Thursday, September 15, 2011

Eat your way to a healthy immune system: Kid friendly herbs

Immune support is a big topic in our clinic in the fall.  "What can I do to keep my whole family healthy as the weather turns and the kids go back to school?"  Below are my best two tips for the family's immune support. Yumm!  And enjoy your healthy family.

Step 1:  Clean your hands often! This is the best protection against catching and spreading illness.  Wash before you eat and before touching your eyes, nose or mouth either soap and water or a hand sanitizer after touching anything that a sick person has touched (such as dishes, towels, clothes, and trash).  Teach kids to wash well and rub their hands with soap and water for at least 15 seconds (long enough to sing a song).

Step 2:  Immune boosting with food.  Try incorporating one or more of these nutrient packed foods into your family's meals.   These are safe for kids and for pregnant or nursing women.

Immune Support Soup
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
4-5 sticks of Astragalus sticks
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup green beans chopped
2 cups carrots or other root veggies chopped
2 large potatoes chopped
4 dried or 2 fresh shiitake 
Basil, Parley, Tarragon, Oregon, Thyme and herbs to taste
1 pound of tofu cut to bite size
1-2 Tbsp miso
1 cup high fiber/whole wheat pasta 
8 cups water
Mix in large soup pot and simmer for 20 minutes.  Freezes well.  Immune modulating herbs, fiber, vitamin, mineral, and electrolyte support, as well as direct antiviral and bacterial spices.

Okanagan Veggie Butter
4 cups of grated carrot or carrot pulp from a juicer
4 Tbsp fresh parsley or 2 Tbsp dried parsley
1/2 cup of flax seed oil
3 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp. ground sesame or hemp seeds
1 tsp sage
1/4 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp each of oregano and basil
2 cloves of minced garlic
1/2 tsp sea salt (optional)

Mix all your ingredients in a food processor until well blended. Keeps refrigerated for about a week.  High in immune boosting beta carotene and antiviral/antibacterial herbs.

Yumm!  Enjoy your healthy family.

Thank you to Dr Cathy Carlson Rink for her recipes!
Reference:  Non-Obstetrical Complaints in Obstetrical Patients: Primary Care for Pregnant Patients by Cathy Carlson Rink, ND, RM.  NWNPC.  Friday, May 6, 2011.