You hear it every time you get a cold—eat some chicken soup! That’s great advice, but not all varieties are created equal. Here’s an easy chicken soup recipe that really heals.

Irwin Ziment, MD, professor emeritus of clinical medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles, is an authority on respiratory conditions. Here’s his healing chicken soup recipe for colds, coughs and chest congestion. It tastes great…but take care! This is strong stuff. Be sure to follow the dosage at the end of the recipe.

Dr. Ziment’s Chicken Soup

  • 1 quart homemade chicken broth, or 2 cans low-fat, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 garlic head—about 15 cloves, peeled
  • 5 parsley sprigs, minced
  • 6 cilantro sprigs, minced
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper
  • 1 tsp dried basil, crushed, or
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tsp curry powder

Optional: Hot red pepper flakes to taste, sliced carrots, a bay leaf or two

Place all ingredients in a pot without a lid. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 30 minutes. (If the soup is for your own personal use, carefully inhale the fumes during preparation as an additional decongesting treatment.) Remove the solid garlic cloves and herbs and, along with a little broth, purée them in a blender or food processor. Return the purée to the broth and stir. Serve hot.

Caution: Since this soup contains large amounts of garlic (which can irritate the digestive tract), you shouldn’t eat a substantial portion at one time. Please follow the dosage instructions.

Dose: Take two tablespoons of Dr. Ziment’s Chicken Soup at the beginning of a meal, one to three times a day. (If you feel you want a little more than two tablespoons, fine, but do not exceed more than one-half cup at a time.)

The respected Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, states, “Researchers say that chicken soup acts as an anti-inflammatory and temporarily speeds up the movement of mucus through the nose. This relieves congestion and limits the amount of time viruses are in contact with the lining of your nose. Plus, soup and other liquids help loosen congestion and prevent dehydration.”

We have both felt the assault of cold symptoms and have “taken” this soup in the evening (the one-half cup portion). The following day, we were symptom-free.

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