With gratitude to chickens, who hopefully have a free range happy life, there is an old adage which says that chicken soup is Jewish penicillin.
I am a great believer in nature having the secrets and solutions to many of our illnesses. There are so many examples of this in anecdotal evidence as follows :
- Essential oils come from nature and each oil has many overlapping healing properties. Lavender helps for sleep, burns, infection and is a remedy for a myriad of other ailments.
- Tea tree oil extracted from the tea tree bushes in Australia, is the best antidote for spider bites from the spiders in the same area.
- Propolis from honey and pure honey itself is another of natures remedies for wounds and infection.
- Penicillin has its roots in nature. Aspirin has its origins in nature too,
- Plants were used as medicines for thousands of years until the pharmaceutical revolution.
- Many foods are medicine too.
As we learn more about science, and drill down to understanding molecules and atoms, so we learn that the body is part of a larger ecosystems and nothing - not a medicine, nor diet, nor an illness, nor circumstances can be seen in isolation. They all contribute to wellbeing.
Holistic treatments or multi approach treatments are essential to address any imbalance.
For common colds and flu, I recommend rest, vitamin C, ginger /lemon /honey/ turmeric hot drinks,diffusing anti-infectious oils in a humidifier or steaming with essential oils (our Cold&Sinus mix is so effective) AND home made chicken soup ! A good long sleep ( or two) is also wonderfully healing.
The vitamins, nourishment, and fortification that come from homemade chicken soup ( recipe of which follows) is possibly one of my favourite remedies for colds and flu. The nourishing soup supports the body that has deficiencies, which led to the body to be open to infection, resulting in flu!
Even the act of making the soup is a therapeutic occupation, it is meditational to prepare and adding love into its making is key.
Being away from screens for a time while focusing on a task is a whole other subject - we often are missing out on the meditative actions of “mundane tasks”.
CHICKEN SOUP RECIPE
* choose a day or evening when you’re at home for a few hours.
Six or seven large whole carrots ( or bag of small carrots)
Six large red plump tomatoes
Three large onions
50ml oil ( olive or other)
A whole chicken or 8 pieces of chicken with bones in ( thighs and legs)
Optional soup greens
Chicken stock cubes / powder is optional.
Use a large pot and place the following :
Cut up tomatoes ( whole with skin on) - big chunks.
Cut up the peeled onions also into chunks
Add the carrots, cut into thick rounds.
Put the lid on the pot and allow to cook with no oil or water on low heat for an hour. ( hot enough to simmer but not too hot)
The resultant juice should cover the veges. Can stir between but try to minimize loss of steam.
While the veges are simmering, use another pot to braise the chicken in a bit of oil so that it doesn’t stick
semi roast the chicken in the oven. Only cook for about half an hour.
When there is a lot of liquid from the veges add the chicken to the veges pot.
Pour boiling water into the pot to cover the chicken.
Add soup greens if available - I use soup celery leaves and stalks and /or parsley.
Allow to simmer for two to three hours.
Strain the soup through a vegetable sieve and pick out pieces of chicken / carrots as you choose to add to the strained soup. ( some people like it clear and others like the bits of chicken and carrots.
Season with salt and pepper - can add chicken stock or cubes powder if needed for flavour ( there should be plenty flavour already).
The chicken fat provides the oily surface which is delicious. Stir well before serving.
I freeze the soup in small containers and defrost as needed.
enjoy the taste and the benefit !