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Change of Seasons: with Traditional Chinese Medicine

Updated: Oct 25, 2021

Be ready for fall and winter: it takes time for your body to adapt to cooler temperatures. Why not give your body all the support it can get?

Read on to learn about Change of Season Soup, how to purchase it and other seasonal tips to support your health as the weather cools.

Change of Season Soup!

SUPPORT YOUR BODY with this adaptive elixir - it's like a warm sweater on a chilly day: Change of season soup is a slow-cooked broth made using a Traditional Chinese Medicine recipe designed to:

  • support immune function: nourish the digestive system, strengthen lung health and fortify other detoxification organs like the blood, liver and kidney to help the body be ready to defend against any invading pathogens

  • help the body adapt and improve stress-resilience

  • provide nutrients, anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory support

Recipe and ingredients are listed below!

Each 85g bag of herbs makes 4 litres and will last 2-4 weeks for one person. Dosing is 0.5-1 cup of "soup" daily.

Pick up yours today! On sale now for $12 + tax.

For orders, email

Blends can be purchased from Northstar Naturopathic Clinic at 804 Bloor St. West.

If you would like more individualized support or you have pre-existing conditions and wish to discuss if this product is right for you, please book an appointment.

More tips for supporting yourself as weather fluctuates and cools:

Are you: stressed? fatigued (burnt out, even)? a workaholic? prone to getting sick in winter? living with digestive issues? a teacher or parent of young children?

You're looking for a way to help your body adapt to the changing weather. You may have already noticed a runny nose, sore/scratchy throat, earache or sneeze come and go. It takes your body at least a few weeks to adapt to new weather patterns - and this is made harder by fluctuating temperatures (thanks to climate change, this is sadly another new normal!). During this time, your body is more prone to those mild cold symptoms. How can you support your body through this season? Start with the basics!


1) Sleep - prioritize getting 6-8 hours per night of quality sleep if possible

2) Dress warmly - especially cover your lower back and back of neck (tuck in your shirt and wear a scarf) when you go outside

3) Drink Change of Season Soup - a warm elixir and a perfect drink to start your day, support your energy and immune function (see below for ingredients & recipe)

4) Consume more "warm" foods - either in temperature or in properties - by adding some of the following to tea, soups, stews and stir-fys - get creative!

  • garlic (*actually makes a great tea with honey if a little under the weather!)

  • onion (*can steam a half onion, face down in pot with a little water - then eat it all)

  • ginger

  • root veggies & squashes - try beets, sweet potato, potato, parsnip, rutabaga

  • oatmeal (steel cut oats)

  • cinnamon

5) Add more of any nutrients that may be depleted - in food or supplement source:

  • Vitamin D: have you checked your levels? At this time of year your stores should be maximum, to prepare you for a winter of less sunlight (sigh) - healthy immune function is directly connected to vitamin D status. Some people have trouble absorbing fats, and this fat-soluble vitamin is likely also affected. If you notice your stools tend to float or you don't feel well after a fatty meal, or if your mood is quite affected by less sunlight or you have a thyroid disorder, chronic fatigue, rheumatoid arthritis, or other digestive health issues, I'd recommend testing your vitamin D levels (not covered by OHIP). It's a cheap test and worthwhile investment in your health. Food sources of vitamin D2 (your body must be able to convert to active D3 form) include: fish, mushrooms (exposed to sunlight for 20 min), egg yolk, liver/cod liver oil, sprouted seeds, and fortified foods like milk (dairy and non-dairy). More about vitamin D.

  • Vitamin A: while the active forms (retinoids) should be avoided in higher doses during pregnancy, these forms are actually much better absorbed than the carotenoids (ie. beta-carotene) found in colourful veggies. I still advocate for maximizing your colourful veggie intake first, but I also recommend animal sources of the retinoids - egg yolk, cod liver oil, and liver. Liver is such a rich source, that eating a couple meals per month should suffice! If you don't consume animal sources, consider a clean supplement with 5000 IU vitamin A palmitate or retinol/retinal/retinoic acid.

  • Zinc: is important for so many body functions - especially growth and development (pregnancy to adolescence), immune function, taste and smell - it also impacts appetite! We do not store zinc, so we need to consume it daily. Highest amounts are required in pregnancy and breastfeeding, while adults over 60 tend to not consume enough. Foods high in zinc include poultry, red meat (but for other health reasons, keep to to a max of 1 serving weekly), hemp seeds and pumpkin seeds. If you consume unleavened grains with zinc foods, you may absorb less. If you take supplemental iron, this can deplete your zinc levels. Zinc supplementation may be helpful taken as a lozenge at the onset of cold and flu symptoms (24 h). Adults shouldn't consume supplemental zinc over 40mg daily or they may risk depleting copper.

Change of Season Soup: Recipe & Ingredients

Herbal ingredients:

  • Astragalus membranaceous / Huang Qi

  • Codonopsis pilosula / Dang Shen

  • Chinese wild yam / Shan yao (premium quality - from Hunan)

  • Goji berries / Gou Qi Zi

  • Ginger root / Zingiber officinalis

Basic recipe:

  • Fill a pot with 4 L of filtered water (option to cook this in an InstantPot)

  • Add herb blend

  • Bring to a boil, then simmer on low for 1 hour - add water if levels boil down

  • Strain out herbs & transfer to glass jars with sealing lids while still hot (this will preserve the broth for at least 1 week, or more if a good seal).

  • Store in fridge when cool.

  • Option: decant into daily portions and freeze broth once cooled to room temperature

  • TO USE: warm up broth on the stove - drink warm! Can add raw honey, garlic, or ginger if desired.

Recipe variations:

  • Add 2 Tbsp each of fresh chopped ginger and garlic, plus a bit of salt and pepper, and (if you'd like)...

  • Add bone-in chicken pieces (organic) ~400g/1 lb: adjust cooking time to be at least 1.5hours, or until chicken is cooked through

  • Or add chicken bones (organic) + 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar: to make this like a bone broth with added benefits!

  • For a more veggie-rich broth, add in the last 20 minutes: 1/2 cup each of chopped carrot, celery and onion

  • For a more aromatic flavour, include: 1 cinnamon stick, 5 whole cloves

To your health!

Dr. Natalie Senst, ND

Please note: this post is simply to provide information and is not intended as medical advice. If you are wondering if any of these tips are safe for you, please see a naturopathic doctor.

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