Dr. Gloria's Immune-Boosting Soup – Food as Medicine – Your Health Detective

ONIONS – also known botanically as Allium cepa, belong to the lily family – the same family as garlic, leeks, chives, scallions and shallots. There are over 120 different documented uses for
vegetables in the Allium family.

 The Value of Onions

Onions have a variety of medicinal effects. Early American settlers used wild onions to treat colds, coughs, and asthma, and to repel insects. In Chinese medicine,onions have been used to treat angina, coughs, bacterial infections, and breathing problems.

The World Health Organization (WHO) supports the use of onions for the treatment of poor appetite and to prevent atherosclerosis. In addition, onion extracts are recognized by WHO for providing relief in the treatment of coughs and colds, asthma and bronchitis – known to decrease bronchial spasms and an onion extract was found to effectively decrease allergy-induced bronchial constriction in
asthma patients.

Onions are a very rich source of fructo-oligosaccharides. These oligomers stimulate the growth of healthy bifidobacteria and suppress the growth of potentially harmful bacteria in the colon. In addition, they can reduce the risk of tumors developing in the colon.


Studies by competent multi-degreed scientists have shown beyond any reasonable doubt that consuming garlic generally has the following physical effects:

•           lowers blood pressure (9% to 15 % with one or two medium cloves per day);

•           lowers LDL Cholesterol (9% to 15 % with one or two medium cloves per day);

•           helps reduce atherosclerotic buildup (plaque) within the arterial system – a recent
             study shows this effect to be greater in women than men;

•           lowers or helps to regulate blood sugar;

•           helps prevent blood clots from forming – thus reducing the possibility of strokes and
             thrombosis (Hemophiliacs shouldn’t use garlic);

•           is known to help prevent cancer, especially of the digestive system – it’s reported that it              stunts certain tumors from growing and can also reduce their size significantly; 

•           may help to remove heavy metals such as lead and mercury from the body;

•           raw Garlic is a potent natural antibiotic that works differently than modern antibiotics and              kills some strains of bacteria, like staph, that have become immune or resistant to modern              antibiotics;

•           has anti-fungal and anti-viral properties;

•           dramatically reduces yeast infections due to Candida species;

•           has anti-oxidant properties and is a source of selenium;

•           garlic gives the consumer an enhanced sense of well-being – it makes you feel good
             just eating it.

By now you’re probably asking, “If garlic has all these benefits, why aren’t doctors and hospitals recommending it for their patients?” In many countries other than the U.S. they are!  Why not in the U.S.? One reason is that medical doctors simply don’t know about it, they have very little nutritional instruction or herbal medicine in their medical school education and may be unaware of how garlic works in the human body…and…there’s no FDA-approved treatment protocol that includes garlic. And, perhaps modern allopathic physicians concentrate more on alleviating symptoms, healing and surgery than prevention of illness through better nutrition and healthier lifestyles, albeit that may be more the responsibility of the patient than the doctor.

Perhaps the over-riding consideration may be that fresh garlic is a living thing that continuously changes and is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to quantify. Slicing and dehydrating the garlic arrests the changes and freezes it in whatever state it was in and preserves it and allows us to know that it is what it is and will not be changing.

(active ingredient is Curcumin)

The active ingredient in turmeric is curcumin. Turmeric has been used for over 2500 years in India, where it was most likely first used as a dye.

The medicinal properties of this spice have been slowly revealing themselves overthe centuries. Long known for its anti-inflammatory properties, recent researchrevealed that turmeric is a natural wonder – proving beneficial in the

treatment of many health conditions from cancer to Alzheimer’s disease.

20 reasons to add turmeric to your diet:

1.  It is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, useful in disinfecting cuts and burns.

2.  When combined with cauliflower, it has shown to prevent prostate cancer and stop the growth of      existing prostate cancer.

3.   Prevented breast cancer from spreading to the lungs in mice.

4.  May prevent melanoma and cause existing melanoma cells to commit suicide.

5.  Reduces the risk of childhood leukemia.

6.  Is a natural liver detoxifier.

7.  May prevent and slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by removing amyloyd plaque buildup      in the brain.

8.  May prevent metastases from occurring in many different forms of cancer.

9.  It is a potent natural anti-inflammatory that works as well as many anti-inflammatory drugs but           without the side effects.

10. Has shown promise in slowing the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice.

11. Is a natural painkiller and cox-2 inhibitor.

12. May aid in fat metabolism and help in weight management.

13. Has long been used in Chinese medicine as a treatment for depression.

14. Because of its anti-inflammatory properties, it is a natural treatment for arthritis,
      fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis.

