Change of Season Soup
Over the last few weeks I have had numerous patients coming into my office with the cold and flu; this is to no surprise because during the ‘Change of Seasons’ we are more susceptible to catching the cold or flu. It’s important to boost your immunity during the ‘Change of Seasons’ and practice good hygiene such as washing your hands frequently to prevent the spread of germs.
For years I have been preparing for myself and prescribing to my patients a special soup called ‘Change of Season Soup’ to boost the immune. It works like a charm, and patients will come back to me time and time again in owe by how well the soup supported their immune.
The ‘Change of Season Soup’ is based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). In TCM the lungs are responsible for the Wei Qi (Defensive Qi) that protects us from the cold and flu. ‘Change of Season Soup’ is an immune tonic which can help balance the body during times of stress, and protects against the cold and flu.
The following recipe can be made on its own, or the herbs can be added to homemade chicken soup with other hearty vegetables like: shitake mushrooms, onions, garlic, potato, carrots and other root vegetables. Drink 2 cups of ‘Change of Season Soup’ each day for about two weeks. If acutely ill, wait until you have recovered to drink the soup.
Ingredients: equal parts of the following herbs, about 2 oz (60 grams) of each herb
- Codonopsis root: Strengthens Qi (energy), builds the blood to improve circulation and nourish body fluids
- Astragalus: Strengthens the Wei Qi; the immune defences, nourishes the spleen, and tonifies the bloods.
- Dioscorea root: Tonifies and balances the lungs and kidneys.
- Chinese lycee berries: Strengthens the liver and kidneys.
- Fill a large stock pot with 4-6 litres of water, and herbs and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low-medium and simmer for 2-4 hours to reduce the liquid to half.
- If liquid boils down before 2 hours add water as necessary.
- Strain out herbs.
- Makes 2-3 litres.
- Drink ½ litre (2 cups) per day as a tea or broth, or use it as a base for soups.
- Keeps in fridge for 4-5 days.
In addition, increasing your daily intake of Vitamin C (2,000-4,000mg per day) and taking a high potency probiotic daily (Metagenics for Seroyal brands) will help to keep your immune strong.
Spring is definitely in the air, but with the rapid and unpredictable weather changes it’s important to support your immune until the warmer weather is stable and here to stay!
Dried herbs can be found at: Natural Foods & More — Corner of Bridgeport and Devitt in Waterloo (cross from the Sobey’s plaza)
As an acute treatment for the cold and flu try the ‘Warming Sock’ treatment. It’s cheap and easy to do and anyone can do this – kids or adults. The ‘Warming Sock’ treatments help to regulate circulation and boost the immune system. It’s particularly helpful for symptoms of congestion, sore throat and fever.
All you need to get started is:
- 1 pair of ankle sport/cotton socks
- 1 pair of big warm wool socks
- Cold water
- Warm blankets
- It’s best to do this treatment over night while you’re sleeping.
- Before you go to bed, take the sport/cotton socks and soak them in very cold water, wring them out and take them out so they are wet but not dripping and take them to your bed.
- Place the wet soaks on your feet (this part is a little uncomfortable for only a few seconds until you get use to the feeling of the wet soaks), and place the warm wool socks over top.
- Wrap yourself in warm blanks or covers and go to sleep
- In the morning the wet socks will be dry
- Repeat every night until your symptoms resolve.
Often patients will look at my in disbelief that such a treatment would work, but his is by far the best acute cold and flu treatment out there. It really works, it’s simple, it’s cheap and anyone in the family can do it! Put it to the test next time you’re feeling under the weather. This treatment is also great to do as prevention of the cold and flu during the early signs of the immune system weakening, for example sniffles, early signs of congestions or feeling worn down.