An Herbal Column By– Miss Jess

Have you been feeling a bit blue, run down, or just not quite yourself lately?  It could be a bout of seasonal depression.  It could also be a sign that you need to do a little self “house cleaning.”  in my last article i mention that the spring is a great time to do a cleanse to get rid of toxic buildup in your body.  Side effects from these toxins can include depression, lack of energy, illness and weight gain.  Often, even with a healthy diet, we cannot rid ourselves of environmental toxins. Here are a few herbs that can get us on our way to sunnier outlook. Herbs like lavender and chamomile are great for helping you get to sleep, but also can aid in relieving anxiety.  Along with peppermint, they can help clear the mind and ease muscle tension.  Often, you will find sleep and dream pillows that contain a combination of these herbs.  Another one to consider is vanilla.  This is considered a very comforting scent to most people.  I have a blend that i use to relax containing either lavender and chamomile or vanilla and chamomile. To boost your immune system and improve energy levels be sure to get enough vitamin C.  Both the natural form, being citrus fruits or the supplements are effective for this.  Vitamin D naturally comes from the sun, with winter, most of us stay inside.  Try to get a little sun each day, or check your foods to see if they are fortified with this vitamin.

Wild oats or hops can serve two purposes.  They both combat stress, easing tension and depression, and boost energy levels.  Often, we are not getting enough whole grains and therefore fiber in our diets.  The fiber helps to keep our blood sugar levels in check and clean out toxins from our digestive tract.  Please note, when increasing your fiber level drink plenty of water.  This helps flush everything out.  the spice cinnamon also has a dual purpose.  It improves circulation of the blood, warming and comforting the entire system.  It is also a stimulant, boosting immunity.  I think a great start to any day would be a bowl of oatmeal with a little cinnamon and vanilla in it. There are some great total body cleanses out there.  They are often a combination of herbs and fiber.  Some can target specific conditions and some are just an al over detox.  As with anything medicinal, check for any temporary side effects they may cause.  These side effects  are a sign that your body is clearing out what it doesn’t need. No matter what, know that spring is on the way, and we can enter that time of the year with a little herbal self care.  The sun will shine down again soon.

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