15. Boosts the effects of chemo drug paclitaxel and reduces its side effects.

16. Promising studies are underway on the effects of turmeric on pancreatic cancer.

17. Studies are ongoing in the positive effects of turmeric on multiple myeloma.

18. Has been shown to stop the growth of new blood vessels in tumors.

19. Speeds up wound healing and assists in remodeling of damaged skin.

20. May help in the treatment of psoriasis and other inflammatory skin conditions.

Turmeric can be taken in powder or pill form. It is available in pill form in most health
food stores, usually in 250-500mg capsules.

Once you start using turmeric on a regular basis, it’s fun to find new ways to use it in recipes. My favorite way to use it is to add a pinch of it to egg salad. It adds a nice flavor and gives the egg salad a rich yellow hue. WARNING: Turmeric stains everything – be careful on clothing, dish towels and

Contraindications: Turmeric should not be used by people with gallstones or bile obstruction. Though turmeric is often used by pregnant women, it is important to consult with a doctor before doing so as turmeric can be a uterine stimulant.

MUSHROOMS  (shiitake)

Long a symbol of longevity in Asia because of their health-promoting properties, shiitake mushrooms have been used medicinally by the Chinese for more than 6,000 years. More recently, their rich, smoky flavor has endeared them to American taste buds. These exotic hearty mushrooms can now be found in supermarket shelves across the U.S. throughout the year.

Traditional Uses of Shiitake:

•           immune system support and booster;

•           strengthens cardiovascular system;

•           helps maintain healthy cholesterol and blood pressure;

•           helps victims of hepatitis;

•           enhances energy;

•           known to contain powerful anti-tumor properties;

•           contains powerful anticoagulant effects.


Versatile, sweet Kale is widely recognized as an incredibly nutritious vegetable for its low fat, no cholesterol and contains powerful anti-oxidant properties.

  • Kale, like other members of the brassica family, contains health-promoting phytochemicals, sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol that are appears to protect against prostate and colon cancers.
  • Di-indolyl-methane (DIM), a metabolite of indole-3-carbinol has been found to be an effective
    immune modulator, anti-bacterial and anti-viral agent through its action of potentiating “Interferon-Gamma” receptors.
  • Borecole is very rich source of ß-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. These flavonoids have
    strong anti-oxidant and anti-cancer activities. Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body.
  • Zeaxanthin, an important dietary carotenoid, is selectively absorbed into the retinal
    macula lutea in the eyes where it is thought to provide antioxidant and protective light-filtering functions. Thus, it helps prevent retinal detachment and offers protection against “age related macular degeneration disease” (ARMD) in the elderly.
  • It is very rich in vitamin A; 100 g leaves provide 512% of RDA. Vitamin A is required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is also essential for vision. Foods rich in this vitamin offer protection against lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • It is one of the excellent vegetable sources for vitamin-K; 100 g provides about 700% of recommended intake. Vitamin K has potential role bone health by promoting osteotrophic (bone formation and strengthening) activity. Adequate vitamin K levels in the diet helps limiting neuronal damage in the brain; thus, has established role in the treatment of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
  • This leafy vegetable is notably good in many B-complex group of vitamins such as niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, pantothenic acid, etc. that are essential for substrate
    metabolism in the body.
  • Itis also a rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, manganese and phosphorus. Potassium in an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure by countering effects of sodium. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase. Iron is required for cellular oxidation and red blood cell formation.
  • Kale provides rich nutrition ingredients that offer protection from vitamin A deficiency, osteoporosis, iron deficiency anemia, and believed to protect from cardiovascular diseases and, colon and prostate cancers.


  • It contains many vital poly-phenolic anti-oxidants and vitamins. Like in other cucurbitaceae members, it is very low in calories; provides just 45 cal per 100 g. It contains no saturated fats or cholesterol; but is rich a source of dietary fiber and phyto-nutrients, one of the common vegetables that is often recommended by dieticians in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs.
  • Butternut squash has more vitamin A than that in pumpkin. At 10630 IU per 100 g, it is
    perhaps the single vegetable source in the cucurbitaceae family with highest levels of vitamin A, providing about 354% of RDA. Vitamin A is a powerful natural anti-oxidant and is required by body for maintaining the integrity of skin and mucus membranes. It is also an essential vitamin for vision. Research studies suggest that natural foods rich in vitamin A helps body protect against lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • Furthermore, butternut squash has plentiful of natural poly-phenolic flavonoid compounds
    like A and ß-carotenes, cryptoxanthin-ß, and lutein. These compounds convert to vitamin A inside the body and deliver same protective functions of vitamin A on the body.
  • It is rich in B-complex group of vitamins like folates, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, and pantothenic acid.
  • Like in pumpkin, it also has adequate levels of minerals like iron, zinc, copper, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus.
  • Butternut squash seeds are good source of dietary fiber and mono-unsaturated fatty acids
    that are good for heart health. In addition, they are very good in protein, minerals, and numerous health benefiting vitamins. The seeds are excellent source of health promoting amino acid tryptophan. Tryptophan converts to health benefiting GABA neuro-chemical in the brain.


