This is the perfect time to invite the slow yet vital waters of change into life as we shift into our lighter spring time lifestyle after a long, dark winter hibernation.
Soon, we will begin to see the migration of birds. We will see more water—coming from the sky or as melting streams of what was once snow, and the growing intensity of babbling brooks in the woods.
With spring, we'll also start to crave the warmth of the sun and natural movement within our bodies. We'll desire fresher, more vibrant meals filled with nourishing bitter greens and herbs.
At the start of any new season is a time for setting intentions for the season and harvests to come. A time to plant the seeds and look into the future...
Herbs For Spring
Urtica dioica, or nettles, is one of my favorite plant allies and another one of our early spring plants that sprout in partly shaded and moist areas. It’s a whole body tonic as this green goddess delivers countless minerals and nutrients to the body.
I keep the dried leaves on hand all year round and purchase from certified organic farms although this is a common North American herbal ally that you can easily harvest yourself as well.
In general, nettles are misunderstood by society and seen as a plant to avoid for the pain they inflict. But for herbalists and those who care about seasonal spring health, nettle is one of the most beautiful plants for whole-body support.
As I started drinking nettle herbal infusions, I noticed that I just felt better. I didn’t seem to react to seasonal allergies as much as I used to and my lungs felt strong and clear. I chalk that up to the tonifying action of the plant, which simply means that it restores and rejuvenates the organs.
Drinking nettle infusions every day during spring is a lovely way to support the nervous system as well as the liver. It’s been shown to also reduce extra water weight, something that I know I’m feeling after a long winter!
The taste of nettle is very “green” and it tastes lovely to me... but if you try the herbal infusion, add a pinch of lavender or rose petals to add some extra flavor. More on herbal infusions below!
Trifolium pratense, or red clover, is both a beautiful blood detoxifier and respiratory system tonic.
As a blood detoxifier, it helps rid the body of toxic buildup and waste—particularly in the lymph, which is one of the systems we focus on for spring time.
If you need extra respiratory support as the seasons transition from winter to spring, red clover might be the perfect plant for you. And, if you’re just getting into herbal medicine, it’s a great beginner plant because it tastes lovely as an herbal infusion with or without a touch of honey.
When I drink red clover infusions frequently, I find that it supports and strengthens my lungs... and it feels heart-warming too. The pretty pink blossoms seem to come back alive once water hits and they flow with it, providing its medicine through the simple ritual of an infusion as well as in the beauty.
Bonus points for red clover? It’s been shown to improve overall skin health when drunk as a tea. Talk about beautifying from the inside out!
Melissa officinalis, or lemon balm, is a fragrant spring plant know to calm the nervous system and ultimately relax our mind, body, and spirit so we can show up in a calm, grounded way every single day.
Lemon balm's energy is gentle (but that doesn’t mean it’s not effective!) and it tastes wonderful. It’s bright, citrusy notes are lovely, especially as a fresh leaf infusion. You can turn to lemon balm to calm the body, life the spirit, and restore vitality.
This plant usually pops up in late winter/very early spring in more mild areas like the Pacific Northwest and later for colder regions like New England. It’s crazy easy to grow and it gives so much to us in mind/body.
Lemon balm’s fresh spring leaves are delicious as a hot or cold herbal infusion. This plant works with the gut/brain connection and is very gentle and uplifting. Enjoy it as a lovely cup of tea before bed.
If you don’t have fresh leaves, dried leaves work fine as well. Generally, the smell isn’t as vibrant as when the leaves are fresh but I’ve still experienced similar, calming effects.
Spring Healing Infusion
This recipe is from Rosemary Gladstar's Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health. It's a great beginner's book on herbs and is filled with recipes, stories, and guidance on getting started with herbs.
This formula supports the liver and has a light cleansing action on the whole body.
- 3 parts nettle
- 2 part dandelion leaf
- 3 part lemon balm
- 2 part red clover
- 1 part alfalfa
When I see "parts", I usually do tablespoons. Mix all your dried herbs together in a mason jar. When you're ready to make your infusion, add 1-2 tablespoons of herbs to 16 oz water to a French press or mason jar, cover with hot water and allow it to steep at least 20 minutes or even overnight! Add honey to taste and drink + enjoy frequently!
