ImageOkay, I am an Elvis Costello fan and I couldn’t help myself. But, Allicin is the compound in garlic that is thought to offer several health benefits.

Anyway, I thought I was avoiding all of this flu mishegoss by taking a daily multivitamin, being stringent with my purell and alcohol swabbing of public surfaces. But, alas, I came down with a…

…stuffy nose.

When you aren’t used to having a stuffy nose, it really blows. (pun intended) No amount of saline spray or Sudafed was reducing the inflammation that was taking over my sinuses. I then remembered a cure I used back in my younger days, culled from the (sometimes) great Andrew Weill.

I can’t remember which book, I think it was Spontaneous Healing, that really pushed the garlic/ginger agenda as natural cures for inflammation even upper respiratory illnesses. I used to brew teas from fresh ginger root and eat cloves of fresh garlic to get rid of colds, etc.

These days I am hesitant to eat full cloves or garlic or raw ginger, heartburn and bad breath are a scourge of the middle aged! I have no problem adding them in generous amounts to soups and other foods though.

I came up with the following concoction which has the following ingredients:

Swiss Chard, ginger and tomato soup

Red Swiss Chard

Garlic (at least 2 cloves)

Fresh Ginger (at least a half domino size) chopped very finely

Onion (half of any onion should work)

Parsnip – 1 diced

Low Sodium vegetable broth  – 1 box

1 can crushed tomatoes

Canola Oil


Salt and pepper to taste


Tear off all of the leaves from the stems of the swiss chard. Wash well. Make use of the stems. Roughly dice them so they are no bigger than a fork size. Heat up a stock pot, once it is heated add a turn of canola oil.

Add all of the chopped garlic, ginger and onion. Saute for a few minutes. Then add the chard stems. Allow these to soften for a minute or two. Now add in the swiss chard leaves, allowing them to reduce for a a couple of minutes as well. Throw a pinch of salt in now because it helps the leaves soften quickly.

Pour in the broth and mix everything together. Allow it to come up to a simmer and then add in the can of tomatoes. At this point, throw in the parnsips because they will easily soften. Toss in some cumin or your favorite savory spice. Allow the soup to come to a boil and then lower to very low heat.

I added sriracha to this for added sinus clearing power, but, a little red wine vinegar or squeeze of lemon juice would make a great finish as well.

Results? Drastically reduced sinus pressure, less congestion and satisfying, low calorie meal!