The beginning of fall brings with it change. Preparing yourself for the cold months ahead is just as important as the more commonly known Spring cleanse. During the fall season it is all about building your immune system, nourishing yourself both physically and mentally and slowing yourself down to take the time to reflect on all that you have accomplished during the spring & summer seasons.
As the days shorten and the leaves begin to change color, you start to wind down after a hectic summer of outdoor activities. It is important not to slip into a routine of comfort foods & evenings curled up in front of the TV. A combination of warming foods, herbal tonics & exercise helps maintain vitality & boost your immune system. Adding creative projects and activities is also vital for maintaining a stimulated and active mind.
Herbal tonics are a great way to enhance your immune system. A few of the herbs that can be used in autumn tonics are:
Ginger root – a wonderful anti-inflammatory and warming herb
Nettle leaf – has been used for centuries to treat allergy symptoms (common in the fall) and contains biologically active compounds that reduce inflammation.
Raspberry leaf – a good all-around tonic herb containing vitamins A, B, C & E
Echinacea root – gives the immune system a boost to help fend off all kinds of infections.
For a tonic that is rich in vitamin C, which is a great antioxidant (nutrients that block some of the damage caused by free radicals.), try the following.
Adapted from: wise concoctions by Bonnie Trust Dahan
Orange Peel Tonic
- 1 orange
- 3 whole cloves
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1C water
Remove the peel from the orange, dice and put in a 16 ounce glass jar. Add cloves and honey. Bring water to boil and add to jar, stir and cover. Let steep for 12 hours. Strain the tonic and drink at room temperature or warm.
Adding cloves and nutmeg to oatmeal improves digestion, increases circulation & is effective in warming the body in the chill autumn. Oatmeal increase stamina and warmth.
- 2 ½ C water
- ¼ tsp. ground cloves
- 1 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/3 C currants
- ¾ C steel cut oats
- 1/3 C oat bran
- 1/3 C hazelnuts
- 3TBL maple syrup (optional)
- 1/3 C half & half (optional)
In a stainless steel saucepan, bring water, spices, and currants to boil. Add the oats, oat bran, and nuts and stir for 1 minute, Turn off the heat and cover the pot tightly. Allow to stand for 20 minutes, and then stir. Place in bowl and add optional ingredients then enjoy Serves 2