Beauty Wellness

A Go-To Guide for Foraging Natural Medicines

Humans may be isolating and social distancing but the natural flora and fauna are really out there thriving and I’ve spent a lot of time in quarantine thinking about that. 

Spring represents awakening, rejuvenating, rebirth. Our bodies, even down to our deepest tissues, ready for lightness and renewal.

In Ayurvedic medicine, Spring is associated with the Kapha dosha: it’s warmer, moist as the land is heavy with water, it’s gentle and still slow as life slowly begins to awaken. It being a Kapha season, and just after winter where our bodies may have experienced more stagnancy, Kapha energy can accumulate and the body wants to shed it for balance. 

That’s what’s at the heart of any detoxifying spring rituals. Spring’s wild herbs can help us do just that, in a way that’s gentle and nourishing. 

Nettles, violet, burdock, garlic mustard, dandelion – these wild invasive weeds are actually potent medicine. And they’re all plants I’ve mentioned as my favorite Skin Food for glowing skin. That’s because the skin is one of the body’s detox organs: you’re not just what you eat, you’re what you eliminate. Keeping your detox pathways nourished and resilient will show. 

My hope is that more humans that are able to, will embrace a more self-sufficient lifestyle, one more in tune with and accepting of the natural rhythms and cycles that, in our own bodies, mimic that of the natural. And I’m already noticing a return of the victory garden.

So if you find yourself wanting to forage your own nettles + dandelion greens this year while we’re unable to visit a shop: read on for some important tips on foraging. 

  1. Make sure you have permission: not everyone is down with letting the town witch help themselves to whatever’s popping up on their lawn, and some areas are protected. So it’s a good idea to ask around and make sure you have permission to be on the land you’re on. Remember: we belong to the earth, she does not belong to us. 
  1. Don’t harvest directly alongside paths: for obvious reasons, the beautiful plants popping up on your local nature path are probably best left alone. There’s more human and pet action in those areas than you can fathom, making those leaves not ideal for consumption. 
  1. Don’t harvest from parks or lawns that may have been sprayed with pesticides: this may sound obvious, but I urge you to ask around to ensure your own safety. Pesticides and herbicides are still widely used despite research proving their harmful properties. Many of the so called “weeds” grow for the purpose of absorbing toxic properties from the soil, making it fertile once again. 
  1. Harvest when it’s abundant + take only what you need: it’s easy to get excited when the first bits of Violet bloom. Waiting until she’s abundant allows for the plant to blossom in abundance for the land without interruption. Take enough for your needs, leaving plenty for the patch your harvesting to continue thriving throughout its season. 
  2. Leave nothing behind: as always, tread lightly.

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