Long ago, when we still belonged to the earth, our bodies would be craving the
fresh greens of spring by the time the equinox rolled around. Today it’s very easy for us to get fresh greens in the dark of winter, but before there were grocery stores, we had to wait. During winter, the body’s systems become stagnant while we bulk up on starchy root veg, other comfort foods and stay sheltered from the cold. The first greens of spring are full of detoxing properties to wake your body up and help your lymphatic system get running properly again. As the sun gets warmer and the days get longer, we find our bodies wanting to wake up and move. A proper herbal regime can assist them along the way and give the energy needed.
The main goal in the spring is to support your liver and gallbladder while they do all the work. Dandelion + Burdock roots are both excellent allies for this. Dandelion has a cleansing supportive role of stimulating the liver to remove waste and burdock nourishes the body’s natural filtration system. Dandelion is renowned for its detoxing properties and its history as a plant medicine and liver tonic dates back to the 10th century! These both being tonic herbs, consuming them in teas + broths needs to become a daily ritual. They can easily be supported in their roles by flowers like Calendula and Red Clover.
Bitters are a great way to support the liver and they also double as digestive support. Burdock’s bitterness stimulates digestion and it’s also packed full of inulin, a prebiotic that will feed all those microbes you helped populate your gut with by eating fermented foods. It keeps everyone happy and systems running smoothly. Other bitter plant material such as orange peel and juniper can also help stimulate digestion taken before meals. It’s hard to remember these rituals in our modern busy world when it was a matter of survival for our ancestors. In a world where everything is packaged up “ready to eat”, we’ve come so far from what our bodies are supposed to be consuming on a daily basis to nourish and support their functions. It’s important they become rituals in our lives and our children’s lives again. It’s really as simple as consuming whole local seasonal foods and foraged herbs + roots + mushrooms as much as possible.
Another amazing way to easily cleanse your system are the fresh spring greens that start to pop up after the equinox. Nettle + dandelion leaf + plantain + cleavers are incredible allies to have regardless, but in spring after a long stale winter, they are gold. Packed full of vitamins and minerals, they’re essential to any spring cleaning routine. They are easy to forage or grow, extremely cold hardy and taste amazing in many dishes. Try to mix the more bitter greens with other non bitter greens to help with the taste. They are also delicious with the sweetness of honey and the sour of vinegar. Our shrubs pair very well with spring greens just mix a few tablespoons with some olive oil and honey to taste in a jar and give a good shake. Drizzle over your greens and enjoy fresh! Nettles must be cooked or dried before consuming. Watch out for that sting!
And of course we can’t forget the lymphatic system! It’s one of the most important systems in your body. It helps remove waste and toxins from cells, and controls the flow of bacteria-fighting cells. Keeping your lymphatic system healthy is extremely important for detoxing and immunity. It also contributes to our overall health. When it comes to maintaining a healthy lymphatic system, there are many things that will contribute to its health along with herbs. The things you eat, the amount of exercise + sleep, and skin care to name a few. The most essential step being the support of lymphatic drainage. Consuming herbs like cleavers, calendula, burdock, red clover and dandelion can help with this as well.
Taking tinctures and drinking tea a few times a day can seem tedious, but once you make it a habit you won’t even think about it. It will become second nature the way it used to for our ancestors. Plus you will look extremely bad ass pulling out your tincture bottle before every meal. You can find our Vernal Bitters here and keep an eye out for our spring apothecary box available for pre order soon!