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  • In Tune With The Seasons: Spring | with Amy Parin

    September 04, 2023 5 min read

    With a new found warmth to the air, more daylight, birds chirping a little more and flowers blooming around us, we know that it is Spring time!

    We can think of the transition from Winter to Spring like a flower opening from its dormancy, opening and blossoming into its true beauty after a restful, quiet, rejuvenating time allowing it to propel with energy into its next phase of life. Winter is a time of yin, quietness, stillness and regeneration. During Spring we step outside of this and begin to blossom and emerge into with new found energy. This will continue through to Summer which is the most yang time of the year.

    Within Chinese medicine, elements are dedicated to each season to create a deeper connection to the land and to help synchronicity with our bodies. The element associated with Spring is wood. The wood element is all about new beginnings, a new cycle and a new expression of life! This is why Spring can be a wonderful time to do a ‘Spring Clean’ of your body and home to align with the seasonal changes and get you in the best state of health as possible. To support this detox and cleanse of our body's systems we can use modify ur dietary, lifestyle, herbal medicines to bring energy and health to the organs of detoxification such as the liver, lymphatic system, kidneys and gut. These organs can be relatively stagnant over the Winter period of rest.

    Lifestyle Practices

    Outlined below are some great ways to cleanse and nourish the body, mind, and spirit during these months:

    • Early morning sunlight exposure helps to attune your body to the changes in the light that occurs when the seasons change. It also helps to wake you up for the day and promote greater vitality and energy throughout the day!
    • Bush walking is a wonderful way to regulate your body to seasonal changes than by heading out for a walk in the bush or nature around you! Spring is an especially beautiful time for this is when the flowers are in bloom.
    • Beach swims and cold water therapy help to acclimatise you to the environment and increase the amount of feel good brain neurotransmitters and chemicals.
    • Saunas can be used to detox heavy metals from the body and are a great way of improving elimination through the skin and improves vascular health and blood flow to the tissues.
    • Dry body brushing helps to move lymph around the body and clears the lymph nodes promoting detox and better functioning.
    • Castor oil packs on the abdomen and liver to further support a gentle detox.

    Nourishing Foods

    As the seasons shift the warmer weather in Spring means we begin to step into a more energetic time of year after a season of stillness in Winter. It can be helpful to consume foods that are in season and grow naturally in abundance during this time as they will support our bodies in the seasonal transition.

    As we transition into Spring, we can begin to shift our cooking methods to cook foods, so they are not as thoroughly cooked, as they often are in slow cooked meals throughout Winter. Enjoy more green fruits and vegetables – these foods are rich in chlorophyll and support your liver function.

    Reducing inflammatory foods such as processed oils, processed sugar, and packaged food. These foods can interrupt detoxification and burden the liver and gallbladder.

    Seasonal Shopping List

    Here are some of the foods that you can purchase for less during Spring as they are in season and found in greater abundance!

    Treat this as a general guide for you to explore new foods that will nourish you in this season, keeping in mind your own dietary needs and your constitution.

    Fruits

    • Apples
    • Grapefruit
    • Kiwifruit
    • Lemon or lime
    • Peaches
    • Plums
    • Pomegranate
    • Strawberries

    Vegetables

    • Asparagus
    • Broccoli
    • Cabbage
    • Celery
    • Avocado
    • Kale
    • Leek
    • Lettuce
    • Dandelion greens
    • Peas
    • Spinach
    • Radish
    • Zucchini
    • Artichokes
    • Beets
    • Carrots
    • Garlic
    • Onion
    • Parsnip
    • Sweet potato
    Seasonal Spices/ Herbs that you can grow in your garden or buy at the farmer's market.
    • Sage
    • Parsley
    • Ginger
    • Fennel
    • Dill
    • Basil
    • Rosemary
    • Thyme

    Herbs

    Whilst supporting your health with nutrition and eating according to the seasons is important, there are also some fantastic herbal remedies that can be taken as powders, teas, or tinctures to start supporting your body's detoxification systems at this time of year.

    Nettle Leaf Tea

    Nettle leaf is high in nutrients such as iron, minerals and silica. These nutrients are greatly beneficial for the body. It is a lymphatic herb whereby it improves the functioning of the lymphatic system and can also be used to support any allergies that may arise during Spring with the increase in pollen in the air.

    Slippery Elm

    Slippery elm helps to increase the amount of beneficial bacteria in the gut and improves bowel formation and healthy stools. This promotes healthy detoxification via the bowels which is key. It can be taken as a powder and can be easily added to smoothies and porridge! It has a gelatinous like appearance when combined with water, similar to chia seeds.

    Schisandra

    Schisandra is a beautiful herb which is known to have all the 5 flavours - sweet, sour, salty, bitter and pungent - which makes it a very tonifying herb for the body. It has hepatoprotective and trophorestorative actions whereby it improves the health and function of the cells in the liver. It also acts a fantastic adaptogen which improves your perception and reduces bodies reaction to stress.

    Dandelion Root & Leaf Tea

    This herb promotes bile flow and production helping you to breakdown and digest your food better, making it easier to extract the nutrients from your food, which improves your vitality. Dandelion leaf contains minerals and acts as a diuretic to aid in detoxification processes.

    Chlorella & Spirulina

    Both contain an array of nutrients and minerals that can improve the health and function of your body. They also have the capacity to bind to heavy metals that can accumulate in the body.

    As you can see there are many fantastic ways you can connect your body to the change in seasons and use Spring as a time to optimise your health and wellbeing! Spring is a truly beautiful time of year and when doing these dietary, lifestyle and herbal medicine practises you will be setting yourself up for a happy, healthy glowing Summer. Spring is a time of renewal, regeneration and rebirth of the wood element. For more in depth advice and a personalised treatment approach to optimising your health this Spring, please reach out to a qualified Naturopathic practitioner to get a more thorough and in depth analysis on what practises and medicines will be best suited to you. Happy Spring and season of the flowers!



    Amy Parin has a passion for women's health and is in her final year of studying naturopathy at Endeavour College.

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