Becoming a parent is the hardest, most rewarding, most frustratingly amazing unpaid role ever. Nothing can really prepare you for being a Mum or a Dad. You can read all the books, watch all the videos but once they are here and it is just you and them – things get real pretty quick.
We, the tiny but mighty team at Wild Dispensary, have small people and we know what it feels like to bring home a crying newborn and have no idea what to do. We know what sleepless nights look and feel like and even though our small humans are bigger than the babies they once were - they come with a new set of things we have to learn about and work with.
Our hope is that we can help our community to learn about plant medicine and easy sustainable changes that can help you and your family make the most of your days. We celebrate what grows around us, quite literally. We have talked to our children about the backyard ‘weeds’ we have and how they can be used to help keep us healthy and how we can grow things easily to supplement our lifestyle.
Here are a few plant tips you might like to try especially as we are now in Spring and these plants are all around.
Chickweed. This gorgeous green grows SO WELL that you honestly will just see it everywhere once you start looking. It has a beautiful tiny star like white flower that have petals with splits down their middle. Using scissors cut the greens to add to your salad, smoothies, soups or even your pesto. Goes really well in meals like a throw together pasta meal and can even be eaten straight. Chickweed is great for Mums as well – it contains vitamins B, C, D and minerals iron, calcium, sodium and copper all things we need postnatally and beyond. Medicinally Chickweed helps with skin healing and soothing - you can use it as a compress for itchy skin conditions or insect bites.
Nettle. We adore nettle. It is a mineral dense plant that can be a helpful supply of plant-based iron. It is rich in magnesium, calcium, zinc and silicon, as well as vitamins. Nettle is lovely as an overnight tea – just pour hot water over fresh nettle (or dried) leaves and put a plate on top to keep in all the steam. Drink cold the next morning for a great nutrient boost. You can cook oats or rice in nettle infusions too to boost the everyday staples. Nettle has a great affinity for new mums and bubs - it is a ‘tonic’ herb that can help rebuild and re-energise you - which is exactly what all mums need! Remember though to check what Nettle you are using if foraging as we do have a native nettle that is NOT safe for consumption and if you are harvesting – use gloves so the sting doesn’t get you!
Calendula. This is bright flower can be added to salads, had as a tea or even steeped in olive oil for a healing skin loving oil. Calendula works incredibly well on the digestive and lymphatic system so can be great for skin clearance and healing. Calendula oil or balm can be great for nappy rash or irritated skin on small people.
Rosemary. Is well known for culinary uses for extra flavour. But have you noticed that it is often incorporated with foods that take a bit of a toll on your digestive system? Like Roast lamb or rich foods? Rosemary actually helps with fat metabolism and supports the liver and digestive system. Rosemary is also amazing at helping to ‘wake’ you up or assist with increased cognition (something we all need….) fresh rosemary in hot water can help increase circulation to the brain and help you get all those pesky tasks finished.
Spring brings warmth, more daylight and a chance to reset after the coolness of winter. For some of us we may spring clean our house or start to incorporate new ideas into our daily routines. Using more plants can be an easy spring goal. Whether you use the plants above or maybe aim to eat the recommended 5 vegetable serves a day having more plants in your day is always a good thing!
A few extra ideas could be:
Making all your smoothie bases from herbal teas to increase your nutrient and medicinal intake. Nettle is a great one for green smoothies, cinnamon sticks steeped in water, strained and then added with banana and nut butter is another. Nervine plants like holy basil or lemon balm can be a nice way of trying to add something relaxing at the start the day.
Plant out some seedlings or start some seeds. You don’t need heaps of space - a few pots will be fine. Things you could plant that do well in spring – chamomile for calming and colic/digestive upsets, fennel for digestion, lemon balm for anxiety/sleep and stress.
Try and move every day. Nothing major but if you can walk around your house a few times a day that is better than nothing – it gets you outside, in fresh air and being barefoot can really help when you have been inside all day with small people.
Water. We know we need to drink water, but sometimes we just forget. So maybe try sparkling water with extra flavour or add in fresh plants to make it interesting.
Hydration really helps with clear skin, efficient digestion and also cognition. So, if you feel like more coffee – try a big glass of water first.
Mums remember you need to eat! Obvious but we sometimes forget and just grab easy things like toast or biscuits. If possible – try and have some protein on the toast (eggs, hummus, salmon, cheese, nut butter) or bliss balls or smoothies with extra protein. You could make a big smoothie the night before and have it throughout the day – always look to add a good fat (hemp oil, nut butter) some fibre (LSA, soaked chia seeds) and protein (protein powder, nut butter, tofu) you can also add fresh greens/berries and cacao powder for extra antioxidants and taste.
Batch cook when possible. Bliss balls, pesto's, smoothies (frozen in big ice cubes), seed slices etc. can all be made and frozen and then taken out when needed. I use simple recipes and just adapt them to what we have in the house.