Spring. The season of renewal. New beginnings. Reawakening. If you’re into natural medicine, you also know that spring is a great time to clear out the old, and make space for what’s ready to be born. One way to do this is with herbs.
Although herbal medicine is becoming more popular again, many people are being driven to use it based on symptom management, and/or the latest “exotic cure” fad. Sure, that Valerian seems to be helping you sleep at night, but is it getting at the root causes? Yes,that goji berry drink tastes great, but is it doing anything for your long term health? Or perhaps more importantly, how much “earth energy” (fossil fuels, unearthed packaging materials, and the like) is spent just to get the drink into your hand?
This spring, change the pattern. Try these five common herbs that have the capacity to clear out the old, stuck, and toxic, as well as help rebuild overall health and wellness.
Just about everyone knows what Dandelions are, but did you know that they are packed with beneficial vitamins and minerals? Dandelion is a powerful, but gentle detoxifying plant. And it’s everywhere. You probably have patches of it in your own yard or neighborhood! The benefits of Dandelion are truly far reaching.
Rosemary is another commonplace herb. Regularly found in window pots and garden plots, this tender perennial has long been loved for its attractive, alert bringing scent. Perhaps you already use Rosemary in your cooking. Maybe you didn’t know that Rosemary teas and essential oils are great for promoting mental alertness and overall health? In other words, adding Rosemary to your “spring cleaning” list is a great way to help get rid of any sluggishness that has built up over the winter.
Given their sting and propensity to quickly spread and take over, Nettles have a fairly poor reputation amongst gardeners, farmers, and outdoors enthusiasts. However, if you get beyond the surface, these tall, tough plants are full of health attributes, including reducing overall inflammation in the body, and supporting immune system functioning. Once spring settles in, Nettles are fairly easy to find, and the early greens can be harvested and cooked as a nutritious side dish.
Cilantro, long known as a kitchen staple, is another great detox herb. In addition to being a wonderful food flavoring, Cilantro binds to heavy metals like aluminum and mercury, and aids in their removal from the body. Given how prevalent heavy metals have become in our water, food, and local environments, plants like Cilantro are becoming increasingly important for helping maintain overall wellness. Cilantro is very easy to grow! Even a small pot in a windowsill can produce a bounty of cilantro for making teas or adding to your cooking.
And finally there’s Yarrow. Although you may not be as familiar with this plant as the others, odds are you’ve seen it growing in fields or even in patches in your yard or garden plot. Among its numerous talents, Yarrow aids circulation, is anti-inflammatory, is good for the blood, and possesses a bounty of other healing properties. Try adding a little bit to your favorite tea or other hot beverage. Given its bitterness, it’s best combined with sweeter or otherwise more pleasant tasting herbs like mint or ginseng.
There are many other easy to find herbs that can be added to your diets as food and/or as supplements that could support a “spring cleaning.” These are among my all time favorites, which is why I have shared them with you today. As with any herbal advice, this article is offered as educational in spirit. May you be inspired to learn more about the plants that live and grow in your own backyard. Happy spring cleaning!