Upward. Expansive. Spring. We cannot deny that spring is finally in the air! The rains have come, and are still coming, soaking the earth beneath us. With all this water we have been having, the flowers are in mega bloom! Each flower effortlessly reaching for the skies and opening their buds, smiling to the sun. Watching the plants shoot up from the ground, I can see us humans emulating our plant friends. Just like the plants, we will find ourselves stretching out of the quiet winter, and reaching for the sun. The slow incline of warmth pushes us outside more, and with that, sparks our outward motions. Spring is a season of renewal, a season of creativity.
With the shift in seasons, I urge you to tap into your core. What is shifting for you? And with this shift, look to the plants growing around you. Which medicinals are popping up through the earth? These spring time greens are ready to be incorporated into your routine.
Cleavers (Galium aparine) Lymphatic, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, alterative Cleavers is that sticky plant that likes to crawl and grow over all the other plants. It almost looks cartoon like with its leaf structure. When I see cleavers, I know that spring is here. This plant is great to incorporate in the spring because of its lymphatic properties. It is moistening, and gently supports the movement and elimination of built up winter sludge. It has an affinity to skin health and can also help with hot, dry and itchy rashes, eczema, psoriasis, and breakouts.
Dandelion leaf (Taraxacum officinale) Bitter, diuretic, nutritive Dandelion leaf is considered a weed to most. It pops up through the cracks of the pavement, in abandoned lots and in our gardens. This plant is that keeps on giving. All parts of this plant are medicinal: Flower, Leaf and Root. Spring is the season to pluck the potassium rich leaves and use in food just like any other green. The bitterness that the leaves offer, support the stimulation of digestive juices and bile from the gallbladder. This is helpful for a sluggish digestion that many of us acquire through winter.
Nettle (Urtica dioica) Nutritive, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, astringent, nervine, just to name a few! Stinging nettle is what she is called, so be cautious while working with this plant if she is fresh. This plant has endless medicinal properties and graces us with her medicine in the spring! Nettles are one of the few plants that has the highest amount of digestible iron for us humans. This can be beneficial for anyone who struggles with iron deficiency or has recently lost a high amount of blood. With nettles anti-inflammatory and stabilizing effects, this can be an ally for spring allergies. A few cups of nettles a day can help decrease the histamine response our body gives when in contact with an allergen. Lastly, this plant offers support to our nervous system in times of stress.
Chickweed (Stellaria media) Demulcent, anti-inflammatory, alterative, vulnerary Small but powerful. This little green grows near the earths floor and can be overlooked in a second if you don’t know of her. Similar to cleavers, chickweed is a demulcent. Used to moisten our insides, and ultimately hydrating our skin. If there is any hot irritations on the skin, chickweed is your friend. This plant is also a great first aid plant! Used for burns and scraps, chickweed can offer its anti-inflammatory properties to areas of trauma. Lastly, just like dandelion leaf, add chickweed to your mixed greens for an extra medicinal meal!
How can you incorporate these plants all at once? Medicinal Devil Eggs! (Altered recipe from Gather Victoria)
1/4 cup of steamed & pureed nettle tops 1/4 cup of pureed dandelion greens 12 organic, farm fresh eggs/ 2 tablespoons organic mayonnaise 1 teaspoon lemon juice 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic 1 tablespoon finely chopped cleavers sea salt & pepper
1. Boil the eggs in simmering water for 10 minutes. Drain them and cover with cold water.
2. Cut the eggs in half and pop out the yolks. In a medium bowl, mash the yolks with a fork.
3. Add the mayonnaise, lemon juice and cleavers. Mix thoroughly.
4. Start adding in the pureed nettles until you get the consistency you like. You can use a food processor for this if you’re after a silky smooth filling.
5. Stir in the chopped wild garlic mustard and crow garlic and season with sea salt & ground pepper to taste.
Remember, nature is us. If we are feeling ungrounded or just simply unsure, look to the plants. See how they are moving through time. They are great teachers. Springtime greens are here to support!