Foods and Herbs for Increased Immunity and Health

Geri asks me: “Hi, I have been constantly sick for years, catching everything going. Immune system shot. Started Miso soup 3-5 days a week and didn’t get sick for months. But, gained 15lbs. Dr. advised i stop it, and lost 6 pounds within a week.
Would the miso have any benefit to me if i drank just 2 tablespoons a day instead of small bowl? Small amounts of vitamins and medications suit me, and am always told take the least of anything due to reactions.
What do you think?
Thanks very much. Geri ”

So, lets see if we can’t help Geri and others raise their immune system in a healthy way. Hopefully we can do it in a way where no one is going to have a reaction!

I would like to start with the Miso Soup. Good job on picking up the miso and sticking to it. Well, gaining 15 lbs in a few months isn’t a medical problem so I don’t know why your doctor would intervene in this when you clearly made a good change and have not gotten sick! Seaweed and the minerals in miso soup are truly miracle workers in themselves. Seaweed is very alkaline which works to balance your body’s pH. Its a fact that people with higher acidic pH levels are more prone to getting sick. Seaweeds also balance your thyroid and metabolism as well. A problem I am seeing is the amount of salt in the miso soup! My suspicions here seem to be confirmed based on the fact that you lost 6 pounds in a week by not eating the miso soup. The saying goes like this “where sodium goes, water follows”. You have clearly built up quite a bit of water weight and your body has been able tore-balance itself when you stopped taking in the miso. You have taxed your kidneys a bit at this point in filtering the sodium out, but now you should be okay.

At this point lets talk about increasing immunity. In Chinese Medicine people don’t ‘catch a cold’. We believe that we are exposed to pathogens (germs) all the time. These external pathogens want to invade us all the time. It depends on the person and their defense system (wei qi or immunity) if they get sick or not.  This old Chinese Medicine way of looking at this has been proven by Western Science. In recent studies on ‘common cold’ or ‘rhino virus’ patients were planed with the rhino virus directly in thenostril . About 60% of the patients got sick. This study was used in very different ways, but as far as Chinese Medicine is concerned- What Happened to the Other 40%? Simply they had defense high enough to dispel the virus!

There are many herbs when used together to supplement the system they can raise your immunity! However, alone there is one that stands atop these called Astragalus or Huang Qi.  Huang Qi is well documented for this task and is recommend for everyone. This is a typical herb used through the Fall and Winter season. I would also note that Echinacea is also used to raise white blood cell count, but this herb should be used in no more than 10 day increments.

Immunity is best done by eating soups and such. Foods like Congee or Kicharee offer foods and herbs that are already cooked down. This allows your body to easily digest and assimilate the nutrients and foods. This really gives your body a break from working so hard on the foods we take in all the time. Also, making a soup or other food like this allows you to add herbs. Herbs for medicinal purposes need to be decocted down. Being in a crockpot and slow cooking for a few hours, you are also decocting these herbs!

Here is a recipe I would like you to switch to:

This Congee recipe has many great herbs and is very uplifting to your energy and immune system. I want you to pay special attention to use the herbs Huang Qi and Dang Gui. If you can’t or aren’t able to source the other herbs that is fine! Huang Qi and Dang Gui together is going to supplement your body and immune system.

For ongoing immunity supplementing you can take pills for this as well! Lung Tonics, Yin Tonics, Immunity Tonics and such are essential here.
Dimmak Herbs sells a formula called ‘Immunity’. These pills contain Ginseng, Huang Qi, Dang Gui, Goji (Gou Qi Zi) Berries, Licorice Root, and about 5 other herbs that synergistically are used to raise your immunity to these external pathogens!

I think between alternating these other foods and maybe eating Miso once a week should be great. Also note the usage of seaweeds in the Congee recipe, add more if you like!

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