Chicken Soup and Boosting Your Immune System

Humble homemade chicken soup is not only good for the soul, it can be a great immune booster, says a leading local natural health practitioner.

Naturopath Cate McRae, who runs her practice in Tamar Place, said she recalled a research study being done on students, who had vegetable soup, then chicken soup.

“Bloods were drawn before and after eating vegetable soup, but there was no real change in immune cells. But bloods drawn after eating chicken soup showed elevated levels of immune cells. Soups are better for lunch in winter than a meat pie, which does not enhance your immune system," she said.

Ms McRae advised healthy adults to practice prevention this winter by boosting their immunity naturally using the likes of zinc and Vitamin C. “Herbs to boost immunity which can be taken anytime include Astragalus, Echinacea and olive. A good probiotic helps keep the stomach micro organisms healthy too, especially if you have taken antibiotics, which we should all know don't kill viruses only bacteria.”

Ms McRae said homeopathics are good for children as they are almost tasteless, easy to give and work a treat. Individual ones can be given or you can buy ready-made formulas, and if given when signs first appear can ward off colds and flu. “I also use homeopathics for coughs, as there is nothing worse than a child coughing all night. Spongia, drosera and nux vomica are all excellent remedies.”

Ms McRae has seen an increasing number of cases where clients who regularly used antibiotics to fight flus and colds were now escalating to emphysema or pneumonia. “Their immunity has been compromised by the overuse of antibiotics and disease is able to penetrate deeper into their bodies,” Ms McRae said.

“It's commonly known that the regular use of antibiotics is the single most detrimental factor to a persons' immunity so much so that eventually antibiotics will stop working,” she said. Ms McRae said flu vaccinations were best suited to elderly and debilitated patients who were more likely to develop pneumonia and die, not healthy children or adults.

For more information, contact Cate McRae

This article first appeared in the Armidale Express, July 27th 2010