Ginger has been used as a natural remedy for many ailments for centuries. Now, science is
catching up and researchers around the world are finding that ginger works wonders in the treatment of everything from cancer to migraines. Here are the reported ten health benefits of this powerful herb.

According to a study at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center, ginger may be a powerful weapon in the treatment of ovarian cancer. Researchers found that ginger powder induces cell death in all ovarian cancer cells to which it was applied.

A study at the University of Minnesota found that ginger may slow the growth of colorectal
cancer cells.

Several studies concluded that ginger is just as effective as vitamin B6 in the treatment of morning sickness.

Ginger has been shown to be an effective remedy for the nausea associated with motion

  • Reduces Pain and Inflammation

Studies show that ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and is a powerful natural

Ginger has long been used as a natural heartburn remedy – most often taken in the form of
tea for this purpose.

Cold and Flu Prevention and Treatment

Ginger has long been used as a natural treatment for colds and the flu. Many people also find ginger to be helpful in the case of stomach flus or food poisoning, which is not surprising given the positive effects ginger has upon the digestive tract.

Migraine Relief

Research shows that ginger may provide migraine relief due to its ability to stop prostaglandins from causing pain and inflammation in blood vessels.

Menstrual Cramp Relief

In Chinese medicine, ginger tea with brown sugar is used in the treatment of menstrual cramps.

Prevention of Diabetic Nephropathy

A study done on diabetic rats found that those rats given ginger had a reduced incidence of
diabetic nephropathy (kidney damage).


25 Health Benefits of Lemon:

Lemon is one of those super foods with a myriad health and cosmetic benefits. There are a few persons for whom it is an allergen, so make sure you are not allergic to this natural product, before you start enjoying the many benefits.

1. Lemon being a citrus fruit fights against infection. It helps in production of WBCs and antibodies in blood, which attacks the invading microorganism and prevents infection.

2. Lemon is an antioxidant, which de-activates the free radicals preventing many dangerous diseases like stroke, cardiovascular diseases and cancers.

3.  Lemon lowers blood pressure and increases the levels of HDL (good cholesterol).

4.  Lemon is found to be anti-carcinogenic which lower the rates of colon, prostate, and breast cancer, thus able to prevent faulty metabolism in the cell, which can predispose a cell to becoming
carcinogenic.  It also blocks the formation of nitrosamines in the gut.

5. Lemon juice is said to give a glow to the skin.

6.  The juice of a ½ to 1 fresh lemon juice in hot water is believed to clear the digestive system and purify the liver.

7. The skin of lemon dried under the sun and then ground to make powder can be applied to the hair for a few minutes before bath, which relieves headache and cools the body.

8. Applying lemon juice to acne dries the existing ones and prevents from getting more.

9. Lemon juice acts as a natural hair lightener and skin bleach, which reduces the pigment melanin and prevents the risk of chemical allergic reactions, which is common with hair dyes and bleaches.

10. Lemon juice is given to relieve gingivitis, stomatitis, and inflammation of the tongue.

11. Lemon juice is given to prevent common cold.

12. Lemon juice is given to prevent or treat urinary tract infection and gonorrhea.

13. Lemon juice is applied to the sites of bites and stings of certain insects to relieve its poison and pain.

14. Lemon juice relieves colic pain and gastric problems.

15. Lemon juice soothes the dry skin when applied with little glycerin.

16. Lemon juice used for marinating seafood or meat kills bacteria and other organisms present in them – preventing many gastro-intestinal tract infections.

17. Lemon juice with a pinch of salt (warm) every morning lowers cholesterol levels and can help with weight reduction.

18. Lemon juice is the best drink to prevent dehydration and shock in case of diarrhea.

19. Lemon juice can also be used as a mouthwash. It removes plaque, whitens the teeth and strengthens the enamel.

20. A tablespoon of thick lemon syrup everyday relieves asthma.

21. Lemon juice relieves chilblains and itchy skin.

22. Gargling lemon juice relieves throat infection and also used as a treatment for diphtheria.

23. Lemon juice is an excellent treatment for dandruff and greasy hair.

24. Lemon applied over the face removes wrinkles and keeps you young.

25. Lemon juice helps to prevent and relieve osteoarthritis.

Coriander seed and cilantro leaves have many known health benefits and researchers are
finding more every day. Here are 13 known benefits:

