When Jim and I came down with that one virus in a hundred that was able to establish a fairly permanent base in our respiratory systems, we could have been facing weeks of terrible "hack-hacking" if we didn't find something to chase away the pestilence lickety-split. This vegetable broth did the trick. When we first tried it, Jim and I both felt much better in less than 24 hours, and everything was completely gone within a few days, which was remarkable considering the strength of the little bug that had us in its grip, and the way it was keeping everybody else in town out of commission for days and weeks.
According to one source, cooking the vegetables pretty much kills the vitamin C, but it's the surviving B vitamins and other nutrients that give this broth its germ-fighting power. So if you're facing serious bed time from any sort of flu virus, I strongly suggest you whip up a pot of this brew and guzzle a hot cup of it every few hours till you're back in shape.
Here is the recipe for:
SPECIAL VEGETABLE BROTH
Cut up (all root vegetables):
1 large or 2 small potatoes
2 or 3 large onions
about 5 cloves garlic
3 to 5 coarsely chopped carrots
3 stalks celery
Put everything in a large pot and add:
2 quarts water
1 tbsp sea salt
1 rounded tsp Vegemite or Marmite (for the yeast extract that provides B vitamins--if you can't find these foreign brands, a vegetable-broth cube, such as Knorr Vegetarian Vegetable Bouillon, contains yeast extract and works just fine in this recipe.)
Bring the water to a boil and boil on high for 5 to 10 minutes, until the liquid has a dark amber color. Cool for about 30 minutes, pour off and refrigerate the broth, and dispose of the vegetable carcasses any way you please. (We like to put them on our compost pile!) Serve the broth hot like a tea.
Now, here's a little tip, since I've made this recipe quite a few time for a few years and am more comfortable with the concoction: Go ahead and add more of any of these veggies, such as the rest of the celery in the stalk, a few more carrots, or whatever extra you have on hand that will fit into your pot. If you do that, it's a good idea to add more water, maybe a quart or so, depending on how much more veggies you throw in and, again, how big your pot is. It'll still work just fine and taste delicious. You might also add a bit more of the vegemite or another vegetarian bouillon cube, whichever you're using. This mixture is really beneficial for the congestion and sore throat that come with colds and flu, and it's an especially delicious and nutritious cold-weather tonic.