Lots of cultures acknowledge this transition from summer to fall with celebration and rituals. In some cultures there is a celebration of the harvest and plenty that is reaped from the earth. In others there are rituals of deep respect for the coming darker months and giving thanks and gratitude for the sunlight.
What do you do to mark the change of the seasons? Do you pull out your winter sweaters and put away lighter summer clothes? Do you spend more time in reflection looking back on past months of activity and warmth and plan for the upcoming cooler months? Do you get one more good hike in to appreciate the visible changes that mark the turning of the seasons? Whatever it is that you do to note the shifting of weather and season, we welcome you to incorporate also an acknowledgment of the shift that happens inside your body as well.
As the weather turns cooler, your metabolism begins to shift to one of more conservation for the upcoming months when our ancestors had fewer options for food. Our immune system attempts to boost itself to prepare for the inevitable exposure to illness that is shared as our spaces are more closely shared with others. Because of these changes that occur, it is a wonderful time to support both metabolism and immunity through methods of detoxification. Allowing your body to shed the burden of allergies, plentiful food in the summer, and those toxins which accumulate naturally with time in our environment. By increasing an exercise routing to allow for more sweating, doing a sweating ceremony, or a structured detox, you can help to support and prepare your body for this seasonal change.
Elderberry: An Ancient Remedy (By Dr. Guaraldi)
Though the fall season is one of the prettiest here in Vermont, it’s not here yet! We still have time to harvest one of SNFW’s favorite winter immune herbs: elderberry! On my walks with Lucy I see those recognizable clusters of berries ripening in sun-soaked gaps between trees where patches of “weeds” grow thick including thimble berries and mugwort, goldenrod fields not far off. We plan to harvest them and make a glycerite syrup—honey syrups are my favorite but are not safe for kids under one year old.
Elderberry tonics are highly anti-viral and quite safe to be taken in larger doses or for long periods of time. It was found in research studies to be very effective years ago against the H1N1 strain of flu. The flowers, which Lucy and I missed this year while we were getting to know each other, are an effective diaphoretic; made into tea they stimulate the body to sweat, which can be helpful in jump-starting an immune response to an infection. Elderberry bark (or eating large quantities of raw berries), though not recommended often in my practice, will cause diarrhea. I imagine that purgatives like elderberry bark were especially useful years ago when bad food or other non-consumables were eaten.
Here’s a recipe for elderberry syrup. Get to know your woods and fields and enjoy a simple way to connect to nature.
- Place fresh elderberries in a saucepan. (Or place dried elderberries in a saucepan with enough water to barely cover them.)
- Slowly begin to heat the berries. As the berries heat up they will release their juice. You can speed this process by using a berry masher or large spoon to help squash the berries. (For the dried berries continue to simmer lightly.)
- Once it seems that you’ve gotten all the juice you can, let the juice cool enough to comfortably touch, then strain the berries off using a cheesecloth to squeeze the mixture even more.
- While the juice is still warm, but not hot, add an equal part honey, or to taste, and stir to mix well. This syrup will keep for around a month in the fridge.
- SNFW is adding a satellite office in Hyde Park! This office address is 111 Main Street, located in the Grant Building we are in Suite #3, office #3. This building is a wonderful space shared with Hyde Park Chiropractic, Marriage Therapist Mary Donohoe, Green River Guild, and Danu Therapeutics/Massage and Reflexology. Scheduling for this office will be done through the main office in Stowe per usual. Dr. Angela Robens will be providing office hours there on Wednesday days and Thursday afternoons at this time.
- Midwifery assistant, Karen Lencke, will be officially joining the practice in February 2015! Karen has been a friendly face behind the desk and an invaluable assist at many a births over the last year. She is planning to complete her certification and then spend extra time in Utah delivering lots of babies at a high-volume labor and delivery clinic this winter. She will return a certified professional midwife and wonderful addition to our team next year.
- Plans are in the works for an amazing wellness center in Stowe!! We will keep you posted as this project unfolds. Our ultimate goal is to have true integration of your care under the same roof. We have been busily working to make this a reality and recently have gotten approval from the town of Stowe to build the designed clinic and are working towards closing on a piece of land on which to build. Very exciting!!!! Once the land has closed, we will officially announce the project and all of its details, but I wanted to give you a sneak peak!
- For the second year in a row--the US Congress passed (in a late night session
last night!) the following:
"--A resolution designating the week of October 6 through October 12, 2014, as
“Naturopathic Medicine Week” to recognize the value of naturopathic medicine
in providing safe, effective and affordable health care. (S.Res. 420)"
This is thanks to great effort by the AANP (American Association of Naturopathic Physicians) whose stated goal for this year is to get Medicare to credential NDs.
Or watch this informative video: http://vimeo.com/89357546
Please feel free to share this newsletter with friends or family that you think would benefit from its content. We truly hope this information helps you to find a healthier way in the world.
SNFW Physicians and Staff