Tips from our herbalist: February Tuesday 31 January 2017 When we are feeling down at this time of year, nature itself can show us that the good things in life are coming. The soil is becoming warmer and the buzz and hum of new plant growth lies just beneath the surface. Our herbalist Jane shares some tips to combat those winter blues. The festivities are over, the new year has begun, and we have resolutions, positive intentions and hope for what the year may bring. Yet, many of us feel those January blues creeping inside our hearts and minds, and it can feel a struggle to maintain the sense of vitality and emotional energy that initially brought such positivity to our lives, to our sense of self, our place in our communities and in a wider context - the world around us. The question is, “how may herbs help dispel these feelings and bring us back into a place of emotional equilibrium and wellbeing?” A tripod is a balanced and even structure in spite of having three legs, and a three piece approach including herbs, essential oils and a connection with nature and nurture can help relieve these blues. Herbs to help to raise the mood and bring a sense of calmness and gentle joy back into ourselves include the following: Hawthorn flowering tops, Lemon Balm, Motherwort, Oats flowering tops, Passionflower, Rosemary, Sage, Skullcap and Vervain. A simple tea can be very effective and a pleasant blend to sip can be mixed with ease. Lose the Blues Tea (100g) 30g Lemon Balm 20g Motherwort 20g Oats 15g Passionflower 15g Vervain Keep in a cool place out of direct sunlight and use 1 teaspoon per cup with boiling water. There are a number of essential oils with beautifully uplifting properties and combined with coarse sea salt make for a relaxing and mood enhancing bath. A fine sea salt can also be used to make a body scrub for those amongst us who prefer to shower. Blues Bath Blend (50g) 50g Sea Salt 3 drops Lavender essential oil 2 drops Rose Geranium essential oil Run a warm bath and relax, release and restore. The earth is building up to the glory of spring and the journey of the seasons continues once more, as does our own journey. Life is cyclical and nothing is ever truly lost.