This time of year the California hills are covered with lupine and poppies, and our gardens are rich with nettles, cleavers and nourishing spring greens. We’ve been making lots of herbal medicines with the plants around us, and all this abundance reminds us to be thankful. With so much gratitude for all the Earth has to offer, we’re dreaming up more ways we can grow closer to the Earth.
1. Create an herbal apothecary. By learning more about medicinal plants, you can create a kinship with the world around you. You’ll start to notice all the herbal medicine right at your feet that can easily become your next tincture or tea.
2. Be conscious of water usage. In light of worldwide water shortages, it’s important that we conserve water, keep it clean and give it back to the earth. We can do this by opting for drought tolerant plants over a lawn, installing water efficient appliances or by simply taking shorter showers.
3. Take off your shoes. Let those toes breathe! When you are in a comfortable and clean space, let yourself get dirty and grounded into the healthy soil.
4. Observe and journal. This is how many naturalists and botanists came to understand the plants, animals and cycles of the earth. Whether you’re just listening to the birds or sketching some plants, this attention to detail will help you make more connections with the world around you.
5. Spend uninterrupted time in nature. Whether you’re hiking, camping, biking or all of the above, make sure to set aside a few times a month when you can unplug from modern media and relax. You can even try meditating with the plants.
6. Try forest bathing. Yes, you heard it here first. This Japanese practice, also known as shinrin-yoku, is a way to reduce stress and improve overall wellness. Take a walk, breathe deeply and hug a tree. It’s for your health.
7. Give back to the Earth. Any food waste you have is an opportunity to feed the soil. Composting is an excellent way to give back to the cycle of life.
8. Plant the seeds of tomorrow. Whether you’re creating a veggie garden or an herbal sanctuary, nourishing yourself with the plants from your own hard work feels incredibly rewarding. Horizon Herbs is a great company to buy herbal seeds from; we like to buy extra to share with our friends, family and neighbors.
Through doing simple activities like these, we realize we’re not separate from nature and are truly a part of it. By living mindfully, we can positively impact our environment.
We hope you’re feeling the abundance of spring and that you find even more ways to connect with nature. We invite you to share all your favorite Earth-based rituals on the Traditional Medicinals Facebook page.