We’re leaving the deep and inward time when the energy stores are collected in the roots of nature and feeling the shift into green things that surface. Here in southern Colorado we had mid-seventy degree weather yesterday and nearly a foot of snow and 30ish degrees today. Spring is a vibrant and wild time and can make people crazy! If life has felt stuck in ennui it is a welcome celebration to feel everything bursting to life after hibernation, but if life has been a bit overwhelming, this season can bring angst, irritation, frustration and on up the scale from there.
Consider some time with nature to bring harmony.
If you feel depleted and worn thin, lay awake at night in perseveration, tend toward overexcitement and then crash, it might be good to continue with some root medicine. Some of my favorites were discussed earlier this year, see ginger, dandelion, also consider dang shen, dang gui, ginseng, huang jing, and turmeric. If you would like more specific guidance where to start with your home herbal apothecary we can create a custom constitutional herbal formula for you with a phone consultation or office visit.
If you feel like you just came out of the cave and need to burn off excess energy it can lead to a tendency toward cranky frustration in absence of proper venting. Please use this energy if possible to become more active than was comfortable in the winter, preferably adding some time outside. As physical beings we need light, sun, fresh air and grounding. Grounding means touching the Earth without a barrier between you and it: hug a tree, take off your shoes and stand skin to ground, dig in the soil with your bare hands. Research is proving that our physical touch to the planet is required to be mentally and physically well. Fascinating studies show drastic decrease in inflammation quickly after the body grounds (see Tour de France results when grounding methods are used for injury; grounding and cardiovascular health; grounding in the treatment of colic; grounding for relief from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder; the list goes on as the inflammatory process plays such a part in most diseases and chronic pain patterns). We cannot ground through insulated shoes, buildings or vehicles.
I know we want there to be some elaborate story around what creates health but many things are just simple: be with nature, eat of it, drink of it, “kneel and touch the earth,” join your community garden.
Some of my favorite springtime herbs: nettles, milk thistle, raspberry leaf, hawthorne. And don’t forget to start your culinary herbs in pots: dill, thyme, oregano, cilantro, parsley and chives. Though these herbs are not as medicinally powerful as some of the less-tasty, they are all antimicrobial, antiviral and according to much research, anticarcinogenic. Use them flagrantly!
Most community supported agriculture (CSA) farms are currently taking membership. Please consider supporting your local small farmer who is using chemical-free growing methods, or prepare now to grow your own food and herbs this summer to whatever degree your are capable. I have found that the closer our relationship to where our food grows the more consistent we are in consuming a healthy variety of fruits and vegetables.
Let thy foods be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food. — Hippocrates
Lastly, if you have opportunity to test your D3 levels with your primary care physician, I highly recommend doing so as you can more effectively supplement if needed before the summer months when you might get adequate sun exposure to synthesize D on your own. Optimization requires some monitoring as D3 is fat-soluable and can build up to toxic levels if overconsumed. Keeping adequate stores is an important component to good health.