Autumn; Time to Cleanse the Blood and Nourish the Immune System
By AnnMarie Tedeschi
Three Roots Vinegar
Yellow dock Root
The classic trio! Fill a mason jar half-way with the fresh harvested roots, cleaned thoroughly and chopped finely. If using dried roots, you only need to fill the jar ¼ of the way. Grinding the roots is recommended if using dried. Cover and let sit away from light and heat for 3-6 weeks, shaking occasionally. Strain and enjoy this delicious liver tonic by itself or on foods.
Autumn Blood Building/ Liver Tonic Syrup
½ oz beet root
½ oz yellow dock root
½ oz astragalus root
½ oz hawthorn berries
Bring 2 oz. of hardy herbs (roots, barks or seeds) and 32 oz. of water to a slight boil in a saucepan, stirring occasionally. Turn down the heat to a low simmer and decoct until the volume is reduced in half, about an hour. Strain out the herbs. Add ¾ cup of blackstrap molasses. Why molasses? Molasses is very high in iron, which is essential in creating red blood cells. So molasses is a blood building tonic in itself! If you really can’t stand the flavor of molasses, you can use honey.
Mix well, bottle and refrigerate for longest preservation.
*Herbal syrups should last for 6-12 months in the refrigerator and 2-6 week in room temperature. Keep away from light and heat.
Don’t have an ingredient? Don’t worry about it, leave it out. This is folk medicine, so it doesn’t have to be exact! Just add a little more of the other ingredients or choose a replacement. In fact, I highly encourage you to create your own recipe! Here are some other blood cleansing, blood building, liver tonic herbs that you can choose for your syrup:
Roots: dandelion root, sarsaparilla root, burdock root, nettle root, ashwagandha root, marshmallow root, Oregon grape root, aralia root
Seeds, Berries and Fruits: schisandra berries, nettle seeds, rose hips, dates, sumac berries, elderberries, milk thistle seeds
Leaves and flowers: nettle leaves, red clover leaf/flower, alfalfa leaf, oat straw, raspberry leaf.
*Note: Do not boil the leaves and flowers! You must make a separate infusion (strong tea) with them and combine it into your mixture later!
Gentle and Alkalizing Liver Cleanse
½ cup grapefruit juice
½ cup lemon juice
¼ cup water
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp. flax seed
a pinch of ginger
a dash of cayenne pepper
Blend and drink on an empty stomach, preferably first thing in the morning. Follow by a cup of either senna tea or a tea of equal parts fennel, fenugreek and flax seeds. Wait one hour before eating. Eat light, healthy, simple meals for the rest of the day. Avoid processed foods, sugar, coffee, alcohol and other toxins if possible. Most effective if done for 7-10 days.
Adaptogenic herbs help the body “adapt” to stress or return to a state of balance. They are gentle, nourishing and help support the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
Three Criteria of an Adaptogenic Herb- defined by Russian doctor I.I. Brekham
- It should cause no harm and place no additional stress on the body.
- It should help the body adapt to the many varied environmental and psychological stresses.
- It must have non-specific action on the body and does not focus on one specific organ, body system or body function. It usually supports many body systems and functions, often different body systems/functions for different people, depending on which are in need of support. This is what makes this category of herbs so radical and not recognized in the eyes of allopathic medicine.
List of Common Adaptogens:
North American: nettle root and leaf, dandelion root, burdock root, yellow dock root, American ginseng, milk thistle seed, slippery elm bark, pine tree pollen, white poplar bark
South American: pau d’ arco bark, cat’s claw bark, maca root
Indian: ashwaganda root, tulsi or holy basil leaf, gotu kola leaf
Chinese: goji berries, astragalus bark, licorice root, tang kuei (angelica root), ginkgo biloba leaf, schisandra berries
Adapogenic Mushrooms: reishi (Chinese mushroom of immortality), chaga (Russian mushroom of immortality), maitake, shitake, turkey tail, cordyceps sinensis