We’ve been feeling this Fall coming for a little while now as the bird song in the morning wanes, and the plants in the field that have occupied so much attention begin to slow and self-tend so that we can turn our energies toward harvesting and medicine making. There is still residual movement and fire from the Summer, but the cooling quiet and stillness of Fall are also present in the air, held at a tension that makes a lot of space for both the introspection and action required in most creative practices.
As the Fall Equinox approaches, this is a great time to start building your immunity and supporting your respiratory system in preparation for the colder and more sedentary months. It is also a moment for giving some attention to your liver and lymph system, to clean out and refuel while the energy of Summer is still here. As the plants start to put their energy into their roots and the trees begin to lose their leaves, this is also the season for letting go, for trying to release that which no longer serves us.
With Lauren in the mountains of Appalacia and Finn on the farm and in the woods of Pescadero, we are excited to offer more tree medicines in this Fall’s Seasonal Medicine Share along with a number of immunity tonics to help keep you in balance. If there is anything from previous years that you’re missing, we have a lot of single remedies for sale in the shop, or you can always feel free to contact us with requests.
Hoping you’re all so well, Finn and Lauren
LUNG AND IMMUNITY SUPPORT TEA
This tea mix contains a number of herbs from our garden to help strengthen your immune system this Fall. The lemon balm leaves and yarrow flowers in this blend have strong anti-viral properties, the chamomile flowers are antibacterial and anti-inflammatory and the calendula flowers are antibacterial while also supporting the lymph system. We’ve also included mullein leaves in this blend for some important lung support. This tea can help to prevent a cold, ease sinus congestion, break a fever or sweat out a bug.
You can drink this tea daily as preventative medicine or at the onset of a cold or flu. For a medicinal brew use at a ratio of 1 tbsp of herbs per one cup of water. Pour boiling water over herbs, cover, and let steep for a minimum of 20 minutes, up to overnight (longer steeping will create a more potent infusion.) Or simply enjoy in the way that you usually prepare your tea! Not recommended during pregnancy.
Fire cider is a potent immunity tonic and this batch has horseradish from our garden, garlic and onions from Blue House Farm here in Pescadero, and ginger from Vang Family Farm in the Central Valley (ginger needs heat so it’s hard to grow on the coast) all infused in raw Apple Cider Vinegar. You can take a dose of it every day to keep you healthy or take a teaspoon every few hours at the first sign of a cold. Dilute it in water, tea or juice, sprinkle it on steamed veggies or put it in your salad dressing!
Although fire cider is a folk remedy popularized by Rosemary Gladstar in the 1970s, a company called Shire City Herbs has patented the term, causing a lot of controversy in the herbalist community. We’ve decided to continue to call this remedy by its traditional name to support the Tradition Not Trademark campaign. To learn more visit: freefirecider.com
IMMUNE BOOSTING TINCTURE
This immune boosting antibacterial and antiviral formula contains Elder flowers from San Francisco, Yarrow flowers from our garden in Pescadero and Echinacea leaves and flowers from the gardens at Medicine County Herbs in North Carolina where Lauren has been studying and working. Like most herbal remedies, this formula is most effective to take at the first signs of a cold or flu. It can also help you to get over a bug quicker, reduce a fever, act as a decongestant and help with a sinus infection.
Dosage: 20-40 drops up to 4x day. Not for use in pregnancy.
Living among the Willows that line the creek at Root Down, Finn has learned to appreciate these trees for their vibrancy and resiliency. Growing along waterways, they help to prevent soil erosion, provide dense habitat for birds and are vigorous growers. (Trees we pruned back in Winter have grown six feet or more this Summer!) Willows root incredibly easily and their pliability has made them an ideal source for traditional basket weaving. This Willow essence helps us to connect to these qualities of flexibility and resiliency, to dissolve our resistance to change and more easily adapt to the present. The watery nature of this plant also helps us to release old grief and guilt. Fall is a time of letting go before moving into the dark of the year and Willow Essence can be a sweet support to us in this process.
Dosage: 1-3 drops as needed
DOUGLAS FIR TIP AND CITRUS HONEY
This sweet and zesty remedy is packed with Vitamin C from organic Bay Area orange peels and the new Spring growth of Douglas Fir needles, gathered from stately old trees growing near Root Down Farm. These peels and tips were then added to raw Oakland honey from Queen of Sheba Farm tended by Khaled Almaghafe, a fourth generation beekeeper. Honey, as always, is a powerhouse if antibacterial and anti inflammatory properties- a helpful addition in every season but an especially strong ally in the Fall and Winter. You can add this honey to foods or tea, or eat it straight from the jar with a spoon!
We have powdered some of our favorite savory herbs growing on the farm- sage, thyme and rosemary- and mixed them with grey french sea salt for a preventative medicine that you can sprinkle on any dish. Most culinary herbs are strongly antibacterial since they were traditionally used to preserve foods prior to refrigeration. So add a delicious dose of cold and flu prevention to soups, stocks, veggies or meats.
SWEET BIRCH OIL MUSCLE RUB