October is my favorite month (no, not just because it's my birth month)! As I drove to this week's chiropractic appointment, I reveled in the gray skies, the changing leaves (finally!!), and the crisper air. As trees shed leaves so they can focus their energy on root growth, I find this is the perfect time of year for me to also focus a bit more on myself. Soccer is over, these are the final weeks of this pregnancy, and this is usually the time of year I make our fall herbal "toolkit." Of course, this year, I'm extra tired and need time off my feet that I usually do without, and I need to make freezer meals. I hope I can get it all done!! We already have our elderberry syrup made thanks to Chipmunk's vague cold symptoms at the end of the summer. I need to set up our fire cider, and this year I'll be making some throat soothers. I usually ferment some garlic cloves in honey, too, but I'm skipping that one this year in favor of tinctures and teas. There's one fall remedy I started using only last year that both kids loved, and I used it with success, too. I learned it from one of Rosemary Gladstar's writings - I can't remember which one. If someone is coming down with something, I put some onion slices in a small pot on the stove, over very low heat, and cover them with raw honey. The onion juices infuse and thin out the honey just a bit. When it starts getting a little thinner and fluid like, that's when I start giving my kids "honey spoons." I let them eat it by the spoonful, adding to the pot as needed. The honey can soothe a dry, irritated, sore or scratchy throat, give them a break from a nagging cough and the honey doesn't get so warm that it loses its own antibacterial properties. It will lose some, but not so much that it's rendered useless. The onion has properties helping it to stimulate the immune system, fighting bacteria and inflammation. This is like a 30 second prep, on demand cough syrup. I remember from Rosemary Gladstar's story (if I find it again I'll come back and link to wherever I read it. She is such a warm story teller) that she had a wood stove, and so just always had a pot of this going, and never got sick when she used it. We don't have a wood stove (yet...), so I just make it on an as needed basis and keep it on the lowest heat I can get on my stove. A small crock pot might work well, too.
Quickly, some other things we do year round that these remedies complement (and I can talk more about these next week): I use topical magnesium butter daily (the same one that's in my shop), drink my vitamin c in the form of rose hips infused along with whatever my herbal infusion is that day/week/season, and take 10,000 IU of vitamin D daily (that's a lot, but I've been pregnant, nursing or both for over 6 years straight, so I'm never supplementing for just myself. Astragulus is another wonderful, gentle immune system booster. It's a great addition to fall soups, or you can tincture it.
What do you do to keep your family healthy over the fall and winter months?
I am the mama who is over the moon in love with her family and green living.