One of the most incredible things about herbalism is that it connects us back to ourselves and reminds us of our inextricable connection to the world around us. As herbalists, we look forward to each new season’s beauty and subtleties, which informs how we make our medicines, which herbs we collect, and what supplies we need to restock for our seasonal rituals. For fall, that means reading nourishing cookbooks and staying well with the help of warming foods, medicinal mushrooms, and immune-supportive herbs.
Here’s what we’re stocking our shelves with this autumn!
Herbal Rituals for Autumn Health
Because fall is the time to conserve our energy, bolster our immunity, and warm up our internal fire, much of our herbal activity happens in the kitchen. Like the plants that shed their leaves and recede into the soil to absorb nutrients, we too will be fortifying our bodies to make it through the cold seasons and emerge rested and revitalized in the spring.
1. Nourish with Adaptogenic Soups & Herbal Broths
While soups may seem to be too simple to be a remedy, any herbalist will assure you they’re not. Nutrient-rich broths, porridges, soups, and stews are easy on digestion and offer simple nourishment in cooler times. Plus, they’re an incredible vehicle for herbal medicines, foraged greens, and edible seaweeds. Try incorporating a turmeric infused congee into your breakfast or our Miso Immunity Soup with astragalus to pep up your immune system ahead of the winter season.*
2. Support Digestion with Warming & Enzymatic Spices
Spices are arguably some of the most underrated herbs. Many folks don’t see spices as herbal medicine, but the trick is all in the dose! Using a little more of these warming spices throughout the day can give you extra herbal benefits, including circulatory and digestive system support. Some of our fall favorites are cayenne, cinnamon, ginger, and turmeric.*
3. Sip on Medicinal Teas & Tonics
We’re obviously biased towards teas, but it’s actually one of the best ways to take herbal medicine. Teas are simple to make, quickly absorbed by the body, and cost-effective. We try to incorporate teas with a purpose into our daily routine like our Reishi Mushroom with Rooibos & Orange Peel tea for sustained immune support. Teas can also be incorporated in a non-traditional way, like our Herbal Hot Toddy with a touch of whiskey!
Stock your Pantry with these Key Herbs
Buying culinary herbs in bulk and pre-stocking your pantry with herbal teas is the best way to stay motivated throughout the season and prepared for whatever should come. These are the herbs we depend on and incorporate into our fall rituals:
Strengthening & Adaptogenic Herbs
As the demands of work seem to turn up a notch after summer and school kicks into gear, supporting ourselves at the onset is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves. That’s why our herbalists recommend incorporating adaptogenic herbs well in advance of seasonal bugs and stressors. These hearty plants will give you an extra buffer through stressful times and seasonal shifts. Our go-to adaptogens for resilience are astragalus, eleuthero, and schisandra; all of which are available in Urban Moonshine’s Immune Tonic tincture.*
Edible & Fortifying Mushrooms
Mushrooms! We can’t get enough of them. Traditionally these herbal medicines have been highly revered for supporting longevity and overall oomph. Feeling a little mushroom-phobic? There are so many more varieties that range in flavor, texture and benefits than your typical grocery store button mushroom, that we encourage you to be adventurous this fall! Not sure how to cook them? There’s a great book recommendation below. Whether you’re using mushrooms in foods or as an adaptogenic tea (like our Reishi with Rooibos & Orange Peel tea), fall is the ideal time to add a bit of fortifying mushrooms to your diet. Mountain Rose Herbs offers a variety of dried mushrooms. We keep bulk jars on hand to make shiitake and turkey tail infused broth, maitake rice, and reishi hot cocoa.*
Soothing & Immune-Boosting Herbs
While we always stay prepared, sometimes we just simply don’t feel 100%. This is when we turn to herbal allies that rev-up our immune system. We love having both echinacea and elderberry handy in our Echinacea Plus Elderberry tea or Urban Moonshine’s Immune Zoom tincture. If you need some support for your throat, try demulcent and soothing herbs like slippery elm and licorice. Many of these herbs are front and center in our famous Throat Coat teas.
Build a Seasonal Herbal Library
Every herbalist has a well-stocked herbal library. Our books keep us inspired when creating medicinal meals and new herbal formulas. Each season we like to rotate books out to make room for seasonal classics. This way, the best practices for each season stay within arm’s reach. Here are some of our seasonal favorites to keep you feeling wild, well-fed, and well-read.
The Herbal Kitchen
This is THE book for kitchen herbalism. Kami McBride has over 25 years of experience with plants, as an herbalist, gardener, and cook. In this cookbook, she provides recipes for hundreds of delicious herbal foods in the form of cordials, honeys, vinegars, dressings, and more. It’s an excellent guidebook for those looking to create delicious remedies and homemade gifts ahead of the holiday season.
The Wild Table: Seasonal Foraged Food and Recipes
What do you get when foraging meets culinary excellence? This book! Discover Connie Green and Sarah Scott’s methods of foraging, prep, and cooking wild foods. Divided by seasons and including a section on foraging fundamentals and etiquette, this is the perfect cookbook for those looking for ways to incorporate wild foods into their diet.
The Mushroom Hunter’s Kitchen
From pickles to ice cream, you’ll find 100+ ways to incorporate wild mushrooms into your fall table. Mushroom forager and chef Chad Hyatt explores the boundaries of myco-cuisine, from offering inventive ways to cook with widely-loved edibles like porcini, morels and maitake to shining a light on lesser-known fungal varieties. Whatever your experience level, the recipes are simple and adaptable, whether your foraging leads you to open forests or your local market!
Fire Cider! Cookbook
Speaking of warming spices, this whole book will do the trick. This book was written by one of our favorite herbalists, Rosemary Gladstar. It compiles the benefits of this traditional herbal preparation and collects over 100+ fiery herbalist-created recipes to invigorate the immune system.*