This herbal immune system remedy goes a weeee bit beyond my KEEP IT SIMPLE mantra, but I felt it was worth posting. If you want to keep it to what you have in the kitchen, keep with my EIGHT SIMPLE SECRETS to natural cold care.
If you are ready to venture out a little and add one or two herbs you may not have heard of and are ready to learn about, try this recipe out. Most of the recipe still uses common ingredients.
This recipe was reprinted in one of MY FAVORITE HERB BOOKS called Herbal Antibiotics, by Stephen Buhner. If you want to thoroughly read about all the herbs I talk about on this site related to cold and flu cure along with many other, this is the book for you. It is a short, simple book that is concise and amazing.
In this recipe, Stephen takes Andrew Weil’s recipe in Eight Weeks to Optimum Health and tweaks it a bit.
What you’ll need…
- 8 cups (237 ml) water
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 bulb garlic (at least 10 cloves), minced
- One 1 1⁄2 inch (3 1⁄2 cm) piece of fresh gingerroot grated
- 1 1⁄2 cups salted vegetable soup stock (I use chicken broth)
- 5 pieces sliced dried astragalus root
- 2 cups fresh, sliced shiitake mushrooms
- 1 large reishi mushroom
- Cayenne powder, if desired
Now, you can make variations. You can cut out the reishi if you cannot find it.
Shiitake mushrooms are amazing for the immune system and are available at most supermarkets.
Astragalus, as well as the mushrooms, are available at Asian groceries (as Huang qi), BUT you can also buy astragalus here (root, not the powder). Mountain Rose Herbs is a high quality, reputable herb company.
I always have a big jar of astragalus root by my stove. I throw a few pieces in practically every soup and tea I make. It is the main herb you think about for “herbal immune system nourishment.”
Oh…back to the recipe!
- Bring water to boil in large pot.
- Heat olive oil, sauté garlic, onions, and ginger until soft and aromatic. Add contents of skillet to water. Add broth, shiitake, astragalus, and reishi. Simmer covered for two hours.
- Remove from heat, allow to sit for two more hours.
- Remove astragalus and reishi mushrooms. Reheat.
- Add salt and pepper to taste, and cayenne powder if desired (just enough to bring out a light sweat).
- At this point, I also usually add a bit of miso.