Happy spring equinox everyone! Twice each year as the sun traverses across the sky, its center crosses the Earth's Equator. This celestial alignment results in the equinox - a day with light and dark of equal length, with the rising sun rising precisely in the east and setting precisely in the west. As we find ourselves at this juncture between light and dark, between life and death and between our inner and outer experience, we know that light will prevail and that life will go on. We are amazed and inspired by the ways in which we adapt to difficult situations and we are thankful for the plants that guide us along the way.
The arrival of the light signals the return of life in the northern hemisphere, as plants sprout from the ground, birds return from their winter migration and we celebrate a new cycle and year. And yet, the hope of spring brings with it the uncertainty of the collective threat that we are facing. It is evident that business cannot go on as usual. There is a shift happening and we arrive at the chance to reawaken and jump-start into a new way of doing things. We are the light overcoming the dark and we bring with us hope for the evolution of our outdated system. We give thanks to the cycles for the new life that springs from the ground up. We are relearning to live with nature and that is a crucial lesson.
In the meantime, there is still a lot of turmoil and uncertainty all around us. There is a lot we don’t know and that puts a strain on our nervous systems. A strained nervous system means a suppression of our immune system and that is not good news at this time. So think of your body as a whole unit, where all systems need to be in balance to have optimal health. It is not enough to just boost our immunity, if we don’t also aid our digestion, nourish our nervous system and support our elimination and detox systems.
Here are some herbs that are good to have in your arsenal at this time.
Herbs for Immunity
Ginger Root - Ginger root is an excellent remedy for nausea and upset stomach that often comes when fighting a virus but, it also wages war against the virus itself. It does this by blocking the attachment of viruses to areas that are commonly infected first, like your airways. Cold's Cocktail contains ginger and garlic.
Elderberry - Studies have shown that people infected with influenza virus A and B experienced 91 percent improvement after taking elderberry for seven days, while also reducing their fevers and increasing their feelings of improvement. Elderberry will boost your immune system and activate the cells that fight infections. This Elderberry Reishi Elixircontains both elderberry and reishi mushroom and our Chillout Tea also contains elderberry and other immune-boosting herbs.
Garlic - Garlic has a long history of use when it comes to infections. Some of these uses included using garlic as a treatment for leprosy, parasitic infections, and as an antibiotic for infectious diseases. Today, garlic’s reputation as a potent antimicrobial is well-known. Studies have shown that it has the ability to combat the flu virus, the common head cold virus, HIV, and pneumonia, just to name a few.
Reishi, Chaga, Lion’s Mane and Turkey Tail- Mushrooms are an immune powerhouse, known for their immune-modulating properties. The polysaccharide fraction, mainly beta-glucans, is responsible for the immune-modulating effects. Fungal beta-glucans have been shown to activate leukocytes, which depend on the structural characteristics of beta-glycans due to their polysaccharide content. We have many products that contain mushroom wisdom and those include Forest Folk Mushroom Immunity and Wooden Spoon Herbs Mushroom Magic are amazing immune allies.
Turmeric - curcumin mediates its antiviral activity through diverse mechanisms including supporting the immune system and weakening the virus through different mechanisms. curcumin exhibited antiviral properties against several viruses, including dengue virus and hepatitis C virus, among others. We have a Turmeric tincture and a Turmeric and Hemp tincture and a DONA Turmeric Concentrate. We also sell dried turmeric root.
Herbs for the nervous system
Oatstraw - Oatstraw helps improve circulatory and nervous system functioning. The mucilaginous properties make it particularly helpful for damage to the myelin sheath which covers and protects nerve fibers. Oatstraw is a full body tonic that strengthens your immunity and builds energy. Oatstraw is high in vitamins A, D and E, zinc and silicon, all of which are beneficial to your skin too. Tulsi Stress Soother by Wooden Spoon Herbs is a perfect trio for your nervous system.
Ashwagandha - This herb has been studied as adaptogenic, antioxidant, anticancer, anxiolytic, antidepressant, cardioprotective, thyroid modulating, immunomodulating, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective, cognitive enhancing and hematopoietic agent. Ashwagandha contains a range of constituents like withanolides, sitoindosides and other alkaloids that are pharmacologically and medicinally important. These chemicals protect cells from oxidative damage and disease and help us adapt to external stressors.
Tulsi - Tulsi’s actions help the body and mind cope with a wide range of chemical, physical, infectious and emotional stresses and restore physiological and psychological function. Many of the physiological benefits of tulsi can be attributed to its ability to assist with the body's internal housekeeping and protection of the body from toxin-induced damage. These functions are often attributed to tulsi's high content of phenolic compounds and antioxidant properties. Wooden Spoon Herbs Adaptogen Power and Tulsi Delight Tea are both wonderful to add to your regimen.
Herbs for the lymphatic system/liver support
Calendula - Calendula raises immunity by stimulating lymphatic drainage. The lymph is an essential part of our immune system, filtering and eliminating waste products and bacteria as well as producing infection-fighting cells. Calendula is also mildly astringent, anti-microbial, and anti-viral.
Dandelion Root - Dandelion is a rich source of beta-carotene and polyphenolic compounds, both of which are known to have strong antioxidant capabilities that can prevent aging and certain diseases.
We hope you get through these trying times with fortitude and determination. As we learn from nature and her cycles, we remember how to live in coexistence and revive the symbiosis between us. We are nature after all and when we remember that, we will know the way forward instinctively. In the meantime, blessed spring equinox friends and stay safe out there!