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Recipes and more
This soup was made by Dr. Duke for Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage team during their visit to the garden.
This soup was made by Dr. Duke for Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage team during their visit to the garden.
Photo by Betty Belanus

Throughout years of research and incorporating herbs into his own diet, Dr. Duke has developed a number of recipes. Some recipes target certain ailments or help prevent certain diseases. Featured below are three recipes from The Green Pharmacy: The Ultimate Compendium of Natural Remedies from the World's Foremost Authority on Healing Herbs that can make up a meal.

Liver-Protecting Salad

Salads are a great place to incorporate liver-protective ingredients. When you make a salad, try adding:

  • Young milk thistle leaves
  • Carrots
  • Dandelion flowers
  • Ginger and turmeric (in the dressing)

Gobo Gumbo

According to Dr. Duke’s research, all of the ingredients in this gumbo help the immune system fight viruses. Gobo is Japanese for “burdock.”

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup fresh burdock stems, chopped (most easily found as a weed in your garden!)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup fresh okra, diced
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Turmeric

In a large saucepan over high heat, bring the water, burdock, onions, garlic, and okra to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the vegetables are soft. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and turmeric.


Here’s a pain-relieving herbal blend to keep on hand:

  • Willow bark
  • Red pepper
  • Cloves
  • Ginger
  • Peppermint
  • Mountain mint

Just mix whichever of these herbs are available in proportions that appeal to your taste. You can use this mixture to make a tea or a poultice to apply directly to painful areas.

Following a garden tour, Dr. Duke serves soup prepared using a number of herbs from the garden. He uses whatever herbs are in season for harvesting, sometimes combined with some store-bought ingredients. On one winter day he shared with us what he was planning to put in the soup:

“It is different every day. Today it is lima beans stewed in whole milk with a little cream, butter, salt pepper, Old Bay, hot sweet mustard, diced raw onion, with crumbled up cornbread. But in summer it’s more like two dozen or so species, vegetables, weeds, culinary herbs, spices like garlic, onion, turmeric, etc. Never the same, never by recipe.”

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