Spring is a deep sigh of relief. Spring is a waking up after a long deep sleep.
We have made it through another winter. It might have used up all our resources and energy keeping warm and positive in the depths of the darkness, but now we can beathe a collective sigh of relief as the sun shines brighter, the days are longer , and nature is springing up around us.
We've made it, we think to ourselves proudly. Sometimes. Sometimes we get to the end of winter and were at such a low ebb, we have no energy, low immune, “catching every bug’ that comes around.
We generally drag ourselves out of winter, tired and battling every bug thats going around.
How do we create more energy, help our immune systems and literally spring into spring?
For this we need to enlist the help of our friend - the liver. The filter-er of lymph and blood. It also is responsible for metabolising glucose and fats, turning them into compounds the body can use or store for later. It also secretes insulin to balance blood sugars. . So you see..one organ, many tasks.
It works over time in winter - considering the increase in alcohol, fatty, sweet and salty foods we eat, and the scarcity of fresh food.
So, come the spring , the liver is akin to a poor tired bull - no longer able to pull the cart very far. We feel the result of this ‘sluggish liver’ - lethargy, headache, irritability, bloating, inability to digest fats, nausea, skin complaints, blurred vision..the list goes on.
In Eastern medicine ,the liver is seen asthe ‘organ of the spring’ - and liver imbalances are said to be common in the spring.
Sluggishness, ‘foggy brain’ ,Indecision, irritability, and allergies are all signs of liver imbalances - and I know its true that my clinic is full of these types of ailments - esp skin complaints.
How do we support our liver, and ensure that we have an optimally functioning filtration system? How can we ‘match the energy of the season?’
Nature has the answers. We, like our surroundings - become more active. We eat what nature provides us -the leaves which are growing around us at this time.( In my local area (a leafy part of South London) we have wild garlic, nettles, dandelions, cleavers growing in abundance. )
All these plantsare rich in chlorophyll, minerals and vitamins and support the cleansing process by supporting the liver.
Even the act of chewing bitter greens stimulates liver cells.
Some simple ideal springtime foods to consider are:
Nettle Soup/Nettle tea
Steamed Greens and grilled mackerel with ginger, sesame and soya sauce.
Steamed dandelion greens with garlic.
Wild Garlic Pesto
For 2 weeks leading up to the Spring Equinox, eat a clean and simple diet. Rest
Recipe for springtime nettle soup
Pick nettles away from roads. In cities you can find nettles growing on the edge of most parks.
Nettles (1/2 carrier bag full)
1 big potato
3 garlic cloves
2 l chicken or veg stock
Wearing rubber gloves, sort through the nettles, discarding anything you don't like the look of and any thick stalks. Wash the nettles and drain in a colander.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the onion n& garlic and cook gently for 5-7 minutes until softened.
Add the stock, nettles, potato and carrot. Bring to a simmer and cook gently until the potato is soft, about 15 minutes.
Remove from the heat. Using an electric hand-held stick blender, purée the soup and then season with salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle into warmed bowls and float a teaspoonful of creme fraiche on top. As this melts, swirl in a few drops of extra-virgin olive oil and Tabasco.
According to Susun Weed “Nettle is amazingly rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals, especially the critical trace minerals: anti-cancer selenium, immune-enhancing sulphur, memory-enhancing zinc, diabetes-chasing chromium, and bone-building boron. A quart of nettle infusion contains more than 1000 milligrams of calcium, 15000 IU of vitamin A, 760 milligrams of vitamin K, 10% protein, and lavish amounts of most B vitamins.
There is no denser nutrition found in any plant, not even bluegreen algae; and nettle is much more reasonably priced than any supplement, especially if you buy more than an ounce or two at a time. (Sources of dried herb at good prices are found in my books and at my website.)”
To create more vitality for ourselves , harnessing the changing energy form Winter to Spring is a great opportunity.
The rule here is : keep it simple, avoid fats and oils for this short period - the arrival of the spring. Let greens be part of every meal you eat, and try and pick local greens - they will have a high concentration of nutrients and you know they haven’t travelled far. Avoid processed foods, avoid sugar, cut down on caffeine and avoid dairy. Streamline and Simplify your diet for the coming weeks. Your body with thank you for it, and repay you in increased energy and vitality.
Drink : Lemon water (boiled water with a squeeze of lemon), pick any fresh herbs available and make tea out of it - by pouring on boiling water and leaving to steep for 5-10 mins.
Changing your habits for this season, and lightening your diet will provide our organs with a much neededbreak, to allow the body
Techniques to help you navigate this season:
Hot & Cold showers
Dry body brushing
These techniques aim to heat up lymph, aiding movement around the body, and opening up elimination routes for the metabolic by products, or waste products accumulated over the winter.
If you'd like to discuss how to support your health naturally, please contact me for a private consultation.