Spring Remedy Guide
Spring is a time of renewal, when we wake from the dark of winter. Spring is a time of expansion; the sun warms the earth, sap runs up the trees, and seeds sprout.
Spring is the ideal time for cleansing and regeneration. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) spring is represented by the wood element which includes the liver and gall bladder; organs which cleanse the toxins from blood and aid in digestion. All my spring remedies are intended to nourish the body, support the liver, and alkalize the blood.
I always crave greens in this time of year. Green is the color of the liver and of spring. Nettles are one of my favorite spring greens to gather. Nettles are a superb tonic herb to restore vitality. Nettles are rich in vitamins and minerals that are lacking in winter diets. Make nettle pesto (steam of blanch the nettles first) or saute and use in place of spinach in any dish.
If you have been feeling irritable this winter (I know I have), seek outdoor activities. Outdoor air and movement helps energy (qi) flow. Stretch daily and remove the stiffness of winter.
Taking the time to support your body and mind this spring will bring increased energy, mental clarity and balance.
For a description of herbal remedies new for spring, keep reading.
Celia's Stinging Nettle Tonic
A nutrient dense, anti-inflammatory, alkalizing tonic to support the body as we move into spring and summer. During winter its not uncommon to eat a lot of heavier richer foods which can contribute to an acidic environment in our bodies; Use this raw apple cider vinegar based tonic to encourage a shift to a more alkaline environment. Nettle, horsetail, dandelion greens, and fresh burdock root are all mineral dense and nutritious; these tonic herbs help stimulate and rejuvenate the liver, kidneys, digestion, and lymphatic system and encourage the flushing of toxins and waste. Fresh organic Hawaiian turmeric is anti-inflammatory. Like most tonics, enjoy daily for best results. Take a shot straight or splash on a bed of greens. I gathered the early stinging nettles used in the tonic through the snow in Snohomish, Washington.
Roasted Dandelion & Burdock Extract
The robust roasted flavor of the dandelion root blends well with the bitter burdock, with a touch of sweetness from local Wenatchee Valley honey. The flavor is reminiscent of dark coffee. Both roasted dandelion and burdock support the liver and cleanse the blood; a daily foundation for spring awakening. Additionally both dandelion and burdock stimulate digestion; there is benefit to taking this extract before a meal. Dandelion and Burdock Extract can be taken daily. Add a dropper-full to your morning coffee, tea, or take straight off the spoon. If seeking to improve digestion enjoy undiluted 10-15 minutes prior to eating.
A herbal seasoning blend, gomasio is commonly sprinkled on simple rice dishes in Japan. The Celia's Salt Creek Apothecary version of herbal gomasio combines toasted sesame seeds with the oceanic saltiness of seaweed alongside nutritive and detoxifying herbs. Dulse and Kelp are edible seaweeds that are high in minerals and trace elements. Kelp also contains sodium alginate which helps expel heavy metals from the body. Nettles are deeply nourishing and can be eaten daily to build vitality. Milk thistle seed supports the body's abilty to detoxify and remove pollutants. Herbal gomasio is a nutritious and liver supporting boost that can be added to almost any savory dish. I like to add herbal gomasio to steamed veggies, salads, soup, eggs, anywhere you might use salt and pepper.
Note: Milk thistle is not recommended if you are allergic to ragweed marigolds, chamomile, yarrow or daisies.
Organic thyme infused in raw Yakima Valley mint honey. Thyme is known for its anti-spasmodic, anti-viral, and nervine properties. Thyme can help decongest and relax a cough or seasonal allergy symptoms. However you don't have to be sick or have allergies to enjoy Thyme honey. Mellow in flavor it is delicious on its own, in tea, over goat cheese, or use to make a flavorful vinaigrette to dress spring greens. The thyme flavor in this infused honey is subtle and will not overpower other flavors.
Temperance Creek Evening Tisane
This evening tea is flavorful and delicious. Temperance Creek Evening Tisane is one of my favorite tea blends and I am excited to share it with you. This tea is truly calming and can help promote restful sleep so its best to drink in the evening or when you want to unwind after a stressful day. Chamomile and lavender have a relaxing and sedative aroma; Catnip and skullcap are profoundly relaxing and can help calm a restless mind. Peppermint and spearmint add cooling flavor, and along with chamomile can gently aid digestion (we all know it can be difficult to sleep if your stomach is unsettled). Red clover is a nourishing herb adding mild spicy sweetness. The flavor is rounded out by the addition of star anise and hand-cut Madagascar vanilla bean. Steep for 10-15 minutes and sweet to taste with honey.
Note: Temperance Creek is located in Hells Canyon downstream from Salt Creek; the location of the old Wisner homestead where Celia grew up still stands.
Jack's Black Cottonwood Salve
Made from handpicked black cottonwood bods gathered along the banks of the Wenatchee River, Peshastin Creek, and Nahanum Canyon infused in sweet almond oil. Local Wenatchee Valley beeswax is added to make this anti-inflammatory salve. Jack's Black Cottonwood salve can be used to topically soothe any inflammation but is particularly helpful for sore muscles. The smell of cottonwood buds is sweet, spicy, and heavenly; it is the smell of spring. There is no additional fragrance or essential oils added to this salve. Salves made form the buds of poplar trees such as black cottonwood are sometimes called 'Balm of Gilead'.
Note: Jack's Black Cottonwood Salve is not recommended if you are allergic to aspirin.
Nettle & Cedar Bar
Nettle & Cedar bar is made with wild harvested Olalla Canyon stinging nettles, calendula infused olive oil, french green clay, and essential oils inspired by Pacific Northwest forests. Nettle & Cedar bar creates a bubbly lather and will last a long time if kept dry. All soap made by Celia's Salt Creek Apothecary is palm-oil free and hand crafted in the traditional cold process method. Each bar is allowed to cure for a minimum of 6-weeks.
Wishing you happy spring beginnings!