Immune and Gut Health

At Full Circle Natural Medicine, we are keenly aware that our body’s immune system works closely with our digestive system. With the rise in food allergies and troubling immune complexities, many of us are on gut reset protocols. Now we are moving into the season where immunity is the focal point.

Following are tips to transform some of the supplements you may already be taking into delicious treats. Even if you are not on a protocol these recipes will surely bring herbal medicine to life in your kitchen.

What is miel?
A miel is a medicinal honey where you gather powdered herbs to mix into the honey. It is helpful for those who cannot take pills, children, or anyone looking for another way to get the healing properties of honey and herbs.

High Vitamin C- Citrus Miel:

  • 1 t Blueberry powder
  • 1 t Rose hip powder
  • 1 t Lemonbalm powder*
  • 1 T Local raw honey

Measure out ingredients and mix into honey with a spoon. That’s it! Enjoy a tablespoon or two a day. Can be spread on toast, licked off a spoon, or added to hot water for a tea.

*You may have to powder this herb yourself. Just grind in a coffee grinder (a blender will also work) and sift through a mesh sieve.

With blueberries and rosehips rich in vitamin C and antioxidants they are a wonderful pair for the potent antiviral and antibacterial properties of lemonbalm.

Gut Soothing and Rebuilding Miel:

  • 1 t L-Glutamine (Ask your doctor about this incredible amino acid supplement to heal your gut if you are not already working with it)
  • 1 t Marshmallow root powder
  • 1 t Calendula*
  • 1 heaping T Honey

Mix ingredients into the honey and enjoy one tablespoon twice a day unless otherwise directed by your doctor.

*You may have to powder this herb yourself. Just grind in a coffee grinder (a blender will also work) and sift through a mesh sieve.

For those already taking L-Glutamine, you may choose to use this recipe in conjunction with your plan. Simply adjust recipe according to the dosage prescribed, allowing 1 T powdered mixture per 1 T honey. If you wish to opt out of the L-Glutamine, simply add in another digestive soothing herb such as fennel, licorice, ginger, or others that you prefer to make an enjoyable flavor such as powdered berries.

Marshmallow root is a demulcent meaning it will coat, soothe, and protect the lining of the entire digestive tract. When excessive inflammation is decreased, healing will begin. As a prebiotic it will also provide food to beneficial gut flora.

Calendula is a superb inflammation modulator with abilities to repair cellular damage and speed healing of any tissue. It is antimicrobial and gently supportive to our lymphatic system.

If you cannot have any added sugar in your diet, including honey, opt for stevia powder or licorice root powder. Both are sweet and do not spike blood sugar. Licorice has the additional benefit of being antiviral. A little goes a long way, so reduce the measurement to ¼-1/2 teaspoon rather than a full teaspoon. This will not make a miel, but will make an herbal powder that can be added to smoothies, sprinkled into oatmeal, applesauce, etc.

Chocolate Spread:

  • ¼ t Burdock powder
  • ¼ t Milk thistle seed powder
  • ½ t Reishi mushroom powder
  • ½-1 t Cocoa
  • 1 heaping T Nut or seed butter (optional)

Mix ingredients together with your choice of nut or seed butter for an immune and gut supportive, protein-packed spread. If you are unable to consume nut or seed products, simply add to honey as mentioned before. If this is also not an option for you, add stevia or licorice powder and then slowly pour a small amount of water until a thick paste forms.

To make a cup of this spread increase ¼ teaspoon to 1 tablespoon, ½ teaspoon to 2 tablespoons, 1 teaspoon to 4 tablespoons, and 1 heaping tablespoon to 1 cup.

Burdock and milk thistle are both supportive of detox pathways and primarily affect the liver. Burdock is helpful for digestion of fats, soothing the GI tract, and stimulating the immune system. Milk thistle is a liver restorative herb helpful for protecting liver cells, stimulating gastric secretions, and supporting bowel movements. Reishi mushroom contains polysaccharides called beta D-glucans, which are profoundly immuno-stimulant, anti-tumor, and cardiotonic amongst many other benefits.

 Immune Super-Packed Broth:

The following are potent immune strengthening or antimicrobial herbs and spices. Add generously to a simmering broth or soup to ward off flu season. Allow herbs to simmer for at least 30 minutes, keeping the lid on while cooking. Strain when done cooking and store in jars to be added to your favorite soups or enjoyed alone.

Astragalus

  • Strengthens our body’s immune system to better handle any invading pathogens.
  • Best if placed in a muslin cloth or tea strainer while simmering, then removed when finished

Mushrooms

  • Powerhouses of immune strengthening qualities.
  • To unlock the potent medicine of mushrooms you must simmer in the broth for at least 30 minutes. They may be removed at this point or left in the soup.

Other herbs

  • Parsley
  • Thyme
  • Oregano
  • Ginger
  • Sage
  • Garlic
  • Onions

Always talk with your doctor before altering your treatment plans. These recipes are not substitutes for a doctor’s advice — they are only intended to support well-being in healthy, creative ways.

— Taylor Jeffers, Herbalist