The Season of Renewal - The Wood Element
We welcome spring as the light and warmth returns and awakens Mother Earth as she begins to burst with new life. It is time to release the old stagnant energies of the winter months and to cleanse, detoxify and reset for growth, rebirth and renewal. Inviting new life and new possibilities....
Wood is the element of spring and governs the liver and gallbladder meridians, which are the energetic pathways within the body.
Together these are responsible for the smooth flow of energy - Qi and blood around the body and stabilising emotions. The wood element teaches us about flexibility and adaptability, but if these organs and meridians become overloaded with toxins and emotions, it creates stagnation and causes symptoms from fatigue, depression and irritability.......
Problems Associated With Imbalances in the Wood Element
Muscle tension, prone to have tendon and ligament injuries
Sciatica (radiating pain from lower back into buttocks and down the leg)
Headaches, especially migraines
Irritability and outbursts of anger
Hormonal imbalances & Menstrual irregularities, PMS, fibroids
Digestive disturbances, including heartburn (GERD), irritable bowel syndrome, ulcers
High blood pressure, with tendency toward atherosclerosis
The liver is our major detoxification organ and spring is the ideal time to start naturally supporting the liver detoxification pathways through diet, herbal medicine and nutritional supplementation. This will naturally release and clear any backlog of toxins in the body, support healthy digestive function and bowel movements and reset the hormones. If the liver becomes overloaded and detoxification pathways slow, hormonal imbalances can occur such as excess oestrogens causing PMS symptoms, weight gain, fluid retention and tender breasts. So the liver plays an important role in hormonal balance.
Here is my guide to re-connection for the season of spring to inspire growth and renewal:
Spring cleanse - declutter
Create an outdoor herb garden
Go hiking and explore a new trail
Try some new recipes using seasonal foods
Start new creative projects
Spring food is light, fresh and green, they support healthy liver and gallbladder detoxification and energy flow:
Dandelion greens / tea / coffee
Greens - arugula, rocket, spinach
Quinoa, millet, brown rice
Herbal medicine for a spring cleanse include alterative, lymphatic, diuretic and hepatic herbs. They support the opening of all the channels of elimination in the body and help to detoxify the body. Such as dandelion leaf and root, burdock, cleavers and yellow dock.
All these plants naturally spring up at the time of year to support spring cleansing....
Dandelion is an extremely powerful weed with many medicinal properties.
The leaf is diuretic and flushes toxins through the kidneys and the root enhances liver detoxification - perfect for spring cleansing.
Medicinal properties of dandelion root include: liver detoxification, laxative - it will eliminate constipation, anti-rheumatic - used for painful sore joints, clears up skin conditions - eczema, acne, balances hormones - reduces heat and irritability.
Here are some ideas for working with dandelion at home:
. Select large, vigorous plants – small, spindly plants will have small roots that are not really worth harvesting.
Drying Dandelion Roots
For long term storage, drying roots works best. Scrub roots well before cutting.
Slice thick roots lengthwise into strips of uniform thickness to decrease drying time and encourage uniform drying.
Use a dehydrator to dry the roots at 35°C until brittle.
Alternatively, spread on a screen and place in a cool, dry location with good air flow, and dry for 3 to 14 days (until brittle). Dried roots will keep for about a year.
Make a Dandelion Root Tincture
To make a tincture, place dandelion root in a jar and cover with 80 proof (40%) vodka.
1 cup dried root or 2 cups fresh root to 1 - 2 cups of alcohol.
Cover tightly and allow to steep 4-6 weeks, shaking daily.
Strain out plant material and store in a dark glass bottle. Label and date.
Make Dandelion Coffee (Roasted Dandelion Root Tea)
To make dandelion coffee, start with dried roots. Chop or break into small, even pieces, roughly 1cm across.
Spread on a roasting pan and bake in a warm oven 95 degrees celsius for around 4 hours. Mix occasionally.
The dandelion roots should be browned and dried completely through. Cool roots completely before use or storage.
Grind and use as you would regular coffee, or place 1 heaping teaspoon of ground root in a cup of hot water, steep for 10 minutes and strain.
Store roasted roots in an airtight glass jar and grind just before use for best flavour.
Make a Dandelion Root Decoction
A decoction uses water and extra heat, and is generally used for tough materials like roots and bark, to extract their medicinal qualities.
To make a decoction, place 30gram of dried roots or 60gram fresh roots (by weight) in a pan with 500ml of filter water.
Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain and compost the roots.
Enjoy this powerful liver cleanse and detoxifying plant medicine....