Jane Ward – Medical Herbalist
With the spring equinox upon us spring has finally returned. It’s now time to look at what is starting to sprout around us as the earth wakes up after a long hard winter.
The days around the vernal Equinox mid to late March and the following months were seen as a time of intense flowing energy, days get longer in length and the sunlight stronger, the first signs of green growth emerge from the soil and wild life gently awakens.
Herbalists still consider this a time when the more inward, congealing energies of winter begin to move outward to the expansive energies of summer. When a little attention is paid to this process we can improve our vitality, strengthen digestion and immunity, and keep us in-tune with the changing of the seasons.
There are certain herbal allies that have gained a reputation for aiding in this transition.
Many of the herbs mentioned below can be made into spring tonics.
This root is generally cooling in energy and is a tonic too, can be eaten like you would eat a carrot or could be simmered into a tonic brew. It is suited for people with a under active appetite. It’s chief traditional use is for acne and other skin complaints. Use 2 TBS per pint of water along with other herbs.
A true remedy that mixes well with herbs for almost most complaints. Dandelion is a catalyst for change and gently enhances digestion and eliminative functions in the body. When in doubt this is the root to gather. The roots energy is cooling and enhances the detox process through the liver. Helping us resolve that sluggishness which may have been accumulated over winter. Use 2 TBS of chopped root per pint of water.
This green herb comes a little later in the spring but makes a great cooling tonic for people who are prone to swelling and fluid retention in the legs. They can be juiced and an ounce of juice can be taken as a daily tonic.
This herb is warming and drying. It is great for those who show signs of fluid retention, also for those who are lacking iron and minerals.
Herbalists use the young leaves in soups or a herbal tea. Use about 2 TBS of chopped leaves a day .
A note on preparation
Many of the herbs mentioned release their medicinal constituents during a process called decocting. The resulting brew is often called a decoction. It is best achieved by simmering herbs in water in a stainless steel pan covered, for 15 mins on a low heat. Finally strain the brew and drink immediately.
I am also running a competition at the moment to Name my New Herbal Night Time Tea… I am creating a new Herbal tea blend to aid sleep. Please send me your ideas for a name to the Sanctuary email and win your own packet to try first. All you need to do is name the tea, give your name and email so we can contact you.
Best name will be announced at our May Day/Earth day celebration on the 29th April. Good luck!