My Favorite Herbs for Fall
There are so many wonderful herbs and plants available to us for food, as herbal medicine, carrier oils, and essential oils. I personally love using plants fresh and dried in teas, syrups, and in formulating. In this post I want to share a few of my personal go to favorites.
Sambucus nigra or elder tops the list. Many people are familiar with elderberry as a syrup or gummy but the elder tree offers a treasure trove of wellness. I use the berries to make syrup and reach for the flowers to make tea. I personally have not used the leaves but they are also very useful in supporting wellness.
I typically use elderberry to create a syrup to support immune health. One part berries to one part water, simmer until the liquid volume is reduced by half, strain and add 3/4 to one part honey and you've got a syrup.
Research suggest elderberry syrup is an exceptional ally against flu and colds. It is thought to strengthen cell walls and and interfere with viral replication.
Elderflower taken as tea is believed to offer anti-inflammatory and expectorant properties and move energy and qi outward to promote circulation and sweating to help reduce fever after it acts to fight germs.
I personally like having elderberry syrup on hand to take during cold and flu season to fortify my immune system along with a healthy diet and adequate sleep (say a tablespoon a day). For acute issues I use smaller amounts, more often (a teaspoon or two every 3 or so hours).
I also enjoy using elderflower tea to support and fortify immune health. Likewise to support wellness I might add a bit to my morning tea blend and to support the body during acute issues drink the tea say three or more times a day.
2. Thymus vulgaris or thyme is a mainstay of many herb gardens and comes in many varieties. I love using it in salad dressings and cooking and use it to create syrups to support respiratory wellness.
Thyme is an excellent antimicrobial, supports digestive healthy, and a good choice to help support the body during cold and flu season and makes a great cough syrup.
I love cooking with thyme and use fresh or dried to create an herbal syrup. Thyme can be pretty strong, so I typically bring water to a boil, add dried or fresh thyme, turn off the heat and let it steep for 15-20 minutes then add an equal amount of honey.
I sometimes add a tablespoon in the end stages while I'm making elderberry syrup. Thyme is definitely one of those herbs to eat more of and cook with during the fall not only because it's tasty but because it is a great ally against colds, flus, and supports digestive and respiratory health.
3. Rosmarinus officinalis , Salvia rosmarinus, or rosemary is one of my favorite essential oils and herb. I don't typically make teas or tinctures with it, but I simply love it for cooking. Rosemary and garlic roasted potatoes are divine!
Rosemary is excellent for focus and memory. Many herbalists create tinctures with rosemary for memory support. It also supports digestive health and offer antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory benefits.
You can add a sprig or a pinch of dried to teas, tincture it, or even create a syrup or simply just add to your soups, stew, and roasted meals during the fall.
Rosemary essential oil increase circulation and research suggests it support hair growth and eases muscle aches. In formulating the hydrosol, glycerates, decoctions, and the essential oil can offer a wealth of benefits.
4. Althaea officinalis or marshmallow is an herb I use in teas and in formulations. Marshmallow is rich in soothing polysaccarides. In formulations it soothes, offers slickness or detangling properties, and anti-inflammatory properties.
I like using in teas to soothe the throat and ease respiratory issues. It also soothes the digestive system.
5. Glycyrrhiza glabra or licorice is one of my new favorite herbs to include in tea. It is wonderful to soothe a sore throat but is also an excellent anti-viral.
Like marshmallow it is soothing and works well in teas to soothe a sore throat or in a speakers tea.
Licorice should be used for short term -- no more than 4-6 weeks as it may reduce potassium levels. While it is a safe herbs, especially when used as tea, it must be used with care to avoid any contraindications.
I could go on and on with this list for great herbs for the fall -- clove, cinnamon, ginger, and more, but wanted to share some of my powerhouse go to herbs.
Do you have fall herbs you reach for again and again? Please share your favorites. Do you have questions about using herbs in teas, syrups, or formulations? Feel free to comment below or send a message.
Aromatic blessings my friends,