There are so many reasons to love dandelion, especially its insistence on showing up absolutely everywhere. From its liver-cleansing properties to the deliciousness of blood-cleansing dandelion wine, this scourge of landscaped lawns is one of our most beloved and valuable cleansing spring tonics. Read more…
Turmeric, Curcuma longa
This beautiful golden root is a powerful medicinal herb. Best known, perhaps, as the spice that gives Curry powder its distinctive color, Turmeric is used alone and in blends to season food, support digestive and joint health, and treat many internal and external health complaints. I could go on an on about the wonders of Turmeric, but to keep things simple, I’d like to talk about its use as a Digestive Tonic, an Anti-inflammatory for the Joints, and as a Non-toxic and easy to use dye for natural fabric and yarn, and even hair!
The word “Ginseng” tends to be synonymous with vitality and energy, and for good reason! Its botanical name, Panax, has the same root as the word “panacea”, healer of all ills. It has been considered “king of herbs” in Native American and Chinese medicine traditions for thousands of years.
Like many adaptogens, ginseng helps with more health conditions than I can list here. In general, it restores adrenal reserves, improves stamina, boosts immunity, improves cognitive function, and “just makes things work better”.
There are three varieties of adaptogenic ginseng to choose from. They all have a lot in common, but understanding the differences in their effects can help determine which one is right for you.
I love to see the crocuses blooming, a sure sign that winter is finally on its way out. The lovely spring crocus is cousin to the fall-blooming saffron crocus, which gives us the wonderful, subtle spice known as saffron.
Saffron threads are the dark-orange stigmas of the crocus. The saffron crocus produces three stigmas per flower, which are delicately harvested by hand and used for cooking, dyeing, and of course, herbal medicine. Read more…
It can be a challenge to find an at-home Yoga practice that works for you. Poses that feel wonderful when your instructor is right there to support you may be too much to do on your own. In our Introduction to Ayurveda classes here at Smile, we teach a simple routine of five poses that has been the basis of my at-home practice for close to a decade.
In both Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine (among others), there are Five Elements that need to be brought into balance for optimum health and well-being. Different traditions may define those elements slightly differently, but in essence they are the same. In addition to a healthy diet and herbal regimen these five poses, each one relating to one of the five elements, can support a harmonious lifestyle.