Laura’s Botanicals for Mamies Apothecary
Herbal Strategies For Seasonal Transition
As the seasons change so does our lifestyle, skincare and eating techniques to get the best out of our favorite time of year.
by Laura Baum
Keywords: replenish + energize on a cellular level
Skincare during summer is minimal with an emphasis on light hydrating cellular mists and spf infused moisturizers. The primary summer skincare goals were nutrition and protection, requiring high performance products and methods to live up to our busy and physical lifestyle choices. The end of the day cool shower completed with an herbal oiling or detoxifying lymphatic dry brushing is something you can continue to do into the Fall. Fall skincare involves a lot of the same tactics as summer but there should also be a slight change in our moisturizer routines and we might consider slightly denser plant based balms or creams as the weather becomes increasingly cooler.
Continuing to drink lots of cool water going into Fall is crucial, cucumber water and light herbal teas replenish lost reserves will make you feel more energetic and your skin will look healthier as a result of this effort. I also recommend body salt scrubs or epsom foot baths to replenish lost magnesium, seaweeds in your foods and other good salts like the ones that are in the herb marshmallow root (Althaea officinalis) to help hydrate the body on the cellular level. Some healthy salts are always required to consume along with clean water to penetrate the cells of our body in a more significant way. Electrolytes go along with this method too.
I always aim to do a facial mask at least once a week. For the beginning of fall I really like to do a simple mask with turmeric, cucumber water, cooled down holy basil tea or rose water and honey as my main ingredients. Use those cute and highly nutritious cucumbers from your garden, your neighbors garden or your local farmers market before they are no longer in season.
What is the difference between a mist and a toner?
A mist is applied at the same time as a toner in the daily skincare regimen (in between cleansing and serums) but a mist is generally more of a nutritive and hydrating boost to the skin and mists also allow serums to penetrate the skin more effectively because its one extra hydrating layer. My favorite mists usually include hydrosols, sometimes called floral waters, a form of small batch distillates. My personal favorites for late summer include sweet orange (neroli), lavender and rose. Mint also makes a lovely and refreshing late summer facial mist.
Vata/ Late Summer/ Virgo
Keywords: Specific to the Seasons
Entering the new season,and especially in this year of great pivoting and changing, behaving according to and becoming attuned to weather changes and traditional rituals is an important aspect of overall holistic health and lifestyle. Every taste, flavor and even food can be categorized by traditional (and ancient) systems of herbal medicine from India, China and beyond.
Ayurveda (Pitta/ Vata)
The primary affinities to focus on in this season are the respiratory and nervous systems. Aromatic herbs with volatile oils that possess antimicrobial properties such as holy basil/ tulsi (Ocimum sanctum) and Bay Laurel (Laurel nobilis) come to mind for this time of year. Though pitta is through the warm weather and well into November here in the American South East, it is important to note that in Ayurvedic systems there is a period of relationship, these two seasons are recognized to having influence over us at the same time. It is therefore important to plan and prepare for Vata towards the end of Pitta. Scheduling an early fall detox might be a tool to consider. Taking bitters might also be helpful.
Late Summer (Traditional Chinese Medicine)
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the last month of summer, the middle of the Chinese year is called the late summer and it occurs before autumn truly takes hold. This is the beginning of a transition from earth element to metal element. Within metal which can be compared to Vata lung vitality will be a primary area to support. In the transition to this we should also focus on the spleen- pancreas relationship of the body. Choose harmonizing whole foods such as millet, corn, cabbage, garbanzo beans, sweet potatoes, rice, peas, pungent herbs (dried ginger for example) and melons. The color yellow symbolizes this season.
Virgo (Astro Herbology)
A potent turning point for the seasonal balance of zodiac from ego centered Leo to a place of thinking of others views. This sign is symbolic of introspection and self reflection. This could be a period that reflects tension and a quest for perfection so it is important to stay hydrated, soft and flexible in the seasonal swing. This is a period to extend service to others, to help solve world problems but to again remain replenished while doing just that.
Keywords: Ground, center, cleanse and prioritize
Creating a grounding altar in a functional room of your home (office, kitchen etc.) is a way to connect more intentionally to the goals you have set for this new season. Support your ambitions with a continuous display of seasonal cut flowers and dried mushroom and botanical totems. Give it a moment of your undivided attention every day. The flower essence of rose of sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) is a lovely and nurturing way to embrace energetic medicine into your transitional routine and can be taken in drops under the tongue or in water with your daily yoga or meditation practices. Clean your space both physically and spiritually but don’t allow a strict attachment to progress, we must remain supple, centered and resilient. --LB
Laura Baum helps people learn herbalism and lifestyle strategies partnering with wellness brands that want to do the same. As an accountability coach and clinical herbalist Laura helps her clients carve out time for meaningful rituals and provides customizations that support the enrichment of an individuals lifestyle approaches. Laura’s unique brand of skincare and wellness products, Laura’s Botanicals can be found on the shelves (and webshop) of Mamies Apothecary.
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