Herb Basics

A Place to Start

| September/October 2004


This recipe makes a hearty, healing soup that is chock-full of medicinal mushrooms, herbs, grains and vegetables that boost the immune system. Enjoy a cup once or twice a week as a tonic and to prevent colds.

Makes about 7 cups

2 quarts water
5 astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus) sticks
1 medium reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) mushroom
2 small shiitake (Lentinula edodes) mushrooms
1/2 cup soaked adzuki beans
1/2 cup barley
Vegetables of your choice, such as carrots, celery, garlic and onions
Miso, spices and soy sauce, to taste Diced tofu, if desired

Place water, astragalus, reishi, shiitakes, adzuki beans and barley in a large pot. Bring water to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add whatever vegetables you like. Simmer until vegetables are tender, then add flavorings, such as miso, spices or soy sauce. If desired, add diced tofu toward the end of the cooking time.

Source: Hobbs, Christopher. Medicinal Mushrooms. Loveland, Colorado: Interweave Press, 1996.


You know herbs help you from the inside out. But you may be surprised at the array of activities they carry out in your digestive system. Here are just a few.

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