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March 25, 2015

– by Kirsten Hartvig

The ear, nose and throat are closely linked by a labyrinth of tubes and passages. This allows infection to spread quickly from one to another. Common ear, nose and throat disorders include middle ear and throat infections (including tonsillitis) and sinusitis.

The best way to prevent ear, nose and throat infections is to strengthen the immune system by eating lots of vegetables and fruit – particularly those high in vitamins A and C, bioflavonoids and zinc. Avoid common allergens, such as dairy foods (including cow’s milk in baby formulas), eggs, shellfish, wheat and peanut butter. If you do catch a cold or suffer a bout of flu, take plenty of time to convalesce after the symptoms subside and do not go out and about too early.

Shiitake mushroom soup
For ear infections

100g dried shiitake mushrooms (or 300g fresh/bottled); 2 tbsp olive oil
2 spring onions, finely chopped
; 1 garlic clove, finely chopped; 1 carrot, finely chopped
; 2.5-cm cube of fresh ginger root, finely chopped; 1 tbsp soya sauce; 
1 tsp maple syrup
; 11⁄2 litres water with 1 tsp miso
; sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

If using dried mushrooms, soak them in plenty of water for 20 minutes, then discard the stems. Heat the oil gently in a big saucepan and stir-fry the spring onions, garlic, carrot and ginger root for 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms and sauté for another 5 minutes. Add the soy sauce, maple syrup and stock one after the other. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Add the salt and pepper and serve.

Elderflower spritzer
For sinusitis

1 head of fresh elderflowers; 1 slice of lemon
100ml boiling water; 
1 tsp honey; 100ml fizzy water

Place the elderflowers and the lemon slice in a small bowl. Add the boiling water and the honey. Cover and leave to cool. Strain and pour into a tall glass filled with ice, add the fizzy water, and serve immediately.

Sage mix for sore throats
For throat infection

1 tsp sage; 
1⁄2 tsp cleavers; 
1⁄2 tsp fresh ginger root, finely chopped;  300ml boiling water

Place the sage, cleavers and ginger in a warmed teapot, add the water, and leave to infuse for 5 minutes.


Kirsten Hartvig
Eat to Boost Your Immunity
ISBN: 9781848990029