• 5 November 2018

  • Tips from the herbalist

Tips from The Exmoor Herbalist: November

Here is an immune boosting stock recipe from The Exmoor Herbalist, Jane Wallwork, made from medicinal roots and mushrooms to add to soups, stews, gravy and sauces this winter.

"I am writing this on a cold, wet and wind swept day on the edge of Exmoor thinking about Galen's four humours and their relationship to the seasons of nature. Autumn is related to the element earth and is a time of cold, dry constitutions and reflection. As we move into the winter months, the relationship changes to the element of water and is a time of cold, wet constitutions and stoicism. In autumn we reflect on the harvest of previous months and in winter we placidly await the coming spring.

As the seasons change and the nights are drawing in we begin to crave nourishing soups and casseroles and cosy times by the fireside. We now look to the sweeter tastes of root vegetables for nourishment rather than the cooling flavours of wild salad greens and those fresh salads so delicious and nutritious in the summer time. It is now time to support our immune systems, keep ourselves warm and protected for the elements.

One of the very best ways to boost our immune system is with our food and herbs and once again the roots take centre stage as our seasonal plant allies. A simple way to do this is to make a stock from medicinal roots and mushrooms to add to soups, stews, gravy and sauces. The smart bit is to make plenty and to freeze it down in ice cube trays for use throughout the wet and frosty days to come.

Winter immune-boosting stock recipe

Burdock Root – 2 tsp

Astragalus Root – 2 tsp

Dandelion Root 1 tsp

Eleutherococcus Root – 1 tsp

Echinacea Angustifolia Root – 1 tsp

Reishi Mushrooms x 3

Shitake Mushrooms x 3

Add the ingredients to 750ml of water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 30 minutes and leave to cool. Strain through a filter or muslin bag and decant into ice cube trays or bags ready for freezing.


A particularly delicious soup can be made with 2 x immune boost stock cubes, a selection of seasonal root vegetables and squash, vegetable stock, sage, black pepper, thyme and parsley and once blended smooth, the addition of a little cream and a chunk of sour dough bread.

Snuggle, get cosy and enjoy!"