Holistic Primary Care: Why does Chicken Soup heal Us? by Malia Susee, Acupuncturist in Portland, Oregon

Have you ever thought why Chicken Soup is helpful during a cold or flu? It is more than an old wives tale.

You’ve already fought the cold…and lost. Why would chicken soup help now?

Traditional Chinese Medicine concepts and Cold/Flus:

Traditional Chinese Medicine sees cold and flu viruses as externally contracted “wind invasions,” fought by our Wei, Qi (our body’s protection and defense). Our immune system often elevates our temperature and create mucous to fight viral infection. Fighting makes us tired. We know rest and sleep help us heal. Chicken soup’s ingredients actually speed the healing process.

Healing Properties of Chicken Soup:

You may ask ‘So, what’s in the pot?’

  1. Chicken: In Traditional Chinese Medicine, chicken tonifies, or strengthens, chi (a.k.a. Qi, our vital energy). We lose Qi while fighting viruses. Chicken builds it back!

2.  Water: We also get dehydrated by fever; soup contains the clear fluids we need to replenish our stores and help our bodies flush out metabolic waste.

3.  Salt: In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) theory, salt “softens masses” and therefore, helps thin phlegm. Salt also helps replenish any electrolytes lost while fighting the initial stages of viral infections. Salt also encourages us to drink more water.

4.  Vegetables: Vegetables such as carrots, celery, and onions, provide nutrients our bodies need in an easy-to-digest manner, as they’re fully cooked in the soup! Vegetable fiber, along with salt, and plenty of water, help our bowels efficiently remove waste. In TCM theory, a well-functioning gut makes the body less hospitable to viral and bacterial infections.

Here are some Super-powered soup additions to tailor your healing process:

 5. Fresh Ginger: Fresh ginger releases the exterior (helps fight in early stages) and: disperses cold, strengthens defensive Qi, alleviates vomiting, stops coughing, and transforms phlegm.

6. Citrus peel: Moves Qi in the digestive tract (helping alleviate gas, bloating, and belching) and transforms phlegm.

7. Cinnamon: Releases the exterior and fights chest congestion and cough.

8. Fresh Scallion: Fights early-stage viruses by inducing sweating. Opens nasal passages blocked by cold.

Knowledge is power. This is primary care. So now that you know this, you and your family can better understand why healing through integrative family medicine, naturopathy, are chinese medicine /acupuncture are just basic common sense.

For more help in kicking the cold and flu, schedule an appointment with Malia Susee, L.Ac.. Call (503) 572-4196 today!