With Spring Equinox right around the corner and the first signs of Spring starting to peek through, it’s time to start gathering your herbal allies to make the seasonal shift as seamless as possible! With any seasonal transition, it is important to take extra care until your body is fully adjusted. Fortunately, there are many herbal allies you can draw from and easily incorporate into your daily routine.
In this article, I share with you some of my current go-to herbs for easing the transition out of Winter without missing a beat. From mood to immune to digestive support and more, read on to learn about some essential herbal allies to use as we shift into Spring.
As soon as the weather gets warmer, it is always tempting to immediately shed our extra layers and get outside. Although this certainly feels liberating on SO many levels, it is important to ensure that the body stays warm inside and out. Ginger is one of my favorite circulatory stimulant and diaphoretic herbs, helping ensure our circulation is working “smoothly” while naturally pushing heat out to the surface. This herb is especially helpful for those of us with chronically cold hands and feet!
Ginger is a daily heral ally of mine throughout the colder months of the year and I always make sure to continue using it through this transitional period too. It is quite common to feel a little “under the weather” as the weather patterns shift and change all of a sudden. It takes the body time and energy to adapt to a new type of homeostasis (especially throughout sudden cold snaps between much warmer days) and we need to support the body through these changes. Drawing from a warming and immune-boosting heral ally like Ginger can be incredibly helpful durig this time, particularly on those cold snap Spring days.
Although the shift to colder days tends to be more challenging for many, any type of seasonal transition can trigger a sudden change in mood. If you find yourself feeling a bit out of balance while trying to orient yourself emotionally in the new season, damiana is a wonderful herbal ally to work with.
Many folks know damiana for its aphrodisiac properties, and while damiana can certainly help us feel more sensuous, in general, it helps raise our overall vitality. This makes us feel all-around more “turned on” for life and more embracing for whatever changes are thrown our way.
After a long, cold winter of eating denser, heavier, and more starchy foods, it is common to feel the urge to do some sort of “Spring Cleanse.” Really our digestive system often just needs a little “kick-start” so it can get back to functioning in tip-top shape again. Incorporating digestive bitters into your daily routine is the easiest way to rev up your digestive juices so that your system is primed to properly break down and absorb the food you are eating.
Bonus: many herbs that contain bitter components are also supportive for healthy liver function too! And since the liver plays an essential role in our body’s natural daily detoxification processes, you get some of the benefits from doing a “spring cleanse” without actually doing one.
Luckily for us, most herbs contain bitter properties, so you might already have an herb on hand that you can use! I prefer to use a liquid extract blend, either as a spray or scattering a couple of drops around the tongue to stimulate all of our “bitter receptors,” for convenience and for taste (since drinking a whole cup of bitter herbal tea before a meal is not exactly the most enticing practice…).
We carry a couple of different herbal bitters liquid extract sprays at our apothecary which work great and are so convenient to take before meals to kick-start those digestive juices.
Fennel is one of my favorite herbal allies for shifting into Spring and I often use it alongside an herbal bitters formula (or combined inside one) to keep things extra simple. While the bitters formula helps us properly digest our food while supporting the liver, fennel offers more symptomatic support.
As the weather changes, so does our diet and the foods we intuitively want to eat. Sometimes it takes our body some time to re-adjust and “remember”’ how to digest certain foods, especially if you have not been eating much of them in Winter. When the weather gets warmer, we naturally crave cold and raw foods, which can be difficult for the digestive system to process and break down (it is easiest for the body to digest warm, moist, and cooked foods). When our digestive system is struggling to “get back on track” digesting all of our favorite warm-weather foods, some side effects can include mild gas and bloating.
Fennel is definitely my go-to for easing these transitional digestive system symptoms. Whether its simply chewing a couple of fennel seeds pre or post dinner, taking a fennel liquid extract, or preparing a warm cup of fennel tea, any form can help soothe that occasional digestive discomfort.
I hope that these herbal allies make your shift into Spring easier than ever this year! If you are in need of other herbal support, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or come by our apothecary in Nederland, CO and talk to one of our certified herbalists.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Heather Saba is a Certified Clinical Herbalist and Nutritionist, Medical Anthropologist, Writer, Whole-Body Wellness Coach, and Holistic Educator. She sees clients virtually for one-on-one herbal + nutritional wellness sessions, including custom herbal formulations. Connect with her on her personal website (www.heathersaba.com) and Instagram (@heathersaba).