1.  Protects against the Salmonella bacteria

2.  Reportedly works as a natural chelation treatment

3.  Aids in digestion and helps settle the stomach and prevent flatulence

4.  Is an anti-inflammatory that may alleviate symptoms of arthritis

5.  Protects against urinary tract infections

6.  Prevents nausea

7.  Relieves intestinal gas

8.  Lowers blood sugar

9.  Lowers bad cholesterol (LDL) and raises good cholesterol (HDL)

10. A good source of dietary fiber

11. A good source of iron

12. A good source of magnesium

13. Rich in phytonutrients and flavonoids

Sea Vegetables

For decades nutritionists have touted the health benefits of sea vegetables…for good reason. Low in calories and abundant in vitamins and minerals, NOT found in land-derived foods, sea vegetables stand in a class of their own. For centuries, sea vegetables have been part of the human diet, particularly for those living in coastal regions. Sea vegetables grow in remarkably similar constitution as human blood – their health benefits recognized without repudiation. 

In China, sea vegetables as a food and health-enhancing sources have been traced and recorded as far back as 800BC.

A study conducted by the University of California revealed that adding sea vegetables to the diet may significantly reduce the risk of breast cancers. Sea vegetables have the potential to boost immune system functions and have been proven to do so in laboratory studies across the globe.

Increase energy

Improve general well-being

Accelerate wound healing

Maximize the body’s metabolism

Are effective anti-aging defense

Are credited for their anti-inflammatory effects

Helpful in treatment of certain skin disorders

Rich in iron, iodine and trace elements

Contain an unusual amount of full-spectrum vitamins, including E, A, C, B12, enzymes and
almost the full complement of essential amino acids.

There are many species of astragalus but the one used for medical purposes is astragalus

Boosting the immune system and fighting viral infections are just some of the health benefits of astragalus root. Learn what else astragalus root can be used for.

For thousands of years, it has been used to treat viral infections in traditional Chinese medicine, including the common cold. It has been shown to increase white blood cells (WBCs) in individuals with leukopenia (a condition characterized by low WBCs) and, according to animal research, stimulate T-cell activity and other factors of the immune system. It appears especially useful in improving
immunity function in patients undergoing chemotherapy or radiation.

A recent study at the UCLA AIDS Institute says it is possible astragalus root may be a powerful weapon against the HIV virus (without the harmful side effects of prescription drugs).

Astragalus root is an adaptogen, meaning it increases the body’s resistance to fatigue, anxiety,
stress, and trauma. It is said to help treat gastrointestinal disorders, including stomach ulcers, gas, bloating, and diarrhea. Other possible benefits include treating heart disease, high blood pressure, kidney diseases, respiratory infections, and asthma.

Ready for the recipe? Yes, I know, I’m the Health Detective and take my obligation seriously to point
out the health-enhancing benefits, after all, Health thru Education© is my life’s work. Here’s how I make it.  Feel free to make it your own – that said, be careful since practically every ingredient plays an important cold-kicking role.

1 large yellow onion, chopped

6-8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

2-3 tb. coconut oil

1 tsp. ground turmeric

8-10 fresh shiitake, mushrooms, sliced

4 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)

Half a bunch each of kale and spinach, washed & julienned

1 cup butternut squash, diced

2 tbsp. fresh ginger, grated

Juice of 2-3 fresh lemons

¼ c chopped fresh cilantro

Approx. 2 tbsp. Braggs Amino Acids OR Coconut Aminos

1 tbsp. dried kelp, dulse, or other sea vegetable

1 oz. dried Astragalus root, chopped fine or added whole and removed before serving

1 tsp. fresh rosemary (finely chopped)

1 tsp. fresh thyme (finely chopped)

In a saucepot over medium heat, sauté the onion, diced squash and garlic in coconut oil, approx. 3 to 4 minutes. Add turmeric and mushrooms, and sauté for 2 more minutes.

Add your broth, kale, rosemary, thyme, dried sea vegetable and Astragalus root, squash,
Braggs Aminos and ginger. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Remove soup from heat. Add lemon juice and chopped cilantro. Cover, let sit for 5 minutes
before serving.

Serve soup over a scoop of gluten-free pasta, if you like your soup that way (I do!). I also usually cook some quinoa or brown rice and add to my soup if I’m not serving over pasta. Don’t let any of that powerful broth go to waste either…drink up!

This soup freezes well in glass jars. NOTE: Be careful to NOT fill to the top, allow for expansion to avoid breaking. Additionally, make sure it is cool at room temperature BEFORE freezing.  It is best to use canning jars as they are made of tempered glass. Keep tightly sealed for up to 3 months. Of course, fresh is best for immune-boosting, Naturally!

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