Making seasonally inspired body care products and herbal medicines is one of my favourite things to do, a practice that brings me so much joy and nourishment. I spend much of my free time gathering and growing herbs from spring through till autumn so that my medicine cabinet is stocked for the wintertime, and while the snowy weather in Pemberton during the winter months means I can no longer go wildcrafting there are still fresh ingredients to be found in the grocery stores, which I put to good use.
Late winter/early spring is a cold and damp season here in the Pacific Northwest and many of us will suffer from a feeling of excess congestion making us prone to respiratory infections. The seasonal shift also affects our digestion. Each year in early spring I tend to go through a period of low-grade nausea, a sure sign of excess kapha dosha from an Ayurvedic perspective. All the rich foods I enjoyed in the wintertime seem too heavy to bear and I tend to lose my appetite for a while. When this happens I know it is time for a gentle spring cleanse and the addition of extra bitter tastes in my diet, which stimulates bile production and supports liver function.
The greyness of this season can also get me down and so I love to create body care products that are uplifting and stimulating, using essential oils that awaken my senses and bring more joy to my day.
Each month in my 13 Moons circle I share a variety of seasonally inspired kitchen witching recipes with the program participants. In this post, I am sharing some of the recipes from last year’s Full Circle Moon package (Full Circle Moon being the name I give to the Pisces new moon) The ingredients are easy to find, especially if you have a good herb shop or health food store near you, and the recipes are fun to make. Give these recipes a try and if you make them please share photos with me or post them on Instagram using the hashtag #13moonscircle so that I can see them. I love to see folks making potions!
Sage & Grapefruit Salt Scrub
I love this salt scrub for increasing circulation and reducing excess kapha dosha during the spring season. It smells amazing and makes your skin super soft too.
- 1 cup fine sea salt
- 1 cup pink Himalayan salt
- 2 tbs sage leaf, crumbled or chopped fine
- zest of one pink grapefruit or lemon (optional)
- 30 drops grapefruit essential oil
- 30 drops cypress essential oil
- 30 drops sage essential oil
- 2-4 TBS carrier oil of choice
Blend the salts, crumbled sage and citrus zest together in a large bowl. Add essential oils and blend well with a fork to break up clumps. Add the carrier oil 1 TBS at a time and blend well until you reach your desired consistency. Ideally, a salt scrub will clump together but will not be excessively oily.
*I used fresh sage and a goldenrod infused jojoba oil for my blend which gave it this lovely yellow colour, perfect for spring!
Grapefruit & Hibiscus Bitters
These springtime bitters turn a lovely dark red colour and are perfect for stimulating digestion and supporting liver function. They taste fabulous added to sparkling water and are great to sip between meals to reduce sugar cravings.
- ¼ cup dried lemon peels chopped
- ½ tsp gentian root (you can substitute burdock, dandelion, or Oregon grape root if gentian is hard to find)
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 6 green cardamom pods
- 1-2 tsp hibiscus flowers
- zest of 2 fresh grapefruits cut into strips
Place all ingredients in a 500 ml mason jar and cover with vodka or gin. Steep for four weeks or a full moon cycle, shaking daily. Pour off using fine cheesecloth or a nut milk bag. Store bitters in a glass dropper jar and use 6-18 drops per glass as desired.
*This is my favourite bitters blend. It tastes great in plain soda water or you can add it to a gin cocktail.