by Dr. Robert Woodbine

Are you interested in understanding the factors that influence your immune system? A recently (July 2018) updated article written by Harvard Health Publishing entitled, “How to Boost Your Immune System” describes lifestyle habits, sleep, food, stress management, and other strategies that can optimize your ability to enhance and sustain health and well-being. While the article is careful not to draw conclusive causal relationships between enhanced immunity and supplementation, for example, there are numerous other independent international and national studies indicating the efficacy of certain mushrooms in promoting adaptive immunity to better target cancer cells. I urge each reader to become as knowledgeable as possible about how your body functions and how to care for yourself. 

Two excellent books for your consideration are written by the same author, Stephen Harrod Buhner: 

Herbal Antibiotics-Natural Alternatives for Treating Drug-Resistant bacteria, and  

Herbal Antivirals-Natural Remedies for Emerging & Resistant Viral Infections.

At the beginning of the sixth chapter in the latter book, Buhner leads with a quotation from the late Dr. Marc Lappe’: “It is the body which ultimately controls infections, not chemicals. Without underlying immunity, drugs are meaningless.” While this flies in the face of what we were taught in Biology class about Louis Pasteur’s Germ Theory, it does point out that competing theories about how the body functions in harmony with nature have existed and continue to do so. This is starkly evident in the growing urgent concern with drug-resistant bacteria from the inappropriate and overuse of antibiotics.

Below is a recipe for an Immune Strengthening Soup from Donald R. Yance, Jr., Master Herbalist and Certified Nutritionist. You can read and learn about onion, garlic, astragalus, burdock, and the various mushrooms and their immune supporting properties in the recipe in Buhner’s books or look them up them online. All of these food items can be purchased at local health-focused stores (Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Watkin’s, etc.) and/or Farmer’s Markets and online (i.e., Pacific BotanicalsSea of Chi). 

If you’re not a fan of or are sensitive to tofu, feel free to leave it out or substitute it with small amounts of your favorite organically fed, hormone-free flesh protein (chicken, lamb, duck, rabbit, turkey, wild-caught fish). Instead of using plastic-bottled water, consider investing in a countertop water filter for your drinking and cooking water. 

Most important, try the recipe and modify it accordingly to your taste. Then, make it one of your regular strategies to support your intrinsic capacity to be well and healthy.

Dr. Robert Woodbine, N.D. (Ret), M.Ac. O.M. “Doc Woodbine” has studied, practiced, and taught Chinese Qigong and Taijiquan since 1985. He has taught at St. Mary’s since 2010.