Transitioning your Immune System from Spring to Summer
November 15, 2021
In spring, change resonates through the air. The earth awakens and blossoms from hibernation with ideas and movement. In summer, the earth ripens with the sun, just like a luscious juicy peach. As we transition from one season to another, everything shifts. Spring to summer is an interesting time, as it is not quite the crux of summer, but also still nippy enough to wear a sweater.
That transition can be expected with June Gloom, but also a crucial time for inner transformation. We lose our appeal for roots and dense vegetables and notice a shift in flourishing harvests of vibrant berries, leafy greens and colorful plants. The trees sway with viridescent leaves, the bees flit from flower to flower and the frogs and cicadas play their joyful sounds. The earth is full of energy, but with this transition, we need to be aware of how to keep our bodies and minds healthy.
Mānuka for Allergies
Allergies are one of the most common ailments during spring. They are still especially prevalent as the seasons change and more plants begin to bloom. Seasonal allergies can cause nasal inflammation and lower your immune system, which makes it hard to defend yourself against pathogens. And, even if you don’t have allergies, big seasonal changes in barometric pressure, temperature and wind can irritate your airways and nasal passages. This is one of the reasons why we use Mānuka. When having symptoms, it can improve sore throats, help soothe coughs and help with acute sinus problems and allergies. We sometimes take a spoonful of raw Mānuka in the mornings when our hay fever begins to act up and gargle it with lightly warm salt water when our family has a sore throat.
Even though we are transitioning to a new season, it is important to continue to cleanse your body from the residual stagnation of winter. This can be done by making infusions or incorporating spring herbs into your diet. Think about herbs like cleavers, chickweed, nettle, dandelion, yellow dock, milk thistle, and linden. These herbs support liver function, lymphatic health and gentle detoxification, as they bring forth vitamins and minerals to course through the body. You can add them to pestos, teas, salads, vegetable stir fries - get creative, it’s the time!
It is important to not just burst into life with gusto, especially in your exercise routine. It is not good for your body to go from heart-opening yoga to sudden high intensity interval training. Follow the earth’s rhythms. As it blooms slowly to allow all life to transition with grace and patience, take this approach with your life and exercise routines. Start with going for long walks where you stay present and notice the blooming earth around you, do yoga where you focus on your breath, choose a gentle longboard break over a powerful short board set day. Give it some time and gradually start boosting your exercise routine. Try not to overexert right away or your body can burnout with adrenal fatigue.
Invigorate and prepare your mental energy for summer. Summer is associated with excitement, joy, and passion. As the sun gets closer to earth, temperatures rise and the days are longer. This exciting time is the perfect seasonal renewal to learn or try something you haven’t before. Maybe you want to finally perfect those gardening skills, invest in a new clean beauty routine or learn a new hobby you have secretly always wanted to try (no shame in following the awesome bread baking pandemic trend). Follow your creative instincts!
As opposed to spring, summer is hot and dry. Your body needs as much hydration as it can get. This is the time to increase your daily hydration. Juice cleanses, coconut water, spring water, raw fruit. And when we say hydration, we don’t only mean internal, but also external. Make sure to moisturize and re-moisturize your skin.
The spring to summer transition is one of the most beautiful times of the year. The weather is perfect. Our minds are gearing up for outdoor adventure. Wild food and herbs are abundant. It is a time to be present in this moment to appreciate how lucky we are to live on this beautiful earth. Have gratitude for this clean start for your mental health. Clear your mind of the past, don’t think about the future. Make a list of the things you are grateful for right now after reading this journal post.
Spring Equinox to Summer
Solstice Green Juice Recipe
1 large handful of fresh nettle and/or chickweed 1/2 cup of kale 1 lemon 1 cucumber 3 stalks of celery 1 red apple 1 large tablespoon of Mānuka honey
Place all ingredients, except honey, through your juicer. If you do not have a juicer, blend all ingredients and strain with a nut bag. Pour juice into pitcher or cup and add Mānuka honey. Stir until combined. Enjoy.