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Astragalus Miso Immunity Soup

To maintain wellness during the change of seasons, we herbalists eat whole foods and use herbs to promote a healthy immune system.* We love using our Echinacea Plus® tea, as well as this Astragalus Miso Immunity Soup recipe to keep our immune system fired up and ready to protect itself.*

Astragalus root (Astragalus membranaceus) has been used for thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to promote wellness by strengthening the wei qi, the energy that circulates on the surface of the body. Known as one of the most useful Chinese herbal tonics, this hearty root is ideal for someone who wants some extra immune support.* Western herbalists call this root an adaptogen, which means it helps to bring the body back into balance and to ward off effects of every-day physiological stressors.* The mild sweet taste works well alone, or with other medicinal herbs, prepared in soups or as a decoction.

This immune system ally was originally introduced to America in the early 1900s, and thrives as a perennial in temperate climates. Adaptable by nature, this beautiful green herb can grow in very poor soil, but prefers areas with good drainage. Astragalus thrives particularly in North Carolina, as herb farmer Joe Hollis has proved at Mountain Gardens, where he has been cultivating an abundance of medicinal Chinese herbs for almost three decades.

When we are busy or just feeling under the weather, it can be challenging to keep up with cooking healthy meals. That’s why we made this immunity soup quick and simple to make. All you will need are some ingredients from your local health foods market and astragalus root from your local herb shop or Mountain Rose Herbs.

Astragalus Miso Immunity Soup

Fire up your immune system with this simple, medicinal soup.

Servings: 2-3 people

Time: 30 minutes

Materials

  • Medium-sized pot with lid
  • Knife and cutting board
  • Bowls, spoons, and serving materials

Ingredients

  • 4-5 slices of dried astragalus root
  • 1 to 4 inch strip of kombu seaweed
  • 5 shiitake mushrooms, fresh
  • 2-3 Tablespoons red miso paste
  • 4 Tablespoons of freshly chopped green onions
  • ½ bundle of kale, chard or any other dark leafy green
  • ¼ of one 14-oz package of firm tofu, chopped into squares

Instructions

  1. Add 3 1/2 cups of water to your pot. Then add the sliced shiitakes, kombu (rinse and pat dry first) and astragalus.
  2. Allow this mixture to simmer covered for 15-20 minutes. Then remove and compost the kombu and astragalus.
  3.  Add miso paste, chopped green onion, tofu, and chopped (or torn) dark leafy greens.
  4. Stir and continue to cook until the miso is dissolved, then serve and enjoy!

By combining the powers of whole foods and herbalism, we’re building strong bodies that are more capable of warding off occasional stress. Adding a bowl of warm soup and a few medicinal cups of tea to your daily self-care rituals can boost your immune system and keep you grounded when you need it most. Over time, these seemingly simple acts of self-care deeply nourish our body and spirit, helping us transform into the most vibrant versions of ourselves.

For more every-day herbal rituals, check out the At Home section of Plant Power Journal.

*Please note this broth should not be used by people who are taking immune suppressant drugs.

“Every-day radiant well-being, in mind, body, and soul, is a function of every-day self-care. It’s a prescription for life.” – Rosemary Gladstar

Posted in DIY on March 24, 2016