When cold or flu hits, I reach for one of the best remedies known to mankind.
That’s not the “real” name of course. The “real” name is chicken soup. When I was young, people would jokingly call it Jewish Penicillin, and over the years there has been a lot of discourse over and studies done on whether chicken soup DOES or DOES NOT have an effect on the cold or flu virus.
After reading several of the studies, I would have to say, that evidence points to the fact that chicken soup DOES NOT have an effect on cold or flu viruses.
And that is totally okay. Apparently, deep freezing in ancient glaciers and being buried in pharaoh tombs also has little effect on the viability of viruses. They are like zombies and can be reanimated under the right conditions.
So far, the only proven virus killer and eradicator is the immune system.
The flu (influenza) virus hijacks the protein manufacturing machinery of the cell to to use for its own protein manufacturing, and to create more virus particles. From there, the mature virus is released and goes on to invade adjacent cells or terrorize an innocent bystander through a sneeze.
The symptoms of cold and flu are similar. but the fever and sometimes severe muscle pain and fatigue are usually associated with the influenza virus. Many of the symptoms are not caused by the virus itself, but are a result of your own immune system attacking the invader.
In the case of muscle and joint aches and pains, researchers discovered that an influenza infection leads to an increase in the expression of muscle degrading genes, and a decrease in the expression of muscle building genes. So it’s not the fever causing muscle aches and pains.
These viruses affect the neurological system, which is why you might have a problem thinking, or a problem regulating body temperature. Sounds might be louder, and lights brighter. You might be irritable. Some of these things happen before you even know you are sick. They are messages, telling you that your body is working hard to keep you healthy.
The ingredients in chicken soup may not affect the virus itself, but researchers have discovered that they DO affect, and are proven to strengthen not only the immune system, but also the cells. They support your own body processes in eliminating toxins, bringing in nutrition, and making it easier for the immune system to do its job.
Most home, folk, and natural remedies from around the world work in the same way. There “might” be “something” in them that actually DOES kill viruses, but that’s not the beauty of a bowl of chicken soup. The beauty of a bowl of chicken soup is its ability to make your own body stronger so it can eradicate the virus invader as quickly as possible.
It does this by putting together a bunch of ingredients that have some super cool scientific but beyond the scope of this blog post properties. Things like micronutrients that strengthen cell walls in the lungs or increase communication between immune system cells so they can figure out a new invader. Nutrients that repair holes in the lining of the gut so the cold virus can’t hang out there. Antioxidants that repair cell damage and protect from cell damage. Some factors not quite understood yet, but factors that drive those nutrients into your cells.
All of this happens without us thinking about it or controlling it.
Do me a favor and try a very unscientific experience for yourself.
Over and over I read that the reason chicken soup helps you feel better, is because it’s served hot, and the steam helps clear you of congestion. Similar to a hot shower.
I call, DOES NOT.
The experiment is this.
Take one hot mug of plain tap water.
Wrap your feverish hands around the mug and inhale deeply.
Now do the same with this chicken soup.
How do you feel. What are your thoughts. What is your body doing. Which one would you give your child.
This recipe is simple to make because you can use either store bought ingredients or homemade. As always, organic, non-gmo is best but never beat yourself up if something is hard to find, unavailable in your area, or you don’t have time. The only thing I would say has to be absolutely grown chemical free is the lemons because you’ll eat the rind and that’s really hard to clean the chemicals off of. Other than that, you’re good to go.
Much love, may you be blessed with good health, a sound mind, and joy.
Chicken Soup with Roasted Lemon
recipe based on 2 people, but how much one person needs for their body. Simply increase the amounts for a family.
4 cups chicken broth (for 2 people)
1 cup chicken bone broth (for 2 people) If you don’t have bone broth, don’t worry about it. Just add 1/2 t apple cider vinegar to the pot
This now makes 5 cups broth that you add to the pot
1/4 C finely chopped celery
1/4 C finely chopped onion (a little less actually)
1/4 C finely chopped carrot
Lots of rosemary
a little bit of olive oil
Fresh lemon, 1/4 per person
Leftover roasted chicken. Bones, cartilage, skin removed. The amount of meat doesn’t matter – but if someone is healthy they can eat about 1/4 C of chopped meat. It’s the fat that is important.
Heat a stock pot to med low and add a bit of olive oil. Pour in the onions, carrots, celery and rosemary. Cook until onion is almost translucent and then add the stock and the chicken.
Simmer for a few hours, inhaling often.
Meanwhile, cut thin slices of lemon and place on a cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Drizzle olive oil over the top of the slices and roast at about 400 F for about 10 minutes.
Let soup cool and remove bones and any leftover cartilage or gross stuff from the broth. Reheat when ready to serve. Most of my broth has salt in it, so I don’t add any more, but taste it and see if it needs any salt or pepper.
Ladle into bowls and place the lemon slices on top. Sprinkle with a bit more rosemary, fresh if you have it, and fresh parsley and thyme. Let everyone know they can eat the soft, cooked lemon slices.
I don’t put noodles in this, but I do serve bread on the side. The very sick don’t eat the bread, and probably won’t eat the meat either. If they are very sick, just the broth with a tiny bit of the vegetables are all they need. Usually they don’t want to eat because the neurological effects hit the digestive process and hunger response. But – part of the healing process is for the child or person to at least have a little and make themselves even if they don’t want to. Bit by bit they will get stronger.
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