Making Spring Tonics to Banish the Winter Doldrums

Have you heard of Spring Tonics? Spring brings rebirth and renewal and this goes for us too, as part of the natural world. Both our outer worlds and our inner worlds are feeling the change and with a little help, we can awaken from our winter doldrums and burst into spring along with the plants and animals! Spring is a time for birthing and wakening and coming forth into the world. The stillness of winter is replaced with vibrant action,  growth and movement. It’s also the time that we  declutter the dross of the dark, cold, slower moving months of the year.

When young and tender these tumbleweeds are a lovely addition to a Spring Tonic

Spring is a good time to awaken us and support the liver in gentle detox. Although probably not the same plants as you’ll see sprouting everywhere, even the desert offers us spring greens for our tonic.   Bitter and nutrient-packed greens come to life, and for those of us paying attention to nature’s hints, provide us with delicious and nutritious spring tonics just waiting to be harvested.

  • Dandelion Greens, Taraxacum officinalis
  • Russian Thistle, Salsola tragus
  • Lamb’s-quarters, Cheno­podium album
  • Violet greens, Viola canadensis
  • Plantain, Plantago spp
  • Curly dock, Rumex crispus
  • Asparagus, Asparagus officinalis
  • Borage, Borego officinalis
  • Creasy greens, aka upland cress,  Lepidium sativum,
  • Stinging nettles, Urtica dioica (Nettles lose their sting once cooked, but please wear gloves to gather them)
  • Purslane, Portulaca oleracea

Try using the tender young leaves in salads, either fresh or blanched. The tender, young leaves may also be steamed like spinach or added to soups and sautés.

Steep them as a tea, mixed with peppermint and alfalfa or ginger for a warm tonic loaded with water-soluble vitamins.

 

 

 

For a lovely chilled or iced spring tonic, add one or more of the above herbs to the following recipe and toss in a blender with some ice.

  • 2 ribs celery
  • 1 apple
  • 1 English cucumber
  • 1 medium bunch watercress (about 6 oz.)
  • 1 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger (optional)
  • 1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice; more to taste

Or how about some Spring tonic vinegar?

Pint or quart-sized glass canning jar and lid (thoroughly cleaned and dried) and Wax paper, cloth or cheese cloth

Rinse freshly harvested herbs to remove any remaining soil. Run rinsed herbs through a salad spinner to remove excess moisture or allow to wilt in open air out of direct heat and light for 12-24 hours.

Chop (or not) your herbs until your jar is about ¾ of the way full. Pack them in tight.

Add raw apple cider vinegar until the herbs are completely submerged and will not poke out over the surface of the vinegar. Place a piece of wax paper, cloth or cheesecloth over the glass jar and then place the metal lid over that, screwing it closed.

Label your jar and keep it in a warm, dark location for 2 weeks. After 2 weeks, strain your Spring Tonic Vinegar using cheese cloth or a plastic strainer, making sure to squeeze the herb as much as possible until herb material is spent. Bottle and label vinegar. Keep refrigerated and use within 6 months of bottling.

Leave me a comment and let me know if you try any of these, or please share your own spring tonic recipes!

 

Blessed be,

93

In Light and Shadow,

~Thorne  

*I don’t do affiliate links, so any links you find here in my blog will take you to my own hand crafted products/items. Please visit the shop to view my hand crafted items.

 

Blessed be,

93

In Light and Shadow,

~Thorne  

*I don’t do affiliate links, so any links you find here in my blog will take you to my own hand crafted products/items. Please visit the shop to view my hand crafted items.

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