Welcome spring?

We're almost there!

Simple medicine

Last weekend, when the weather finally hinted of spring (if only for a day or so), I ventured outside. As soon as I stepped past the threshold of the door, I immediately breathed in a rush of fresh, spring air. I was instantly energized and calmed at the same time. Whatever might have been ailing me at the time was suddenly relieved, and I began to walk.
As I walked along the path, I reflected upon how powerful the medicine of fresh, outdoor air can be. Because that's what it is - medicine. I encourage you to experience this simple medicine for yourself. Some time during your workday, when you're feeling low, get up and get outside. Try to find a place where you can see trees or flowers (even in the city this is possible). Take a few, deep breaths, and take it all in through your senses - what do you see? What do you smell? What do you hear? Notice the beauty of the nature around you, and let it bring you peace - if only for a moment.

Featured Herb

With the promise of spring's arrival, we long to shed our winter coats. We also look to shed anything that's been amassing and weighing us down inside over the past few, dark months. Thus, spring is a popular time to detoxify - physically, mentally, spiritually. One of the most effective herbs for detoxification is found right in your own backyard: the (anything but) common dandelion!
Taraxacum officinale has a long tradition as a liver tonic as well as a diuretic - both actions to aid the body in ridding unwanted toxins. The leaves have shown greater diuretic qualities than the root, while the root excels at assisting the liver by increasing levels of detoxifying enzymes as well as stimulating bile production.

Dandelions are also welcome in the garden as wonderful pollinators attracting a host of bees. The roots bring up essential nutrients such as potassium, phosphorus, calcium, and iron toward the soil surface where other plants can use them.

To harvest them in your garden or lawn, first ensure that no pesticides have been applied to the area. Cut off the flowering heads, then harvest the young leaves continuously (larger leaves tend to be more bitter). Add leaves to salads, or dry and infuse 1tsp in 2C water for 10 minutes, adding lemon or honey to taste. Roots are best harvested in the fall when the plant sends all its energy downward to hunker down for the winter.

Alternately, fresh dandelion greens as well as dandelion teas are available at many organic grocery stores. Also try Dandy Blend, which can be used as a caffeine-free alternative to coffee due to its earthy, coffee-like taste.

Dandelion flower, root, and leaf*

*photo retrieved from here, a great website that describes how to make a dandelion tincture.
To make your appointment to discuss springtime detoxification or any other wellness concerns you may have, contact Donna via the information provided below.

Brought to you by:

Donna Koczaja, MS Therapeutic Herbalism, Master Gardener

Herbal Clinic hours: Tuesdays: 2 - 8; Alternate Sundays 9 - 3