Spring Herbs and Cleansing

Spring is slowly arriving and coming with it are the very first spring herbs. Some of the favorite spring healing herbs that can be found wild and weedy in the forest, field or garden are Chickweed, Dandelion, Nettle, Cleavers & Horsetail.

These special spring herbs are both a food and a medicine and offer the perfect support to cleanse and revitalize us at the time in the season when we need it most. Each herb has their own unique method of action, or its ‘superpower’, to help us to eliminate the stagnant winter residues of Kapha and fortify us for the active warm season ahead.

It is natural to feel sluggish coming out of winter, and during the seasonal transition to springtime there are many common imbalances that often pop up.

In winter we tend to be less active in mind and body, and this restful period is needed for restoration, but when in excess can manifest in sluggishness in our tissues and blockage of channels.

Luckily for us there are many fresh spring herbs that help us with the process of breaking dormancy and help to revitalize and invigorate our bodies. Along with a Ayurveda spring cleanse these herbs appear just at the moment we need them.They help opening the channels of elimination, enhancing metabolism and increasing vitality.

1. Chickweed’s superpower is its action on a cellular level to increase metabolism. The herb increases the permeability of cells to the absorption of nutrients, and the removal of metabolic wastes.

2. Spring Dandelion leaves are one of the first fresh greens available in spring. Bitterness is its hallmark and one of it wonderful action is on the kidneys . One of the strongest diuretics in the Western Materia Medica, Dandelion leaf aids to powerfully flush out toxins through increasing kidney activity and the production of urine; while at the same time replenishing minerals, especially potassium. Dandelions can be eaten fresh or cooked and are incredibly jam-packed with nutrients. I like to add them in with braising greens like kale and spinach as a side dish.

3. Like Chickweed, Cleavers has a detoxifying action that can be useful for dissolving masses in the body; more specifically it is known to aid in dissolving kidney stones. It is also a diuretic and makes a great bladder tonic.

This herb is also an all around alternative and blood cleanser and has a superpower in its ability to cleanse the lymph.

4. Nettles: Adaptogen, diuretic, and anti-inflammatory, Nettle fortifies us, gives us endurance, and clears the excess dampness and stagnation ( Kapha) from the body that often accumulates during the winter months.

5. Horsetail: , Horestail’s superpower is its ability to support joint health. Young Horsetail shoots contain the mineral silica in a form that is readily absorbable by our bodies. Silica is needed by the body to build collagen, which strengthens connective tissues such as fascia, cartilage and bones; as well as teeth, skin, and hair.

Nature know just what we need in the spring.