Sickness Soup and Other Natural Remedies

My little girl was coughing as she tried to fall asleep last night; a cough woke her up today, too. What to do? I went for my first line of defense:  I made her a cup of peppermint tea with lots of honey in it. When she gets home from school, we’ll have chamomile tea with honey and lemon. It’s a fun treat for her, and the warm tea with honey will soothe her throat and maybe help abate that dry cough.

When I start to get sick, I’ve taken to making a little something I call Sickness Soup. Maybe it should be called “Fighting Sickness Soup” instead—I’ll have to work on the name. Anyway, it really seems to boost my immunities and ward off impending sickness. Practically every ingredient is linked to immunity-boosting. I would suggest using it as a complement to the traditional chicken noodle soup, which is also a winner. Here it is:

  • Sauté a chopped onion in a long drizzle of olive oil in a soup pot. After it begins to soften, add fresh, minced garlic (1-2 cloves)
  • Add chopped red bell pepper and a handful of chopped mushrooms
  • After the vegetables are soft, add a quart of chicken broth (home-made is best), some thyme, salt, and pepper. Bring it to a boil.
  • Add a tablespoon of red wine and a tablespoon of barley. Simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  • Add ½ cup of chopped spinach and one egg. Stir constantly until the egg has cooked.

It really works! Another tip: if you make your own chicken broth in bulk from left over chicken bones, it is supposed to be really good for boosting immunities. You can make it and freeze it; then it’s ready-made when you feel yourself coming down with something.

Yet another tip is to up your garlic intake in general. Garlic is fabulous for fighting sickness. Try experimenting with raw garlic, too. We make a raw garlic white sauce over pasta that is really fabulous.

A final tip: the trusty green smoothie. If you haven’t heard of the green smoothie yet, you’re in for a delightful surprise. Did you know that if you throw spinach in a blender with a bunch of fruit and water, you can’t taste the spinach after it’s blended? It’s true! This is the best way I know to get kids to eat spinach. We have green smoothies on a regular basis, but I go out of my way to make them when somebody is sick around here. Try this recipe for starters:

  • A handful of frozen strawberries
  • ¼ cup of yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon of honey
  • ½ a can of pears, pineapples, or both
  • 1 frozen banana (just let it sit in warm water for a few minutes, then cut off the end and it will slide right out!)
  • 2 handfuls of fresh spinach
  • Enough water or orange juice to blend

Blend until entirely smooth. Enjoy!

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