Immune System And Age
As we age, our immune response capability becomes reduced, which in turn contributes to more infections and more cancer. As life expectancy in developed countries has increased, so too has the incidence of age-related conditions.
While some people age healthily, the conclusion of many studies is that, compared with younger people, the elderly are more likely to contract infectious diseases and, even more importantly, more likely to die from them. Respiratory infections, including, influenza, the COVID-19 virus and particularly pneumonia are a leading cause of death in people over 65 worldwide. No one knows for sure why this happens, but some scientists observe that this increased risk correlates with a decrease in T cells, possibly from the thymus atrophying with age and producing fewer T cells to fight off infection. Whether this decrease in thymus function explains the drop in T cells or whether other changes play a role is not fully understood. Others are interested in whether the bone marrow becomes less efficient at producing the stem cells that give rise to the cells of the immune system.
What Is The Difference Between Various Types Of Chinese Herbal Soup
The herb combination in this recipe is for general health. I prepare this soup to enjoy the herbal taste and am not looking for any specific benefits. You can ask any Chinese herbal practitioner to suggest a mix of herbs for the particular need.
I found a website that provides good information on a variety of Chinese herbs in English. It also provides some recipes for specific health benefits.
Western Medicine Vs Traditional Chinese Medicine Causes Of Cold And Flu
In Western Medicine, we believe the cold and flu is usually due to a virus and usually is treated with over the counter measures to just relieve the symptoms or sometimes even Tamiflu to reduce the duration.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine it is believed that a change in season, along with a weakness or deficiency along with and exogenous force for example wind, heat, fire, cold and damp it can cause illness. The belief is that these cold and flu types of illnesses are a result of an exogenous “wind” factor along with a weakened disposition or an imbalance in your body. In the winter, this may be referred to as COLD Wind whereas you have symptoms of sneezing, chills, post nasal drip, coughing up clear phlegm and achy body. HEAT Wind is different as you may have a fever, sore throat and maybe you are coughing up yellow sputum.
Also Check: Chicken Soup Dog Food Ingredients
Does The Pot Used To Boil The Soup Matter
Clay, glass, and ceramic are best for making herbal soup because these are inert materials. Besides that, stainless steel pot is also suitable, as it fits nicely on the flat stovetop.
Pots made with cast iron, aluminum, and copper are unsuitable as there might be some chemical interaction between these metals with the herbs, which can reduce the medicinal benefits.
You need to adjust the amount of water when boiling with the regular pot on the stovetop, as the water level drops much faster than using a slow cooker or pressure cooker. I use a slow cooker/crockpot that does not have any noticeable water loss after simmering for two hours.
Some Of The Most Popular Chinese Herbals
Wolfberries are dried from ripe fruit of Lycium barbarum L. Wolfberries can nourish the liver, promotes vision and invigorates the kidneys. In daily cooking, we blew dried wolfberries with flower teas like chrysanthemum tea.
Chinese wild yam , the root of Dioscorea opposita Thunb has multiple efforts on spleen, lung and kidney. It can boost energy and alleviate bodily weakness.
Astragalus Root , nourish the kidney, improve resistance and boost the immune system and is believed to be a tonic, diuretic and pectoral medicine.
Red dates can improve cell mutation, clam nervous system, protect the liver and moisten our lung.
Codonopsis Root can release stress, anti-aging, adrenal fatigue and digestive problems and combats tiredness.
Angelica Sinensis , a warming Chinese herb nourishes the blood and invigorates blood circulation. It has been used in Traditional Chinese Medical for a quite long history for women’s healthy, including relieving symptoms of gynecological conditions such as menopause, menstruation pain, recovery from childbirth.
Solomans Seal the slivers of curly herb are yellowish in color and is believed to treat ailments related to the lungs and throat. It helps with dry cough, sore throat and thirst.
Honey dates , nourishes the spleen, boosts the immune system.
Don’t Miss: New England Soup Factory Delivery
Where Can I Purchase The Chinese Herbs
You can get the Chinese herbs at the Chinese herbal stores/Chinese medical halls. These shops are located in every nook and corner in Malaysia , but there might be fewer in other countries.
There are also ready-to-use herbal soup packs available. It has all the herbs required to make a pot of soup in one convenient package. Moreover, there are different types of soup mixes containing various herbs for various health benefits. They are sold in large grocery stores and supermarkets here, and I expect them to be available in most large cities.
If you cannot get these herbs from the store near you, please check out this website, an online store specializing in Chinese herbs.
The Healing Power Of Tea
Besides slurping a warm bowl of soup, sipping tea might help boost healing, too. A 2018 meta-study published inMolecules, an open-access chemistry journal, analyzed several clinical studies on tea caetchins, or antioxidants, and their effects on colds and flu.
The researchers found that many of the studies presented evidence that consuming green tea could help prevent the onset of cold and flu symptoms. They also observed several reports that gargling green tea seemed to help prevent the flu, while gargling with water did not have the same effect.
