The Dark Before the Rebirth

The first blade of green grass, the first robin you hear, and the first day you step outside without your coat; it is the feeling that you have made it. You made it through another winter. We may not experience the fear of starvation our ancestors experienced every winter; however, the mental struggle one goes through with shorter days and isolation from friends and family triggers an effect on us just as it did on our ancestors.

Our daily life is often defined by our relationships and rituals. These relationships and rituals are intertwined with the cycles of nature. Summer activities and rituals are much different from Winter, Fall, or Spring. It is important to see the connection between the seasons and our relationship to these cycles so that we may appreciate the physical state we are currently in. 

Early springtime, for me personally, is the most difficult season of the year. I find myself isolating from my important relationships, sleeping too much, seeking any type of warmth I can find (which is typically heavy, fatty foods) and slipping into a bit of a seasonal melancholy. I begin to feel apathetic about myself and my relationships, and I experience an increasing anxiousness for warmer weather to set in.

In these slower and darker days, it is easy to become critical of oneself. It is easy to say, “I won’t let myself fall back into that dismal, depressed, and lethargic pattern again this year.”  It is equally easy to bypass the experience and move on without thinking much about it. However, when I consider my relationships and rituals during this time, and how they relate to nature and land, it is understandable that I may become internal and self-reflective. 

During early spring in the Midwest, we have been experiencing colder weather and shorter days for going on six months. During this time we have watched our surrounding land and nature slip into the death or hibernation stage. We have celebrated holidays, played in the snow, and enjoyed winter.It is the dark before the rebirth. 

This phase, a deep hibernation, is really an internal preparation for what is to come. It is a rest and recovery phase before the days become long, hot, and strenuous. If we can acknowledge this time for what it is, a time for healing, recovery, and inner reflection, then we are able to take responsibility for what we do with this time. 

This can be a truly difficult activity to do. In our lives, there are a thousand distractions and unlimited ways to remove ourselves from how we are feeling. But nature is here for us, still; even when she is not blooming and feeding us, she is teaching us lessons in her stillness, teaching us to be still. 

Spring is a time for cleansing. Many of the first greens, or weeds, to pop up in the spring are nutrient dense and great support for the liver. The following activities are meant to promote inner reflection and stillness. I have also listed herbs to assist the hepatic system, and a breathing activity to assist with releasing stress with the hopes that in time, springtime can be appreciated for the wonderful time it is.

  1. Begin Springtime Liver Cleanse (Add in one or more of the following)

– Lemon Water

The sour aspects of lemon add a wonderful support to the liver. 

– Digestive Bitters

Burdock Root 


Bitter Melon


Bitters stimulate digestive enzymes and increase detoxification of stagnant lymph. 

– Liver Tonic Tea

Dandelion Root, (Taraxicum spp.) 

Nettle Leaf, (Urtica dioica)

Yellow Dock (Rumex crispus)

Oregon grape Root (Mahonia aquifolium) 

Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca)

Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)

– Dark Leaf Greens 

Nutrient dense greens such as kale, collard greens, and spinach are a wonderful support nutritionally, and they offer a gentle detox for your liver.

2) Commit to ten minutes a day of silent reflection with yourself. 

It is recommended to utilize this time to disconnect from technology. Find a quiet space for yourself and lay down. Begin by taking a few deep breaths. Start to identify where you are holding your stress, anxiety, pain, or any other emotion in your body. Try to stay present with yourself for as long as possible. After you have finished, take some time to journal about what you experienced. 

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult with your doctor before utilizing any herbal medicine. 


1.  Chevallie, Andrew. Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine. DK Pub., New York, c2000. 

2. Skenderi, Gazmend. Herbal Bade Mecum. Herbacy Press. Rutherford, NJ, c2003.

3. Tierra , Michael. Planetary Herbology. Lotus Press, Twin Lakes, WI. c2018 

4. Maier, Kat. A Season Model for Working with Depression. Medicines from the Earth 2021

By Megan Fuhrman-Wheeler
It is her goal to spread herbal knowledge to rural America in a safe, constructive, and accessible manner.

Owner, MEGAN & CO. Herbal Apothecary + Teahouse
Trained at the Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism
Certified Clinical Herbalist
Certified Clinical Nutritionist
Certified Flower Essence Practitioner

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