Midway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, around Groundhog Day, seedlings begin to sprout and stretch their way through the earth and into the sunlight. Asian cultures, farmers, the Celts, and other cultures have observed the beginning of February as the herald of spring. Observers of the modern day sun calendar count the spring equinox as the beginning of spring.
Whichever way you choose, Traditional Chinese Medicine advocates a change in your diet when the seasonal energy changes. As February starts, it is important to begin eating more springtime foods such as sprouts, fresh young leafy greens, asparagus, young veggies, young beets, young carrots, sprouted legumes, sprouted seeds and sprouted grains.
Throughout the year, Chinese medicine recommends eating foods that are in season. However, foods can be eaten out of season, especially if they are eaten to help heal a specific health condition. For example, apples and pears are good for the lungs and are generally in season during the fall. You can still eat them and support your health throughout spring and the rest of the year, particularly if you have a lung condition such as a chronic cough, shortness of breath or asthma.
Chinese classical medicine texts recommend creating a personal spring within by cooking with pungent herbs such as mint, saffron, basil, cumin, chive, fennel, mustard, marjoram, rosemary, dill, caraway, bay leaf and aniseed. As spring begins, Western folk medicine traditionally advises a daily dose of raw garlic and onions for a week to cleanse the body of parasites.
The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine, the seminal text of Chinese medicine, advocates spring as the best time to detoxify or cleanse. (There is truth to the phrase, “spring cleaning!”) However, be careful which kind of detoxification process you choose, as some can be unhealthy. At Tao of Wellness, you can participate in cleansing and detoxification retreats throughout the year that are truly healthy, thorough and safe.
Our Internal Cleanse tea or Internal Cleanse capsules can be taken during the spring to facilitate the cleansing process or as a year-round daily cleanse. Remember, follow the natural rhythms of nature, eat healthy and stay healthy!