GARLIC SOUP FOR COLD AND FLU SEASON
As cold and flu season approaches, it's always advisable to be prepared to combat whatever pathogens you may encounter. For the past 15 years, I've been using and sharing a recipe I came across in a health magazine.
Not only does it help for the standard types of infections that are spread annually, but has also been known to work on antibiotic resistant pneumonia. I have firsthand experience regarding the benefits of this soup on resistant strains of pneumonia. My father was hospitalized with antibiotic resistant pneumonia. After 10 days of simultaneous use of 4 of the strongest antibiotics available, nothing would quell the infection. However, after giving him 1 cup of this broth, within 2 hours the fever broke and the pneumonia began to clear. My clients have also touted the benefits of this soup.
Garlic Soup Recipe (Debbie Whitaker- www.motherearthliving.com)
1 tablespoon olive oil 12 cloves of fresh garlic, peeled and thinly sliced 2 large sweet yellow onions, such as Vidalia or Walla Walla, peeled and thinly sliced 1 teaspoon fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried 2 cups chicken broth or vegetable bouillon 1 pinch cayenne pepper or more to taste 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped well (Salt- if allowed)
And I add in some horseradish to taste (about 1/2 teaspoon or more if tolerable)
Put the olive oil in an 8 cup saucepan On low heat, saute the garlic and onions, covered for about 25 minutes until cooked through (They'll appear to be nearly translucent) Transfer the garlic and onions to a food processor or blender and puree with the thyme and 1/2 cup of the broth or bouillon Pour the puree back into the pan, add the remaining broth, and simmer for 20 minutes Stir in the cayenne, basil and salt to taste, and heat for 2 minutes
Add the horseradish at this time also (this is my addition to the original recipe) Ladle into bowls and serve. I've added vegetables to this broth, or some cooked chicken, and sometimes cooked brown rice or noodles. The recipe is easy to make. The benefits are substantial. The reason this recipe works so well on colds, flu, bacteria, stuffy noses, clogged sinuses is because of the healing properties of all the ingredients.
Medicinal properties of garlic
The Ancient Greeks and Ancient Egyptians revered garlic for its ability to fight diseases. It is rich in Vitamin C and potassium. "While it has been known ( and acted upon) by many traditional systems of medicine for thousands of years, Washington State University has confirmed that garlic is actually more effective than pharmaceutical antibiotics in fighting the highly common bacteria known as campylobacter bacterium." (www.naturalsociety.com Anthony Gucciardi) It is also known to fight E coli., Salmonella Typhi, Shigella Dysenteria, Staphylococcus and Streptococcus bacteria. And it will also work for yeasts, fungus, and viruses by suppressing proliferation. (http://ezinearticles.com - Medicinal Properties of Garlic)
Medicinal properties of onions
Onions are in the same family as garlic and have also been revered for their medicinal properties by the Greeks, Egyptians, Asians, and Romans. They contain powerful antioxidants and flavonoids. But they also have sulphur compounds which are an extremely effective antimicrobial to many bacteria and viruses. Numerous studies verify the benefits of onions for better immune system health along with benefits for cardiovascular health and for raising good cholesterol (HDL) over time. (American Heart Association)
Medicinal properties of thyme
Thyme is an herb that also was used in ancient times by the Greeks. Through the centuries, it has been used for various ailments, but it is in the recipe due to its antiseptic properties. It has been documented for use by herbalists "for intestinal worms, gastrointestinal disorders, and bronchial problems..." (www.offthegridnews.com) It is beneficial for sore throats, to loosen and expel mucous, for whooping cough and emphysema. A simple herb that does so much for the complaints and symptoms of colds, flu, and viruses acting as an antiseptic, antitussive ( cough suppressant), expectorant, and a fever reducer.
Medicinal properties of cayenne pepper
Cayenne pepper has vitamins C, K and E, carotenoids and B complex along with some minerals and fiber. "The capsaicin in cayenne pepper gives the pepper its heating effect. This capsaicin helps with the elimination of mucus from the nose and lungs by clearing the sinuses and inducing sweating. Cayenne pepper added to tea is helpful in relieving symptoms of cold and flu." (www.ehow.com- Lorraine Degraff) So you can see why it would be a great addition to any soup or broth for colds, bacteria and flu.
Medicinal properties of basil
Basil is another herb used in ancient Asian and Middle Eastern cultures. It contains natural anti-inflammatory properties, thereby reducing the stuffiness and congestion experienced with viruses, flu, and bacterial infections. "Scientific data shows that the volatile oils in basil, combined with their antioxidant effects, make it a healthy booster for the immune system. Fresh basil leaves and basil oil both have antibacterial properties and can actually be used to clean surfaces of infectious disease". (www.Suite101.com Juniper Russo) It is an important addition in combating all types of infections, and for decreasing the inflammation of sinuses and lungs common with any of the upper respiratory illnesses.
Medicinal properties of horseradish
The true origin of horseradish is unknown, although it is believed to have originated in Hungary or other parts of Eastern Europe as far as Russia. It is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family along with broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage. It too has high sulfur content and is a natural antibiotic for bacteria, especially the bacteria that contribute to sinus infections. It will clear the lungs and sinuses of mucous as it has expectorant properties. Because of its ability to thin mucous it also makes expelling it easier.
When you see the individual benefits of the ingredients, it's no wonder this soup recipe is so beneficial during cold and flu season. The chicken broth or vegetable broth should be the best quality you can purchase free of excess sodium or artificial ingredients. If possible, make your own broth and freeze it to have on hand.
As wonderful and as effective as this soup is, the best defense is to have a strong immune system at all times but especially going into cold and flu season. It is better to avoid getting sick rather than battling these illnesses. If you are someone who gets the flu annually, whether with or without vaccination, or if you suffer annually with multiple episodes of viral or bacterial infections making the rounds each season, then I urge you to contact me. Find out how I can help you keep your immune system stronger so that this recipe will be more of a culinary experience verses a medicinal necessity.