It’s been almost 3 years since the start of the COVID pandemic, and the previously lethal presentation of symptoms have now evolved to something more akin to the common cold. This featured recipe is a very simple soup that can help nourish your lungs as well as relieve some of the symptoms like the common cold. The main ingredients of this soup are white pear and ginger.
Ginger tastes very warm and soothing. It is used both as a flavoring and a medicinal herb locally. Its flavor is enmeshed in many Filipino dishes including tinola and arroz caldo. It gives warmth whether it is taken in a soup, as a tea (salabat), or even in its raw form.
As a medicinal herb, Ginger is known most for its use for flu, fever, chills, pain, nausea and vomiting. In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), it is used as a digestive aid and to treat ailments triggered by cold and damp weather. In TCM, when you feel cold and shivery, it is a sign of “wind cold invasion”. This usually precedes a cold or flu. Fresh ginger is a warming herb that helps drive out the “cold” to the exterior and prevent it from invading your body. It also helps that ginger is known to have antimicrobial properties.
The health benefits of ginger are mainly attributed to its phenolic compounds, such as gingerols and shogaols. Dried ginger exhibits the strongest antioxidant activity. It contains a higher number of phenolic compounds. On the other hand, fresh ginger has more gingerols as the major antioxidant compound. Gingerols and shogaols have different bio activities and molecular targets. Different ginger composition works for different diseases depending on the target.
This is also reflected in the practice of TCM wherein different forms of ginger have varied indications. Dried ginger is hot and is used to warm the coldness and pain in the epigastric and abdominal areas. It is more suitable for symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Fresh ginger is warm, enters the lungs, and is used to release cold pathogens to the exterior. It is good for people with cough and colds or the flu. Make sure to use fresh ginger in this recipe.
Oftentimes, people with COVID infection also experience a dry or tickling sensation in the throat, or an irritating unproductive or dry cough. The Yin properties of foods are those that are cooling and moistening. Yin-strengthening fruits such as white pears help lubricate the airways, and relieve both sore throat and dry cough.
Optional ingredients that you may add to this lung nourishing soup are goji berries and red dates. These help moisten the lungs and also tonify the spleen and blood, which would help in faster recovery.
1 regular sized white pear
1 thumb-sized ginger
2 cups of water
Optional: goji berries, red dates, rock sugar
HOW TO MAKE:
- Wash white pear and ginger.
- Chop white pear into cubes and ginger into thin strips.
- Add white pear, ginger, and water into a pan and bring to a boil. You may add goji berries, red dates or rock sugar.
- Simmer for 10 minutes or until the water has been reduced to about half.
- Serve warm.