Herbs for the Mind: Bacopa

It seems like there’s an awful lot in the world these days that wants our attention. All these distractions can leave us feeling frazzled, tired, and out of focus. Stress leads to poor sleep leads to dragging through our days and struggling to concentrate. Of course the first thing to do is to try to…

Early Spring Gardening

We’ve had a few mild sunny days here in the Mid-Atlantic, and it’s easy to get over-excited about Spring gardening. But the final frost date in our area is May 15th, so it’s not quite time yet to go full tilt into digging and planting. Still, if you’re eager to get out there and get…

Triphala Mouthwash

Recently some interesting findings were released linking gingivitis to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Pretty scary, since about a third of us have gingivitis to some degree or another. The long-term effects of inflammation of the gums is also known to stress the cardiovascular system, so those are two strong reasons to take excellent care…

An Amazing Digestive Tea

CCF Tea, Ayurveda’s Little Secret Miracle Okay, yes, it’s a bit strong to call tea a miracle, but this simple and tasty tea is pretty darn close! CCF stands for Coriander, Cumin, and Fennel, three spices that are digestive superheroes. Combined, they make a daily drink that improves digestion, aids healthy elimination and detox, and…

Aloe Vera

Aloe, Aloe barbandensis, chinensis is an easy-to-grow evergreen succulent. Originating in the Middle East, it is now grown commercially all over the world. It makes an excellent house plant, and has become well-known in the West as a first-aid remedy, especially for burns. Many households have an Aloe in the kitchen, snipping off a leaf…

Spring Allergies are Here Again

Allergy season has begun. We wondered if spring would ever come, and now that it has, I’m trying to be grateful while sneezing and blowing my nose. Also known as hay fever, or rhinitis, spring allergies can range from annoying to debilitating, and for me it varies from year to year. Fortunately, herbal remedies can…

The Wonders of Turmeric

Turmeric, Curcuma longa This beautiful golden root is a powerful medicinal herb. Best known, perhaps, as the spice that gives Curry powder its distinctive color, Turmeric is used alone and in blends to season food, support digestive and joint health, and treat many internal and external health complaints. I could go on an on about…

5 Yoga Poses to Balance the 5 Elements

It can be a challenge to find an at-home Yoga practice that works for you. Poses that feel wonderful when your instructor is right there to support you may be too much to do on your own. In our Introduction to Ayurveda classes here at Smile, we teach a simple routine of five poses that…

Nutritive Greens

It’s Greens season! This is the time of year when the first green leafy wild foods are starting to poke their heads out of the soil to enjoy the spring sunshine! Wild foods like chickweed and lamb’s quarters, as well as domesticated greens like kale and arugula, which can “go wild” in a garden like…

Signs of Spring

The grackles have arrived. I seem to forget, each year, how early they come, well before the green herbs or tree buds come out to show their delicate spring beauty. In my neighborhood, the grackles come in a large flock along with almost as many cowbirds, and their combined calls fill up my yard with…