Autumn Herbs

Contributor: Cristin Smith
Photographer: Taylor Balding
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Tea has long served as an ancient remedy for a variety of ailments. The common black and green teas have numerous health benefits, anything from illuminating the spirit to opening acupuncture meridians. Even a topical wash of concentrated tea can treat poison ivy and other skin-related issues. One can benefit greatly from a daily ritual of preparing and drinking tea. A morning concoction of green tea brewed with a little lemon and honey will invigorate and energize you, preparing you for your day, as well as providing you with an immunity boost—necessary during this Autumn season. In the evenings, adjust your teas to whatever your body or spirit needs. Let’s delve into some herbs that will get you through this Autumn full of health and vibrancy.

 
 

Nettles

Nettles are a protective herb. They specifically protect the lungs and colon and have a high concentration of beta-carotene. The chlorophyll in nettles inhibits viruses and boosts the lungs to assist in ridding the body of chemical residues, such as cigarette smoke. Nettle leaves thicken hair and enrich the blood and have long been used to improve vitality. In persons with Celiac disease—the inability to digest gluten—tea with nettles specifically encourages the growth and renewal of intestinal villi. Wild greens provide us with amazing strength and vitality, so if you pick wild nettles, be sure to gather them with gloves on. Using nettles in a tea will distill the bitterness of the leaves while still providing these incredible health benefits.

Fennel & Fenugreek

Fennel promotes energy circulation and can increase the metabolism, making this herb an important addition to a healthy weight-loss program. It also reduces phlegm in the lungs and breaks up mucus. Fenugreek is a harmonizing herb and has many of the same properties as Fennel. Both Fennel and Fenugreek can warm certain cold symptoms in the body, such as: lethargy, asthma, irregular menstrual cycles, and feeling inactive and unproductive. Add either Fennel or Fenugreek to a tea brewed with ginger and lemon to warm and balance the body. 

A nice tea recipe for excessive mucus, weak lungs, or digestive inflammation is:

  • 2 parts dandelion root
  • 1 part fennel seed
  • 1 part flax seed
  • 1 part fenugreek seed
  • 1/2 part licorice root

Brew these ingredients together for 30 minutes. Add raw honey to sweeten.

Rosehips

Rosehip is considered a sour food, which the American diet tends to lack. Adding more sour foods and herbs into the diet during Autumn can stimulate activity in the body and clarity and the ability to focus in the mind. Rosehips can help protect the ligaments and tendons, and you can add this herb to other teas. For example, rosehips in combination with chamomile or valerian root boosts your supply of vitamin C, which can soothe the nerves. Rosehips also boost kidney function and can combat weakness and urinary issues. 

Use these herbs in your daily teas throughout this season to help support your body, mind, and spirit.