Transitioning from Winter to Spring with herbal medicine

Words by Kristine de Block, Medical Herbalist and Educator

The Unfolding

As the frosty whispers of winter still linger in the air, we stand on the threshold of a delightful change – the gentle unfolding into spring. Yet, in this moment of transition, there’s a certain charm in the cool, damp embrace that reminds us of winter’s retreating steps. Wrapped in a warm jumper, I often find myself gazing out at my herb garden, pondering the subtle shifts in the air and soil, signalling the awakening earth.

During these days, when the mornings are kissed with frost and the evenings still hold a chill, I turn to a cherished collection of specific herbs. These medicines offer their warmth and wisdom to ease the passage into brighter days. Let me share with you a few of my favourites, those wonderful kitchen remedies that bring warmth to our home and hearts as we await the full embrace of spring.

Herbal warmth

Turning from the view outside my window, I often reach for Ginger (Zingiber officinale), with its bold, fiery nature, a staple in my kitchen. There’s something utterly comforting about brewing a pot of ginger tea, its spicy aroma filling the room, promising warmth from the inside out. I remember a particularly frosty morning when I shared with my little ones that it’s the perfect remedy for chilly mornings or when we’re feeling a bit under the weather. Ginger, to me, is more than just a root medicine; it’s a beacon of warmth, inviting us to find joy in the simple pleasure of a warm cup clasped between our hands.

Try a cup of warming ginger tea for a cold morning

Next, I often find comfort in Cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum), another cherished ally which brings sweet memories from my childhood. Its unique woody scent is a reminder of cozy evenings and shared stories. Adding a stick to a simmering pot of rice pudding brought a sense of comfort and nostalgia, like a bridge between the seasons, woven into our daily rituals.

Lastly, Turmeric (Curcuma longa) shines as the golden child of my kitchen pantry, a burst of sunshine in the lingering greys of winter. Preparing a turmeric latte feels like an important act of self-care, a bright, warming drink that seems to chase away the cold with each sip. Its earthy flavour and vibrant colour speak of the life force stirring beneath the still-chilled earth, a promise of renewal and growth.

Herbal hope

In these days of transition, when the promise of spring dances just beyond reach, I find joy in these simple acts of preparing home remedies. It’s a wonderful time for reflection, for turning inward, and for appreciating the healing warmth that these herbs bring into our lives, cutting through the dampness and coldness of winter.

These moments of connection with the earth and its offerings are not just about physical warmth but about nurturing our spirits, preparing us for the new beginnings that spring will soon bring. They connect us with the generations of herbalists and nature enthusiasts who have walked this path before us, reminding us of the collective wisdom passed down through the ages.

In the meantime, we look forward to the days ahead with hope and anticipation. After all, it’s in these small, everyday rituals that we find the true essence of life’s beauty and the strength to greet the new season with open arms and warm hearts.

You can find more from Kristine at The Crafty Herbalist, or if you’re interested in studying with Kristine she runs accredited courses through the Crafty Herbalist Academy.