Herbal Flavors of Fall
As autumn approaches our bodies begin to change with the cooling of the season. This is a time when we switch from consuming cool herbs & foods to release the heat of summer to using more warming herbs and spices.
Herbs & Spices for Fall: Anise Star Pods, Cardamom, Cat’s Claw, Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger, Echinacea, Elderberry, Eleuthero, Marshmallow
Star Anise–Star anise can be used whole or ground, and in both sweet and savory dishes. Use this fragrant spice whole to infuse flavor into tea, cocktails, soup broth, and even pasta sauce. Taste: Warm, sweet
Cardamom – This warm, aromatic spice is widely used in Indian cuisine. It’s also great in baked goods when used in combination with spices like clove and cinnamon. Taste: Warm, sweet Most Popular Use: Baked goods, stews, curries, chai
Cat’s Claw Herb – Headaches, Cold & Flu, Fever. Gastrointestinal Problems (Colitis, IBS, Crohn’s & Ulcers), Tumors, Liver Issues, Arthritis, Asthma, Fibromyalgia & Cardiovascular Diseases. Known as an Immune Tonic, good for treating AIDS & some Cancer. Taste: Bitter; Cool Energy.
Cinnamon – Found in almost every world cuisine, cinnamon serves double duty as spice in both sweet and savory dishes. Taste: Sweet, warm, bitter Most Popular Use: Baked goods, spice blends, teas.
Cloves – Sweet and warming spice. Used most often in baking, but also good with braised meat. Taste: Sweet Most Popular Use: Spice blends, meat, baked goods
Ginger – Warming Spice. Great in a wide variety of foods & baked goods, but also adds a warm note to savory dishes. Taste: Spicy and pungent. Most Popular Use: Asian Cooking, supplements, teas.
Echinacea- Lymphatic System & Immunity Booster- Bacterial & Viral Infections & Reduces Inflammation. Useful for Colds & Flu, Allergies, Colic. Taste: Bitter, Pungent; Cool Energy.
Elder Berry– Relieves Coughs, Congestion & Constipation and Stimulates the Immune System. Use for Colds/Flu, Bronchitis, Asthma, Sinusitis and Fever. Taste: Bitter, Sweet; Cool Energy.
Siberian Ginseng (Eleuthero)- helps to stabilize Blood Sugar, reduces cravings for sweets, Natural Energizer, Immune Enhancer and Increases Stamina-good for athletes. Take in the fall to prevent Flu. Taste: for Sweetish, Acrid; Warm Energy.
Marshmallow- Soother for mucous membranes, skin & other tissues. Good for Bladder Infections, Fluid Retention, Headache, Digestive & Intestinal Disorders, Kidney Problems, Sinusitis, Ulcers & Sore Throat. Taste: Sweetish, Bland; Cool Energy.
Create Your Own Chai Tea. Serve this tea with or without milk.
The traditional “Masala” blend is a spicy flavored black tea from India that is delicious, nutritous and great for warming up the body. This is a very forgiving recipe, have fun making variations.
1.0 oz (3tbp) Chinese Red Tea (Lapsang Souchong), Black Tea (Darjeeling, Assam, Ceylon), Rooibos or Honeybush Tea
.25 oz (1tsp) Dried & Chopped Cinnamon, Ginger, Cardamom Ponds, Peppercorns (optional- spicy tea)
3-5 Anise Star Pods (break whole into pieces)
Directions: Combine Ingredients in a clean bowl. Spoon into & Store in a glass jar or BPH free plastic tub or baggie. To brew: Use 1-2 tsp per 8oz water for tea, then add milk to taste; or simmer in milk covered for 15-30 minutes. Sweeten with honey if desired or add a pinch of stevia into tea prior to brewing.
Please keep in mind that herbs may interfere with prescription medications and you may wish to consult with your physician prior to trying anything new. They also may cause drowsiness or other issues that may affect your daily life (driving, working, etc.) so you may wish to try herbs for the first time when you are at home and not planning to go anywhere. Not all herbs are intended for everyone, especially pregnant & lactating women and those with pre-existing health conditions. This article is intended to educate you and not to replace professional medical advice.