Hello, spring, is that you?
Aww, springtime! One of the herbalist's favorite times of the year. It’s a time to dig fresh spring roots, marvel at the first courageous spring flowers and most of all increase the flavor of bitterness in your diet to flush out the stagnation of winter.
For those of us living in places where the seasons are on full display, the change of season means exactly that: time for a change! It's time for shifting, reorganizing and spring cleaning inside and out, from sweeping out the mudroom and putting the winter gear away to doing a spring cleanse.
Nature has a pattern, a flow and rhythm; when the season changes it's an opportunity to observe her movements, her shifting. It’s an invitation to tune in. The more we feel her rhythm and let it guide our movements the more we recognize that we are part of that rhythm, not separate. For us humans to be vibrant and healthy, it's best if we heed the flow and wisdom of the season. Spring is one of the most glorious and joyful moments to tune in. It’s a time of deep creativity and inspiration. Oh, the possibilities! It’s a time of bursting energy, planting seeds and setting your sights on the path ahead. Eat more plants, drink more tea and enjoy the bounty of spring! Here are a few ways to tap into the rhythm from an herbalist perspective.
Dig deep into your herbal apothecary
This is a great time to pull out all your herb jars and inventory what you have on hand. Many of our favorite herbs for making tea and tinctures will be in their full glory and ready for harvest in the coming weeks. This time of year, my daily tea blends get a little creative as I finish off a jar of this and add a pinch of that as I look to make room for the new year's harvest. Increasing your intake of herbs that support digestion and the liver is key in the spring. One of my favorites is red clover. It’s one of the best herbs to support detoxification, is especially good for skin health and is rich in minerals, something that we can be deficient in after a long winter without an adequate amount of fresh greens.* Red clover adds an excellent flavor to any tea blend. I’m always disappointed with myself in late winter if I haven’t finished off my jar of red clover. Now is the time to get the job done!
Plan for the spring harvest; it’s fast and furious!
Now that you have cleaned out and organized your apothecary it's time to make a plan for the spring herb harvest. Make a list of all the things you would like to add to your apothecary this year. What tinctures need restocking? What interesting new herbs do you want to learn about and add to new recipes or products? Unearth your herb drying racks from the basement or get to work making new ones. Or let someone else do the heavy lifting and buy some from an artisan on Etsy. Whatever you’re going to be planting, make sure you have enough seeds on hand! Whatever you’re planning on wildcrafting, it’s time to wash and dry your wildcrafting baskets and crack open your favorite field guide. It’s always more fun to adventure into the fields and forests with a friend or two, so find a buddy that has the same interest. Dream up some new spring recipes and keep a sharp eye on the first signs of green.
Give me all the bitters!!
Spring is the season of bitters, the time to improve digestion, support the liver and clear away winter stagnation. If you don’t see yourself out foraging for dandelion and digging up burdock roots this spring, not to worry, we did all the work for you! Check out our Healthy Liver Bitters, a fantastic formula for spring cleaning. It has a rich and herbaceous flavor and is loaded with our favorite bitter herbs. Artichoke takes the lead with its bitter flavor that stimulates the liver and gallbladder, helping to improve the body's natural detoxification. Dandelion, one of the best tonic herbs of all time, is rejuvenating; it gently stimulates digestion and is packed full of minerals and vitamins, helping to enrich and support the body.*
Move it!! Hydrate, get the body moving, your lymph flowing and the sweat pouring down.
It's so easy to get dehydrated, but the good news--it's also so easy to stay hydrated! Drink more water daily. Yes, that seems easier said than done for many of us, but a little effort will go a long way. For me, drinking a big glass of water in the morning as soon as I get out of bed is the best way to start my day off on the right foot. Being adequately hydrated will help the body with proper elimination and natural detoxification. Spring is a good time to move the lymphatic system, increase exercise and sweat out the residues of winter. Dry brushing, lymphatic massage and regularly spending time in a sauna are all excellent ways to get in tune with the change of season.
Yep, spring can bring a little dread for people that suffer from seasonal sensitivities. But luckily herbs are here to help! Fresh stinging nettle has traditionally been used to support occasional seasonal sensitivities. Once carefully harvested with thick gloves and scissors, the leaves can be juiced, made into tea, tinctured, or added to soups or stir fries. In addition, red reishi is one of our favorite herbs for supporting a healthy immune response. Use it daily over the coming months as part of a comprehensive strategy to prepare for the blooms of spring and summer. Our Aller-Blast® tincture is an easy way to incorporate into your daily health routine both stinging nettle and red reishi, along with a number of other supportive herbs, a favorite formula blended by our Urban Moonshine herbalists.Cheers to enjoying a little more sunshine and getting out into the fields and forest this spring.