Nature shows us the first peek of fall when the leaves start to change. I mean, who else gets a little rush of exhilaration knowing a nourishing transition is underway? We move from time spent outdoors, to cozy indoor activities. Big meals, a roaring fire, hot tea, blankets strewn across the bed are all images that come to mind as we approach this time of year.
Follow Your Instincts
To help us move flawlessly from summer into fall, I consulted with herbalist Cherise Atkinson, founder of Bright Green Possibilities. Her tips help get the home fires burning!
Take on canning and preserving projects and any last minute home repairs. Empower your homestead now to be a worthy protector in winter.
Fall also brings an eager anticipation of the the Halloween spirit. Most think of ghost, goblins, and other haunted delights. I however view the welcoming of the spirited apparitions differently. The fall season is an opportunity to retrace our steps, to look back on the events of the year and plot our transitions for the future. Thoughts and ideas once abandoned appear suddenly for further contemplation and healing. These are the ghosts and goblins that fall truly deliver. A harvest of inspirations once lost and ready for resurrection.
Spirit, Mind, Body Harmony
Like the leaves, fall asks us to let go and release any energy that is no longer a match to our highest good. It is time to realize our strengths, root into our life trajectory, and find solace in the knowledge that we are on our path, moving through time with ease.
We support our spirit in this transition by spending time in nature. Sit at the root of a tree, feel its energy grounded to the Earth. Simultaneously, watch the foliage fall as the tree does not resist the seasonal transition and let’s go of what is no longer useful. Search yourself, and allow the same transition to effortlessly occur.
We support the mind in this transition by journaling our thoughts, lessons learned, and intentions for the future.
We support our body in creating healthy digestion from eating fiber rich foods and using warming spices to stoke our body with warmth. Use thyme, rosemary, sage to aid the respiratory tract. We stay hydrated! In the cold months our body has to use water to hydrate the air coming into our lungs, using more water than we imagine.
Surrender Into Fall
Here are some of Cherise's favorite recipes for fall, offering nourishing benefits to keep us healthy well into winter.
A comforting cold weather ritual that creates a sense of well-being. Make a large quantity of a strong herbal tea. Use fragrant, soothing, relaxing herbs or use herbs that are anti-viral to ward off colds and flu. Soak your feet until the water starts to cool, dry off your feet and then rub your feet with some salve and put on a thick pair of socks for extra comfort. Herbs you might include: ginger, rosemary, eucalyptus, juniper, thyme and oregano.
are used to carry essential oils from plants directly into the sinus and the lungs. Many herbs are anti-viral and with ninety percent of respiratory ailments being caused by a virus, it makes good sense to send the healing power of these plants strait to the affected area. The warm, moist air helps to open the nasal and bronchial passages. To do a steam, boil a pan of water, turn off the heat, and let cool for a minute or two. Add 3 to 6 drops of essential oils to the water, and use a towel or large cloth to corral the steam around your head as you breathe deeply. Try herbs and essential oils like eucalyptus, juniper, peppermint, rosemary and thyme.
BGP Favorite Recipes from Rosemary Gladstar.
1 cup fresh or 1/2 cup dried elderberries
3 cup water
Place the berries in a saucepan and cover with water. boil, reduce heat, and simmer over low heat for 30 to 45 minutes.
Smash the berries. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer and add 1 cup of honey, or adjust to taste.
Bottle the syrup and store in the refrigerator, where it will keep for 2 to 3 months.
You can add a bit of brandy for longer storage. Canning is also a good method to prolong the life of your syrup.
Caution: use only blue elderberries; the red ones are potentially toxic if eaten in large quantities. Never eat elderberries that haven’t been cooked first.
This is the most popular herbal cold remedy in Europe, and it’s delicious. Every year I try to make two or three batches of elderberry syrup, and it’s always gone by the end of the season. I’ve gathered fresh elderberries everywhere from the west coast to the east coast and have marked the seasons by the ripening of these dark blue-black berries.
1 tablespoon Echinacea
1 cup water
Infuse in hot water for 15-30 minutes.
Drink this in frequent small doses to boost immunity at the first signs of a cold or flu. Useful in bronchial infections and as a spray for sore throat.