At this time of the year, it is important to stay well. I tend to recommend lovely remedies such as elderberry tincture, which I can make up for you in clinic, which is proven to help fight the influenza virus, if you take it daily. Likewise, vitamin C and zinc taken regularly have been shown to maintain a strong and resilient immune system, to keep bugs at bay.
Once you have succumbed to a cold or flu, the best option is rest, hot liquids (I can make you a mix with yarrow, elder flower and peppermint tea which helps with clearing mucous and reducing fever) high dose echinacea and a variety of other herbs (call me for a Crisis Consultation and I can make one up for your particular needs) and soup. The following soup recipe is a great one for anyone who is needing to boost their immune system.
Chicken and Garlic Soup:
Garlic, turmeric and ginger are warming and effective antiviral herbs which can help increase circulation, reduce inflammation, aid digestion and boost your immune system. If you like coriander, it can also be added for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Adding protein such as chicken will help to supply your body with essential amino acids for the building blocks that your body needs to fight infection and maintain wellness.
10 cloves garlic, crushed (approx 1 whole bulb)
2 onions, finely diced
2 tablespoons finely grated ginger
1 tablespoon fresh grated turmeric (or 1/2 tsp dried turmeric powder)
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
1 litre water
500g organic chicken thighs (approx 4)
2 bunches coriander, chopped (optional)
3 tablespoons tamari soy sauce
Brown the chicken in a stock pot with a splash of olive oil, then remove. Add garlic, onion, turmeric, ginger to pot, cook for 2-3 minutes.
Combine the garlic, onion, turmeric, ginger, stock, water and chicken.
Simmer for 30 minutes over a low heat until chicken is cooked through and flavours have infused into the stock.
Add soy sauce and coriander just before serving.
Serve in large bowls and enjoy whilst still hot.
Vegetarians can use vegetable stock in place of chicken stock, and silken tofu in place of the chicken as a source of protein.
For egg noodles beat 2 eggs and pour in a thin stream over the simmering stock, to increase protein intake and add flavour.
Fresh turmeric is available from your local grocer. If using powder, then only use 1/4-1/2 teaspoon but fresh is best for effective immune boosting and anti-inflammatory benefits.
Other vegetables can be added such as shiitake mushroom or spinach.
A little chilli can be added if you enjoy the heat. This can help clear blocked sinuses and congested upper respiratory tract.
This soup can be made more quickly by using chicken breasts, but for more richness, use chicken thighs and simmer for longer. Alternatively, you can make this soup using a whole chicken: simmer in water with vegetables for 15 minutes and allow the whole chicken to sit in the hot water for an hour before removing the whole chicken, take off the meat from the chicken, then stirring through some of the chicken back into the stock before serving. This will take approx 1.5 hours.