Lightbringers

On the eve of the shortest day in the year, facing a long winter ahead, we need to bring light and warmth into our lives. That’s why Christmas comes now, overlying the older solstice celebrations.
The first herb that comes to mind is, of course, St Johns Wort. Its clear yellow flowers appear at midsummer, and the whole plant brings some of that midsummer clarity, and the blessing of sunshine, to darker times. It’s been used – and much tested – for decades for its ability to lift mild to moderate depression, and it’s a true friend at this time of year. Take it with Yarrow, Rosemary or Limeflowers to gladden your heart.
A close second would be Marigolds, or Calendula, still blooming in some sheltered gardens. Not only does it bring light into the shadows, it also discourages infections of all sorts, aids digestion and helps heal inflammation.
Underlying these would be the earthier herbs that help feed and sustain us through the winter: Liquorice, Vervain, Chinese Angelica and many others. Taking them now will help you through the troughs of January and February, and leave you ready to face the new challenges of springtime.
There will be no blog next week. Happy Christmas!

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