Friday, March 11, 2016

Spring Soup - Herbal Cold Remedy

It's spring time in the Rockies, which means 70 degrees in the city, raging blizzards in the mountains, and wind every afternoon. It also means it's the last round of illnesses floating around to catch the ill prepared victim... (This week it's Me and Mr. Crafty.)

So, I did what any good hedgewitch would - I went to the garden! Firstly, because it needs doing. It's tradition in our family to plant peas and radishes on St. Paddy's Day, but with the climate shifting I'm trying a week early this year. Thus, the beds must be turned! 

Secondly, to get some dandelions for eating. Gardener's reward.
 However, in my digging I discovered that I had missed a few carrots in the final harvest (Including that white one! It might be the biggest I've ever grown!? How?!) Which means that I can create the perfect remedy - soup. There's a reason that folk medicine around the world doses soups out for the common cold, hydration, warmth, salt, and herby goodness. Not to mention that it's tasty.

And so, my March harvest for soup included Dandelion greens and root, carrots (even a little sprig of greens!), leek, chives, and sage. Not pictured are the two non-homegrown ingredients - chicken and ginger root. A nice balance of nutrition, fuel for the body, and herbs to stimulate the immune system. Other good herbs that might be overwintering nicely include thyme, garlic, hyssop, oregano, yarrow, and lemon balm.

Why no noodles? Not needed, for me at least. I do recommend noodles over most other starches, however. Simple starches like potatoes and rice will spike the blood sugar which does not encourage good immune function. On that note, Orange juice is great for staving off sicknesses, but once you're sick try an herbal source of the C, like rosehips or nettles, to avoid the high sugar content of juice.

There you go, fresh foods for natural healing! It should be pointed out that our ancestors did not, as one might expect, struggle for food the most during the cold of winter. It would be the early spring that was toughest, when the stores were depleted but most crops were not yet thriving. Thus, very early wild foods like Dandelion, Arugula, Asparagus, and the like would be important forage in the spring!

It may be no instant cure, but I certainly feel better after a day in the sunshine and a nice bowl of hot soup! What's your favorite spring food?

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