Boosting the Immune System: The Cold and Flu Season

It is wintertime and we are in the height of the flu and cold season. The old adage that prevention is the best cure is true; therefore, it is of the utmost importance that you give your immune system a boost. A healthy immune system will ward off cancer, infections, and degenerative illness.

Here are some strategies for staying healthy and stimulating your immune system:

Acupressure “Button” Turns on Your Immune System
A practice handed down over thousands of years, acupressure was first mentioned in writing in The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine, the oldest medical book in the world. It involves warming an acupoint on the leg with the herb mugwort to stimulate the immune system. In this procedure, the practitioner rolls leaves of mugwort into a cigar shape, lights the roll, and holds the smoldering end near the acupoint.
However, the same result can simply be achieved by applying firm, steady finger pressure. The point is found on both legs, about four finger-widths below the outside indentation of the knee next to the shin bone. Modern research in China confirms the efficacy of this treatment for improving immune function and preventing colds, flu, and infections.

Simple Strategies for a Stronger Immune System
Maintain a positive attitude.
Eat lots of garlic, ginger, cilantro, oregano and other herbs and spices.
Get enough rest—eight hours a night.
Keep stress low with meditation, tai chi or yoga.

Immunity-Boosting Cream of Mushroom and Cauliflower Soup
For mushroom lovers, there’s nothing like a hearty, creamy cup of mushroom soup seasoned with herbs. This recipe combines the wonderfully intense flavors of shiitake and portobello mushrooms with a collection of ingredients, cilantro, oregano, garlic and onion, that work synergistically to boost your immunity to colds and flu and act like natural antibiotics to help you fight infections.  The best of all, the cream base for the soup is dairy-free and uses the natural, creamy texture of cauliflower, a cruciferous vegetable that helps prevent cancer.

Serves: 4-6

2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 small cauliflower, cut into bit-size pieces
5 cups chicken stock
4 oz each of shiitake, portobello and white button mushrooms, cleaned and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup white wine
TK cup chopped fresh cilantro
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Oregano sprigs, for garnish

1. Heat oil in a large pot over moderate heat.  Stir in onion, garlic and cauliflower.  Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until onion and cauliflower are softened, about 5 to 10 minutes.  Add stock, mushrooms, wine and three-quarters of the cilantro.  Bring to a boil and cook over moderate heat until mushrooms are softened, about 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool.

2. Pour soup, in batches, into a food processor and pulse until smooth.  Return to pot and bring to a boil; salt and pepper to taste.

3. To serve: Ladle into serving bowls and sprinkle with remaining cilantro. Garnish with oregano sprigs, if desired.

I hope you will be able to integrate these strategies into your preventative maintenance. I invite you to visit often and share your own personal health and longevity tips with me.

May you live long, live strong, and live happy!

—Dr. Mao

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This entry was posted in Blog.