Integrative Medicine Blog

Yummy Cabbage Soup for Cold & Flu

Rebecca Rice L.Ac., MSAOM Saturday, February 16, 2019

Finding something to eat when you have a cold or the flu can be a challenge. Read on for a recipe I like to make when someone feels ill in my household. 

Yummy Cabbage Soup Recipe: To Fight Cold & Flu

1/3 to 1/2 head of green cabbage coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

3 large or 4-5 small garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

1/2 large onion, diced

3-4 pieces of astragalus**

2 quarts low sodium chicken broth

2 stalks of fresh scallions, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

1-2 tblsp olive oil

Combine ginger, garlic, onion, olive oil and saute for 3-5 minutes on medium low.

Add cabbage and saute for another 5 minutes, stirring on occasion. Add chicken broth and bring to boil, then quickly bring down to low simmer. Cook for 20 minutes on a light simmer. Add huang qi and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove astragalus.** Add scallions for the last 5 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.

Cabbage is a member of the brassica family of vegetables. Known for their immune boosting components that benefit the gut flora to strengthen the immune system, brassicas also tote powerful anticancer .

Garlic and onion in this recipe contain antimicrobial effects to combat pathogens that cause colds and flus. The fresh green onion or scallion has an aromatic nature which instantly clears phlegm from the sinuses. The scallion can even be chewed raw to enhance it’s influence on dissipating mucous.

Ginger, along with cabbage both positively influence a sour stomach, and both aid in the processing of nutrients from food.

The addition of astragalus, known as huang qi in Chinese medicine, creates another avenue of immune boosting. In Chinese medical theory, astragalus tonifies the wei qi, also known as protective qi, or the immune system. **This herb is used to help prevent infection and should be added only for those who are not yet in the depths of the flu/bad cold.

Chicken broth classically promotes a healthy appetite and rounds out the overall effects of the dish in this immune boosting and very deliciously simple soup.