Virtual Wellness Session: Dr. Katherine Birchenough

by Elysian Magazine


Katherine Birchenough is a board-certified emergency medical doctor and was only the fourth MD in South Carolina to be certified through the Institute for Functional Medicine. For 12 years, she watched as unhealthy environments and poor lifestyle choices affected the health of her patients. She realized the pursuit of health, beyond just the absence of disease, is a specialty in and of itself but wasn’t available to traditional medical students. This realization brought her to a new career path in functional medicine and has fueled her passion to treat the patient, not just the symptoms.

With regular routines thrown out of whack by Covid-19, Dr. Birchenough recommends that we maintain physical wellbeing by actively creating resilience. What does this mean? This means that now more than ever, we must proactively build our bodies’ natural defenses. This mean paying attention to our environmental inputs and how they influence our health, and it also means eating for optimal functioning and in order support a healthy gut microbiome.

Below, Dr. Birchenough has shared her recipe for a green soup jam-packed with phytonutrients providing a strong shield of immune defense, as well as her top recommended supplements and her immune defense supplement regime for targeted support.

Alkalinizing Green Soup Recipe

I have a Vitamix blender that I use for this, but any high-powered blender or even an immersion blender will work. This recipe is not written in stone – feel free to substitute what’s available or what appeals to you. You’re getting an abundance of phytonutrients and alkalinizing your system which promotes a healthy immune system and a robust micro-biome.


  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 3 large chard leaves or other greens like kale
  • 1 – 3c bone broth, vegetable broth, or water (depending on how thick you like your soup)
  • 1/4c chopped parsley and/or other fresh herbs like cilantro or dill
  • sliver or 2 of red onion
  • clove or 2 of fresh garlic
  • fresh hot pepper like jalapeño for those that like it spicy
  • salt and pepper to taste, cayenne pepper for the adventurous
  • turmeric
  • apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • best quality olive oil


  • chop up zucchini, broccoli, asparagus, and other vegetables you are using
  • throw chopped vegetables in a stock pot with bone broth, bring to a boil, cover, and turn down to a simmer for about 10 minutes (until the veggies are soft)
  • while that’s simmering, de-stem and chop the chard, kale, or other greens
  • throw the greens in the stock pot for the last minute so it gets a chance to cook
  • take the pot off burner and let cool for a few minutes before blending (you don’t want anything exploding!!)
  • chop the parsley or other herbs and pull out spices
  • once the broth // veg mixture has cooled a bit (can still be hot just not piping hot), transfer to blender and blend on high, or use your immersion blender
  • add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice along with salt and pepper to taste
  • blend some more
  • serve in bowl(s) and top with a drizzle of your best olive oil, a squeeze of lemon, sprinkling of turmeric, and all of your favorite toppings like pumpkin seeds, hemp seed, nutritional yeast, green onion, goat cheese, etc

This recipe can also be made vegan with vegetable or mushroom broth or even just water as a sub for bone broth.

Recommended Supplements

These can be ordered with the practitioner code “KATHERINEBIRCHENOUGH”

Immune Defense Supplement Regimen

These products are suitable for the entire family. Dosage adjustments are noted for children less than 12 years.

Silvercillin Liquid & Spray
Creates a safe and effective barrier against entry of viruses into cells and acts as a natural antibiotic. Use one or the other, not both.
Liquid: 5 ml (1 tsp) orally every day for prevention, twice daily for treatment of illness. Can also be safely nebulized.
Spray: 6 sprays into throat daily for prevention, twice daily for treatment of strep throat or other pharyngitis.

High-Dose Vitamin D3 drops and capsules*
(For short-term use only)
The liquid vitamin D3 is 2000 IU per drop.
The capsules are 10,000 IU each.

Adults not currently on Vitamin D supplementation: Take 10 drops or 2 capsules daily with food for 1 week, then decrease to 5 drops or 1 capsule daily. This is safe to maintain for 1-2 months, then you need levels checked.

Children under 12 not currently supplementing: 5 drops daily for 1 week, then decrease to 2 drops daily. After 1 month, decrease to 1 drop daily. Do not continue for more than 2 months without checking levels.

Adults currently on Vitamin D: 5 drops or 1 capsule daily

Children under 12 currently supplementing: 1 drop daily or every other day

Safe for short-term use of 1-2 months, otherwise can create a copper imbalance. Capsules can be opened and sprinkled on food.
Adults: 1 capsule twice daily
Children 6-12: 1/2 capsule daily
Children under 6: 1/4 capsule daily

Immunitone Plus
Adaptogenic herbal blend for enhancing immune response. Do not use of you have an allergy to mushrooms.
Adults: 4 capsules once daily
Children 6-12: 2 capsules once daily
Children under 6: 1 capsule daily
**Stop use of this product if you develop symptoms of illness**

Vitamin C powders and capsules
As Vitamin C has become harder to find, I order what I can get and have several different types available. Doses of up to 6 grams a day are well-tolerated and effective. More may cause loose stool, but is not harmful. Since it is water soluble, it needs to be dosed 2 to 3 times a day.
Adults: 2 grams three times daily
Children 6-12: 1 gram three times daily
Children under 6: 500 mg three times daily
Reduce the dose if stomach upset or diarrhea occurs

*Vitamin D is much more than a vitamin – it acts as a hormone in the body and can influence many cellular functions. It increases calcium absorption from the food you eat, and can increase circulating calcium. If you have underlying inflammation or a deficiency of Vitamin K2 or Magnesium, that calcium can deposit in places like the walls of your blood vessels and cause problems. It can also crystallize out in your kidneys and cause stones if you are overly acidic. Please use under the advice of a qualified medical professional.

How to Get in Touch with Dr. Birchenough:

Complete an application and receive a complimentary 15 minute call to see if we’re a good fit.
Connect virtually for urgent care.

More information about Functional Medicine:

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