Spring has Sprung…now make tea and clean house

March 29, 2011

Happy Spring everyone.  This winter seemed especially long, so I’m grateful that we’re transitioning seasons.  But before all common sense flies out the window, it’s time to remember to take care of the body.  First tea, then tank tops, if you know what I mean.  You don’t?  Well, have you ever noticed how many folks get sick around seasonal transitions?  Or how an unnaturally beautiful patch of weather in early spring leads to lots of extroverted behavior which leads to a hacking cough and calling out sick?  Right.  Here is your remedy…

Find these dry herbs at your local herbarium.   Put them in a pot, and boil the love out of them. I mean it.  One small handful of burdock root (Arctium lappa), one small handful of dandelion root (Taraxacum officinale), one smaller handful of orange peel (citrus sp.), plus 5 tongue depressor-shaped sticks of Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus).  Add some leftover elderberries (Sambucus nigra) that you find in the back of your cupboard.  Or perhaps you need to sweeten your mix up with some licorice or some cinnamon.  Channel your inner herbalist.

For each teaspoon of herbs, use 1 cup of water.  Once you have your water and herbs in a pot, bring the mixture up to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer away.  For the maximum medicinal benefits, cook these herbs for at least one hour.  Two hours if you’re nasty.  Strain, and drink hot or cold.  Sweeten with honey or another natural sweetener if you must.  Stash your leftovers in the refrigerator and drink throughout the week.

Why should you do this? Well, Astragalus mobilizes the immune system (kicking out lingering winter bugs), dandelion and burdock refresh and renew the liver (think of wringing out a washcloth) and perk up digestion in general.  (Remember the holidays?  So does your liver.)  Orange peel balances the formula and provides a Vitamin C kick.  This tea is your spring tonic.  Let these herbs literally “clean house” for you.  Your body will be ready for Spring in that classic “out with the old and in with the new” sense.  In Northern California speak, this tea will shift the energy of winter (1st gear) into second gear~the energy of early spring.  (You can’t go successfully from 1st to 3rd, can you?)

Enjoy the unfolding of the season…

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