Try a Spring Tonic!

Cultures from all over the globe have created and used cleansing and rejuvenating tonics for centuries, especially in spring. After the long winter with our tendency to eat diets that include heavier foods that often leave system residuals, a simple herbal tonic works wonders! You can easily tone and clean your body of accumulated wastes by enjoying these simple remedies, tried and tested over the ages.

Tonic herbs are unique amongst remedies, because they act in a bidirectional fashion. This quality is how herbal tonics help us to restore and maintain balance and good health in all of our body systems. What this means is that tonic herbs exert their healing actions in opposing directions. These herbs contain biochemical substances which act in uniquely opposite directions which is how they can help us to maintain system balance. For example, Ginseng both raises and lowers blood sugar levels and white blood cell count, back and forth, until balance is achieved, and then maintained.

Northern European Spring Cleanser

This pleasant tasting tonic has been used in Northern Europe to cleanse the system, and free up energy for a more active Spring lifestyle. It will leave you feeling light and refreshed.

1 large bunch of fresh Chervil
1 quart or litre of water
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice

In a large glass container, combine the Chervil and water and let the mixture steep at room temperature overnight. Strain out the Chervil in the morning, and add a squirt of fresh lemon juice. Now sip the refreshing brew throughout the day.


Tonics for you Mind!

A considerable amount of both ancient and modern research has been focused on the discovery of natural remedies to strengthen and feed the nervous system. Through the ages, people have benefited from the gentle yet powerful properties found in several herbal teas and tonics. Nervine tonics strengthen and nourish the nerve tissues directly, greatly reducing the need for harsher sedatives and drugs.

The simpliest remedy for toning your nerves is not an herb, but a grain: - good oldfashioned Oatmeal! Whether eaten as porridge, or taken as a tincture, Oats both stimulates and soothes the nervous system for prime function and comfort. Great for the kids!

Other nervine tonics commonly used throughout Europe, and later in the Americas include Damiana, Skullcap, Vervain, St. John's Wort and Wood Betony. Skullcap is the most powerful for aiding restful sleep and alleviating stress - especially helpful to tired, overworked parents.

You can buy these herbs in herbal and health stores as a tea. This is especially good to drink right before bed for a deep restful sleep. Some are also available in capsule form, with the powdered herb extracted and packaged in gelatin capsules or formed into tablets. They work bidirectionally to both soothe away stress and "touchiness", as well as perk you up and sweep away the winter doldrums.

Before retiring, draw a warm bath with aromatherapy oil or bath salts, and put on the tea kettle. Let the tea steep for about 8 minutes, then sip while relaxing your body, mind and spirit in the soothing warm water. Prepare for a blissful sleep!


Creating A Space

What is in our hearts is often a topic of great interest to most of us, yet tends also to pose a mystery. Feelings are often elusive - how often have you tried to express exactly what you were feeling, and groped to find the right words? Our honest heart-felt sensations are a barometer of the place where our bodies, mind, and spirit meet. A tender and sacred space, but also a sometimes frightening and painful one.

Spring is often a time of fresh beginnings, and a time often associated with love, marriage, and new life. If one's life is attuned to these energies, yet seems lacking in tangible evidence of these things - an emptiness may be present. Or painful memories of past associations may cause discomfort in the heart. Now is a perfect time to gauge just where you are in your heart.

Does your heart sing with contentment? Or does it feel like it needs something to be satisfied? If the answer to the latter is, "yes", it helps to create a space for happiness and your heart's desire. Try not to focus on a lack, but see your heart like a vessel, mature and ripe, ready to be filled,...soon! You'll be surprised at how quickly this slight shift in perspective can create exactly the type of feelings and experiences your heart longs for, in your life.


Rebirthing Your Spirit

I can't help but noticing the quickening of life all around us, in these early days of Spring. The energy in the air feels so alive, so fresh and exuberant, as Nature, flora and fauna, all awaken and fill the air with delicate perfumes, and precious chirps and song. The Earth starts her endless cycle once again, and bids us join her in the newness and rebirth.

Our elemental Mother undergoes a transformation each year. In ancient times, people were careful to observe and mirror the cycles of the precious world around them. When Spring came, a cleansing time would begin. A shedding of the old, the outmoded, the burdensome aspects of body, mind, heart, and spirit were all attended to, sifted, and released to prepare the being for the coming summer months.

We are wise to return to the natural cycles of our heritage. To release the tight and tired parts of our personality, our physical vehicles, our ways of relating to others and our environment, and our connection to our Creator and our own Spirits. Spending time in nature, and in meditation help significantly, as do rituals such as sweat lodges and circles of worship with like minded kin and colleagues. Enter the warm balmy months reenergized and rebirthed, to offer your best to your life and your world. There is only one of you - operate at optimus prime!

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