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Immunity congee

This naturally sweet rice porridge can strengthen the body's defensive Qi, making it an ideal food for preventing cold and flu.


1 to 2 strips of astragalus (Can be found from herbalists or some co-ops. Anyone with an autoimmune condition should also avoid astragalus.)
1/2 cup long-grain brown rice
8 cups water or stock (You can also use beef or vegetable stock.*)
15 small pitted dates, chopped
1 to 2 medium carrots, sliced
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cardamom


  1. Simmer all ingredients in a large pot for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  2. Remove the strip(s) of astragalus before eating.
  3. Serve warm.

Makes 8 servings.

Warning: Eating this after symptoms appear could result in prolonging the life of the symptoms. Anyone with an autoimmune condition should also avoid astragalus. Talk to your primary health care provider before taking any herb or supplement.

What is congee?

Congee is a rice porridge that is eaten in many Asian countries. In some countries, it is primarily a breakfast food, often mixed with egg. In others, it is eaten anytime.

Because congee is easy to digest, it is often used as the foundation for dietary therapy, with other ingredients added to boost the specific therapeutic results.


Source: Amy Nystrom, licensed acupuncturist.; Penny George Institute for Health and Healing - LiveWell blog

First published: 01/29/2013
Last updated: 02/26/2013

Reviewed by: Allina Health's Patient Education Department