Spring Tonics, Herbs for Spring
daffodil in the snow
Spring tonics are intended to help quicken the senses and cleanse the body after a long winter.
Bitters & Syrups
March gardens lay dormant outside while we dream, plan and pore over the seed catalogs that have started to arrive in the mail. The appearance of the classic yellow daffodils are one of the first harbingers that winter's grip is about to be broken, one that even a late snowstorm cannot deny. Spring is a magical time in the plant world and it wakens the gardener in all of us. Even in the most urban of environments people can feel the rhythm of nature's steady beat in their blood. No matter if you have a country homestead, a modest backyard garden, or a few potted plants on a balcony you cannot help but to catch spring fever when brilliant blue skies and sunshine break through the grey chill of winter.
Herbal spring tonics quicken the senses and cleanse the body after a long winter. We celebrate those plants who are first to arrive at the spring garden party. salad burnet, young dandelion leaves, and nettles provide a welcome taste of fresh greens to grace our plates after winter's boring fare. The tasty green stalks of Asparagus officinalis, are one the most nutritious of the early green vegetables in the spring garden. Like tomatoes, asparagus is high in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that is protective against many degenerative diseases.
Depurative herbs help cleanse waste products and toxins from our body, and are a staple of traditional herbal medicine. They work by supporting the natural cleansing functions of the kidneys and liver; and also increase tissue blood flow and lymph drainage. They also seem to function as general, nonspecific "blood purifiers". Burdock has an ancient and respected reputation as a nutritive liver tonic that helps to clean and build the blood, while its diuretic action of burdock helps in the elimination of waste materials. Fresh chickweed is best known for it's ability to cool inflammation and speed healing for internal or external flare-up. In the spring it is taken to cleanse the blood can be added as a fresh green to salads or brewed into a tea. sassafras tea is a popular "blood purifier" from traditional southern folklore medicine.
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