Archive: Tea

Boost Immunity with Change of Season Soup

Many of my patients are suffering from the “Daycare Curse” lately. At school or daycare, their kids are passing around germs, left, right and centre. Little Sarah then comes home, sneezes or coughs in your face and wipes her snotty hands on you. Before you know it, everyone in the household is infected, including you, who is still expected to care for all the other sick and whiny family members.

You and your family don’t have to suffer through repeated colds, flus and sore throats. Naturopathic Medicine provides treatment to boost immunity, prevent illness, speed recovery and reduce your symptoms once you do get sick.

This Change of Season Soup is a great way to help keep the adults and teenagers in the family healthy for the coming winter. Drink 1–2 cups every day for 5–14 days. It can be enjoyed as a tea (you may add honey and/or cinnamon sticks) or as a soup with vegetables, chicken and chicken broth.


  1. Codonopsis pilosula root (Dang Shen)
  2. Astragalus root (Huang Qi)
  3. Dioscorea villosa (Wild Yam)
  4. Chinese Lycii berries (Lyceum/wolf berries/goji berries)

Use equal parts of each herb (2–3 oz each). You can combine in one batch, or purchase individual prepared packs from your local specialty health food store or trusted Chinese herb market.


Fill a large pot with water. Add the herbs and place the lid on. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1–4 hours, adding more water if needed.

Allow to cool, strain and enjoy 1–2 cups per day for 5–14 days.

Alternately, add herbs to chicken broth and simmer for 1 hour. You can enjoy it as is or make a soup out of this broth.

Additional information:

Codonopsis pilosula root (Dang Shen)

  • Enhances energy (Qi), builds blood, nourishes body fluid, and tonifies the spleen and lungs

Astragalus root (Huang Qi)

  • Boosts immunity, strengthens your defenses, enhances energy (Qi), tonifies the blood and lungs, nourishes the spleen and stimulates the immune system

Dioscorea villosa (Wild Yam)

  • Supports the health of the lungs and kidneys

Chinese Lycii berries (Lyceum)

  • Contains vitamin C, supports lungs and kidneys

If you or any of your family members need a little extra immune TLC, feel free to contact me to book in for my Immune Boosting Program.

Have a healthy and happy winter!

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.