Seasonal Broths, Tonics and Elixirs

Our true state of health and wellness allows us to feel good, and feeling good requires that our body, mind and soul are deeply nourished. When we are deeply nourished, we have a healthy gut and a calm nervous system that create a state of feeling good. Our health begins in the gut, and our wellness depends upon a calm nervous system.

The gut and the nervous system are deeply connected. Few people realize that the lining of the gut starts in the mouth and goes all the way down to the rectum, and our gut is either stimulated or calmed by the nervous system. Since the nervous system is the command center of the body, let us understand the nervous system better.

The nervous system is comprised of two parts, the Central nervous system and the Peripheral nervous system.

The Central nervous system is comprised of the brain, cerebellum and the spinal chord. The spinal chord sends signals from the brain to the body and controls simple reflexes. The brain is responsible for processing the sensory information of the body, and works with both conscious and unconscious bodily functions to maintain a state of stability and balance, an ideal state of homeostasis.

The Peripheral nervous system is a network of nerves that sends both signals to and from the Central nervous system and also to the body’s organs, muscles and senses. It is comprised of the Somatic and the Autonomic nervous systems. The Somatic controls motor and sensing neurons enabling us to naturally move about our daily activities, while the neurons of the Autonomic work to connect the Central nervous system with our body’s organs. It is here that there is a split between the Parasympathetic and the Sympathetic nervous systems.

The Parasympathetic nervous system works to conserve energy, and it needs a calm state of rest, relaxation and sleep in order to build and store energy. The Sympathetic nervous system works to prepare the body for using this energy, such as to engage in exerting activities, respond to stress and controls the fight or flight response.

The important takeaway here is that the Central nervous system influences the health of our organs, and the Parasympathetic and Sympathetic nervous systems not only influence our energy levels, but also our body’s ability to heal. When we are stressed and burned out, we have low energy and immunity. We need rest and relaxation in order to restore our energy, heal our stress, calm the nervous system and most vital, we need deep nourishment.

Seasonal Broths

The beauty of seasonal broths is that they allow us to access and build health through deep nourishment. Broths are in essence a type of gentle tonic that aids in restoring and healing the gut lining, the nervous system and our organs. We can add special tonic herbs to broths that will target and tone specific tissues and organs. Broths provide deep immune support for each season. They are calming, soothing and grounding while offering anti-viral, anti-bacterial and inflammatory support. They further aid in cleansing the lymph system, the blood and healing the adrenals so we can handle stress more efficiently. Broths are adaptogenic in nature, meaning that the combination of healing foods, herbs, plants and roots provide us with the deep nourishment we need to handle life’s challenges. Broths gently return us to a welcome state of homeostasis.

Learning how to make seasonal broths will empower you to take charge of your own health and wellness, as you embrace each season with nourishing broth recipes. Each season presents challenges to the body to which it must adapt, and seasonal broths can prepare our bodies to better cope with the stress each season might bring.

Tonics

Tonics are made from specific herbs intended to target and tone specific organs and tissues. They can also be made more generally to help with certain conditions like anxiety, stress or sleep. While sipping a cup or two a day of broth is a more gentle approach, a spoonful or two of a tonic gives your body an instant wellness boost. Tonics are more potent than broths and are loaded with nutrients. It is especially great to make your tonics from your own fresh or dried garden herbs, and you will know the exact ingredients. Most tonics are made with dried herbs that steep in either alcohol or apple cider vinegar for 4 to 6 weeks. An Oxcymel tonic is made similarly, but steeps in apple cider vinegar and honey. Tonics can be a refreshing change from popping supplements, and they can be readily used in drinks, salad dressings, sauces, soups, smoothies and more.

Elixirs

Many elixirs are made from the steeped herbal tonics by simply adding honey or maple syrup, and storing it in tincture bottles. Elixirs can also be made from strong herbal tea preparations to which a small amount of alcohol and honey are added before being stored in a tincture bottle. Elixirs, however, are not limited to herbs and tincture bottles. Delicious, nutrient dense and nourishing elixirs can be made from a variety of adaptogen foods and plants, and pureed in a blender. The main thing with elixirs is that they are made to be strong, and target a specific condition or health issue. The abundance of adaptogen foods, herbs, flowers and plants available are just waiting for our wisdom and imagination for the many ways in which we can combine them for our healing, wellness and delight.

I am now offering classes at my farm to learn how to make seasonal broths, tonics and elixirs.

To find out more or to sign up, click here.

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