As we settle into the fall season, welcoming in the long nights and colder temps, it's the perfect time to cozy up, welcome solitude and deep self-care. October is all about the grounding and warming rituals that we welcome in for the winter months.
Here are a few of the things we love:1. DIY Herbal foot soaks: There is something so nourishing and restoring about a warm herbal foot soak. With almost no prep time, this is an easy practice that feels incredible after a long day. Our feet tend to get a little less love than the rest of our body, and they do more work than we even think about! They alone carry us throughout life.
We've been using up the last herbs from the garden: peppermint, tulsi, calendula, and lavender, or reaching for a few of our favorite dried herbs once the season changes. Fill up a pot with hot water and herbs, make sure it's large enough to place your feet in, and find a cozy place to sit. Once it has cooled slightly, making sure to test first, let your feet soak for a long time. This is a great time to read a good book, do a meditation, or watch an inspiring film. When finished, wrap them in a towel to dry and keep your feet warm by wearing cozy slippers or socks, or climbing into bed for a restful evening.
2. Beeswax candles: The simple tradition of lighting a couple of candles around the house has a significant impact as we welcome in these long nights and even darker mornings. There's something sacred about candlelight, and warmth it provides in the morning and evening hours.
Living by candlelight is the ultimate act of hygge.
3. Immune Tonic: When you look at herbal formulas geared toward immunity, almost all of them are designed to support you when you are already facing challenges. This nourishing blend of organic medicinal mushrooms, roots and berries is traditionally used to support the immune system and support healthy defenses. * This is the perfect thing for this time of year when the seasons change, and we spend more time cooped up indoors, or traveling. We have been loving it in a little hot apple cider as a seasonal beverage!
4. Maple Bitters: The best support for Halloween, these are excellent this time of year as we enter the season of indulgence, i.e., the holidays, which starts with Halloween. We are all for indulging and enjoying the sweetness of life but doing so in a healthy and balanced way, so we remind ourselves: but first, Bitters.
Enjoy the liver support bitters offer and expect a smooth running digestive system, support for healthy skin, and support you when you have the urge to reach for that Halloween candy.
5. Mineral Soup broth: Both personally and in my clinical experience as an herbalist, I have seen immune tonics make a huge difference in how our bodies’ systems function. In traditional folk medicine, immune-supporting herbs were part of an everyday wellness routine. Broths and soups are the perfect vehicles for adding medicinal roots, herbs, and mushrooms, and making them is an easy habit to adopt in our modern lives.
This immune broth is soothing to the immune, digestive, and nervous system, and most of the ingredients can be found at co-ops, natural food stores, or any local apothecaries.* I like to try to make a broth on Sundays to sip on throughout the week or add into soups--I like the ritual of making a large batch and sipping it as a warm tonic in the mornings or mid-day.
6. Fire Cider! And the Fire Cider Book by Rosemary Gladstar and Friends: A spicy hot, deliciously sweet vinegar tonic. This remedy is used to help warm up the body and generally acts as a supportive immune remedy during the cold winter months.*
Initially coined by herbalist Rosemary Gladstar, the idea was to bring medicinal herbalism back into people's kitchens, as part of their food and as a way of being, not just for medicinal purposes. Many people have their favorite version, but the base consists of fresh garlic, onions, ginger, horseradish, and chile peppers that sit in apple cider vinegar for the desired amount of time, then strained, and then a bit of something sweet is usually added at the end.
7. Oil for everything: The change of seasons can be hard on the body, and it often will show up most on our skin. Oil is a great way to support the hydration and cleanliness of your skin during this windy, cold season. Two favorites for our skin have been Everyday Oil and Rosehip Serum by Native Roots. We also Increase oils and healthy fats (omega's) in the diet. As we head into the dry cold season, our body needs good fat to stay warm and nourished with energy. We load up on coconut oil, olive oil, ghee, raw cultured butter, hearty nuts, and seeds.
8. Tarot cards: Just the thing for this dark and inward season- they are a great way to start the day, or to use as a prompt for journaling. We love the Wild Unknown deck.
Herbalist tip: sip Joy Tonic while you smudge, and pick your cards.
1 tsp Joy Tonic to inspire, promote gratitude, and calm the nervous system.* It can be taken up to 3x/day.
9. Cold plunge/Hydrotherapy: Submitting our body to frigid water--the kind that shocks your entire system, wakes up the body, moving the lymph, encouraging systematic rejuvenation and renewal, as well as clarity to the spirit.
Using your shower or tub, you can try this at home. After every shower or bath, I like to end it with a bust of cold water, staying under for as long as I can, breathing deeply to calm myself through this initial shock. This practice becomes easier over time. As we leave the warmer months behind, I try to focus on good circulation, internal heat, and new ways of making myself feel alive. Never underestimate the power of a good cold plunge.