Journal / Recipes

Natural immune boosting recipes.

28 Jan, 2024

A whole food approach to health this winter.

Have you succumbed to the germs circulating this January? Are you staggering to the end of the month feeling sapped of energy?

28 Jan, 2024

With all the pressure that a new year can bring, the final few days of January often leave us on our knees. 

In midlife, the external stressors that we used to push through often become harder to shake off. And we know, biochemically, that they will be having an impact on our hormone balance too. This is the time to turn up the focus on nourishment. To take stock. To let nature do the heavy lifting. And take care of yourself with immune boosting recipes that are also good for the soul.

Shiitake and Chicken Immune boosting soup.

Ingredients ( Serves 4)

  • ½ cup of pearl barley (can be replaced with brown rice if preferred)
  • ½ a medium organic free-range chicken (can be substituted for an equivalent portion of chicken thighs or legs)
  • 10-15 fresh medium shiitake mushrooms halved
  • 4 spring onions finely chopped
  • 2 medium to large carrots finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger grated
  • ½ fresh red chilli finely chopped
  • 2-3 sprigs of thyme
  • Sea salt to taste
  • A squeeze of fresh lemon
  • Extra virgin olive oil


  1. Prepare a chicken stock by cooking the chicken in approximately 2 L of water until it’s soft, usually 1-2 hours (you can always add more or less water depending on how liquid you like your soup, and it can also be corrected at the end). Add sea salt to taste.
  2. Once the chicken is cooked, shred into smaller pieces, and return to the pot. Add the pearl barley (or brown rice), fresh shiitake mushrooms, spring onion, ginger, red chilli, thyme, and carrot to the pan and simmer for further 35-40 minutes.
  3. Season the plate with freshly squeezed lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil to taste, and eat warm.

Note:this dish can be made into a vegan recipe by excluding the chicken.

Dr Martin’s immune boosting brew.

If you’re struggling with a cold or looking to ward off illness if the rest of your household is sick, this powerhouse of a blend will feed your gut, soothe your throat and calm your mind. 

Ingredients ( Serves 1)

  • 1 piece of fresh ginger root (approx. the size of half thumb), roughly chopped
  • The peel of half a lemon (including the white part)
  • Juice of 1⁄2 lemon, freshly squeezed
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • Approx. 200-300 ml of water
  • 1 teaspoon of raw honey or Manuka honey (optional)


  1. In a small saucepan, add the fresh ginger, lemon peel, thyme, and finely chopped garlic to approx. 150-200 ml of water.
  2. Bring it to a boil, stop the heat, cover, and let it stand for 10 minutes.
  3. Strain, add the lemon juice (and honey, if used) and drink warm.

If you can tolerate garlic and do not mind the taste, Dr Martins recommends drinking the infusion with the garlic bits in for a more powerful antibiotic effect.
Drink 1-2 times daily at the onset of an infection, or once daily for prevention.

Safety note: Nature packs a powerful punch. If you have a gastric disorder (such as nausea, heartburn or bloating) you may be sensitive to garlic. And, remember, if you have a bleeding disorder or take blood-thinning medications, you should always take garlic with caution.

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