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Seasonal Apothecary


as our bones begin to thaw, we may believe the time of winter illness is behind us. unfortunately, spring comes with its own set of challenges. the transition between seasons leaves a window of vulnerability for illness, and the life giving pollen dusting through the air may not be welcomed when paired with seasonal allergies. The following botanicals + remedies can be used to support your health with ease this spring.


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Medicine Making for Spring

As the sun lingers a little longer each day, our skin begins to finally peak out behind bundled layers. We begin to relax. Yet, our bodies may still be in Winter mode—dry, chilled, stagnant. The following remedies, paired with the rest of the information this season should have you feeling Spring-ready.

Liver loving tonic

Spring cleaning our insides is a fun and often necessary practice. Although the juicing movement is huge, I am not a big fan due to the negative effects on blood sugar stabilization. When I have extra fruits and veggies on hand, I like to make this liver tonic with breakfast to wake up my digestive organs and give my liver a little refresher. You can juice the ingredients, or blend them whole in a smoothie (freeze first for best results—also, freezing fruits and vegetables first breaks down the cell wall and allows for easier absorption of nutrients!).

 
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Liver loving tonic


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Simple spring face mask

Winter is so tough on our skin. Taking winter worn skin (dryness and cracks) into the spring sunshine is a recipe for disaster. Alongside these important tips, the mask below is sure to help prep our skin and make the transition much easier.

 
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Simple spring face mask


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Remedies to have on hand in Spring

Aside from what came in your seasonal care package, having these items on hand is a wise choice for the next 12 weeks…

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It seems that vitamin C is good for everything (it pretty much is!) and when it comes to seasonal allergies it should be your top pick. Vitamin C is a natural anti-histamine and comes virtually side-effect free. In the spring time, upping our current intake of vitamin C is a wise choice, especially when combined with a lesser known but equally as amazing antioxidant called Quercitin. Quercitin stabilizes mast cells that release histamine, the principal mediator of reactions to pollen and other allergies, making it a natural antihistamine similar to vitamin C. However, Quercitin outshines vit C in its ability to treat symptoms of hay fever (when taken regularly for at least six to eight weeks), such as runny nose, watery eyes, and itching, as well as other forms of allergy and hives.

How to use it: Take 2-3 grams of vitamin C daily. For hay fever, take 400 mg of Quercitin twice a day between meals. For general health, you can take between 100 to 250 mg of Quercitin three times a day.

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Castor oil packs are an old naturopathic treatment for treating a wide range of conditions and ailments, but have gained popularity in recent decades for its ability to gently yet effectively detoxify the liver. Castor oil packs aid in elimination and detoxification processes in the body through mechanisms likely related to its anti-inflammatory properties, such as cytokine modulation. A favorite bed-time ritual of myself and my patients, Castor oil packs are incredibly easy to do at home and equally inexpensive. Some important things to note however: Castor oil packs should be used with caution or avoided during pregnancy, bleeding disorders and active ulcers.  Individuals with chemical sensitivity disorders may have an increase in symptoms after using the castor oil pack, especially at the beginning of treatment, as it aids (and stimulates) the process of elimination and detoxification.  It may be best to shorten the length of time of the castor oil pack treatment initially and should be discussed with your physician if you have any health concerns.

How to use it:

Gather the following supplies:

·       Flannel Cloth (cotton or wool, washed and dried, 20” to 40” x 24” to 48”)

·       Plastic wrap (clear kitchen plastic wrap or plastic bag without printing)

·       Old bath towel

·       Hot water bottle

·       Castor oil

Directions:

1.     Lay down an old bath towel where you will be laying for the duration of your pack. Pour about 2-3 tablespoons of castor oil over your liver area (right side of the body below the breast and above the belly button). Rub in until area is well saturated.

2.     Cover oiled area with flannel cloth and then cover with plastic wrap to avoid staining and to keep in the heat.

4.     Apply a hot water bottle or heating pad and keep warm pack on for 20-30 minutes.

5.    When finished, rub remaining oil into skin. Save flannel cloth for future use.