The Best Soup for a Cold, Recipe Included


| 11/17/2014 9:41:00 AM


Tags: chicken soup, Kathleen Jade, Washington,

Grandma’s cold remedy — chicken noodle soup — may be warming and nourishing, but it’s not the best soup for a cold. An even better soup for colds is one that is actually therapeutic in the medicinal sense. This means it contains proven, immune-boosting foods like medicinal mushrooms (such as maitake and reishi) and astragalus root.

Astragalus

Astragalus membranaceus is one of the most extensively studied herbal medicines and has been used as part of traditional Chinese medicine to treat infections and other ailments for thousands of years. The dried roots of Astragalus contain compounds that possess immune-modulating, expectorant, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antiviral properties, among others.[2,3] Astragalus and herbal formulas that contain it can prevent upper respiratory infections in people whose immune systems aren’t functioning optimally.[1] (Read more about astragalus at the Natural Health Advisory website.)

Astragalus has firm, fibrous roots that are light yellow in color and have a sweet, pleasant taste. Dried astragalus root can be purchased in long slices, small pieces, or as a powder. The type most often used in soups is the sliced, dried root which is typically added to soups during cooking and then removed before eating. Since the bioactive compounds in astragalus are soluble in water, they are extracted into the broth while the soup is cooking.

Medicinal Mushrooms for Immune Enhancement

Of the approximately 130 healing actions of medicinal mushrooms, they are perhaps best known for their ability to boost immune function.[4] Even white button mushrooms, the most commonly eaten variety, enhance immune function.[5]

But certain mushrooms have more potent immune-modulating activities.[4,6] The medicinal mushrooms with the most powerful effects on immune function include:




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