Happy Autumnal Equinox from all of us here at Alpine Botanicals! Although Fall has already been peeking its head through for several weeks here in Nederland, CO, now that the season is officially here, it's time to gear up for all of the changes ahead. As the weather is cooling down and work or school obligations are picking up again after a relaxing Summer, it’s important to incorporate different herbs that can support you and your body through the transition. In this article, I share with you three of my favorite herbal allies for Fall including information on how to use them and which preparations to use.
Elderberry (Sambucus nigra)
Elderberry is a classic, age-old herb to draw from for immune support. Rich in antioxidants, elderberries have been shown to decrease both the duration and severity of the flu when taken regularly throughout sickness! With cold & flu season right around the corner and back-to-school season in full swing, there couldn’t be a better time to start supporting your immune system (and your kiddo’s!) with elderberry.
Of course we are all big lovers of good elderberry syrup (and we have a super tasty variety for sale in the shop!), but lately, we have been loving Herb Pharm’s elderberry glycerite tincture! Sugar-free, super tasty, and easy to carry on-the-go. Elderberries also lend themselves well in herbal teas and decoctions so be sure to pick up a bag of organic dried elderberries in bulk from our apothecary to help keep you well all season long.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
As beautiful as Fall may be, the turning of the seasons from a long, relaxing Summer can bring about a newfound surge of stress as well. Ashwagandha is one of my favorite herbal allies for Fall because not only does it revitalize our energy levels, it can also work as an amazing stress buster! As an adaptogenic herb, ashwagandha is best taken in small daily doses over a longer period of time before you start seeing deeper effects on your stress response system.
Although we all love ashwagandha here at Alpine Botanicals, the flavor can be quite pungent and overbearing! Not to worry, we have several tasty options and ideas that can help balance the bitterness. For instance, the ashwagandha and lavender-infused ghee, made with love by Anjali Apothecary, is such a tasty and delightful medium for enjoying this herb. Our ashwagandha capsules from Organic India and the ashwagandha glycerite from Herb Pharm are two other easy and convenient ways to get your daily dose in. We also love incorporating our bulk ashwagandha in herbal chai blends with cardamom, cinnamon, and other spicy herbs. Ask our staff of herbalists to blend up a bulk chai with ashwagandha for you next time you’re in the shop!
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
As the weather starts to cool down, naturally, so does our digestive fire! It is so important to ensure our digestive fire stays “stoked” and warm throughout the colder days so that we can keep properly digesting our food without any uncomfortable symptoms arising. Fennel is one of my go-to herbal allies for Fall because not only does it soothe general gas and bloating after or between meals, it is also a naturally warming herb! Perfect for keeping that inner fire warm and the belly calm as we enter into the new season.
Fennel is a classic herb to incorporate in chai tea blends and pairs quite nicely with ashwagandha too! Not a big chai fan? Try just drinking a simple fennel tea on its own in the morning before breakfast or in the evening after tea. Be sure to lightly grind the fennel seeds in a small mortar and pestle before steeping to release their digestive-enhancing aromatic oils. Taking a couple of drops of fennel tincture is another great way to get digestive support on-the-go.
What are your favorite herbal allies for Fall? Share with us in the comments below?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Heather Saba is a Certified Clinical Herbalist and Nutritionist, Medical Anthropologist, Writer, Whole-Body Wellness Coach, and Holistic Educator. She sees clients both in-person and through Skype in the Alpine Botanicals clinic room and at her office in Boulder for one-on-one herbal + nutritional wellness sessions, including custom herbal formulations. Connect with her on her personal website (www.heathersaba.com) and Instagram (@heathersaba).