Spring is a traditional time for all kinds of cleaning and cleansing. Spring house cleaning is a common occurrence for most of us to refresh our space after the dark and cold winter months. If we can do this for our house, why not do it for our bodies?

Spring tonics are just that – a seasonal clean for the body. The herbs used in these tonics are generally blood and liver purifying herbs, used to flush out toxins. The concept behind these spring cleaners was to counteract bad food eaten during the winter months and jump start metabolism.

We have fresh, nutritious food available year-round but we also absorb modern toxins and chemicals year-round. Spring tonics are a sound practice any time of year but it’s particularly reinvigorating to do it during spring.

Spring in your step

The definition of tonic is: “A substance which gives a feeling of well-being to the body, stimulates nutrition and permanently increases systemic tone, energy, vigour, and strength, improves bodily performance, strengthens or invigorates organs or the entire organism.”

Burdock and dandelion are favourite remedies for spring that I like to use in my seasonal tonic. Generally the bitter herbs are used to aid the liver and digestive system.

Burdock Root (Arctium lappa): A common weed that is mucilaginous, alternative, tonic, diuretic, and diaphoretic.

It was traditionally used by Western herbalists to “purify blood” and as a remedy for gout and kidney stones. It also cleanses by preventing the absorption of toxins from the digestive tract.

Burdock’s abundant minerals nicely balance any mineral loss that may occur during winter.

Dandelion Root (Taraxacum officinale): A widespread weed that is a diuretic, hepatonic, astringent, among others.

Dandelion is another traditional herb for cleansing, thought to remove waste products by stimulating actions of the liver, gallbladder, and kidneys. Herbalists use it for conditions like acne and other skin conditions, arthritic conditions, and to prevent gallstones.

Dandelion root soothes the digestive tract, absorbs toxins from ingested food and regulates the colonies of intestinal bacteria which produce toxins intended to kill other bacteria. More simply put, they help friendly flora thrive. Dandelion root, like burdock, is mineral-rich and supplies the body with potassium and sodium.

Spring Tonic tea

One of my favourite spring tonics includes dandelion and burdock roots with the sweetness of red clover and another springtime favourite, nettle.

For the best cleansing results, sip this spring tonic tea once or twice a day for a couple of weeks to one month.

1 tablespoon burdock root
1 tablespoon dandelion root
1 tablespoon nettles
1 tablespoon dandelion leaf
1 tablespoon red Clover
Water

Directions

  • Along with a quart of water in a covered saucepan, bring burdock root and dandelion root to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Pour the hot roots in a quart jar or teapot with nettles, dandelion leaf, and red clover.
  • Steep for 10-15 minutes, sip and enjoy!
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