This recipe blog post is a double banger with two immune boosting recipes to help you and your family build up your essential barrier to fighting off virus's and sickness as a healthy body is our best defence. With the change of seasons and the COVID19 lurking about I wanted to do my bit for helping my online community to boost immunity naturally. Your gut health is also very important as this where your immunity starts. Probiotics are the best way to ensure the beneficial bacteria in your guts are happy and healthy.
Making my own medicine is one of my favourite things to do. It nurtures my love of plants and once you start delving into the benefits that they give us it is wondrous and amazing! I have been using this tonic for a few years and it truely helps fight off the germs whilst building a healthy immune system. There are a few ingredients in this recipe and if you can't get hold of all of them just make it with what you have on hand, and please message me if you have any questions on alternative ingredients.
I am lucky enough to have a friend with a elderberry tree, but blackcurrants and blueberries also contain many of the beneficial properties including antioxidants, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral along with high levels of vitamin C and immune support. Dried elderberries are also available online.
The additions of ginger, turmeric, black pepper, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, rosemary, oregano, thyme, kawakawa, kumarahou, pine and rose hips have a wide range of soothing properties for colds and flu symptoms, respiratory aliments.
I like to add echinacea and/or usnea tincture to to brew once strained to give the tonic a super strength boost. Echinacea tincture is readily available and widely known but you may wonder what is usnea? This AMAZING lichen that only grows where the air is very clean has been used by herbalists and native peoples for a couple of thousand years for respiratory health along with being a natural antibiotic, it has antiviral, antifungal, anti-inflammatory properties as well as a treatment for herpes simplex, candida and impetigo this wonder plant is my absolute favourite tincture to have at the ready for my family. I will have to do a recipe on a different post for this, but you can get it online.
This tonic is not very sweet as sugar feeds germs so I have given options for how much honey to add to taste. Manuka and kanuka honey both have impressive health benefits.
RESPIRATORY TONIC RECIPE
Vegan | Gluten-free
Gather your ingredients and prepare the following into a large pot:
1kg fresh or 500g dried elderberries, black currants or blueberries
500g grapes (optional)
4 lemons, sliced
4 oranges, sliced
8 cm fresh ginger, sliced or 1-2 T ginger powder
8 cm fresh turmeric, sliced or 1-2 T turmeric powder
2 tsp black peppercorns, crushed
2 tsp cloves
2 tsp cardamom pods, crushed
1 cinnamon quill
1 large stick rosemary
2-3 sticks fresh oregano or 1 T dried
6 sticks fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried
a handful of pine needles (optional)
10 rose hips, crushed
6-8 kawakawa leaves (optional)
6-8 kumarahou leaves (optional)
1/4 c molasses
2 L water
Bring to the boil and simmer for 1 hour. Strain the tonic through a sieve into another pot and push to remove all the liquid you can. Reheat if needed and stir through the honey until melted:
1/4 or 1/2 c manuka or kanuka honey
20 drops echinacea or usnea tincture
Pour into warm sterilised bottles and cap. Once opened store in the fridge.
Dosage, shake before use:
1 tsp children
1 T adults
As often as required when symptoms present.
IMMUNE BOOSTING BROTH
This soup just what I feel like when I’m sick, a plant based ‘bone’ broth without the bones is nutrient rich and packed with flavour! The collagen you get from bone broth isn’t absorbed by the body in it whole form. It is broken down into amino acids to then be absorbed into the body, in this plant-based broth we get out amino acids from the mushrooms, miso and soy sauce.
Seaweed is a great source of omega 3, iron, calcium, iodine and vitamins it also has a thickening quality that mimics gelatine. The generous portions of garlic, ginger and turmeric adds anti-inflammatory and antioxidant support, helps digestion, reduces nausea and fights colds and flu. Along with the other vegetables, dark leafy greens and herbs at the end this broth is packed with easily absorbed nutrients. Please see 'Edible Flowers and Wild Weeds Health and Garden Benefits' for info on wild weeds as food, nasturtium in particular is a natural antibiotic and high vitamin C.
This recipe can be used as a stock base (notes within the recipe for this method).
IMMUNE BOOSTING BROTH RECIPE
Makes 2.5 L
Vegan | Gluten-free
Gather your ingredients and preheat the oven to 200°C (You can omit the roasting stage and just add ingredients to the pot).
Prepare the following:
1 onion, skin on roughly chopped
1 leek, roughly chopped
1 bulb garlic, halved width ways
2 sticks of celery, roughly chopped
2 carrot, roughly chopped
1-2 beetroot, roughly chopped (optional)
Put the roughly chopped vegetables into a roasting tray and drizzle with:
3 T EVOO
Roast for 10 minutes while you prepare the remaining ingredients into a large pot:
400 g tomatoes, halved, passata or a tin
8cm piece fresh ginger, sliced or 2 T ginger powder
8cm piece fresh turmeric, sliced or 2 T turmeric powder
1/2 tsp black peppercorns
1 stick lemongrass, bruised
1 stick fresh rosemary
2 bay leaves
8 (35 g) dried or fresh mushrooms, shiitaki, oyster, porcini or foraged
10 g medicinal mushrooms, reishi, turkey tail, chaga or cordyceps (optional)
1-5 pieces dried seaweed, kombu, wakame or kelp
4 L water
Bring to the boil then simmer for 1 hr. If you want a clear broth with no 'bits' add greens and seasonings now and cook for a further 10 minutes.
Strain off the liquid into another pot, pressing vegetables to remove all the liquid.
If you are after just a stock it is now ready, you could add soy sauce for seasoning if desired. Jar up in warm sterilised jars and cap.
I like to keep the mushrooms and chop them up and add back to the broth.
Put the liquid (and mushrooms) back on the heat and add:
2/3 c brown rice or barley (soaked for a couple of hours to reduce cooking time)
1/3 c quinoa
Simmer for 15 minutes until the rice/barley is cooked. Strain and finish with miso-yeast paste. Scoop a ladle of the broth into a bowl with:
¼ c miso paste
¼ c nutritional yeast
Mix well to form a loose paste then add back to the broth and season with:
1 tsp salt
½ tsp cracked black pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika (optional)
2 T soy sauce, Tamari or Braggs
1 c roughly chopped dark green leafy greens (silverbeet, kale, spinach)
A big handful of fresh herbs roughly chopped, nasturtium, dandelion, chicory, plantain, basil, parsley, coriander, spring onion or onion weed
Stir together well, remove from the heat and serve.
If you want a clear stock omit the miso-yeast paste as this will cloud the stock.
If you have a virus there is a herbalism protocol that I follow which omits sugar, grain, protein and acid from the diet for four days, as they feed the bugs. The brown rice/barley could be left out of this recipe.