11 Herbs to Promote Seasonal Wellness

11 Herbs to Promote Seasonal Wellness
11 Herbs to Promote Seasonal Wellness

Colorful flowers, green grass, warm breezes – after a long season of cool weather, these are blissful hallmarks of the warming months when many of us head outdoors to soak in the sunshine and move our bodies after long, cold months spent cooped up inside. For some, this vibrant period of growth and renewal may also be a time of seasonal discomfort as trees leaf-out and waves of pollen float through the sweet-smelling air. During times of seasonal change, herbalists support a healthy response with a few go-to strategies. Embrace all the season has to offer with a few of our favorite herbal allies.

What’s going on?

The healthy human body is innately equipped to respond to the environmental irritants like mold, pollen or pet dander that we may occasionally encounter. These nuisances are an unavoidable part of life, and because each body is unique, irritants that may bother one may not bother another. The body’s built-in responses are part of the immune system, and seasonal wellness may be impacted when the immune system finds itself confronting a challenge.

When faced with occasional irritants, the healthy immune system's natural response is to sound an alarm by producing cytokines (chemical communicators), which then travel to mast cells (in skin, lungs, gut and other mucous membranes), releasing the chemicals inside these cells. The released chemicals are called histamines, and normally you can think of them as part of a specialized department of the immune system that keep invaders away so your body can stay balanced, but sometimes they trigger the body's natural immune response.

An Herbalist’s Go-To Plant Allies   

Herbalists have been navigating the ups and downs of seasonal wellness using plants for a long time. Keep your respiratory system healthy this season with some of our favorite herbs.

Turmeric Supreme Sinus Support

Turmeric

Turmeric is a popular herb that supports a healthy inflammatory response.* Rich in antioxidants and many phytocompounds such as those beautiful yellow-orange curcuminoids (including curcumin), turmerones, polysaccharides, sesquiterpenes, fatty acids and more.* Turmeric helps you keep going.*

Quercetin

Quercetin is an antioxidant flavonoid found in a variety of plants including onions, apples, berries and broccoli. Quercetin has been studied for its support of the body's occasional, normal histamine response.* If you think of mast cells like an envelope, Quercetin supports their structural integrity by helping to maintain the natural strength and surface tension of the cell membrane.*

Nettle

Nettle, that stinging yet nutritious early spring green, plays a similar role as Quercetin when it comes to supporting the cell membranes of mast cells.* Nettle Leaf has a long history of use for supporting upper respiratory health, and this herb provides antioxidant support as well.*

Nettle Leaf

Feverfew

Feverfew, a member of the daisy family, focuses on the communication systems within the body that are connected to maintaining a healthy immune system.*

Goldenseal

This yellow root native to eastern North America - including Western North Carolina, where Gaia Herbs is located - tonifies the tissues of mucosal membranes, including the respiratory and GI tracts.* Goldenseal supports the body's healthy response to occasional stressors in the environment as well as normal secretion of the mucosal tissues, including the eyes and nose.*

Note: This herb is considered to be threatened due to overharvesting, so it is important to only source products that are ecologically harvested from approved areas. Groups such as United Plant Savers, which runs a Goldenseal botanical sanctuary in southeastern Ohio, are working to educate on this valued herb as well as preserve it. Gaia Herbs products only contain ecologically harvested Goldenseal.

Ginger

Ginger is a warming, potent cousin of Turmeric that supports a healthy immune response in the respiratory system, helping to normalize secretions.*

Support the Liver

You might be surprised to learn that the liver plays an important role in the seasonal response because as the organ of the body primarily focused on removing toxins, it removes histamines, too. Giving your liver a bit of extra love this time of year is a great strategy for maintaining wellness.*

Root for your Liver

Close up of Dandelion flowers

Dandelion Root

The root of the familiar springtime yellow flowering plant has traditionally been eaten as food and roasted as a coffee replacement beverage. Dandelion Root supports the live and maintains healthy detoxification.*

Milk Thistle Seed

Silymarin, a compound that occurs naturally in Milk Thistle seed, helps support a healthy liver.*

Yellow Dock Root

Supports healthy skin, and with an above average iron content, herbalists love Yellow Dock as gentle support to help maintain healthy iron levels.*

Burdock Root

A traditional support to the liver, skin and lymphatic system, Burdock Root can be eaten as food and is a lovely addition to nourishing soups and broths.*

Chinese Skullcap Root

Long associated with helping to maintain a healthy liver in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chinese Skullcap Root is an extremely bitter root with a beautiful purple flower.*