HOME REMEDY FOR COLD AND FLU: MISO SOUP
Many of us have heard “When you are sick, eat chicken soup!” But how many of us have heard “When you are sick, eat miso soup!”??? Miso soup is truly a wonderful remedy for colds and flus. I recommend it to my patients and clients, and I use it for myself and for my family as well.
Miso is made from fermented soybeans. While soy has gotten a bad rap in the media lately, it should be clarified that not all soy is bad. Fermented soy products such as miso have myriad health benefits including digestive enzymes, naturally occurring probiotics or good bacteria that boost your immune system, and phytonutrients that act as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents in the body.
Miso comes in a paste form. Below you will see a couple of my favorite types. When you use miso in soup, the key is to add in the miso paste once the soup has boiled and been removed from the heat. If you boil miso, it destroys its healing properties.
Here is a basic recipe that I follow, and feel free to add/subtract miso paste and other ingredients as you desire according to your tastes.
2 cups filtered water
1 cup chopped shiitake mushrooms (optional)
1 big knob of ginger, peeled and finely chopped or you can just peel it and keep it whole
4 green onions, chopped include the white and green part
2-4 Tablespoons of miso paste (I like White Miso or Brown Rice Miso the best)
dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
- Pour water into a medium pot and add ginger to it.
- Bring water to a boil and boil for 5 minutes.
- Add shiitake mushrooms, if you are using them.
- Boil for 5-10 minutes more until the mushrooms are nice and soft.
- Turn off heat and add the scallions and cayenne.
- In a small bowl, add miso paste with 2 Tbsp of water and whisk until the miso is mostly mixed.
- Add whisked miso paste to the pot and stir well.
- Taste and add miso if necessary.
All of the ingredients in this work together to give your immune system a big boost. Ginger is an aromatic herb that helps to kick out viruses and improve digestion. Green onions also have aromatic properties that relieve the surface as we say in Chinese Medicine, meaning that they also help to kick out viruses. Shiitake mushrooms have tremendous healing powers. They are super-immune enhancers for all sorts of illnesses. Be sure to eat them cooked, though. Raw shiitakes do not have the same benefits as cooked ones. Cayenne helps with blood circulation, warms your body and helps it sweat, which is often helpful when fighting a cold or flu to help sweat out the pathogen.
This soup is great to eat if you are already sick, or if you feel like you are fighting something. Have a big bowl full of miso soup, take a hot Epsom salts bath, and snuggle up in bed. You will be better in no time!