My Go-To Spring Herbs
"Everything on the earth has a purpose, every disease and herb to cure it, and every person a mission."
Spring is here with all it's lovely greenery and colors! As the season makes it's presence known, the herbs make their way out of hibernation and show off their wonderful leaves, flowers, and stretch a bit more with their branches.
Spring is one of my favorite seasons due to bringing in an abundance of herbs, fruits, and warmer weather. As we enter the beginning months of more sun and hotter temperatures, we are able to change up our herbal remedies, our diets, and movements!
In this article, I'm going to dive into a few of my go-to herbs that I love to utilize during this time of the year. This is the peak season for many of these herbs, which means the amount of nutrients and healing abilities of these herbs are strong.
Nettle (Stinging Nettle)
I absolutely love Nettle! This herb is amazing with its healing abilities and the nutrients it provides. It delivers a wide range of vitamins and minerals such as: Vitamins A, Bs, C, and K, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium, amino acids, and polyphenols.
Nettle helps to reduce blood pressure, decrease inflammation, improve joint health, can assist with wound healing, and help to improve anemia. It is also great for the kidneys and toning of the skin since it has a diuretic effect.
Tip: You want to make sure you get this herb from a reputable source. As the name suggests, "Stinging" Nettle has tiny hairs on its leaves that can irritate the skin when handling fresh and cause some irritation in the throat if not prepared properly.
If harvesting this herb yourself, you want to be sure to cook, freeze, or dry the leaves prior to use. This will allow the tiny hairs to dry up and fall off the leaves and reducing the stinging property.
You can use these leaves in tea form, throw them in salads, add to soups, or even sauté them as you would spinach.
This has to be one of my favorite Spring time herbs! This plant holds a dear place in my herbalist heart. Most see this plant as just a weed that grows in the garden or along sidewalks. However, I find this herb to an amazing tool to have on hand during Spring time.
Every major part of the plant can be utilized. The leaves are used in assisting the kidneys by preventing water retention and helps to maintain fluid balance by providing potassium. The root is used to detoxify the liver from built up toxins. Dandelion root is used as a bitter to assist digestion and increases the production of bile. The flowers contain high levels of carotenoids, which is turns into an antioxidant in the human body and is the pigment that gives the yellow flowers its color.
Dandelion has a wide range of vitamin and minerals as well. It provides calcium, potassium, antioxidant properties, fiber, iron, zinc, phosphorus, protein, Vitamin A, C, and D.
Tip: Don't go outside in your garden and pick the nearest dandelion plant. It is best to consult with an herbalist or an herbal guide since other plants look similar to this herb.
Dandelion leaves can be used similarly as Nettle in salads, sautéed, and used in meals It is best to cook the leaves when adding them to dishes. The leaves have a bitterness that can sometimes be overpowering for some palettes. The root and flowers can be taken as a tea or tincture form.
Calendula (Pot Marigold)
This herb is such a beauty! It's bright, colorful yellow, orange, and sometimes red hues that come out during the spring time provide a large amount of carotenoids that out weight some vegetables! Carotenoids help to boost immune health, vision, and mucous membranes.
Calendula is a great herb to use for inflammation, antibacterial and antimicrobial infections. It has detoxifying properties that assist the lymphatic system to get rid of toxins and unwanted waste material.
Tip: The flowers can be used all year long once dried. They can be used in broths, teas, sprinkled in food or used in herbal infused oil for internal and external use.
It is advised to avoid if you have a sensitivity or an allergy to the daisy family. Calendula can also become bitter if too much is used. So a little goes a long way with this herb.
Raspberry leaf is a such a beneficial herb, especially for women's health. This herb is packed with high levels of Vitamin C, has a toning effect for the uterus, and other tissues, and even improves digestion and gums in the mouth.
This herb contains tannins, which are natural antioxidants, helping to fight free radicals and cell damage. It also contains a number of nutrients such as zinc, calcium, Vitamin C and E.
The most common way of consuming this herb is through tea or a tincture. It has bitter and astringent properties so be aware of using high temperatures and steeping for longer periods when making a tea.
Tip: It is recommended to be cautious if you struggle with constipation or digestive issues. This herbal tea can cause some irritation with digestive imbalances. It is best to not consume on an empty stomach due to this plant's ability to lower blood sugar levels.
Mint is a great plant to use during the Spring season. All mint plants assist in digestion in relieving bloating, gas, and nausea. Peppermint as part of the mint family is able to reduce pain and spasms in the gut or muscles. It can help to open the sinuses and lungs, which is helpful during allergy season.
Tip: This plant is great to reduce fever and keep little buggers and pests away. It can be used as an essential oil, fresh, or even dried for teas, meals, or in a diffuser. The aromatherapy is great for uplifting the mood and bringing clarity when feeling stressed.
It is great as a tea or even chew on the fresh leaves themselves.
Mint, specifically peppermint, can aggravate heartburn, so it would be best to avoid or discontinue if experience heartburn.