We're layered up, and scoping out activities near a fire because it's cold out. This season is a call to action for nourishing wholly, flooding the body with clean, colorful plants and staying cozy with teas, tinctures and herbs. We spoke with Anja Rothe, farmer, herbalist, and formulator at Fat of the Land Apothecary to address which tools— both plant and otherwise— are especially healing during the big chill. Think: herbal remedies, adaptogenic chocolate and potions, and journaling out your 2019 intentions. 

There is a particular stillness that characterizes winter, and with it comes a subtle invitation to redirect our own energies. In the natural world, there exists a fallow season for all things.

As winter is a time for the earth to rest and build up energy for times to come, it is also a time for our bodies to embrace this dormancy. This period gives us time to regenerate from the busyness of the year and dream about what seeds we want to plant come spring.

Try these tools for blissfully surrendering to the sleepiest of the seasons.

Dim the Lights. Try turning the house lights off early, reducing screen time and lighting a candle. These practices remove stimulation that keeps us wired and unable to relax. Embrace the natural wane of light and reset your circadian rhythm.

Write It Down. Try stream of consciousness journaling to let go of whatever is lingering in the subconscious. Write to release yourself from the day and allow yourself to explore your passions and dreams. Things that give you a sense of wonder and mystery strengthen your life force.

Soak It Up. Saltwater baths help to balance minerals in our bodies while nourishing our kidneys. This allows us to rest and sleep more deeply. A foot soak can provide the same benefits if you’re without a  bathtub. Don’t forget a warming oil massage afterward to support the nervous system.

Lie Down More. There is nothing indulgent about getting enough sleep, especially in the winter when our bodies require the extra zzz’s. Make sleep a sacred ritual. Prepare your bedroom like you would an altar and invite some plants into your regime. Try an eye pillow with dreamtime herbs, a cup of tea, or tincture.

 

HERBS FOR SLEEP, REST + DEEP DREAMING

ASHWAGANDHA The botanical name “somnifera” means “sleep-inducing”, though ashwagandha is not classified as a sedative, rather it helps nourish our body to “rest and digest.” Indicated for those who are ‘wired and tired.” Try with warm milk for a calming evening beverage. In Sakara's Bliss Chocolates, ashwagandha and kava kava comingle with pure cacao for a dreamy evening bite, to unwind.

MUGWORT A bitter member of the wormwood family, Mugwort is known for invoking vivid and lucid dreams. Mugwort helps you move in between worlds and navigate realities. Can be taken internally as a tincture or burned as incense. Caution against using too much and too regularly, as it can prevent restful sleep.

HOPS A close relative of cannabis, hops share some similar properties. Hops have a sedative and hypnotic effect, as well as being a nervine, anodyne, and digestive tonic, the combined effects help remove restlessness from the body and mind caused by overthinking.

More herbs for the depths: valerian, lavender, chamomile, passionflower, and skullcap 

Filed Under: Regenerate, Slumber, Wellbeing, Winter

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