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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Stay Well and Get Well Herbal Soup

Ever feel the slight tingle in your throat, like you just might be getting sick...followed up by a slight coldness in the nose and maybe a sneeze or two? Then you learn others around you are sick?! First you might think...I'm a gonner - I'm toast - I've been pushing myself too hard and now I'm gonna get sick (sigh). Then you think...wait, I can beat this - I'm stronger that them!

Guess what? You are! You can be stronger than them and you might just steer clear of the funky junky if you eat and think like an herbalist! Here's how: garlic, thyme, cilantro/coriander, bay leaf, rosemary, marjoram, shiitake mushrooms - swirling all of their goodness in a hot bowl of chicken (or vegetables for the vegans) soup.

Yesterday, I felt terrible - I thought I was catching the office gunk. When I came home I pulled out the tried and true reliable ingredients that have safe guarded me from getting sick for some time now. It's kept me healthy and happy for so long - it's like second nature to make this pot of soup anytime I feel illness rising up.

First, I get my big stock pot and fill with purified well water. I dice a large onion and add organic chicken (when I was a vegetarian I'd rely on cabbage and carrots). Next, I add a handful of thyme from the garden along with two bay leaves, marjoram, shiitake mushrooms, rosemary (tied in a bundle with the longest sprig for easy removal), a sliced jalapeno, and potatoes. I allow to simmer along with salt/pepper and other favorite spices. When it's about finished I add the chopped cilantro. When served in a bowl, I'll add fresh minced garlic right on top. Garlic is best when not overcooked...just allow the fresh minced garlic to steep in the hot soup and it will unleash its incredible powers! I use fresh garlic, never the minced garlic from a jar you buy at the store.

Here's why it works:

Garlic Allium sativum: actions are antiseptic and anti-viral which helps boost and defend the body against unwanted invaders. Garlic helps protect our bodies and strengthen it, especially when used consistently. Garlic is an immune stimulant and can be effective against infections almost anywhere in the body. It would be good to eat three cloves each day - perhaps one minced clove in each bowl of soup! Yum!

Thyme Thymus vulgaris: actions are anti-microbial, expectorant, and anti-spasmodic. This is such a great herb for infections that you can infuse this herb and use it as a gargle to fend off sore throats!

Marjoram Origanum vulare: also has thymol and acts as an antiseptic, expectorant and diaphoretic. The infusion in the soup helps aid a cold or flu.

Shiitake mushroom Lentinula edodes is really not an herb, but finds a home in the fungus family. The benefits of this mushroom can be traced back to the glucan polysaccharide compound, lentinan. Lentinan seems to work by boosting the body's immune system helping us fight infections and disease. Try it to build resistance against colds, virus and infections.

Coriander Coriandrum sativum (also know in Texas as Cilantro). Coriander seeds harness the most immune boosting benefits. This herb has been used to remove toxic elements from our bodies and is said to fight against bacterial infections.

Jalapeno and lemon wedges have loads of vitamin C, too. So now you can see how this soup just smacks of tastiness and healthfulness! Moms always told us of the benefits of chicken soup when we're sick - next time, toss out the noodles and bring on the herbs!! Stay healthy my friends :)

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