For me, Spring is the new year. I think of the budding flowers as a sign of rebirth, newness and movement. Rising out of the slowness and stillness of winter. As are we! Winter in the east coast is a cold one, we’re inside a lot more, moving a bit less and conserving more energy. Our bodies, like the flower buds, gotta rise outta this winter stillness and begin to create some motion and Qi.
This month, I'm highlighting 2 herbs that have been really beneficial for myself and members of our community in past seasons. Calendula and Bay Leaves. Learn why these two herbs are my go-to’s for creating movement as we awaken and begin the vernal new year.
Calendula’s medicinal affinity is for moving that which has stagnated in our defense system. It isolates and quarantines what doesn’t belong, and helps warm the whole system, urging the body toward healthy circulation. It’s basically waking us up from the inside out, from the lymphatic system to our blood circulation. This is a great Spring herb to create chi in the body and get things moving! This herb is also known to be amazing for your skin, drinking this in a tea or creating an oil for the face and body can also bring some lightness and energy, revitalizing and awakening our largest organ, our skin.
On a vibrational level, Calendula offers us an opportunity to move the things that are stagnant in our lives. It helps us to create warmth and movement in dense emotional and energetic spaces. The warmth begins to move things that we maybe have ignored or have not quite noticed. Calendula magic offers us an opportunity to reclaim our boundaries and to make full use of our life force.
Calendula magic is that of recognizing and using our power. Using this herb in cleansing smoke blends at home or in spiritual baths can alleviate dense energies and create movement in the home, offering a spiritual spring cleaning to your space. This is a flower of Oshun, it carries the essence of confidence and sacral magic. Calendula essence is believed to help balance the sacral chakra, allowing us to be open and vulnerable with the people closest to us and to also embody the power in that fearlessness, allowing others to witness that act of bravery and be a reflection.
The whole plant is used in many homeopathic remedies created for folks who experience painful menstrual cramps in their sacral space. Calendula medicine allows blood to flow as it acts as a soothing coat on our abdomen.
In addition to its historical and culinary uses, Bay leaves are a great kitchen witchin’ tool. It is a source of nutrients and vitamins that are all known to support a healthy immune system. Bay Leaves are also very aromatic, when used as a tea or as a steam, they can help to relieve sinus pressure and a stuffy nose. Helping these springtime allergies to chill out.
Drinking Bay Leaf tea is an old caribbean remedy for soothing belly aches & indigestion. Drinking this tea can strengthen your digestive tract and ease any issues with digestion, constipation and heat in the stomach. Taking Bay Leaves ground up in a capsule has shown to help folx with type 2 diabetes decrease their blood sugar levels.
On a vibrational level, the bay leaf has been held as a sacred tool for cleansing one’s space and alleviating stress, anxiety, and unpleasant energy. A great space cleansing herb that is in 90% of your kitchen cabinets! Ancient temples routinely burned bay leaves to energetically clear space and heighten one’s intuitive powers. They can be used to induce prophetic dreams when drinking a strong water infusion before bed. Bay Leaves are known to ward off negativity or negative energy when used as a spiritual bath or burning the leaves in your space.
One of my favorite ways to use Bay leaves is by writing down something you want to manifest or get rid of, then burn the leaf in a fireproof bowl during a spiritual ceremony. The bay leaf assists with intention making, prayer and meditation. This is a great Spring herb for its assistance with allergy relief and to use a tool to cleanse your space during spring cleaning and as a tool for manifestation and prayer.
This month we are highlighting these two herbs in our online Botanica and are taking 10% off both Calendula and Bay Leaves all month long. I feel strongly about sharing information on how to use plants and their remedies as a way to decolonize our medicine. I believe that even the act of blending tea or sitting in the silence of nature, is connecting us to mother nature and to our ancestors through the most ancient known technologies, plants.
If you’re interested in learning more about spiritual herbalism and clinical herbalism with me, stay tuned for my first Herbalism Course starting in April. In this workshop, Special Herbs, we will walk through MF DOOM’s Special Herbs discography and talk about a curated list of Springtime herbs that he used as inspiration for the tracks. We will discuss ways to help us attune to this season on the physical plane as well as the spiritual through exploring modalities like herbalism, spirituality, sound and community connection.
In the meantime! Head over to our online botanica to find a long list of herbs for all seasons and uses.