup sliced celery, each one separately, as previously explained.
- Last, drop one bunch watercress into boiling water for just a few seconds.
- For the vegetables to keep their bright color, each one should be run under cold water while in the strainer.
- Mix vegetables.
- A dressing may be made from 1 umeboshi plum or 1 teaspoon of umeboshi paste added to 1/2 cup of water (vegetable stock from boiling may be used) and pureed in a suribachi.
A method to remove excess liquid from raw vegetables.
- Wash and slice desired vegetables into very thin pieces, such as 1/2 cabbage (may be shredded), 1 cucumber, 1 stalk celery, 2 red radishes, 1 onion.
- Place vegetables in a pickle press or large bowl and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon sea salt and mix.
- Apply pressure to the press.
- If you use a bowl in place of the press, place a small plate on top of the vegetables and place a stone or weight on top of the plate.
- Leave it for at least 30–45 minutes.
- You may leave it up to 3 or 4 days, but the longer you press the vegetables, the more they resemble light pickles.
- Wash and slice three medium apples or other local fruits. Dried fruits, such as dried apples or apricots, may be used as a substitute.
- Place in a pot with a small amount of water (1/4–1/2 cup), just enough to keep the fresh fruit from burning, as it normally becomes very watery when cooked.
- Add a pinch of sea salt and simmer for 10 minutes or until soft.
Use as a side dish during a meal, especially when serving fish or tempura.
- Grate 1 tablespoon of raw daikon. (Red radish may be used if daikon is not available.)
- Add a few drops of tamari soy sauce and mix.