Archive: Recipes

You Give Me Fever

I was watching a show on the National Geographic channel and I saw nature at its best. An anaconda snake was swimming in a river in South America. It had a large mouth abscess (infection) and it knew it had to do something to get rid of it in order to survive (and antibiotics were definitely not nearby!). The anaconda’s natural instinct was to swim in shallower, warmer waters to increase its body temperature to induce a fever. Amazing! It did this in order to make its body inhospitable for the bacteria that were causing the infection and to stimulate a natural immune response to kill them off.

What do we do in the Western world when we have a fever? Suppress, suppress, suppress…

And why?

We have been taught that fever is a dangerous response to an infection (viral or bacterial) that can cause brain damage and seizures. We feel the need to react right away, and give or take that fever-suppressing medication to bring it down. But, are we really doing the right thing?

Fever is a natural response to an infection. Bacteria and viruses thrive at normal body temperature (98.6°F or 37.0°C). A fever changes this set point so that the bacteria and viruses are less likely to survive. It also induces an immune response to get the body to fight off infections.

Many infants and children develop high fevers with minor illnesses. Brain damage from a fever will generally not occur until our temperature is over 42°C (107.6°F). Untreated fevers rarely go over 40.5°C (105°F) unless the child is overdressed, trapped in a hot area or placed in a cold bath. A cold bath induces shivering, which can raise body temperature even further. Be sure not to overdress anyone with a fever and never put them in a cold bath. A lukewarm bath is best.

Seizures associated with fever may occur. They are generally short-lived, do not cause any permanent damage, and they do not mean that your child has epilepsy.

There are several instances when to get concerned if your infant or child has a fever. You should call your healthcare practitioner if:

  • a child under three months of age has a fever.
  • a child under 12 months of age has a temperature of 38.3°C (101°F) or higher.
  • a child under the age of two has a fever that lasts longer than 24–48 hours.
  • a child over the age of two has a fever that lasts longer than three days.
  • an infant, child or adult has a temperature greater than 40°C (104.5°F).

Make sure your child is responsive and drinking fluids. For a complete list of when to get concerned when you or your child have a fever, see: Mayo Clinic.

See your licensed healthcare practitioner to prescribe individualized homeopathic remedies, herbs and vitamins to help support an efficient fever and to give your immune system a natural boost to fight off infections.

Broths, soups, water, fruit, and diluted unsweetened fruit juices are the best things to consume during a fever in order to maintain hydration and to give the digestive system a break. I made this great chicken soup last weekend when I was feeling run-down and it gave me the immune boost I needed from the garlic, ginger, turkey broth and chilies that I desperately needed.

It is a great soup to share with your loved one(s) on a cold and rainy/snowy afternoon, or to keep in the freezer just in case you start to feel sick. It will help to get you back on your feet in no time!

Chicken & Ginger Root Broth with Mango

  • 1–2 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 large onion, halved and sliced
  • 1 ½ oz. fresh ginger root, peeled and shredded
  • 1–2 fresh chili peppers, left whole
  • 1 (2–3 lb) whole organic chicken, trimmed of fat and broken down into pieces with the bone in (or you can purchase chicken thighs and/or breasts)
  • 2 ½ cups of organic turkey or chicken stock
  • 2–4 cups of water
  • Sea salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 mango or 1 small green papaya, cut into fine slices
  • ½ cup–1 cup of fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  1. Heat oil in wok or deep pot.
  2. Add garlic, onion and ginger root. Stir until the onion becomes clear.
  3. Mix in chili peppers and chicken, lightly browning the skin.
  4. Pour in stock, water (just enough to cover the chicken; add more if necessary) and bring liquid to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer gently for about 1.5 hours, until chicken is very tender.
  6. Season stock with sea salt and pepper, and add sliced mango or green papaya.
  7. Continue to simmer for 15 minutes more, then add in parsley leaves.
  8. Serve as is or ladle over steamed rice.


Basan, Ghillie. 500 Asian Dishes. Apple Press, 2010.  

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is not meant to replace treatment with a licensed healthcare practitioner. It is for informational purposes only. Consult with a Naturopathic Doctor or other licensed healthcare professional to determine which treatments are safe for you.

Listen to Nature When it Comes to Food

I was lucky to be up at my family’s cottage in Muskoka over the Thanksgiving weekend.  The temperature during the day felt more like summer, but the nights and mornings were cool. The leaves didn’t lie about what season it was, and their bright orange, red and yellow hues lit up the sky. The views were spectacular and the colours reminded me that with a change of season, comes a change of diet. It was time to limit those cold and raw salads that we devour in the summer, and include more cooked and warming foods that the fall harvest has to offer. If we listen to nature and eat foods that have the colour of the changing leaves, then our bodies will be better equipped to handle the cold and dark days of winter. Pumpkins and squash are the perfect vegetables to incorporate into our diets at this time of year to boost immunity and prepare our bodies for the drop in temperature. As added bonuses, they are also in season and grown locally!

According to Chinese medicine, the lungs and large intestine are the organs most active in the fall. Our lungs are very sensitive to changes in temperature, and the wind and cold. They control our defensive energy (Wei-Qi) that keeps us from getting sick. It is important to use this time to boost immunity to prevent colds, the flu and sore throats. Our intestines also play a very important role in immunity. They act as a barrier against invading pathogens, and approximately 70–80% of our immune system is found in the intestines.