Spring Skincare Ritual
Spring is often the time that we’re spending more time outside. The windows are open and we’re getting a fresh infusion of air, sunlight. Hooray!
After a long winter season either indoors or in combination with the harsher elements, the skin might need some tending.
Spring is often the time for:
- Lymph detox
- Dry brushing
- Gua sha
- Exfoliating masks
Spring is the season of the lymph—so anything to get things moving, detoxifying and cleansing in spring is exactly what we want.
My recommended spring skincare ritual looks like this:
- Massage Full Moon Cleansing Balm into clean, dry skin. Massage in a circular upwards motion and down towards your lymph nodes to depuff, destagnate and to bring fresh blood to your skin. Gua sha is the perfect ritual for spring skin health and Full Moon Cleansing Balm offers the perfect slip for your gua sha routine.
- Add a little bit of water and continue to massage the balm into your skin, with a focus on the puffy, stagnant or dull spaces. Take your time and enjoy the process.
- Then, gently rinse with warm water and pat dry with a soft washcloth. If your skin is more oily, you can use a bit more pressure to remove more of the cleansing balm for your skin.
- Once you’ve lightly dried your skin, mist with Wild Glow Toner. This botanical toner is filled with nutrient rich hydrosols and aloe juice, hydrating, plumping and supporting your skin.
- Immediately follow with Flower Bud Oil Serum. Flower Bud is filled with calendula and cold-pressed oils that nourish, support and protect the skin. Flower Bud also contains anti-inflammatory, protective and free radical scavenging sea buckthorn berry c02, which restores all skin types.
This skincare ritual is perfect for morning and night. If you find that you need a bit more hydration, combine Flower Bud with a little bit of Nirvana for a nightly treatment. This is my go-to combo.
Take whatever affirmations call to you, draw them on a card or piece of paper, and place in a prominent area—like your nightstand, your dresser or in the bathroom. Allow yourself to flow with spring!
I am unfurling and opening up to what life has to offer me.
I am flowing with what life brings me & always making space to become the best version of me.
I welcome challenges in my life because I know that it only serves to create a more compassionate version of me.
I release what no longer serves me and make space for what I most desire.
I know that whatever is meant for me will unfold in the perfect timing.
I plant my seeds of intention now for a beautiful harvest later.
I am learning to flow with the seasons, allowing for my natural, wild self to be uncovered.
What to eat in spring
Early Spring is an interesting in-between time where your local farmers market will have winter and spring greens, radishes, and other root veggies but usually no berries or other fruits, unless you live in a very mild or warm climate.
In this case, frozen is fine! I like to thaw frozen berries and top my yogurt or oatmeal with it—or pop them in a smoothie for an antioxidant feast, which can be something that our bodies are craving as we shift into spring.
To figure out what to eat throughout early spring, take a trip to your local farmers market and try something new—and keep an eye out for what's naturally growing around you. You can also talk to your local farmers and growers to find out what's in season and what's coming.
Spring, in general, is often the time of fresh leafy greens, micro greens, and green herbs that support the lymphatic system. Think nettle and cleavers!
Spring Essential Oils
To encourage lymphatic drainage and gentle detox—diffuse these or add the fresh juice to your drinks in springtime.
- Grapefruit—noted for its cleansing properties. Can be diffused to refresh and disinfect room environments.
- Sweet orange–supports lymph, indigestion. Detoxifies.
- Lemon—stimulates lymphatic system and stimulates liver.
- Lime—relaxing and stress relieving, supports free and easy breathing.
- Rosemary—stimulates the nervous system, adrenal glands, digestion and poor circulation.
Spring Vitality Body Oil
Bring a sense of spring vitality and transition into your life through your body care ritual.
What you’ll need
- 4 oz bottle with pump
- 4 oz Jojoba, olive, grapeseed or sunflower oil
Essential oils of:
- 8 drops sweet orange
- 4 drops grapefruit
- 2 drops rosemary
Combine your base oil and essential oils, decant into pump bottle and enjoy.