Having a Healthy Autumn – Part 3

 corn harvest

Welcome to the last part of our series on looking after ourselves in Autumn. Here we will over some simple herbs that will greatly help our mental, emotional and physical health at this time of year.

 

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)- revered in Ayurveda, similar to Ginseng in Oriental medicine. Rejuvenates muscles, bone marrow and nervous system. Fortifies immune system with its adaptogenic properties and also promotes deep calm. Helps induce sound sleep (somnifera), while also building iron levels, muscle tone and bone density. Rejuvenating at deep levels it affects the hormones and nervous system. Meaning the ‘strength of a horse’, it is also an aphrodisiac. Take in warm water/ milk.

 

Chywanaprash – very good for building immunity, preventing common cold and sore throats. A medicinal jam, it is usually very tasty and has great healing benefits. Made of approximately 40 herbs (dependent on recipe) it is a very powerful anti-oxidant, aids in rejuvenation, recovery from disease, improving mental clarity, treating breathing disorders and heart problems. Take in warm water/ milk.

 

Ghee – considered a food and a herb, it kindles the digestive fire, removes toxins, increases ojas (the vital essence), nourishes the seven dhatus (tissues) of the body, increases liver function, improves brain function, promotes intelligence, strengthens the nervous system, bestows lustre, nourishes the eyes, balances all the doshas. It is also used as a vehicle to carry herbs deeper into the body.

Ghee is simple and very satisfying to make. Slowly simmer unsalted butter for approximately 20 minutes to allow for the water content to evaporate and the milk solids to sink to the bottom. When it is a clear golden liquid and has changed from a baby-sweet smell to one of popcorn, with the milk solids open the bottom beginning to turn brown, let it cool slightly and strain into a glass jar. It can be left unrefrigerated and increases in medicinal potency with time!

 

 oak leaves on water

 

Ginger – known to destroy toxins, it enkindles the digestive fire while also rejuvenating the body. It cleanses the blood and cells, helps with absorption of food in the intestines, prevents arthritis and protects the lungs. Known as a universal medicine that helps everybody and all diseases!

 

Triphala – meaning three fruits, it is one of the most famous Ayurvedic formulas. It gently cleanses the digestive tract, supports regular bowel movements, supports healthy respiratory, cardiovascular, urinary, reproductive and nervous systems. Contains a powerful anti-oxidant, amalaki, used lots in the rejuvenation therapy branch of Ayurveda. It supports the liver and immune system, clears mucus, removes toxins, and is good for weight loss. Gently cleanses and detoxifies while at same time replenishes. And can also be used as a tonic for the eyes and hair. It is said of triphala that if you don’t have a mother, it will nurture you like a mother.

 

the tulsiTulsi (Ocimum sanctum) – Good for settling the nervous system and digestive system, it also helps protect us from seasonal colds and fevers, building immunity and rejuvenates the spirit. It aids with sleep and dispersing negative thoughts, clearing the mind. Seen as a sacred herb, with protective virtues, in latin it is named ‘sanctum’ and is cultivated outside all vishnu temples across India and the world.

 

Other helpful herbs are dashamoola (ten roots), haritaki (terminalia chebula) and jatamansi (spikenard).

 

 

Taste is important, it starts the process of receiving the medicine in the body. Tasting the herb in the mouth, though maybe not so nice at the beginning has very important effects on the brain, as well as signalling to the rest of the body the medicine that is being introduced. Sometimes the tastes we find hard to swallow are what we need.

 

 

Autumn Talk

 

In general, include rest and relaxation, take it easier, and don’t overbook or overtax yourself.

Find that stillness and remember the beauty around and within you.  

 

 

 

Here we have finished the series on Autumnal Ayurvedic living. I hope you have found this helpful, nourishing and encouraging. If you would like any herbs or if you would like to have a consultation or treatment please feel free to contact me.