Herbal Allies For Spring| What's Blooming?

Photos & Words Copyright Courtney Paige, 2021

Awakening the Inner Fire

The reawakening of the natural world in the Spring is mirrored by the rekindling of our inner fire. Blooming flowers ignite our consciousness to blossom as the buzzing bees and melodious birds awaken our own inner longings for connection. The shifting color palette of the natural world invigorates our senses and our hearts open as unfurling leaves on budding trees.

The shift in our awareness that happens naturally this time of year alongside our ecosystem signals us to remember our interconnection and capacity for growth. It is an opportunity to recognize that the potential energy of life is interwoven in the fabric of our beings. The world around us is not inert and un-alive, it is a vivacious and ever evolving intelligent system in which we play a meaningful role.

The energy of the seasons is alive within us. It is the ancient wisdom that resides within our bones that we can choose to tap into our growth and prosperity.

Knowing and understanding the plant kingdom gives us special insight into the interconnections of life on earth. If we simply slow down and to notice what's blooming around us we find that we are so supported by nature.

Springtime Herbal Allies

Photo by Courtney Paige

Sweet Violet (Viola odorata) This beautiful plant is one of the first to flower in the early spring, embodying confidence and strength during transition. Its purple and white blooms are a welcome messenger of change and awakening. Violet utilizes underground cleistogamous flowers in addition to the beautiful blooms that are displayed above ground in early spring. These underground flowers seed without need for pollination, reflecting to us the power to stand on our own in confidence as we share our unique gifts with the world. Physically, Violet helps to reduce inflammation and bring the body back into balance after the stagnate energies of winter. It is known as an ‘alterative’ meaning it restores harmony within. It is an incredibly beneficial ally for this time of year when we are clearing and resetting physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Photo by Courtney Paige

Chickweed (Stellaria media)

This ‘little star’ nick-named for the star like pattern of its flowers is a popular spring remedy in folk herbalism. It is a time honored cooling and anti-inflammatory cleanser that can be used in culinary preparations, oxymeals and topical preparations. Chickweed's nourishing nature supports us as we rejuvenate our bodies moving into the warmer seasons. Beyond its nutrient value, its cleansing actions on the kidneys and liver make it a wonderful ally for moving out what we no longer need and resetting our systems. Topically its anti-inflammatory properties are wonderful for soothing irritated skin conditions and speeding the healing of wounds.

Photo by Courtney Paige

Trillum (Trillium grandiflorum) Stepping out of the backyard and into the forest we unveil a whole other world of medicinal spring plants. Requiring the canopy of the forest to bloom these plants remind us that we are a part of a delicate but resilient ecosystem. We can look to these allies to understand the balance that is required for all of life to thrive. Many of the plant allies that reside under the deep forest canopy are endangered due to over development and deforestation. It is vital that when we work with these allies we do so with a mindful approach so that we do not further disturb these keystone species. If you are unsure whether it is safe to harvest a wild plant, check in with United Plant Savers and their At Risk Species List. Trillium is one of the wild spring plants that I find most endearing at this time of year. An early blooming medicinal found throughout the Appalachian region, its three petal whorls sprinkle the forest floor where the fairies play. In the proper conditions a single plant can live upwards of 25 years a reflection of the resilience and vitality of our native ecosystem. Physically its root medicine was commonly utilized by the Native tribes for its power to staunch bleeding and regulate the menstrual cycle. It was highly regarded as a women's ally and utilized by some to facilitate child birth.

The journey of Spring unfurling has the potential to inspire and ignite our own inner wisdom. This is the true medicine of plants- to help us remember the wisdom of our own physiology.

What's blooming near you right now? Perhaps it is precisely the medicine you need right now!