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licorice, astragalus, burdock, dandelion root, codonopsis

licorice, astragalus, burdock, dandelion root, codonopsis

Astragalus– immune stimulating (increases macrophages and natural killer cells) and adrenal tonic.  great for anyone with spleen qi deficiency, supports good digestion.  Very safe, mildly sweet flavor, overall tonifying.

Burdock root- Liver tonic, blood cleanser, alterative.  Mildly bitter and therefore stimulating to the digestive system.  Historically used for hormone balancing and skin conditions.

Dandelion Root- Alterative, liver tonic, nutritive.  Wonderful for detoxification and elimination processes.

Licorice Root-Anti viral, immune modulating, adrenal tonic.  Sweet flavor.  Used to treat colds, coughs, stomach upset, chronic fatigue. (caution in high doses if you have high blood pressure)

Codonopsis – Also known as Dangshen, or poor man’s ginseng.  Used to increase resistance to stress, increase energy, modulate immune response (increase response in cancer, decrease in autoimmune conditions).

Ginger– potent anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anticancer, carminative (good for nausea, gas, dyspepsia).  Warming.

cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger, pepper

cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger, pepper

Cinnamon-wow, a powerhouse of health benefits!  Anti-inflammatory (great for arthritis pain and menstrual cramps), antimicrobial, promotes healthy blood sugar and insulin sensitivity, can promote healthy cholesterol levels.  Warming and delicious!

Black Peppercorns– Helps with digestion, is antioxidant and antimicrobial.

Cloves-Pain relief, high in antioxidants, antibacterial, digestive stimulant.

The amount of herbs pictured (I’m bad about measuring things, but you can see it’s a tablespoon or two of each herb) made one gallon of chai.  Simmer the herbs for 45 minutes to an hour, add black tea and steep for 4 minutes.  Strain.  You can keep this mixture in the fridge for a week, heating up one cup at a time.  Add cream and honey to taste.  You might not need to add any honey as some of the herbs are quite sweet.

I recommend drinking super tonic chai daily to build strong adrenals, and keep your immune system healthy!

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St. Patrick's Day is coming!

Seeing corned beef in the grocery stores these days made me dream up this low glycemic version of one of our favorite breakfasts.
I used Okinawan purple sweet potatoes, (which are high in anthocyanins and low glycemic, getting some press these days as a new “super food”) instead of white potatoes and added quartered brussels sprouts for a high fiber, satisfying breakfast! My son poached me an egg and mixed up a mixture of ketchup and chili sauce for the perfect accompaniments.

Greens, Garlic, Ginger Soup

Greens, Garlic, Ginger Soup

There is a lot of news these days about the dread H1N1 flu going around.  I’m not here to parse myth from fact,  but I do have a delicious soup recipe for you!  There are many immune stimulating reasons to eat this soup and I hope you find it as calming to your fears as it is nourishing to your body!

 

It is not necessary to make your own soup stock, but I did, and I threw some things in there that are good for the immune system, so I will share them with you.

Veggie Stock:

  • Onion cut into quarters (I don’t peel it because the peel is rich in a flavonoid called quercitin)
  • Garlic: a handful (garlic and onions both enhance the activities of our white blood cells which fight viruses)
  • celery: 4-8 stalks
  • carrots: 3-6
  • tomatoes: 4-5 (I used Romas)
  • zucchini: one cut into chunks
  • Mushrooms: 8-10 big ones, cut up
  • 2 bay leaves, small handful of peppercorns, fennel seed
  • 6 slices of dried astragalus (an antiviral herb)
  • 6 slices of dried burdock root ( a tonic)
  • 6 slices of dried licorice root (an antiviral herb)
  • handful of dried cleavers (an herb good for moving lymph)
  • small handful of kelp

Put all the vegetables and herbs in a large stainless steel pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer for 3-4 hours.  Strain solids out and discard.  Pour vegetable stock into jars for storage.  Freezes well.

veggies strained out of stock

vegetables strained out of stock

 

 

 

 

 

Vegetable Stock

Vegetable Stock

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now that you have your stock ready, or if you are using prepared stock, it just takes a few minutes to prepare the soup.

 

 

Greens, Garlic, Ginger Soup/ Swine Flu Vaccine Soup

  • 3 cups stock (veggie or chicken)
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
  • 6 cloves fresh garlic (I have a stone that fits nicely into my hand that I use to smash garlic.  Once smashed, the skin comes off easily.)

    garlic stone

    garlic stone

Bring to a boil and let the ginger and garlic simmer for 5-10 minutes in the broth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • add 6-8 cups of chopped greens: kale, spinach, escarole, bok choy
escarole

escarole

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let the greens cook for 5 minutes or so.

  • add salt and pepper to taste
greens

greens

 

Blend in blender, food processor, or vita mix, until pureed.

Drink up!

Remember there are a few other simple things you can do to keep your immune system strong:

  • Get adequate sleep
  • Stay away from sugar and simple carbohydrates
  • Get enough vitamin D
  • Reduce your stress levels
  • Laugh, love, and feel grateful everyday

I ordered my dried herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs

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