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Immune Support Soup with Astragalus Root

As soon as the weather turns cold or whenever I am feeling a little sick, this soup recipe is the first thing I create. It is modified from Dr. Bill Mitchell’s Immune Support Soup with herbs in the mix to further strengthen the immune system. All components of this recipe support the many functions we need to have a strong defense. Consider preparing a large batch of the broth and freeze to have on hand all winter long. 

Health benefits:

  • Gut healing & soothing 
    • With bone broth as the base, this glycine rich liquid strengthens immune cells and has been shown to reduce inflammation in the gut and lungs. 
  • Immune strengthening
    • Medicinal mushrooms like shiitake and the addition of astragalus root contains polysaccharides that modulate the immune response by activating immune cells to reduce the likelihood of infection. 
  • Antimicrobial 
    • Onion and garlic have been shown to be highly antimicrobial against a wide variety of organisms, viral and bacterial, and also increase the efficacy of antibiotics and are effective against antibiotic resistant bacteria.
  • Warming
    • Warm liquids, especially with the addition of ginger root, increase our warmth and circulation in the body. The cooked ingredients are easy to digest which supports our body when we are fatigued by immune stressors.
  • Vitamin & mineral rich
    • Shiitake is rich in vitamin D and B-vitamins. Bone broth provides a host of amino acids and proteins. Parsley is high in vitamin C, K, and A. Carrots are high in B-vitamins, vitamin A & K, and potassium. All working together to bolster your immune system!

Immune Support Soup with Astragalus Root

  • 4 C organic chicken bone broth
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
  • 1-2 carrots, grated or finely chopped
  • 1 handful shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 inch fresh ginger thumb, grated
  • 1 fresh lemon, juiced
  • ¼ C fresh italian parsley, chopped
  • ¼ C astragalus root
  • 2 T grass-fed butter *optional*

Start by melting the butter in a large pot and adding the ginger, garlic, and onions. Then add in carrots and mushrooms before topping off with the broth. If you have astragalus root slices you may add them in now and remove them at the end, or if you have chopped astragalus root, place in a tea ball or bag to remove later. Bring to a slow boil. Reduce heat to a low simmer for 30 minutes with the lid on. Remove from heat and then add the juice from the lemon and chopped parsley. Allow to steep for 5 minutes before serving. 

**We cook this soup for a minimum of 30 minutes because that is the minimum amount of time mushrooms and herbal roots need to fully extract their medicinal compounds. Don’t rush to the finish line!

**If you don’t already make your own bone broth, you may purchase it at the grocery store. Buyer beware that many commercial brands are watering down their broths. Look for brands that have 10 g of protein per cup and are more gelatinous than liquid. I can attest to Trader Joe’s organic grass-fed bone broth being the real deal!


Citations:

Abiy, Ephrem, and Asefaw Berhe. “Anti-Bacterial Effect of Garlic (Allium Sativum) against Clinical Isolates of Staphylococcus Aureus and Escherichia Coli from Patients Attending Hawassa Referral Hospital, Ethiopia.” Journal of Infectious Diseases and Treatment, vol. 02, no. 02, 14 Nov. 2016, doi:10.21767/2472-1093.100023.

  • Anonymous, A. “FoodData Central Search Results.” FoodData Central, 2019, fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169242/nutrients.
    Froh, Matthias, et al. “Molecular Evidence for a Glycine-Gated Chloride Channel in Macrophages and Leukocytes.” American Journal of Physiology-Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology, vol. 283, no. 4, 2002, doi:10.1152/ajpgi.00503.2001.

    Fu, Juan, et al. “Review of the Botanical Characteristics, Phytochemistry, and Pharmacology OfAstragalus Membranaceus(Huangqi).” Phytotherapy Research, vol. 28, no. 9, 2014, pp. 1275–1283., doi:10.1002/ptr.5188.

    Holick, Michael F, and Tai C Chen. “Vitamin D Deficiency: a Worldwide Problem with Health Consequences.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 87, no. 4, 2008, doi:10.1093/ajcn/87.4.1080s.

    Ikejima, K., et al. “Kupffer Cells Contain a Glycine-Gated Chloride Channel.” American Journal of Physiology-Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology, vol. 272, no. 6, 1997, doi:10.1152/ajpgi.1997.272.6.g1581.

    Mahomoodally, Fawzi, et al. “Onion and Garlic Extracts Potentiate the Efficacy of Conventional Antibiotics against Standard and Clinical Bacterial Isolates.” Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry, vol. 18, no. 9, 2018, pp. 787–796., doi:10.2174/1568026618666180604083313.

    Mitchell, Bill. “Dr. Bill Mitchell’s Immune Support Soup.” Bastyr University, 0AD, health.bastyr.edu/recipes/dr-bill-mitchells-immune-support-soup.

    Wheeler, Michael D., et al. “Dietary Glycine Blunts Lung Inflammatory Cell Influx Following Acute Endotoxin.” American Journal of Physiology-Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology, vol. 279, no. 2, 2000, doi:10.1152/ajplung.2000.279.2.l390.

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