The Best Herbs for Fall

Although Denver is still holding on the warmth of the summer, I was up in the mountains last weekend and the icy breeze of winter reminded me that autumn is quickly approaching.

Thursday, September 22 is the Autumn Equinox. The Equinox is marked by the 12 hours of darkness and 12 hours of light that occurs twice a year. During the equinox, it is a reminder of the intricate balance of yin-yang, the dynamic opposites that govern all existence according to Chinese philosophy. I love this time of year, when I see plants letting go of all the energy they absorbed from their leaves during the year and then effortlessly releasing it all back to the Earth. Watching their process makes me reflect on all I have taken on throughout the year and gives me an opportunity to let go of all that I don’t need to hold on to.

I love this time of year, when I see plants letting go of all the energy they absorbed from their leaves during the year and then effortlessly releasing it all back to the earth. Watching their process makes me reflect on all I have taken on throughout the year and gives me an opportunity to let go of all that I don’t need to hold on to.

Some of my favorite plants are those that remind us to let go of what we no longer need. In the case of Hawthorn Berries, they literally break up fats that may lead to arteriosclerosis or sluggish digestion. Citrus peels

Citrus peels, especially grapefruit peel, is very mucolytic, which means it breaks down substances containing mucus. In Chinese medicine, mucolytic herbs break up what we call phlegm, qi and blood stagnation (which can manifest as lipomas, tumors, cysts) and can be helpful in both decreasing cellulite and acne. Respiratory disorders are rampant in autumn, with many suffering from a wet cough that tends to linger with the cold, wet weather. Perilla leaf is useful to stop coughing and dissolves the phlegm that causes the tight, stifling sensation in the chest that accompanies the cough.

What are your favorite herbs for helping you let go of what is holding you back from optimum health?