It is not understood, however, why gargling appears to ward off the flu. The authors write that its typically believed that flu bacteria enter the body through the nose, so it isnt clear why an activity like gargling may help prevent the spread of those germs.
But if youre sipping or gargling chamomile tea instead, the effects might be a bit different. True teas, like white, green, black and oolong, come from the Camellia sinensis plant. But herbal teas like mint, chamomile and rooibos do not. It’s unclear if herbal teas have the same kind of benefits as the Camellia plant, but some herbs and roots are touted for their supposed ability to protect the body in other ways.
Don’t Miss: Low Sodium Chicken Noodle Soup
Moong Dal Coconut Kiwi Soup
This soup is a mishmash of three immunity-boosting foods – Moong dal, coconut and kiwi. While kiwi is an excellent source of vitamin C which helps build a healthy immune system, moong dal is rich in proteins that keep you satiated for long and you don’t binge later. Not just that, there are a host of spices such as peppercorns, cloves and turmeric powder used in the soup that are known to boost immunity. A yummy, satiating and wholesome soup that you can make at home in no more than 30 minutes! Find the recipe here.
Kiwi is rich in vitamin C that helps boost immunity.
Try these yummy and healthy soup recipes at home this season to boost immunity and share your experience in the comments section below.
What Is The Best Soup From Chinese
Read Also: Kikkoman Egg Flower Soup Mix
Homemade Vs Canned Soup
Its not often that scientific studies include a recipe for chicken soup. But a report published inChestnearly two decades agohas a step-by-step guide on how to make Grandmas soup, as part of an experiment to determine if homemade and canned soups could have a healing impact on humans at a cellular level.
Researchers at the University of Nebraska gave soup to white blood cells in the lab to see if it would inhibit neutrophil migration or cause the cells to slow their movement. The soup did indeed slow down the cells, signifying to researchers that such an effect in humans could help lessen inflammatory symptoms, like sore throats, associated with colds and flu.
They even compared several different brands of canned soups, with nearly every type able to slow down the cells to some degree. So, the researchers concluded, it’s likely that a combination of ingredients in soup works together to create an anti-inflammatory effect.
In addition, chicken, when added to soup, releases an amino acid called cysteine. Cysteine thins out mucus in the nose and lungs and can help the body heal. This works in combination with soup’s other benefits as well, such as helping hydrate the body.
Improve Immunity With Herbs And Supplements
Walk into a store, and you will find bottles of pills and herbal preparations that claim to “support immunity” or otherwise boost the health of your immune system. Although some preparations have been found to alter some components of immune function, thus far there is no evidence that they actually bolster immunity to the point where you are better protected against infection and disease. Demonstrating whether an herb or any substance, for that matter can enhance immunity is, as yet, a highly complicated matter. Scientists don’t know, for example, whether an herb that seems to raise the levels of antibodies in the blood is actually doing anything beneficial for overall immunity.
Don’t Miss: Gluten Free Canned Tomato Soup
What To Remember Most About This Article:
Strengthening the immune system, or wei qi, with Chinese herbs is a perfect complement to the Body Ecology Diet. Many herbs that boost immune function also play a role in digestive health. Incorporating key tonic herbs with Body Ecology principles will fortify your defenses during the chilly winter season, as well as bring balance to your digestive system.
Sichuan Spicy Noodle Soup
With a variety of greens included, this soup is not only hearty but it is also packed with antioxidants and Vitamin A. A great vegetarian option, the spiciness of the sichuan and the ginger mixed with the nutty flavor from the peanuts definitely separates this recipe from the traditional get well soup.
Also Check: Pacific Foods Creamy Tomato Soup
The Importance Of A Nutritious Diet
Besides staying at home to keep ourselves and others safe, getting enough rest, and trying to reduce stress as much as possible, we should be thinking more about what were eating!
Now, Im not a doctor or nutritionist, and I also know theres no magic food guaranteed to boost your immune system or protect you against illness. But I do know that a diet rich in a variety of vegetables and fruits can give your body the nutrients it needs to function optimally.
Eating a nutritious diet is one of the best ways to stay healthy. While youre stocking up on rice, beans, and other pantry staples, dont forget about fresh vegetables, and the fact that you can freeze vegetables for use in cooked recipes.
Here are some recipes to get you started!
An Immune Boosting Soup
In Asia the line between food and medicine is more blurred than we in the west are used to. Chinese medicine is full of recipes that combine food and herbs to make meals that both nourish and cure. With cold and flu season still in full swing I thought Id share a healing recipe for a delicious immune boosting Chinese chicken soup.
You can find all of the herbs in this soup from a Chinese herbal pharmacy, such as Kamwo, which is on Grand street in Chinatown.
