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3 Ways to Boost the Body this Spring

When Spring comes, there are so many great ways to care for your body. Spring Greens are nutritive weeds that pop up at the beginning of Spring. They're our herbal allies that rebuild our body after the long, harsh winter.

They're often detoxifying and diuretics, which means they help purge the urinary and lymphatic systems of unwanted wastes. And they're also nutrient dense plants that help boost your body when it's feeling fatigued from heavy winter foods.

Traditional Chinese Medicine associates the Spring season with the wood element. That's the liver and the gallbladder. This time is great to help purge things out and give everything a boost. It's a great time to let go of stuck frustrations and let the simple joys back into your life.

Remember to have hobbies that you love, enjoy the radiant sunshine, and surround yourself with people that love you! Try to remember to appreciate and be grateful for each day, instead of getting stuck in the weeds!

Some other ways to bring joy into your life include:

  • Making gratitude lists

  • Listening to the birds singing in the morning

  • Going for a walk in the rain

These things can truly change your mood and make you feel better for the season ahead.

For those who are looking for a way to boost your body this spring, here are 3 ways to do it:

1. Spring Greens Tea

If you're looking for a few herbal friends to help you through the transition, your Spring greens will help get you through.

A few of my favorite spring greens are:

  • Cleavers

  • Stinging Nettle

  • Raspberry Leaf

  • Mallow

  • Dandelion Leaf

  • Chicory Greens

  • Chickweed

  • Purslane

  • Miner’s Lettuce

These can be made into an overnight infusion:

  1. Simply bring the water to a boil

  2. Pour over a quart jar stuffed to the brim with these herbs

  3. Cover them and let them steep overnight

  4. Strain and reheat to drink them hot

  5. Or store in the the fridge to drink them iced.

2. Spring Greens Salad

The second way you can use them is to make a fabulous green salad with the less pokey ones of the bunch. I love the combination of:

  • Miner’s Lettuce

  • Chickweed

  • Plantain

And then you can throw in a few different tops of other little spring weeds, like Mustard, Radishes, Sourgrass, and the flowers or even little pods or the roots of some of these. Just make yourself a nice little green salad.

Be Careful!

I always like to encourage people to be cautious when you're picking your first wild green salad. There's a lot of look alikes out there. If you're not sure if you're picking the right things, make sure you grow them instead and you can have them pop up with the plant that you know are the safe ones in your garden.

Otherwise, go out on an herb walk with a certified herbalist or take one of our Plant ID classes so you can learn your weeds and do it safely.

3. Bitter Greens for Breakfast

My last way to enjoy spring greens is to make a kale substitute for breakfast. So you could take a few handfuls of your wild Chicory greens, Dandelion greens, and chop them up, and add them to a pan with sauteed onions and garlic. And then add salt, pepper, a squeeze of lemon juice, a splash of balsamic vinegar, and these all make a great bitter greens dish that is basically the Southern staple. I love bitter greens and adding a little bacon to them always makes it go down better.

Harvesting Safety Basics

However you enjoy your spring greens, just make sure they're harvested from a clean environment. These annual herbs typically aren't threatened from over-harvesting because they're weeds. However, it's still important to make sure that you're not impacting the area in a negative way.

Always check your surroundings, make sure it's not the last of the stand or just a tiny patch that's surrounded by Poison Oak. Always ask for permission.

As a great student once told me, "If you always ask permission and get a yes, you're probably not listening." So slow down a little bit. Make sure you're really checking things out and you're harvesting from a clean environment.

In our first-year programs, we actually have a rule to not wild harvest in our first year classes until you properly learn your plant identification. This is really important for safety, but also to learn how to build a two-way relationship with plants in a natural environment.

In our classes at Artemisia Academy, we always talk about how important it is to give before you take so that you're fostering a mutual, beneficial relationship instead of harmful one.

If you're looking to build a deeper relationship with the land around you, check out our Herbal Apprentice Program.

In this program, we give you a guide through the whole process of getting to know plants in your backyard and making sure that you're developing a sustainable, two-way relationship with the plants.

You also get to learn how to become a caretaker for medicine sheds that are not just here for this generation, but hopefully for generations to come. Join our amazing Herbal Apprentice Program and come be part of a community of herbal healers that are making waves of change in their community.


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