Autumn: inspiration and introspection

The B. Tree autumn herbal offerings are crafted to support the body and spirit as we move away from the bright, outside exuberance of summer and the air turns chilly, the days getting noticeably shorter.  We focus on herbs that help to bring light and joy into the heart, that help the body maintain balance with a healthy immune system and a nourished nervous system.

For a example of Autumn CSA offerings, click here!

Supporting our bodies and spirits

Autumn is about inspiration, acknowledgement, slowing down, letting go, and beginning to move inward.  Take some time for yourself this autumn. Slow down and ask yourself “what brings me joy? what brings me balance? what brings me peace?” Now set aside a little slice of your day to give yourself those gifts. You can spare 15 or 20 minutes to bring more peace into your life. I promise, it’s worth it.

As you look around at the world you may find many things out of balance. Even more reason to take these moments of pause and deep breaths. Take time to notice how nature keeps balance. In autumn the abundance, vibrancy and busy-ness of late summer is waning, leaves and fruits are falling, the grasses are drying out, the sap of trees is moving down into the roots.  It’s time to slow down, to ground into our roots and our self-care routines. It’s time to let go of what no longer serves us, letting it fall away, thanking it for its lessons, and looking forward to the new growth that will come in its place.

The Lungs and Large Intestine

In Chinese medicine, the autumn is the time of the lungs and their corresponding organ, the colon.  The lungs are about taking in, receptivity, and inspiration, just as they take in air with each inhale. They are part of the body’s defense against disease and airborne viruses. As the weather cools and colds start to spread, we do well to support our lungs.  The large intestine is about letting go of what no longer serves so that movement can happen and the next phase of life can come. It is about fully grieving loss so that one can fully move on with increased vitality.

Protective and Cleansing Foods and Herbs

As we prepare for the quiet introspection of winter, we can support our bodies through this seasonal shift with pungent and sour foods, hearty stews, baked roots, and immune support. Pungent and mucilaginous foods help to protect the membrane of the lungs and colon as well as cleanse out some of the stuck toxins and excess mucus.  Dark green and golden orange vegetables are protective because they are rich in beta-carotene (provitamin A). The green foods are especially helpful because their chlorophyll inhibits viruses and helps the lungs clear out toxic residues.  Fiber is also extremely important for lung and colon health and cleansing. It is the indigestible part of food: the bran of grains, the pulp of fruit, the cell walls of veggies. There is essentially no fiber in animal products.

So let’s feed our bodies all the delicious autumn foods that are naturally available at this time of year: red peppers, orange butternut squash, yellow tomatoes, turnip greens, blueberries, purple eggplant. What an incredible rainbow of local harvest! And may these herbal offerings help to keep the light shining brightly in your heart, help keep your body healthy and vibrant and bring you deep calm and peace.

Autumn herbal offerings of 2019

Sources for this post came from: Healing With Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition, Paul Pitchford, 2002