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Immune Boosting Recipes

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 corona virus 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.


~New Recipe~

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 an elderberry tree which ripens mid-late January up here in Northland. You can order dried ones online otherwise blackcurrants and blueberries also contain many of the beneficial properties including antioxidants, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory.

Most popularly known for treating colds and flu, elderberries also support the immune system, are an effective treatment of herpes simplex virus, HIV and the flu. They give relief for UTI and allergies, promote bone health, reduces blood pressure and with its high fibre content it is great for digestive health.

Elderberries are particularly rich in flavonoids, especially anthocyanins which are responsible for their deep purple (almost black) colouring. These powerful antioxidants work to keep the immune system strong and resilient. It’s potent antioxidants which are naturally anti-inflammatory protect our skin cells from damaging free radicals that can contribute to skin issues including acne. These tiny berries are also believed to contain antiviral agents. Viruses are unable to multiply on their own and need to get inside a healthy cell to do so. The bioflavonoids in elderberries appear to deactivate viruses piercing the cell wall and replicating. Anti-catarrhal herbs prevent excess mucous formation and aid in removing mucous and reducing inflammation in the body.

When using these wondrous berries be careful to only use the ripe dark berries with no stems or foliage as these can cause stomach upset.

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. Licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is most commonly known as a sweets flavouring, liquorice root has been used for thousands of years as a medicinal plant. Traditionally for treating a variety of conditions, including lung, liver and kidney diseases, digestive problems, menopausal symptoms, cough, and bacterial and viral infections. Other nutrients found in liquorice root include vitamin E, phosphorus, the B vitamins, manganese, iodine, chromium, and zinc. As the botanical name suggests, liquorice contains the compound glycyrrhizin, which is responsible for its slightly sweet taste. Glycyrrhizin is a molecular compound extracted from liquorice root which has been found to block spike proteins from binding to ACE2 receptors.


~New Recipe~

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.

Makes 1L

Vegan | Gluten-free

Gather your ingredients and prepare the following into a large pot:

1kg fresh or 500g dried elderberries, black currants or blueberries

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)

2 tablespoons or 4-6 large pieces of liquorice root (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

Pour into warm sterilised bottles and cap. Once opened store in the fridge.

Dosage, shake before use:

1-2 tsp children

2 T adults

As often as required when symptoms present.


~New Recipe~

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! 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.


~New Recipe~

This recipe can be used as a stock base (notes within the recipe for this method).

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 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

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

Then add:

4 L water

Bring to the boil then simmer for 1 hr. Then add:

1 cup roughly chopped dark green leafy greens (silverbeet, kale, spinach, wild mustard)

1 tsp salt

Cook for two minutes. *If you want a clear broth with no 'bits' add 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 cup brown rice or barley (soaked for a couple of hours to reduce cooking time)

1/3 cup quinoa

Simmer for 15 minutes until the rice/barley is cooked. Optional addition:

1 block of tofu, cut into small cubes

Simmer for a further five minutes. Scoop a ladle of the broth into a bowl with:

¼ cup miso paste

¼ cup 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 tablespoon light soy sauce, Tamari or Braggs

A big handful of fresh herbs; basil, parsley, coriander, spring onion or onion weed roughly chopped

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.

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