Spring Equinox: Herbs of Balance
The Spring Equinox is the promise of Imbolc finally come! We are in a time with the wheel of the year turning with wind, often rain, the last chill breath of winter, but also bud, flower, and bird song. Today also marks the time when night greets day as an equal and then retreats back to let the hours of light grow longer and longer. As with the Autumnal Equinox, the early spring is an excellent time to strengthen the body’s natural abilities of wellness and health through gentle cleansing of our winter body into a spring one.
The early spring is a good time to turn our attention to our liver and our gallbladder. The liver is our body’s largest internal organ and a great deal of our body’s detoxifying processes happen through the liver. As the life warms to the surface of our greening planet, so too does our body’s energy and blood warm to our own skin’s surface. Our liver cleanses our blood of impurities and distributes nourishment throughout our body.
Our gallbladder stores and secretes bile to help us digest nourishment from our food. An imbalanced gallbladder can lead to flatulence, gallstones, and general indigestion, and it is important to consider our mental and emotional health, especially our stress levels, when supporting our gallbladder.
There are many herbal allies that we might find useful in supporting the liver and gallbladder. Take time to learn what herbs best fit your constitution in order to get the most benefit from the medicine our green allies have to offer as well as build a more meaningful relationship to the plant kingdom.
DANDELION ROOT, LEAF + FLOWER Taraxacum officinale: A classic, long-used, and well-regarded remedy of the liver, Dandelion makes its triumphant spring return on hillsides and through cracks in the pavement. A blood purifier and tonic, Dandelion disperses excess heat that can manifest as inflammation, indigestion, meanness, and anger. Dandelion helps to increase the production and distribution of bile. I like using the leaf especially when there is water retention present. A remedy particularly suited for those who are experiencing sluggishness with moments of intense anger and irritation. Read our full Dandelion Plant Profile.
BURDOCK ROOT Arctium lappa: An excellent cleansing herb that is skilled at removing excess waste products from the body, including heavy metals. The root is bitter, sweet, and oily, and, therefore, wonderful for treating imbalances of the liver and gallbladder where indigestion and constipation are present. A good remedy for those whose skin is dry and flaky and prone to skin problems like acne and rashes and who may also have issues with blood sugar imbalances.
NETTLES Urtica dioica: Ah! Everyone should be taking Nettles – ok, I know, not everyone, but gosh darn it they are pretty good medicine. Young spring Nettles are exceptionally potent medicine for waking our bodies up from their winter respite by jogging our muscles, filling us with vitamins and minerals, and generally returning life to our aching joints. It helps the liver build blood proteins which helps transport nutrients throughout the body and also support a healthy immune system. A person whom Nettles may be a good remedy might be experiencing hair loss, brittle nails, dull skin, anemia, and, in general, seems to be in a state of stagnation.
Try using these plant allies as teas, tinctures, essences, in baths, hang them about your home and carry them with you to imbue your senses with balance, your spirit with the grace of changing.