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Seasonal Medicine

Pungent Spring Herbs

For Vernal Seasonal Health


Harnessing the energy of the season, spring and summer are all about embracing the fresh, abundant, and vibrant growth of the seasons. Often the first to arrive, spring is home to many pungent, aromatic, and bitter herbs that serve to move energy in spring, and cool and and release in the summer. Spring is the time to harvest these crisp botanicals and begin crafting with them for seasonal health and vitality.


Seasonal Wellness Through Balance

One of the many tenants of herbalism and holistic nutrition, is the idea of eating (and taking plant medicine) in alignment with the seasons. In fall and winter this means grounding and warming foods, and in spring and summer this means pungent, aromatic, bitter, and cooling herbs. From leafy greens to succulent vegetables, and juicy fruits - each season has it's own foods and herbs that can provide systemic balance.

Pungent Herbs For Spring Energy

As the fresh rain falls and the temperatures begin to rise, the land starts to fill with verdant, soft, green herbs marking the beginning of the new growing year. These often pungent and aromatic herbs are the first herbs of the season, and are a welcome break from the heaviness of winter. In traditional systems the pungent flavor is used in spring to help move the energy and start anew, and wake the body up from it's slumber. Aromatic and carminative herbs make an excellent fresh addition to salads, dressings, stir frys, and broth soups, and are a great way to welcome in spring and also support the digestive system. Find my favorite spring herbs below:

  • Parsley
  • Cilantro

  • Fennel

  • Dill

  • Tarragon

  • Chervil

  • Alliums  (leeks, chives, scallions, etc.)

  • Garlic Scapes

  • Radishes

The Seasonality of The Bitter Flavor

Along with the pungent and aromatic herbaceous greens, spring is also the time when many of our bitter herbs begin to shoot up. dandelion greens, artichoke leaves, arugula, frisee, and radicchio make for a nice selection of bitter garden greens that can be used to help support the liver during the spring and summer months. The bitter flavor helps to awaken the digestive system and get things flowing after winter. This bitter flavor gets increasingly important as we move into spring and our bodies benefit from the cooling balance of these green herbs.

Carrying Crisp Cool Plant Energy Into Summer
As we move into summer we see these same aromatic and bitter plants help support our bodies through the transition, this time as cooling botanicals to help balance the heat of summer. Moving into summer we can use all those same herbs from spring to help cool the body, with the addition of cooling, juicy vegetables and fruits that start to arrive in the summer.




Note: The information on this site has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and is for educational, historical, and research purposes, and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information on this site should not be used as medical advice. If you have a medical concern please seek out a qualified healthcare professional, and always consult your physician before adding herbal supplements into your diet, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, or on medication.


East Bay Herbals does not promote wildcrafting for your medicinal plant needs. Natural populations of plants are vital to the ecosystems that they are a part of and should be left alone for mother nature to care for. We encourage you to purchase fresh plants from a trusted herb retailer such as The Sonoma County Herb Exchange or your local farmer's market or to experiment with growing your own.


Image by pintando la luz
Image by Alejandro Piñero Amerio
Stinging nettle by Bakd&Raw, Karolin Bai
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