Recommended Reading: Souped Up Trucks For Sale
A Soup Every Other Day Keeps The Doctor Away
The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the way in which we live and work. With more free time spending at home and intrigued by thoughts of boosting immunity against COVID, Channel 823 invited Steven Ng, a registered Chinese medicine practitioner at Athena Dispensary in Po Lam Shopping Centre, to share two healing soup recipes that can enhance immune system and provide three more tips of keeping doctor away.
Prepare These 5 Popular Herbal Soups At Home
When it comes to ones health, TCM is all about prevention. By building a strong immunity , it can provide you with a broad-spectrum protection from getting sick. As many COVID-19 cases can be asymptomatic, taking simple steps to protect yourself and others are crucial in the long run.
In this article, we share 5 popular TCM herbal soups that you can prepare at home, to strengthen and nourish your body during this COVID-19 period. These soups are affordable and can be easily purchased from local supermarkets such as NTUC, Cold Storage and Market Place. When cooking these delicious soups, add in the herbs together with meat or beans and root vegetables of your choice and stew for an hour.
You May Like: Egg Drop Soup Mix Walmart
What Meat Is Suitable For Making Herbal Soup
Chicken and pork are commonly used to make Chinese herbal soup.
I use small free-range chicken to make the soup, which perfectly fits my slow cooker without cutting the chicken.
Besides that, you can also use silkie chicken to make soup. The skin of this chicken is black to bluish, and the meat is grayish-black. Therefore, it is also called black chicken|black bone chicken in Chinese. It tastes as good as free-range chicken and has more benefits as it is rich in antioxidants and other nutrients. You can read more about it over here.
Besides that, pork ribs are also popular to make soup with Chinese herbs.
Does Being Cold Give You A Weak Immune System
Almost every mother has said it: “Wear a jacket or you’ll catch a cold!” Is she right? Probably not, exposure to moderate cold temperatures doesn’t increase your susceptibility to infection. There are two reasons why winter is “cold and flu season.” In the winter, people spend more time indoors, in closer contact with other people who can pass on their germs. Also the influenza virus stays airborne longer when air is cold and less humid.
But researchers remain interested in this question in different populations. Some experiments with mice suggest that cold exposure might reduce the ability to cope with infection. But what about humans? Scientists have performed experiments in which volunteers were briefly dunked in cold water or spent short periods of time naked in subfreezing temperatures. They’ve studied people who lived in Antarctica and those on expeditions in the Canadian Rockies. The results have been mixed. For example, researchers documented an increase in upper respiratory infections in competitive cross-country skiers who exercise vigorously in the cold, but whether these infections are due to the cold or other factors such as the intense exercise or the dryness of the air is not known.
You May Like: Low Sodium Cream Of Mushroom Soup Walmart
How Do We Build Up Wei Qi
One herb: Astragalus. George tells us that it is probably one of the most important herbs that there is because of the two organ systems that it enters. It enters the Spleen and Lung, the two organ systems that are in charge of creating the post-natal qi. It directly feeds and strengthens the wei qi. It is the number one herb for strengthening the immune system during anytime of the year, during the summer time or during the winter time.
He also explains that, Traditionally we are taught that if you have an active illness going on, you do not tonify because it feeds the pathogen. But if you have an immune system that has failed, the wei qi has failed to be strong enough to prevent that pathogen from entering the body you can still tonify the wei qi so the deficiency is corrected.
Pharmacologically, Astragalus stimulates the immune system by increasing the number of white blood cells and multinuclear leukocytes. Not only does Astragalus boost the defenses, it also boosts the offensive line of protection in the body: studies have shown that Astragalus is a powerful antibiotic, inhibiting the activity of common pathogenic microbes such as Bacillus dysenteriae, B. anthracis, beta-hemolytic streptococcus,Corynebacterium diptheriae, Diplococcus pneumonia, and Staphylococcus aureus .
Another herb that enters both the Lung and Spleen organ systems is a root called Codonopsis.
Best Garlic Soup For Colds
Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners look at each food as not only having nutritional value but also having individual properties that act in a specific way on the body.
Chinese Medicine experts say, As we enter the cold winter months, it is important to switch your diet from fresh, cooling foods of summer to the deeper warming and nourishing foods of winter .
In Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau, ginger is treated as a healing spice, perfect for those who suffer from cold or flu symptoms. Gingers combination with garlic, which offers antibacterial and immune boosting qualities, is a perfect pairing when craving a healthy soup in Fall or Winter.
Recommended Reading: How To Make Tomato Soup
Other Related Recipes That You May Want To Try
You may also want to try other Chinese soups and dishes made with herbs on this blog. Here is my recommendation:Old cucumber soup with pork ribs is among the most familiar soup on the Cantonese dining table. The main ingredients are old cucumbers, meaty pork ribs, and some dried scallops. Besides that, you also need some goji berries and red dates as in this herbal soup recipe.The Winter melon soup recipe is the adaptation of my mothers recipe, which she cooked for our family when I was young. You have the option to cook it, beginning from preparing the soup base or use the store-bought chicken broth for simplicity. Either way, this refreshing and comforting soup will be a hit for you and your family.