The first spring herbs shooting out of the ground are nature’s way of telling us it’s time to wake our bodies up from winter’s slumber. While many of us relish in the cozy dormancy of wintertime—nesting indoors, cooking rich, hearty foods and building fires—springtime can’t help but out-charm it with new growth, sunny days and fresh foods. Herbalists have long understood the value of spring herbs to facilitate the body’s seasonal transition, helping tonify the systems and increase flow. Our herbalists have tapped into their herbal power to create tasty spring tonic teas, such as our Nettle Leaf, Burdock with Nettle Leaf, Dandelion Leaf & Root, EveryDay Detox® Dandelion and EveryDay Detox® Lemon teas—all formulated to get your body back into the swing of things.
In the era before processed foods, the only foods to eat during the winter were those that preserved well, with root vegetables, cabbage, dried beans and rich meats serving as the centerpieces of winter fare. While filling and warming, they lack the vibrancy and nutritional benefits that fresh greens have. Even in today’s age of transporting produce from warmer climates during winter, our bodies still gravitate to those heavier foods to bulk us up to resist the cold. However, by the end of a long, stagnant winter, our bodies long to shed our winter layers by re-energizing the digestive, urinary, lymphatic and immune systems. Making tonics out of spring’s first green shoots can help us do just that.
To a gardener, herbs like burdock, dandelion, nettles and cleavers can be pesky weeds since they grow so quickly and abundantly. To an herbalist or a farmer, however, these plants are the herbal medicine we need to get our bodies back in motion, using them in tonics to tone and nourish the body. While the use of tonics has been common throughout the ages, they have become somewhat forgotten as humankind has become disconnected from farming and collecting food. But the traces of old-school spring tonics can still be found in drinks like root beer, originally a healthy herbal drink used in traditional Western herbalism. Since finding a real root beer is tough nowadays—most have devolved to soft drink status—spring tonic teas are an easy, tasty and appealing way of helping your body transition from winter to spring.
Promoting vitality is the core purpose of spring tonics, and different herbs and different formulations aim to serve specific purposes—and the variety of different herbs and combinations is downright dizzying. Below are some of our spring tonic teas to help you decide what’s best for you. We recommend starting your tonic regime during the last cold snap of winter to help you transition into spring:
- Burdock with Nettle Leaf: Delightfully rooty, sweet and slightly bitter, burdock keeps you grounded by promoting healthy skin and kidney function.* Try drinking 2-3 cups per day for maximum benefit.
- Dandelion Leaf & Root: Light and mildly sweet, this gentle tonic supports healthy kidney function and digestion.* We recommend drinking this tea regularly for two weeks, followed by a break before resuming. For more continued use of dandelion, you can always try our Roasted Dandelion Root tea.
- EveryDay Detox Dandelion: Slightly sweet and minty, this formula harnesses the herbal benefits of dandelion to gently stimulate the liver and support kidney function*, complemented with fennel, peppermint and licorice for taste. A great tea to enjoy throughout the seasons—especially spring.
- EveryDay Detox Lemon: Light, fresh and lemony, this formula taps into the herbal powers of burdock, dandelion, cleavers and nettle to address skin, liver and kidney health.* It’s the perfect spring flush to use all year long.
- Nettle Leaf: Refreshing, hay-like and pleasantly bitter, nettle is considered the mother of all spring tonics. Known for its ability to support the whole body as well as joint health*, you’ll love this tea to help you kick-start your body after winter hibernation.
Spring heralds a time of renewal—for the body, as well as for Mother Earth. Using spring tonic teas supports the systems of elimination and can bring the body back into balance; our herbalists recommend taking them over long periods of time for gentle, lasting effects. As with any herbal medicine, we encourage you to consult with your herbalist, naturopath or healthcare practitioner to find out which tonics may be right for you. Wishing you a happy and healthy transition with spring’s herbal allies!