The fruit trees are starting to blossom, flowers are budding, birds are singing, and there is officially no doubt that spring is in the air!
When the weather changes we can boost our health by tuning into the season and adjusting what we eat.
While the thick of winter calls for foods that warm you to the core, springtime calls for more clearing, uplifting, and dispersing foods as the energy moves up and out.
Use the following 5 herbs to cook with for springtime health so you can bring your freshest face forward as the weather warms up:
Nettle is one of my favorite herbs, and it is most available in the springtime.
Nettle is deeply nourishing, containing a hefty dose of iron, vitamin K, and vitamin C, and helps the bones retain calcium.
It has numerous health benefits, including joint health, asthma and allergy relief, increased circulation, and more.
Take advantage of nettles in the springtime by buying fresh nettles at your local farmer’s market. If you can’t find fresh nettles, freeze dried nettle has been shown to work just as well.
Cooking with nettles just as you would use any other leafy green. And don’t worry, the stinging quality is eliminated once it’s been cooked!
Dandelion is another herb that is most abundantly available in the springtime.
With its rich bitter taste, dandelion is excellent in helping the liver detoxify winter buildup to clean your system out for a fresh start in the springtime.
Rich in vitamins A, B, C, and D, as well as minerals such as iron, potassium, and zinc, dandelion flowers boast strong antioxidant properties, the leaves help boost digestion, and the root improves liver and gallbladder function.
Use fresh dandelion leaves and flowers in salads, stir-fries, or sandwiches, and take a dropperfull of dandelion root tincture before a meal to really take advantage of this miraculous plant.
Many people use black pepper in every meal and don’t know that it has tremendous medicinal use.
With it’s strong volatile oil and pepperdine alkaloids, freshly ground black pepper is excellent at stimulating the digestive tract to function optimally.
It can also help clear lung congestion, and has antioxidant and antibacterial effects as well, keeping your system clear and free for spring.
Pre-ground pepper loses most of its beneficial properties as the oils dry up before they hit your plate, so if you don’t have a fresh pepper grinder at home, now is the time to invest in one.
You’ll notice a huge difference in both taste and how you feel.
Bite into parsley and you taste spring.
It is sweet and aromatic, with a fresh taste that can instantly harmonize you with the spring season.
Just like nettle and dandelion, parsley has diuretic properties that help flush the system of waste.
It also helps digestion and reduces gas, which is why it is so readily added as a garnish.
Sprinkle freshly chopped parsley on soups and vegetables for a gentle and delicious springtime boost.
Last, but by no means least, rosemary is one of the best herbs to use in springtime.
With its aromatic smell and astringent taste, rosemary is one of the best ways to consolidate and boost the momentum of spring within your own physiology.
Rosemary stimulates digestion, reduces muscle and joint pain throughout the body, helps regulate the heart rhythm, and can even relieve headache.
Traditionally it is also used to improve memory, providing you with mental stimulation as you embark on springtime projects.
Once again, using the fresh herb will garner the most benefits, but dried rosemary can also be added to dishes when the fresh herb is not available.
Any aromatic or nourishing herb is a great addition to springtime meals, but these 5 are especially good at acclimating your body and mind to what’s happening in nature this time of year.
- “Stinging Nettle,” by Kassie Vance
- “Dandelion,” University of Maryland Medical Center
- “Pepper,” WHFoods
- “Rosemary,” University of Maryland Medical Center
- “Rosemary,” by M. Grieve