Gardening for Your Health - Reconnecting with the Earth

In East Asian Medicine(EAM), spring is a time of renewal, cleansing, growth and activity. What better way to celebrate these ideals than with gardening! The gardening brings us back to nature at its most basic and reconnects us with the growing natural world.

EAM relies on understanding the relationships between corresponding factors. Spring correlates to the wood element, growth and wind which relate to the Liver/Gallbladder systems. Wind is the pathogen most associated with wood or the Liver. Internal wind manifests in tremors, anxiety and itching. Soothing Gan, the liver, with peppermint tea is great especially at this time of year.

Protect yourself from the windy days and crisp spring mornings. Wind can be very harmful to our body and immune system. Keeping a scarf or medium weight jacket on hand in spring will help protect yourself from the crisp breeze. In early Spring, warming foods can be very enriching for the body as well. Eating warm foods with garlic, ginger, cinnamon or honey can help support the body.

Lastly, find an emotional renewal and cleanse this spring. Springtime is a great time to start new mindfulness habits. Gardening can be a very meditative experience and a great first step into mindfulness. As you clean the leaves and weeds from your garden, let it serve as a metaphor for your emotional/mental health. We tend our gardens so it grows big and beautiful, we need to focus the same love and compassion to ourselves.