Gymnema is an Ayurvedic herb with a truly extraordinary effect on blood sugar disorders. Its Sanskrit name is Gurmar, which means “Sugar Destroyer”, or “Destroyer of the Sweet Taste”. Gymnema has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for blood sugar for thousands of years. Its effects on the insulin cycle, pancreas, and liver make it a…Details
The live plants have arrived at Smile! With dozens of herbs to choose from, the variety can be overwhelming. If you’re looking to grow herbs at home but aren’t sure where to begin, here are our top 3 picks for the easiest herbs to grow with the most crossover health benefits. These 3 favorites taste…Details
There are so many methods, so many theories of the best way, the easiest way, to prepare your garden beds for cultivation. Double-digging, trench composting, mulch gardening are all viable ways to enrich your soil and keep your plants happy, but I tend toward a “middle way” approach, and actually use a combination of these…Details
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…Details
There are so many reasons to love dandelion, especially its insistence on showing up absolutely everywhere. From its liver-cleansing properties to the deliciousness of blood-cleansing dandelion wine, this scourge of landscaped lawns is one of our most beloved and valuable cleansing spring tonics.
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…Details
The word “Ginseng” tends to be synonymous with vitality and energy, and for good reason! Its botanical name, Panax, has the same root as the word “panacea”, healer of all ills. It has been considered “king of herbs” in Native American and Chinese medicine traditions for thousands of years. Like many adaptogens, ginseng helps with more…Details
I love to see the crocuses blooming, a sure sign that winter is finally on its way out. The lovely spring crocus is cousin to the fall-blooming saffron crocus, which gives us the wonderful, subtle spice known as saffron. Saffron threads are the dark-orange stigmas of the crocus. The saffron crocus produces three stigmas per…Details
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…Details
You may know of Passionflower as a premier herb for stress, anxiety, and insomnia. This gorgeous flowering vine relieves pain, calms the mind, and relaxes the muscles. You can often find bees drowsing in the beautiful blossoms, proof of the passionflower’s soporific effect! Passionflower was used by tribes in the Americas for millennia before making…Details
Ugh. There’s a certain kind of misery to a headcold, and how much worse to have one when the weather is warming, and the sunshine is tempting us to come outside and play. Spring colds, however, are all too common, as are spring allergies, and the sinus infections that can follow. So what can we…Details
Mugwort is such a widespread and hardy plant that it is often taken for granted or condemned as a weed. But this fresh, lively herb has a time-honored place in healing traditions from all over the world, and its medicinal applications are powerful and diverse.
Shatavari is one of my favorite adaptogens. Shatavari’s name translates to “she who possesses one hundred husbands,” which gives you an idea of its rejuvenating effect on the female reproductive system. Although it has a special affinity for women, shatavari has significant health benefits for everyone– men, women, and children alike. These days, we all…Details
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…Details
Intelligent Spring Cleansing To Heal The Five Major Organs Of The Body A Sensible and Gentle Six-Week Cleanse Basically from my 30 years of herbalism I have found that there are six stages to the cleansing process. Each of these stages takes one week to perform and spring is the perfect time according to Ayurveda…Details
I’ve always had heavy, painful periods, it just seems to be part of my natural constitution. As a teenager, I relied on ibuprofen, which wasn’t good for me or my stomach lining! When I got into herbs and herbalism, one of the first things I wanted to learn was how to deal with my periods…Details
As the spring herbs start to make their appearances, burdock root will soon be among them and ready for digging. Like astragalus, burdock’s rich, earthy flavor lends itself well to cleansing soups and nutritive broths.
With spring cleansing on my mind, I found myself thinking of how much I value myrrh as an incense for purifying the air. It has a unique ability to cleanse a space and inspire new beginnings. Its powerful antiseptic qualities are comforting and extend to the emotional realm. The effects are the same when this…Details