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Return to Spring

The spring season will soon announce itself with bursts of green shoots dotting the landscape. The dark cold of winter will give way to the warmer longer days of spring as the yin period begins its transformation back into yang. Spring is a season of growth and transformation. It is a time to move and stretch our bodies like the new growth springing up from the earth. We may feel a surge of creativity as our desire to create mirrors the rebirth and creation around us.

Snowdrop with blossom on sunlight, revival of spring flower with bud, the awakening of nature.

To stay healthy during this season Chinese medicine teaches us to go to bed and wake-up early. The energy around us is strong during this time making early morning walks a good time to revitalize ourselves. Like the force which moves through the plants guiding them upwards our emotions should move through us unhindered so that we remain balanced and open to life. When we lose our equanimity by holding on to negative emotions like anger and frustration Chinese medicine tells us we risk injuring the liver, which is associated with this season. We must let go of the turbulent emotions that course through us and remain centered and rooted, moving with the flexibility of a young tree in the wind.

From a dietary standpoint we should eat lighter more cooling foods. We can cut back on the heavy warming cuisine of winter and incorporate more raw vegetables and sprouts.The sour taste, which is the flavor associated with spring, means it is a good time to introduce fermented foods into our diet. Leafy greens are abundant during this period and a great addition to the spring menu. And by simply eating what grows locally during this time, you are eating in line with the season.

 

 

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Herbal Medicine – Health Benefits of Raspberries

I feel blessed. I moved into a place with a large garden that was tenderly loved for many years. It’s a historic home, an old farmhouse, whose rich soil now effortlessly bears fruit each year. One of the garden’s gifts are fresh raspberries. This is my first time having a raspberry pulled fresh off the vine. They are warm and full of life, full of the sun. They are a perfect mix of tangy and sweet and they taste like summer.

Fu Pen Zi – Chinese Medicine

Fu Pen Zi - Chinese Medicine

Fu Pen Zi – Chinese Medicine

 Raspberries are not just delicious, they also have numerous health benefits. According to TCM food theory raspberries benefit the liver and kidneys. They nourish blood, treating anemia, and also help with frequent urination. Their sweet flavor helps strengthen the body, especially those in a weakened state. The herb Fu Pen Zi, which is the dried unripe raspberry, has many of the functions of ripe raspberries but is more effective in its treatment of these conditions. It is used specifically for frequent urination and premature ejaculation. In addition it improves vision. And in animal studies Fu Pen Zi was seen to have estrogenic like effects and elevate testosterone levels.

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