As our bodies transition into the colder days of the season, we naturally crave the warming comfort of certain foods and look forward to a slower routine. Nourishing herbs, zesty spices, and fragrant essential oils can help our senses get in sync with the seasonal changes.
Herbal Immune Helpers
No doubt about it, the sometimes drastic weather changes can stress our immune defenses (those of you on the East Coast know what I mean, 55 degrees for the morning rush then the mid-30s by the evening commute!!) Nourish and bolster your defenses with time-tested immune tonics. Consider the following time-tested herbal helpers:
Astragalus…If you’re always getting what’s going around, reduce unwanted “downtime” with the preventative benefits of Astragalus root! It helps to “wake up” immune cells for heightened function.
Elderberry…Elderberry remedies are long-standing favorites in natural medicine chests all around the world. The tiny berries are jam-packed with beneficial nutrients that boost the body’s defenses and support respiratory health.
Here’s a basic Elderberry Syrup recipe we often make here at Penn Herb. It’s super easy and even the kiddos will like it:
- 2 oz dried Elderberries
- 1-quart water
- 1 ½ cups honey
(for children under 2, substitute with Maple syrup or Agave)
Directions: In a covered saucepan, bring elderberries to a boil then reduce heat and allow to simmer for approximately 30 minutes. Strain and add honey or sweetener. Store in a glass container and keep refrigerated for up to 3 months.
Suggested Use: Adults take up to 3 teaspoons daily; children ½ – 1 teaspoon. You can also stir Elderberry syrup in your favorite herbal tea for a sweet, therapeutic boost.
Spiced Elderberry Syrup
If you want an “amped up”, extra strength formula, try this spicy version with Ginger and Cinnamon. It adds a bit of bite and heat.
- 2/3 cup Elderberries powder
- 2 tablespoons fresh Ginger or ½ teaspoon Ginger powder
- 1 whole Cinnamon stick
- 3 cups water
- 1 ½ cups honey (for children under 2, substitute with agave or maple syrup)
Directions: Place all the ingredients in a saucepan (except the honey), and allow to simmer for approximately 30-45 minutes. Strain and add honey or sweetener. Store in a glass container and keep refrigerated for up to 3 months.
Suggested Use: Adults take up to 3 teaspoons daily.
Rose Hips… The bright red fruits left on the Rose plant after the flowers have bloomed are bursting with immune-supporting vitamin C, antioxidant bioflavonoids and a host of other revitalizing nutrients! The delicate floral aroma and tangy, fruity taste make a delightful tea the entire family can enjoy.
Spice Up Your Routine
Warming spices not only chase the chills but they also lend their healing power to your favorite soup or stew recipe! Make sure you have these zesty spices on hand this season:
- Cayenne…No more cold hands and feet – the fiery fruit invigorates circulatory health.
- Fennel…The season for overindulgence will be here soon, chew or brew this anise-tasting seed to help your body digest fatty, starch meals.
- Ginger…The pungent spice pulls triple duty to soothe digestive distress, acts as a warming circulatory tonic, and support respiratory health!
Do the darker days of fall and winter leave you feeling a little low? Harness the sunny energy of pure citrus oils! Their naturally uplifting scent perks up the spirits and lightens the mood. Aromatherapists recommend the exhilarating scents of:
- Promote a positive outlook
- Relieve mental fatigue
- Promote creativity
Lemon Balm Tea…Experience a little bit of sunshine with a comforting cup of Balm or Melissa. Its mild lemonade-like flavor is an uplifting choice for those dreary, gray winter days. Plus it soothes frazzled nerves and supports emotional well-being.
Olbas Aromatherapy Inhalant & Massage Oil… This precise Swiss formula blends essential oils of peppermint, eucalyptus, cajeput, wintergreen, juniper, and clove. It gives you the power to breathe, soothes sore muscles and joints, and when added to a diffuser releases purifying aromatics into the air.
The fall and winter season has traditionally been a time to slow down and focus on physical and emotional self-care. How do you ease into the changing seasons? What’s your ritual for physical and emotional balance? Please share with our community below.