Written by Dr. Anthony Moscar, ND
With colder months approaching, many people will change their wardrobe to warm wool and add the extra blanket on their bed. Car tires will be changed for better grip and windshield wiper fluid will be switched for colder temperatures. Most aspects of life have a seasonal requirement needing preparations and so does our diet and medicine. This is also a time to relax, recharge and reflect on the year that is coming to a close.
One way to prepare is with Change of season soup which is a tonic used in traditional Chinese medicine to improve your immune system during this time of year. One cup or bowl twice a day for 12 days is recommended for a healthy person. People who are experiencing a cold or flu should not drink the soup until they have recovered from their illness.
IngredientsTo make the soup, you require equal parts (2-3 oz each/ 85 grams) of the following herbs. They are often packaged together. But be cautious as many herb stores sell low quality herbs that do not have certificates for quality and won't guarantee there are no heavy metals or other toxic materials present with the herbs.
- Codonopsis root - Helps tonify and strengthen "qi" energy and helps to nourish body fluids and build blood.
- Astragalus root - Strengthens protective defenses, strengthens qi energy, nourishes the spleen, and tonifies the blood and lungs.
- Dioscorea (Chinese yam) root - Tonifies and balances the lungs and the kidneys.
- Chinese Lycii berries (aka Goji berries) - Used to strengthen the liver and the kidneys.
Instructions1. Fill a large stock pot with water. Add all herbs to the pot and cover. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 4 to 6 hours. Add water if needed.
2. Using a slotted spoon, remove the herbs from the pot and allow the soup to cool. This recipe makes about 4 liters of soup. You can drink it as a broth, use it as a base for soup recipes, or place it in a mug or thermos and sip it throughout the day.
Variation: You can start with a simple soup stock base before adding the water to improve the flavor and increase the health promoting properties that a chicken or herb broth provide.
Speak with your Naturopathic Doctor to learn more about improving your immune system.