There are so many calming and supportive herbs that can be incorporate into this season of yin to help us stay grounded and resilient. Thankfully there are also many ways to use them!
Here are some of my favourite herbal recipes for this season.
Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) is a friend to many for its ability to ground an overactive nervous system, especially suited to those who find themselves “tired but wired” around bedtime. It has a gentle taste with slightly earthy undertones and it pairs beautifully with turmeric in this golden mylk.
1 ½ tsp. turmeric
½ tsp – 1 tsp ashwagandha powder
½ tsp. ginger
¼ tsp. cinnamon
pinch black pepper
pinch star anise
1 cup mylk of your choice (coconut milk, hemp milk, full fat dairy)
½ – 1 tsp. virgin coconut oil
½ – 1 tsp. sweetener of choice (I like raw honey)
In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm mylk until just before it simmers. Whisk in golden milk and ashwagandha spice blend until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in coconut oil and sweetener, if desired.
Astragalus membranaceus (Milk vetch) is a top herb for the fall and winter months. It is a powerful immunomodulator (keeps our immune system strong!) and adaptogen. In Chinese medicine, it is often used as a warming tonic which makes it ideal for the cooler months. Energetically, this herb strengthens our shield; both our physical shield or immune system and our energetic boundaries. It asks us to let go of that which we do not need. Note that it has a strong flavour so begin with small amounts and increase to taste.
Those with autoimmune disease or who are currently ill should not use this herb.
1-2 tbsp astragalus root powder
2.5 tbsp cacao powder
1 cup cashew butter (or any other nut or seed butter)
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup crushed nuts (walnuts or almonds or whatever you would prefer)
Mix the herbal powder with the cacao.
Add the cashew butter and honey and mix into a paste.
Add the nuts.
Feel free to add in any of the following until it gets to the consistency that you are content with: hemp hearts, shredded coconut, cacao nibs, goji berries.
Then with slightly damp hands, roll into snack-sized bites.
Store in the fridge and eat within a week.
Many herbs can be formulated into an epsom salt mixture and be used as an herbal bath. Some of my favourites include Lavendula officinalis (Lavender), Rosa damascena (Rose) and Calendula officinalis (marigold). This blend is floral and soothing to both skin and the nervous system. I typically add 5 drops of vetiver essential oil for a grounding effect.
1 cup epsom salts
¼ cup lavender flowers, dried
¼ cup rose petals, dried
¼ cup calendula petals, dried
5-10 drops of essential oil (your preference; I often choose lavender and vetiver)
Mix all in a bowl and spoon into a bath tea bag OR a nut mylk bag. Steep for as long as you desire.
Always ask your healthcare practitioner before incorporating new herbs into your life (even as food!).
If you are interested in how to incorporate herbal allies into your day to day life, join my upcoming webinar on yin tonics. It will be an informative and relaxing time!