Quick! Give me something to calm my nerves!

Blog Published: November 19, 2012
By Guest Blogger

We’ve got cookies! While researching nuns in the news I somehow ran across Saint Hildegard’s Nerve Cookie Recipe via the blog for the Church of the Incarnation in Charlottesville, Virginia. The author of the blog is Johnclem Under who found the recipe via the blog for Catholic Cuisine. Now I don’t know about you, but I could eat cookies all the time. I know, I know, everything in moderation. BUT these are cookies have health benefits!

Saint Hildegard's Spice Cookies / photo HI CookeryAccording to Under, Saint Hildegard of Bingen wrote a cookbook that included this recipe. As Abbess of her Benedictine community, she was also a scientist and healer who believed in a balanced diet and studied “medicinal uses of plants, animals, and trees.”

This recipe comes from one of her writings on medicine. Of the cookies she says, “eat them often and they will calm bitterness of heart and mind – and your hearing and senses will open. Your mind will be joyous, and your senses purified, and harmful humours will diminish.” She recommends eating them 3-5 times a day.

Ok, so the real recipe is called Saint Hildegard’s Spice Cookies or Hildegardplätzchen. I much prefer the Nerve Cookie name. Eating cookies to calm your nerves? Now that is something I can get behind! I say bake a batch of these cookies, grab a big glass of cold milk, and bottoms up!

What foods bring you a sense of spiritual comfort? What are the ways that you bring calmness to your nerves?

Archived Comments

Sister Julie November 19, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Ooooh cookies! Not like we needed any more encouragement to eat cookies, but now I feel not a bit of guilt! One of the things I love about Hildegard is that she is so wholistic in her approach to spirituality — a recognition that God is truly with us in all things. She paints this huge picture of the spiritual life by her care in the areas of prayer, physical and mental health, food, music, and so on!

And for calming foods? A good old-fashioned soup always warms me … and just sitting in the kitchen while a loved one is cooking is sure to make me feel like the world is going to be all right.

Rebecca November 20, 2012 at 2:35 pm

No guilt? With 1 1/2 sticks of butter?

Sister Julie November 21, 2012 at 12:56 pm

If Saint Hildegard suggested it, it can’t be bad! 

Cherylene November 19, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Could have used a whole bunch of these this evening. So far everything went fine, but the 30min leading up to the interview and the 10min after, well, you could have sworn I just ran a marathon! Will try these my next night shift 

nerdymko November 19, 2012 at 4:27 pm

I shall make these as a peace offering for the teacher’s lounge… Thanks for the recipe link!

Kerri Leigh Power November 19, 2012 at 5:31 pm

Just the word “cookies” puts a smile on my face. I love the prescription of 3-5 times per day – “Your mind will be joyous, and your senses purified, and harmful humours will diminish.” Sold!

Caroline November 19, 2012 at 10:21 pm

These are great! Thanks for the article. Hildegard is one of my favorite saints, so it’s always great to learn more about her!

kbart November 20, 2012 at 2:20 pm

I think pie has to be the food for me. I love to ask people about what their favorite pie is. Just thinking how to answer makes people smile. And quite often, you will be blessed with the telling of why that particular pie is a favorite. There will be the family story, or the specific ingredients, or where they had it; and always these details will be passed along in a dreamy sort of fashion. The telling of the pie story becomes almost sacred! For the record – for today – my favorite pie is scrumpkin – a mix of squash and pumpkin – with just a drizzle of chocolate syrup on top, and perhaps a dollop of vanilla ice cream or real whipping cream! YUM!
And like Julie – I love to watch people cook for the people they love!

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