How Shifting Earth Energy and
the Lunar Calendar Impact Herbal Medicine and Wellness
When the northern hemisphere begins to lean towards the sun, and the sun passes the equator, moving south to north, we get the spring equinox or first official day of spring. This crossroads – equinox literally meaning ‘equal night’ as in nights and days of the same length – indicates that daytime will soon be once again longer than nighttime. The vernal equinox is a fine time for setting goals and aspirations for the months ahead. As the botanical world breaks from hibernation to bud into bloom, so can we.
Tracking the cycles of the earth and moon as the seasons unfold is a wonderful way to improve your health by strengthening your connection with nature. As we approach the spring equinox on Saturday, March 20, 2021, marking the day when the burgeoning light overtakes the darkness, take a moment to pause, breathe, and appreciate this meaningful shift in energies.
Honoring the return of the light and the growing season ahead can be very simple. There doesn’t need to be anything complex or demanding about celebrating the spring equinox. Open a window and inhale the aroma of new plant life. Wake early and watch the sunrise. Take comfort in the fact that the light will continue to grow in intensity and length until the summer solstice. Incorporating one or more of the following practices into your warm-weather embrace can be easy but profound.
- Get outside on a sunny afternoon, whether to soak in some of those gentle early spring rays or weed out your once-dormant garden bed. Notice the signs of the season: appreciate the bounty of buds on a rosebush, listen for birdsong, and pay attention to all the fruit trees which are beginning to leaf out.
- Gather spring flowers (this is a great activity for the whole family) and use edible blossoms as a garnish or make them into a floral simple syrup as a way to enjoy their medicinal properties and dress up your drinks. Spring blooms that make for great foraging fodder include dandelions, wild roses, chickweed (leaf and flower), violets, ground ivy, wild mustard, and calendula.
- Prepare a special dish with eggs, which symbolize the sacred fertility and new birth of spring coming full circle. Other round foods can be incorporated into a spring ritual brunch, such as grapefruit, new potatoes, or morning buns.
Maximizing Medicinal Compounds with Lunar and Earth Energy
is equal parts art and science, ancient study, and modern necessity. Following in the steps of nature’s blueprint, we observe that early spring after the ground thaws is ripe for unearthing liver-cleansing roots like dandelion and burdock, anti-inflammatory barks like wild cherry and birch, and delicate, tonifying buds like roses and calendula. While some of these plant parts are available to us all year round, paying attention to their growth cycles and picking them during the appropriate season ensures that their beneficial Phyto-compounds will be at their peak.
Later in the spring, the plant’s energies or medicinal properties travel up from the deep roots all the way to their unfurling new growth. Picking leaves, buds, and flowers during this time maximizes the aromatic volatile oils, phytosterols, and other chemicals in the plant, which translates into stronger acting and more effective herbal medicine when we ingest these plants or use them topically.
Ancient harvesting techniques in herbal medicine call for using the moon as a guide for when to harvest what parts of the plant. Harvesting roots, leaves, buds, and seeds with this kind of careful attention and intention results in making medicine potent and charged with healing energy how we make our medicine matters.
This year’s March full moon falls about a week after the vernal equinox on March 28th, 2021. The trusty Farmer’s Almanac calls it the ‘worm moon’ indicative of the earthworms beginning to wriggle as the soil warms. What was still and quiet in the dark for the winter gains momentum and makes its way to the top for a breath of fresh air and sunlight. Cleansing herbs like burdock and red clover can be beneficial during this time of shedding one’s old ‘winter skin’ just like the earthworms do.
The most earth-aligned herbal medicine is made when beloved plants are harvested according to the overarching season and this moon’s particular phase. When the moon is full, the full strength of the plant’s chemical makeup rises to the top, of the buds, blooms, leaf, and stem. Roots and underground plant parts are best harvested in the dark of the lunar cycle during a new moon.
Above all, the stepping stone of the spring equinox as we approach the Easter holiday is an opportunity to embrace the earth’s seasonal shift to new beginnings. This is a wonderful time to create new ways of taking care of ourselves and our families and exploring healthy new ways of connecting with nature after winter’s harshness is over. My absolute favorite way to do this is through” earthing”…
Earthing, also known as grounding, is a therapeutic technique that involves electrically reconnecting you to the earth. The simple method involves direct contact with the earth’s surface by walking barefoot, sitting, working, and even sleeping outside. Though there are limited studies on the technique as a whole, recent research has shown that reconnection with the earth’s electrons can lead to positive physiological changes of well-being, like improved sleep and a reduction in pain.
According to an analysis in the Journal of Environmental and Public Health, “during recent decades, chronic illness, immune disorders, and inflammatory diseases have increased dramatically, and some researchers have cited environmental factors as the cause.” The analysis continues to note that our modern society’s disconnection with the earth could play a significant role in the increase of these ailments. The vast majority of society no longer absorbs energy from the earth or walks around barefoot due to the widespread use of shoes with rubber soles. One study noted in the analysis highlights subjects that suffered from sleep disturbances and chronic muscle and joint pain. All subjects were provided with a mattress pad to sleep on, with only half of the mattress pads connected to dedicated earth ground outdoors, while the other half was “sham” grounded. The study concluded that subjects who slept on earth grounded mattress pads saw significant improvements in sleep quality, muscle stiffness and pain, and general well-being.
Wow – how healing and simple is this?? If you’re ever looking for me, you can find me walking barefoot along the beach at sunrise with a rich, dark roast coffee – charging my batteries with pure, invigorating earth energy to jump-start my day for my next adventure!
“My Passion is Your Solution”