An Herbalist’s Approach to a Healthy Summer

Summer is a time of bounty, joy and spontaneity. The world around us flowers and ripens, beckoning us to follow suit and urging us not to miss out.  So how do we best relish in the succulence of summer living?

As an herbalist, I take the wide view. I make sure my calendar includes its share of hikes, bikes, swims, and barbecues. Nights on the town with my sweetie become more frequent, as do road trips to visit friends and family. At the same time, I tune into healthy habits that assure I’ll have the energy to keep up with all the action. I balance out the season’s perpetual motion with daily doses of down time.  I also make sure to replenish my body with fresh, flavorful local food, and all of my favorite herbs plucked from the garden or sipped as a daily tonic. 

In general, I start the day slow because that’s often the only quiet time I find while the sun is out. I stroll barefoot into the garden to greet my plants, picking veggies to scramble with my eggs and herbs and eatable flowers to toss into my water bottle for the day. Most mornings I do yoga on my porch, or at least a gentle stretch to wake up my body. 

There may be a small task at hand, but often I am just observing and appreciating. Even on a morning run, I’m relishing in the quietness and enjoying being in my own world. My slow amblings are a chance to let the recharge of the previous night’s sleep really soak in. I take the opportunity to direct my energy inward, knowing that the day ahead will likely require projecting much of that energy out into the world. 

Poising myself to meet the high energy needs of the season also includes making good choices about the fuel I put into my body. This, of course, means getting in as many farm fresh fruits and veggies as possible to complement healthy protein and fat sources in my diet. It also entails adopting a steady stream of herbal allies into my daily habits.

Summer is, in my opinion, a really easy and fun time to replete our bodies with healthy food and herbs.  Herbal sun tea is a daily staple, plus I find a way to toss herbs into almost all of my favorite summer foods. Fresh tulsi goes into my stir-fries, fruit salads and smoothies. A splash of Joy Tonic goes into my homemade popsicles. Handcrafted cocktails are muddled with blueberries, anise hyssop from the garden and a splash of homemade rose water. My ice cubes are accented with colorful flower petals. I could go on and on. 

Herbs make endless whimsical appearances in my summer lifestyle. They also play a role in specific daily routines; in this case I call on adaptogens to support healthy energy levels. Energy Tonic is a great formula to help shoulder all it takes to keep up with summer fun and daily responsibilities. With adaptogenic herbs like schisandra, licorice, and eleuthero, and uplifting synergists like ginger and hawthorn, the formula is beautifully balanced to inspire your energy and keep it going. 

I find it easiest to remember what a gift it is to be alive when surrounded by the sensory abundance of this time of year. Naturally, I want to make the most of it. Simple healthy habits really enhance my ability to enjoy summer, appreciate life and have the energy to show up and to give back.

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