Spring does not enter quietly. It’s as if all the seasons gathered together in a wavering crescendo of warm sunny days, blustery wind, rain, and even the occasional snow. It’s the final push before the new season emerges. We are shown glimpses of this in the garden. The plants and critters don’t need a calendar; they know that the seasons are shifting.
Not too long ago, the intentions of the winter garden were set; it is now time to put all of that into play. It is time to clean and detoxify so that we may proceed. Many of the plants that first appear in the spring garden are those that provide detoxification to our bodies. This is compatible with the idea that many people refer to as spring cleaning. It truly is a time of rebirth and cleansing.
Intentions that were planted as tiny seeds have begun to sprout. Soon it will be time to replant these seedlings into the garden. Here we continue to allow them to manifest into their full potential. With patience, we anticipate witnessing them bloom into the beautiful abundance we had proposed.
The seeds that have slumbered during the winter months are now starting to stretch out. Some are beginning to sprout as they hear the first echoes of the symphony of spring; others are still waiting for their cue. The plants that are appearing now are the more hardy ones, the ones that can weather the possibility of a late frost and perhaps, even a light dusting of snow.
Early spring plants
A few of my beloved dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) plants have endured the entire winter, blooming occasionally. Specifically, a plant I refer to as Mama Harriet. I attribute the vast majority of the seedlings throughout my front yard to her. She has endured many a winter on my front porch. She greets me daily, with her sunny yellow blossoms. Even on the most dreary day, when it’s cold and drizzly, she is a gentle reminder. She reminds me that the warmer days will arrive soon enough and that regardless of the situation, to continue to grow and bloom.
Dandelions are the first source of nourishment for bees. The recent spring-like weather has encouraged the dandelions to awaken. My front yard is speckled with these little humble and magical plants. They are also a welcome sight to the many honeybees that have been quite busy visiting my garden. While not the optimal source of nutrition for honeybees, during early spring, dandelions are often the only source of nectar and pollen for the honeybees. So please think twice before using herbicides in the garden. Read more here about dandelions.
An excellent plant for detoxing the body, cleavers (Galium aparine), makes its appearance in the spring. The leaves and stems are edible- juiced, raw, or cooked. This is best done before the plant produces fruit. As a tea, it functions as a diuretic, benefits healthy kidney function, and also stimulates the lymphatic system. As a poultice, it is beneficial in treating burns, light wounds, insect bites, and may control light bleeding. Cleavers can also be made into a tincture. As an ointment, it is beneficial for the healing of ulcers, cysts, and other skin conditions. The root can be used to create a permanent pink to red dye. A wash can be made with the leaves and used to treat sunburn and other types of skin irritations. Additionally, on an energetic level, it is used to increase flow and help clear blockages. Continue reading to learn more about cleavers.
Seen and unseen creatures of the magical garden
A gentle spring rain transforms the garden into a magical landscape. The diffused light on the raindrops creates crystalline beads on the plants. A gentle breeze stirs the leaves and redistributes some of the crystals. You can feel the presence of nature as the elementals scurry about rejoicing in the after-effects of the rain. Take a deep breath and allow.
Allow the gentle healing provided by this simple connection. Listen with your heart, Mother Nature is speaking.
The birds are courting mates and building nests. It always brings me joy when a nest is built on our property. Observing the devoted parents caring for their young is a testament of love driven by instinct. I have always encouraged the birds to visit our garden by offering them appropriate foods and water. Not only are birds fascinating to watch, they also help to control the insect population.
The garden, once again, invites us to come out and play. Here we connect with ourselves and the Earth. Similar to the plants that collect sunshine for photosynthesis, we also collect the sun. With the assistance of Mother Nature’s tanning salon, we can experience human photosynthesis and make our own vitamin D. As we expose our skin to the sun, cholesterol in our body converts it to vitamin D, which later becomes a hormone (1). Keep in mind that the duration and intensity of beneficial sun exposure will vary by individual. Use common sense and protective measures when necessary.
While in the garden, we dig in the soil. As we work the Earth, we benefit our mind, body, and spirit. Subtle as it may sound, the soil contains microorganisms. Studies (2,3) indicate that microorganisms found in the soil, specifically the bacteria Mycobacterium vaccae, may help to boost serotonin levels. Could this be why some individuals find gardening a relaxing activity?
As the garden is renewed, we may also feel the call to renew ourselves. For some, this may include decluttering a closet, tidying up the yard, or deep cleaning the house. For others, it may involve spiritual, physical, or emotional cleansing. Or perhaps, a combination of all three!
Spring cleaning may also be associated with detoxifying our bodies. Detox isn’t always drinking or eating a certain way. It is a multi-faceted approach towards encouraging our body to do what it normally does on its own. Our bodies are continually detoxing; our bodily functions are proof of this. Thank you, liver, kidneys, intestines, lungs, and skin! A holistic approach to detox is to support the body to allow this natural process. Of course, there are times a different approach is needed, especially in the case of specific ailments.
Here are some methods to encourage a gentle holistic detox:
- Herbal teas- These can include a single plant (such as dandelion) or an herbal blend.
- Dry skin brushing-This involves using a special dry brush and brushing the entire body. Excellent for stimulating the lymphatic system.
- Increase water intake- Do this gradually during the day, rather than flooding your system all at once. Keep track of how much water you are drinking as most of us think we are drinking more than we are.
- Epsom salt soak- There are many fantastic recipes online that include ingredients such as baking soda, herbs, and clays.
- Juicing -follow link for more info. Also, whole-food juices are an excellent choice as they include the fiber, and there is no waste.
- Choose organic fruits and veggies- Certain fruits and vegetables are effective at removing toxins, and organics assist in lessening the chemical load on the body. (Some of these include: beets, broccoli, cabbage, apples, cilantro, garlic, and citrus fruits)
- Earthing –Connecting with the natural healing energy of the Earth.
- Disconnect- Spend some time alone, write in a journal, take a walk, reconnect with you, meditate, practice breathwork.
- Rebounding (on a mini-trampoline)- Also stimulates the lymphatic system and encourages detox.
The above list is just an overview of a variety of methods that may assist in detoxification. If you would like to delve deeper into some of the methods mentioned above, feel free to contact me.
In the springtime, similar to the newly sprouted seedlings, our soul awakens. How do you plan to implement holistic renewal this season?
This blog is for informational purposes only and is educational in nature. Statements made here have not been evaluated by the FDA. This blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please discuss with your own qualified health care provider before making any dietary or lifestyle changes.
- Vitamin D information
- Gardening is beneficial for health