When the temperature is dropping, it is best to limit cold and raw foods as they can increase dampness and phlegm in the body. Cold and raw foods consumed in the fall and winter tax the digestive system. Our body can handle these foods much better in the warmth of the spring and summer. It is best to eat lightly steamed vegetables or cooked food in the fall and winter. Foods such as garlic, onions and ginger support lung function and help to break down phlegm and mucous in the respiratory system.  Dark green and orange vegetables protect the lungs and mucous membranes of the body and boost immunity because they contain beta-carotene. Beta-carotene boosts the defensive energy of the body, protecting us from the invading bacteria and viruses that make us sick.

I made this soup after the Thanksgiving weekend when my body was craving warming and nourishing food. I used turkey broth that I made from the weekend leftovers. You can substitute coconut milk for the broth and add in spices such as turmeric, cumin, curry powder and/or garam masala to spice it up if you like. This time I decided to keep it simple and not add any extra spices as the turkey broth I prepared had enough flavour. This recipe is quick and easy, and very powerful in preventing colds and flus. Our bodies have an easy time digesting this soup, and the garlic and onions further help to break down any phlegm or mucous in the body. Enjoy!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

1 medium to large sized butternut squash

1 small head of garlic

2 small to medium sized cooking onions

½–1 cup of organic vegetable stock, turkey broth or chicken broth

Spices such as sea salt, turmeric, cumin, curry powder and/or garam masala (optional, to taste)

  • Wash the squash, cut in half lengthwise and place face down on a cookie sheet coated with a small amount of olive oil.
  • Peel off the excess skin from the garlic, leaving enough to surround the whole head and keep the cloves together. Chop off the top of the head of garlic so that there is an opening for each clove. This will make it easier to squeeze the garlic out once it is roasted. Wrap the head of garlic in aluminum foil with a little bit of olive oil, sea salt and pepper sprinkled on top for added taste. Make sure you seal the foil completely. Place garlic bundle on cookie sheet with the squash.
  • Peel the onions, chop in quarters and place on the cookie sheet with the other ingredients.
  • Roast in a preheated oven, uncovered, at 365°C for approximately 30–35 minutes (until the squash is nice and soft). You may need to cook the squash a bit longer than the onions and garlic.
  • Remove from oven, let all ingredients cool, and then add to a food processor. Blend while adding in broth of choice or coconut milk (spices optional). Add enough fluid to your desired consistency of soup. I like mine a bit thicker, so I don’t add too much broth.

Pitchford, Paul. Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition. North Atlantic Books, 1993.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is not meant to replace treatment with a licensed healthcare practitioner. It is for informational purposes only. Consult with a Naturopathic Doctor or other licensed healthcare professional to determine which treatments are safe for you.

We Can All Use a Little Spice in Our Lives: Why Not Ginger?

Ginger, oh how I love thee…

This root, I find, is underutilized and overlooked for some reason. It offers a vast array of health benefits, from boosting immune system function, and reducing pain and inflammation to reducing gas, bloating, nausea and digestive upset. It is cheap, and full of potassium, magnesium, copper, vitamin B6, manganese and gingerols, which are powerful anti-inflammatory substances.

It is a carminative, which means it reduces gastrointestinal upset, as well as an intestinal spasmolytic, meaning it reduces spasms and cramping in the digestive system. It has been shown to prevent or reduce the symptoms of sea-sickness, as well as to reduce nausea and vomiting in pregnant women.

It is a powerful anti-inflammatory and reduces the pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. If you are suffering from knee pain or a sport’s injury, it can help you recover faster and reduce your suffering.

Who wouldn’t benefit from ginger?

Ginger is a warming herb and supports healthy sweating. It boosts immune system function, and can help prevent colds, flus and sore throats. If you do get sick, ginger can reduce the severity and duration of your symptoms. It is great to drink in a tea (see recipe below) on a cold winter’s day, but you can also prepare it as an iced tea to refresh and replenish you after a hot day in the sun.

And it tastes great, too! It’s pungent and spicy flavour kicks up any meal several notches, and you get the added benefits to your health as well.

You can chop it up and add it to stir-fries to bring out some heat, or you can put it in the water that you are using to steam broccoli. Simply peel a 1- to 2-inch cube of ginger (with a spoon is easiest), slice it up, add it to a pot of water, bring to a boil, then place the steam basket with the broccoli in it on top. Cover with a lid, reduce the heat and simmer for about 5–10 minutes until the broccoli is done to your liking. If you are using organic broccoli, you can even use the leftover ginger water for ginger tea (see recipe below).

Here is a recipe for a Ginger, Honey and Lemon Tea. It is one of my favourites to drink when I am starting to feel sick, when I am feeling run down and cold in temperature, or if I am sore after a long, hard workout or run. You can drink it iced in the summer. Prepare as instructed below, let it cool in a glass jug on the counter and then put it in the fridge.

Ginger, Honey and Lemon Tea

1–2 inch cube of fresh ginger root

1/3 fresh lemon, sliced

Boiling water

Honey, to taste (optional)

Add slices of ginger to a pot, measure out 2–3 mugs of water and pour into the pot with the ginger. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add honey, squeeze the juice of the lemon into the mug, and then add the lemon slices as well. Pour in the hot ginger tea, then enjoy! You can drink this tea with the ginger root and lemon slices still in the mug, or can strain if you prefer.

Here is an even quicker and easier recipe, if you are feeling lazy:

Peel and slice the fresh ginger root. Place in a mug. Pour boiling water over the ginger slices and squeeze the juice of the lemon into the mug. Add the lemon slices to the mug. Allow it to steep for 3–5 minutes. Add honey to taste.

Aim to drink 2 cups a day.

Drink up and enjoy!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is not meant to replace treatment with a licensed healthcare practitioner. It is for informational purposes only. Consult with a Naturopathic Doctor or other licensed healthcare professional to determine which treatments are safe for you.