Immune Boosting Goodness for the Change of Seasons


Bowl of Soup

Soup is a lot like a family. Each ingredient enhances the others; each batch has its own characteristics; and it needs time to simmer to reach full flavour. Marge Kennedy

During each seasonal change, our body must transition to new environmental conditions. The demand can reveal our level of health as we are tested in this change and we may become ill with colds or flus. Colds and flus are not inherently bad, as they teach and develop our immune system. But when we become ill and our immune system is weak, then we can run into trouble. To promote wellness and shift smoothly into autumn, you can make a delicious soup recipe and consume it during this time.

Change of Seasons Soup

Equal parts of the following *herbs; about 2oz (60 grams) of each herbs:

Codonopsis root

Astragalus root

Dioscorea root

Chinese lychee berries

*Herbs can be purchased at a herbal dispensary.


  1. Fill a large stock pot with 4-6 litres of water, add herbs and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to low-medium and simmer for 2-4 hours.  Reduce the liquid to half.  If liquid boils down before 2 hours, add water as necessary.
  3. Strain out herbs with a slotted spoon or pour soup through cheesecloth or strainer.  Makes 2-3 litres.
  4. Drink ½ litre (2 cups) per day as tea or broth, or use it as a base for soups.  Keeps in fridge for 4-5 days.  Half recipe for reduced amount.

From a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) perspective, fall and winter are “yin” times of the year; time for looking inward, recharging, and nurturing yourself. It is also a time of year when the lungs are vulnerable.  In TCM, the lungs are responsible for the Wei Qi, a defensive energy, that protects us from colds and flus. Change of Season Soup is an immune tonic which can help balance the body during times of stress, and protects against colds and flus.

The recipe above can be made on its own, as a base for soups, or add the herbs to homemade chicken soup with other hearty and seasonal vegetables like shiitake mushroom, onions, garlic, carrots, and other root vegetables.  Drink 2 cups each day for about two weeks.  If you fall ill, wait until you have recovered to drink the soup.

The Health Benefit Tally

Codonopsis root:  strengthens qi (energy), builds the blood to improve circulation and nourishes body fluids.

Astragalus root: strengthens the Wei qi; the immune defenses, nourishes the spleen, and tonifies the blood and lungs.

Dioscorea root:  tonifies and balances the lungs and kidneys.

Chinese lychee berries:  strengthen the liver and kidneys.