It’s starting… you notice it in the crisp morning air and the early darkness when you come home from work. Fall is setting in, and it is one of my favourite seasons.
The Fall season also means more clients with colds or the flu in our Naturopathic practice. Seasonal change is a transition for our bodies and puts stress on our immune systems, making us more susceptible to catching a cold. The good news is that you can support your immune system through the change of season with the traditional wisdom of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Botanicals used in Traditional Chinese Medicine can help our body’s physiology adapt to stress and strengthen our immune system. Consider the medicinal properties of the herbs in “Change of Season Soup”:
- Codonopsis pilosula root (Dang Shen): tonifies and strengthens Qi energy, builds blood, nourishes body fluids, and tonifies spleen and lung.
- Astragalus root (Huang Qi): strengthens protective defenses (Wei Qi), nourishes the spleen, tonifies the blood and lungs, and strengthens the immune system.
- Dioscorea villosa (wild yam) root: tonifies and balances the lungs and the kidneys.
- Chinese Lycii berries (Lyceum): helps to strengthen the liver and the kidneys.
“Change of Season Soup” is easy to prepare:
- Combine equal parts (2-3 oz each) of each herb
- Fill a large stock pot with water.
- Add the above herbs to the pot and place the lid on.
- Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 to 4 hours. If the water level boils down, add water to refill if necessary.
- Using a slotted spoon, remove the herbs from the pot and allow the soup to cool.
- This recipe makes about 4 litres of soup.
You can drink the soup as a broth, use it as a base for soup recipes, or place it in a mug and sip it throughout the day. Take the soup for 2 weeks at the change of the season to assist the body and immune system in the change of external environment. For added nutrition, simmer the herbs in chicken stock or vegetable stock instead of water.
Ask your Naturopathic Doctor if “Change of Season Soup” is right for you, and develop your personal health promotion plan. Change of Season Soup is available to clients of IHI at the clinic.