Dr. ziment's cold cure garlic chicken soup

Yield: 3 servings

Measure Ingredient
2 cans Low-sodium chicken broth
\N \N (3 1/2 cups homemade broth)
1 \N Garlic head (abt 15 cloves), peeled
1 medium Onion, quartered
½ teaspoon Parsley, minced
½ teaspoon Cilantro
1 teaspoon Mint, minced
1 teaspoon Basil leaves
1 teaspoon Curry powder
¼ teaspoon Red pepper flakes
\N \N Salt to taste
1 tablespoon Fresh lemon juice

Put all ingredients except the lemon juice in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered or uncovered (*), for 30 minutes. In a blender or food processor, puree the cooked garlic, onions and herbs with a little liquid and stir back into the soup.

Add lemon juice. If you want a clear broth, filter out the solid constituents. Makes about 3½ cups.

(*) Omit the cover if you with to inhale therapeutic cooking fumes.

NOTE: An effective dose: As little as ½ cup, but for a better response, take 1-2 cups, Zimert says. He advises sipping slowly to get the most benefits.

THE UCLA EVIDENCE: No wonder chicken soup is a fabled remedy for colds: It contains druglike agents, similar to those in modern cold remedies, says Irwin Ziment, M.D., pulmonary specialist and professor at the UCLA School of Medicine. For example, cysteine, an amino acid released from chicken when cooking, chemically resembles the drug acetylcysteine, prescribed for bronchitis and other respiratory problems. Pungent ingredients often added to chicken soup, such as garlic, cayenne pepper and curry spices, all are ancient treatments for respiratory diseases. They work the same way as expectorant drugs and cough medicines, thinning mucus and making breathing easier. The more garlic and hot spices added to chicken soup, Zimert says, the better the soup will be at clearing your lungs. His bottom line: "Chicken soup is probably the best therapy there is for a cold."

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