Make your own mushroom immunity broth by blending nutrient-rich mushrooms with herbs that are well-known for their positive effect on the immune system. Winter is known as the cold and flu season, and supporting your immune system is a must for those wanting to stay productive and healthy during the colder months.
This mushroom-laden brew includes ginger (Zingiber officinale) rhizome, which is well known for its digestive qualities. Ginger also supports a healthy respiratory system and helps fight congestion (Gladstar, 2012).
Astragalus (Astragalus mongholicus) root is another star ingredient in this immunity broth. As an immunomodulator, astragalus balances the response of the immune system by either increasing or decreasing its activity as needed for a particular situation, thereby supporting the body’s natural capacity to maintain wellness (Winston, 2007).
This broth also contains the vibrant lymphatic herbs calendula (Calendula officinalis) flower and dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) root. Lymphatic herbs help the lymph system work efficiently to clear out toxins and waste products from the bloodstream. A variety of immune cells also live in your lymph system and benefit from healthy lymph movement (Groves, 2016).
As a final touch, we’ve added a generous heaping of nutritive nettle (Urtica dioica) leaf. Nettle packs an impressive punch of calcium, magnesium, potassium, and silica (Groves, 2016).
Mushroom Immunity Broth
Shiitake mushrooms are the ideal choice for this Mushroom Immunity Broth. Rich in vitamins and minerals, shiitake mushrooms are known to boost immunity through improved cell proliferation (Dia, X. et al., 2015).
4 ounces freshly sliced shiitake mushrooms
4 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 ounces ginger (Zingiber officinale) rhizome, grated
1 handful fresh parsley (Petroselinum crispum) leaves, chopped
4 tablespoons dried astragalus (Astragalus mongholicus) root
4 quarts water
6 tablespoons dried calendula (Calendula officinalis) flower
4 tablespoons dried nettle (Urtica dioica) leaf
2 tablespoons dried dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) root
- First, wash and chop all fresh ingredients.
- Tie dried astragalus root in a piece of unbleached cloth or a muslin bag.
- Place all ingredients into a saucepan along with water. Mix well.
- Cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
- Remove the astragalus bag, season with sea salt, and garnish with extra parsley. Enjoy!
Adding immune-boosting herbs to your daily culinary routine is a simple way to help your body fight the winter blues. For more ways to use mushrooms in your herbal recipes, be sure to check out:
Cooking with Edible Mushrooms: A Beginner’s Guide
5 Essential Mushrooms for Your Home Apothecary
10 Amazing Mushrooms for Wellness (+ Free Mushroom Chart Download!)
Lion’s Mane Mushroom: What You Should Know
The Mushroom Course
Gladstar, R. (2012). Rosemary Gladstar’s medicinal herbs: A beginner’s guide. North Adams, MA: Storey Publishing.
Groves, M. N. (2017). Body into balance: An herbal guide to holistic self-care. North Adams, MA: Storey Publishing.
Jennings, K. (2019). Why shiitake mushrooms are good for you [Blog article]. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/shiitake-mushrooms
Johnson, J. (2017). Tips for staying healthy this cold and flu season [Blog article]. Retrieved from https://theherbalacademy.com/staying-healthy-this-cold-and-flu-season/
Justis, A. (2016). A family herb: Helpful calendula blossoms [Blog article]. Retrieved from https://theherbalacademy.com/a-family-herb-helpful-calendula-blossoms/
Justis, A. (2016). A family herb: Stinging nettle leaf uses [Blog article]. Retrieved from
Saba, H. (2018). 6 ways to use ginger everyday [Blog article]. Retrieved from https://theherbalacademy.com/ginger-every-day/
Winston, D. (2007). Adaptogens: Herbs for strength, stamina, and stress relief. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press.
Dai, X., Stanilka, J., Rowe, C. Esteves, E., Nieves, C., Spaiser, S., … Percival, S. (2015) Consuming Lentinula edodes (shiitake) mushrooms daily improves human immunity: A randomized dietary intervention in healthy young adults. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 34(6), 478-487. https://doi.org/10.1080/07315724.2014.950391