Getting the flu is miserable!
We’re in the midst of flu season and this flu season seems to be particularly bad. If you have a large family like I do, or go shopping or work with a lot of other people, your chance of getting sick increases exponentially. And who has time to get sick?
So this time of year, I do as much as I can to keep our immune systems functioning at their peak to fend off all the vicious bugs that come our way.
If you’ve followed this blog, you’ll know I’m a big advocate of broth and it’s healing properties. The gelatin and collagen heal and seal the gut and keep our joints moving without pain. You can learn about broth by reading this post here: Lamb Sipping Broth.
Broth is also an excellent medium for extracting immune boosting, flu-busting goodness from other ingredients. All you need to do is add these simple ingredients to your simmering broth and let time do the work for you.
Immune Boosting Goodness Right in Your Kitchen!
I’ll bet you have most of these ingredients right in your kitchen now. All you need to do is toss some bones in a pot and add your favorite immune-boosting ingredients.
Any broth will do, be it chicken, lamb, beef, or pork. All are delicious and all have warm, soothing benefits.
How To Create Immune Boosting Bone Broths
All you need to add immune boosting goodness to your favorite broths is a few simple ingredients. Most of these ingredients you will have on hand now right in your kitchen.
Some of these ingredients may be new to you. All are readily available online from reputable businesses.
You can add some or all of these to your bone broths. Exact measurements are not required. Just follow my simple guidelines below for when and how much of these ingredients to add.
- Onions. Onions contain sulfur to feed your gut bacteria and quercetin to stimulate your immune function. I keep the ends and skins of onions I’ve used in other dishes in bags in my freezer door for quick additions to my broths. You can also add sliced fresh green onions to finished broths for additional immune-boosting flavor.
- Garlic. You already know about this one, I’m sure! Garlic is known to kill viruses. For best results, add garlic just before eating your broth so it is fresh and active.
- Digitata or Kombu Kelp. These seaweeds add a wide variety of nutrients including iodine and alginates needed for strong immune function. In addition, alginates help remove heavy metals and radioactive isotopes from the body. I promise seaweed adds no “sea” or “fishy” flavor. Just lots of immune boosting goodness. Long slow simmering draws out its healing goodness so add a 4" length of this seaweed at the beginning of your broth making.
- Astragalus. An herb long used in Chinese medicine for its energizing and tonic properties, it is used to prevent and treat long-term infections including chronic colds, recurring flu, and various viruses. Astragalus also needs a long slow simmering and adding it to bone broth is a perfect way to do that. All you need are a few woody sticks to drop in your broth when it firsts starts to simmer.
- Reishi. This woody mushroom used in Chinese medicine is known to up-regulate the immune system. Add a slice or two of Reishi when you get your broth boiling and simmer it for hours to get the most benefits from Reishi.
- Ginger Root. This wonderful, warming root stimulates the lymph system, improves circulation, and helps keep our lungs clear. You can add sliced or chopped ginger root during simmering or right before eating your broth for a spicy boost.
- Sage. This herb is a well-known cold & flu fighter and is particularly great for sore throats and laryngitis. Add a good-sized handful to your broth at the end of it’s cooking time and let the sage steep in the broth for a couple of hours to make a brothy infusion.
- Thyme. Thyme is used to ward off colds and has a general tonic effect, supporting the body’s natural functioning. It is also great for coughs and general chest complaints so thyme works well even after you get sick. Like Sage, add a good-sized handful to your broth and let it steep, off the flame, for a couple hours to get medicinal level immune support.
I try to cook a pot of broth weekly to sip on if we do get sick or to use in soups, gravies, and other recipes to add a bit of immune support to our diets every day.
All these ingredients work best when taken often in small doses before we get sick. So be sure and keep them on hand through the winter months, when they are needed most.