Fall is a time when many go through periods of illness as our bodies adjust to a profound climatic and lifestyle shift that the season brings.
Most of us are spending more time indoors now, thus less time outside, and we are more likely to be eating a heavier diet.
To stay well and thriving during these pivotal moments of seasonal transition my family is focusing on a number of different practices to gracefully navigate this seasonal transition.
On top of the lifestyle medicine steps I mentioned above, we are also taking the elderberry syrup, as well as drinking 2-3 cups of warm "root into fall" tea, sipped mindfully throughout the day. We'll drink this for a full moon cycle for a slow and steady, gentle yet persistent cleanse.
Our culture is infatuated with "cleanses" and "detoxes" which usually consist of raw vegetable and fruit juice, sometimes dangerous herbal laxatives or supplement mixtures, and extreme practices like extended water only fasting, coffee enemas, colonics, and more. I'm not saying these therapies have no place in healing. But it is worth mentioning that our bodies:
1) Need a strong and healthy metabolism to properly eliminate metabolic waste products. Fasting, for many (especially females), damages the metabolism over time, as do many modern habits and toxins we are exposed to on a daily basis.
2) Can only deeply cleanse, heal, and repair when in a parasympathetic state, which is the opposite of the sympathetic fight-or-flight many of us are living in constantly. Strongly "cleansing" herbs or practices, without tending to the nervous system and unconscious sense of safety, will not produce good results and can often trigger more symptoms and healing crises.
3) Cleansing must be followed by rejuvenation and replenishment to build vitality in the long term. We make space for our bodies and cells to release what is no longer needed, and then invite in the nutrients and minerals to build healthier and more robust cells moving forward.
This tea blend isn't a harsh "detox" or depleting fasting regimen, but is an ancient practice that our ancestors surely employed ~ simple teas, harvesting the medicine of the season, slowly simmering roots in water, and relying on herbal allies to support our bodies' innate need to cleanse what is no longer needed and repair what has been damaged to stay in good health.
I'll share our tea blend recipe below for you to enjoy!
~ "Root into Fall" Tea Blend ~
4 parts (pt.) Burdock root
3 pt. Dandelion root
3 pt. Milk thistle seed
2 pt. Marshmallow root
2 pt. Roasted chicory root
1 pt. Nettle leaf
1 pt. Astragalus root
1/2 pt. Rosehips
1/2 pt. Angelica root
1/2 pt. Codonopsis root
1/2 pt. Licorice root
1/2 pt. Lemon peel
Add 3 heaping tablespoons of the dried herbal mixture to about 7 cups of water. Slowly bring to a simmer and let it decoct for 15-20 minutes uncovered. Turn off the heat and let it sit another 15 minutes or so. This should make enough for two days worth of tea for two adults. Strain into a thermos while warm, add a spoonful of raw honey or a dash of an herbal syrup, and sip mindfully throughout the day.
✧ Supports liver and kidney function.
✧ Gently cleanse the blood and skin.
✧ Full of bioavailable nutrients and minerals.
✧ Fortify the respiratory system.
✧ Strengthen digestion and elimination.
✧ Support stable energy levels and metabolism.
✧ Builds resiliency in body and mind.
Since starting this seasonal herbal fortification/cleanse, I have noticed a significant brightening in my skin and complexion, a more stable mood and more positive outlook. I've also noticed a complete disappearance of the mild headaches I've been getting in the afternoon for the past month or so, as well as any bloating that sometimes comes when I indulge in certain foods (I'm looking at you garlic and cabbage).
I'd love to hear from you if you make this recipe, or a variation of it, and try this short herbal program!