I heard they are giving free flu shots in my town this week. I have never had a flu shot and I don’t remember the last time I had a flu, or come to think of it; I don’t know if I’ve ever even had the flu.
A few years ago when SARS (bird flu), a highly contagious disease was sweeping Asia, Korea was relatively free of the deadly virus. The theory was that kimchee was the answer. Though not proven it was based on kimchee’s anti-bacterial effects. You can see the results of a study from scientists at Seoul National University (here).
My sister-in-law is Korean, so I have had the opportunity to enjoy this spicy and delicious dish, in all of it’s forms, for many years. And, I’ve learned a lot about kimchee from her, as well.
Kimchee is a daily staple food in the Korean diet. It is the Korean national dish and has long enjoyed the reputation of having wondrous curative powers.
Kimchee is made from chinese cabbage, which is brined in salt, other ingredients may or may not be added, such as garlic, ginger, spring onion and liberal amounts of hot chili pepper. It is then put in crocks and allowed to naturally ferment. It is this natural lactic-acid fermentation that creates the lactobacillus bacteria that is so beneficial to the immune system. And a strong immune system helps ward off viral infections.
So, to answer the question I asked “Can Kimchee help fight the flu?” I don’t know, but I am a big fan of staying away from Doctors, a big fan of using natural cures, a big fan of eating healthy, nutritious food AND, thanks to my sister-in-law, I am a big fan of kimchee. So, when I heard they were giving free flu shots, I declined….., I opted to make a batch of kimchee. I’d much rather eat kimchee than get a flu shot!