Happy New Year! This is the time of the year when we celebrate another full rotation of the sun. A new year, new beginnings, and new hopes for the future. It’s nice to have a chance to be so hopeful after the seemingly never-ending chaos of the holidays, no matter what creed you belong to. It is a stressful time of year. There isn’t as much sunshine, and we aren’t out with the trees as much because of the cold, so our vitamin D is low. Are you tired? Depressed? Discouraged about the future? Now is the time to be like the plants. It’s time to push those roots deep into the earth, rest and be as dormant as you can, and start building reserves for the return of the sun and the hard work ahead this spring and summer.
Schisandra is our herb of the month this January. We have been talking a lot about warming, carminative, immune-boosting spices these last few months, so to start off the immune system strong, I want to focus on rebuilding what gets so easily torn down over the long winter months of chaos and sugar cookies.
Schisandra is an adaptogen. Adaptogens are a class of herbs that help the body “adapt to stress,” and “…support normal metabolic functions, and help restore balance.1” They do this through supporting the Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis, thereby improving the body’s ability to adapt to adverse stressors, both physical and emotional, acute and chronic. Who doesn’t need some of that?
Thankfully, schisandra is not just an adaptogen; it’s an herb that holds great renown in China, India, Russia, Korea, and Japan, and it is gaining popularity in Western herbalism. It’s one of my personal favorites for anyone who needs a little more balance in their life. I believe you will discover in this issue why it’s such a great balancer.