Prevent Colds and Flues with Change of Season Soup

Change of Season Soup is a delicious herbal soup (or can be imbibed as a tea) that tonifies, and gently supports our immune systems during times of stress, and especially during the physiological stressors of the change of seasons. It enhances the body’s ability to remain balanced during times of transition by increasing our innate ability to adapt to the seasonal changes. As an immune system tonic, change of season soup is an ideal way to assist your body through the autumnal fluctuating weather shifts, improve your resistance to colds and flues that increase at this time of year, and prepare you for the colder seasons to come.

Drink one cup or bowl, once or twice a day for a week during the fall to winter season. If you are currently ill, it is best to wait until you have recovered before drinking the tonic. In nature fall is the time of year that plants adapt to storing their energy, leaves and flowers are dying and energy sinks, becoming concentrated in the seeds and roots of plants. We can support our own energy by supporting our own adrenal immune boosting (our “seeds” and “roots”).

The herbal ingredients of the change of season soup:

Change of Season soup herbs are available pre-packaged from Matthew’s herbal corner at the Wholistic Dispensary, use 2-3 oz of each of the following herbs:

  • Astragalus membranaceus – Astragalus is a root that helps to strengthen protective defenses, strengthen our Qi energy, nourish our spleens, and tonify the blood and lungs – all key players in our immune system
  • Codonopsis pilosula – this herb will help to tonify and strengthen Qi energy. It helps to build blood and nourish body fluids.
  • Dioscorea opposita (Chinese wild yam)– this is a herb that tonifies and balances the lungs and the kidneys.
  • Lyciium barbarum (Goji berries) – Goji berries help to strengthen the liver and the kidneys


Prepare the soup with the above ingredients, simmering for ~4 hours in a covered pot with 4 L of water for a herbal infusion. Or use it as a base for a fuller soup made with the addition of the following possible ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken or some other carcass
  • 5 to 10 whole garlic cloves
  • 1 thumb of ginger
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • lots of local harvest vegetables: mushrooms, carrots, celery, potatoes, pumpkin, squash, beets and beet greens, swiss chard, etc…

Place the Change of Season herbs in a tea sock, or cheesecloth, to easily remove after the 4 hours. If doing the soup add all the ingredients to a large soup pot. Cover with 5 L of water, bring to a boil and simmer covered for 4 hours until veggies and/or chicken are well cooked. Remove herbs, then add leafy greens if you wish and continue cooking until greens are wilted.

Enjoy a healthy fall as you prep your body for a healthy winter!