Oh lovely, lovely autumn. The rich, golden afternoon light and brisk morning air we’ve been gifted with the last few days have us ready to cozy up to all the beauty this season has to offer. Fall is a perfect time for us to slow down and catch our breath from all the busyness of summer. As the flowers and fruit begin to contract and the sun begins to dip behind the horizon earlier and earlier, nature is nudging us to take time to reflect on our personal year’s harvest and take stock of what growth we may have experienced. Taking cues from the falling leaves and the many life-cycles coming to an end, fall is a potent time to release, bury, and compost any physical or emotional burdens we may be carrying.
In Chinese medicine, autumn is associated with the energy of the lung and large intestine. The lung is understood to take in all that is new, which manifests physically as breathing in the clean fall air filling us up with fresh oxygen so we can think clearly and move any stagnant energy. The large intestine is then responsible for letting go of any waste and releasing everything that is not useful to the body. This is why fall is such a natural time to focus on clearing out all that no longer serves us in other aspects of our lives. Breathing exercises and meditation are helpful practices in letting go and naturally support the lung network in general. When we breathe deeply and with intention, we are flooding our cells and brains with much needed oxygen that is vital to all the body’s processes. One of the very best ways to start a breathing practice is to simply go out for a daily walk and fill your lungs with the energizing, crisp fall air.
As we aim to shift our mindset into a more reflective perspective, its also a good time to transition our daily nourishment to reflect the change in the season. Incorporating the bounty of this season helps us fortify our immune and digestive systems. Nourishing foods like sweet potato, cabbage, squash, onion, garlic, pears, and apples, along with warming spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and black pepper make staying healthy deliciously easy in the fall. This is traditionally the best time to harvest roots, so it also makes good sense to start incorporating earthy, rich roots like dandelion, burdock, astragalus, and licorice into our daily teas or soups. Incorporating roots will help you feel more grounded and resilient, and will help fortify your digestion and immune system.
To make a hearty root decoction
Add 4 - 6 tablespoons of roots (choose your favorites here) to a pot of water and gently simmer for about 40 minutes.
Let cool to drinking temperature, garnish with warming spices like ginger or cinnamon, and drink throughout the day.
Refrigerate left over tea and warm up as needed throughout the day or week.
To take any decoction to the next level, use as a base for herbal infused lattes. Once the decoction is done simmering, lower heat and simply stir in your favorite nourishing herbal powder - such as Moodbeli’s Calming Adaptogen Blend - along with a splash of milk/nut mylk and a touch of coconut oil and you have yourself a perfect brew to cozy up with.
The process and ritual of tea making - whether it be a decoction of roots or simply steeping a bag of your favorite tea - is a great way to slow down and tune into the slower rhythm of the season. Sipping a cup of tea allows us to take a moment to nourish ourselves and honor the stillness of fall. Sleeping a little longer, eating warming, nourishing foods, and paying extra attention to our internal lives are all lovely ways of supporting yourself throughout the season.
Our apothecary favorites for autumn include our aromatic Thieves Immune Rub for added immune protection, Urban Moonshine’s Digestive Bitters for digestive support, and Moodbeli’s Mushroom Adaptogen Blend for stress management.