Fall is upon us (yes even in Hawaii). It's the time of year when things start to ramp up and we can all get stretched a little thin. Now is the time to stock your cupboards with a few herbs to support your heath through the holidays and beyond.*
Mamaki is a nettleless nettle endemic to Hawaii (only found here). When made as a tonic or tea from the leaves, this plant is especially invigorating. It cleanses the blood of toxins, relieves stress and fatigue, and balances blood pressure.
With a long, long history of use in both the kitchen and the medicine cabinet, Sage supports the health of mucous membranes, especially the throat. Even though it is part of the mint family, it, unlike mint, has warming properties. You can use it as a gargle or a tea to support your throat health.
Astragalus is an adaptogen often used in Chinese medicine. Adaptogens help the body to adapt and deal with stress which creates a normalizing effect on your body and its processes. Astragalus supports and strengthens your immunity when you're running on empty. Made from the root, it's easy to take this in tincture form, you can add it to soup stocks or take it in powdered form.
Hawthorn supports a healthy heart and emotional balance. It helps you to remain open, forgiving wrongs and going through life a bit more gently, while also supporting our heart organ physiologically—ensuring it's pumping blood and assisting our circulatory system in doing its job. It's an herb to use daily in tonic, tincture or tea form because its effectiveness comes from use over a long period of time.
Elderberry is so much like food and can be consumed in large quantities, it's an awesome (and safe) herb to feed to your entire family. Elderberry helps our bodies maintain their normal immune response and optimizes immune function. It's delicious when combined with honey, hence elderberry syrup!
The Elder flowers are also useful for supporting your sinuses and maintaining a healthy inflammatory response. Elderflower is great in tea and also in tincture.
Happy stocking up yogis!
*PS—we are not medical professionals, so here's that disclaimer: do your research, see your doctors.
The Yoga Nest is a yoga studio in Kailua Kona, HI that offers vinyasa, power, yin, restorative, and meditation classes. We also host yoga-related workshops, events and more!