February is Spring, and a New Year.
From the dark days of winter, we swing into Spring light. Whether the groundhog sees her shadow or not, the coldest six weeks of the years lie ahead. Cold, with more light. Snow, with more light. Cold, and the trees are stirring. Snow, and the snowdrops dare to bloom. Cold and snow, and still, it is spring. It is spring.
She loves you. Take a moment today to feel the love of the Earth. She isn’t angry at you. You haven’t injured her. She loves you. She sends you a valentine with lots of love. Plant a few seeds and she will give you a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Listen. She’s sent a bird to sing her love to you. She loves you. Her love is magic. It heals you.
I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. Instead, I create a yearly challenge for myself. I like challenges. When I do a jigsaw puzzle, I don’t look at the picture on the box. I like challenges. I heat with wood and milk goats in all sorts of weathers. I like challenges. This year my challenge is to learn about adaptogens, also known as Herbs of the First Class (in ancient China) and rasayanas (in India).
To keep myself on schedule with my challenge, I committed to doing twelve radio shows on adaptogens for my regular show at HealthyLife.net. And, since I had made that commitment, when my daughter Justine asked me what new video course I wanted to do, the answer was obvious: Adaptogens.
So Justine and Monica Jean left their sunny winter home in Costa Rica and joined me in the snowy Catskills. We worked hard for a week to create a course on Adaptogens. What fun we had! It was a challenge indeed. Learning how to pronounce the names of the Chinese and Indian adaptogens challenged me. Finding our way around the herb stores of China Town was challenging. Finding a parking spot was truly a challenge! We bought and collected herbs, made tinctures and teas and infusions, and filmed it all. When we were done, we found we had more than sixty videos on adaptogens, including some great “tastings” with Monica Jean.
I discovered I knew a lot more about adaptogens than I knew that I knew. Adaptogens are non-toxic, non-specific, normalizing herbs. Exactly the qualities I seek in the herbs for our daily infusions. By studying adaptogens from China and India, I came to realize that nourishing herbal infusions are adaptogens too. Nettle and linden, red clover and oatstraw, comfrey leaf and hibiscus are just as adaptogenic as those herbs from far away.
Adaptogens improve the functioning of the immune, cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, reproductive, nervous, and hormonal systems. That’s why so many write to tell me that drinking a quart of infusion a day has enabled them to stop taking blood pressure medications, anti-anxiety drugs, anti-depressants, acid-blockers, allergy medicines, and diabetes pills. Adaptogens provide high-quality minerals and vitamins, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances. That’s why my students find they don’t need any supplements and few pain relievers. Adaptogens energize by damping down reactivity to stress, strengthening muscles, and improving concentration. Within ten days of starting to drink at least two cups a day of nourishing herbal infusion, most folks tell me they feel ten years younger.Hooray for adaptogens!
Work progresses well, if rather slowly, on my new book: Abundantly Well. I am enjoying that challenge too!
Sending you all green blessings of Spring, love for Valentine’s Day, and adaptogens to help you through this challenging New Year.