Plants are medicine, they heal our bodies. They gift us with this medicine by abundantly producing sprouts, leaves, fruits, and vegetables all readily available for us to consume and all in sync with the seasons and the rhythm of nature.
Plants are producers, they make their own food using energy and materials from their environment. Humans are consumers, we cannot make our own food from within.
These life producers are here to nourish us in many ways. Take a look at what happens when you make a green smoothie or green juice to start your day. Hemoglobin, a protein found in our red blood cells, carries oxygen from our lungs to the cells of our body. Chlorophyll, a pigment found in plants, produces oxygen. Hemoglobin and chlorophyll are only one molecule away from each other. Hemoglobin is organized around iron while chlorophyll is organized around magnesium and because they are so similar when ingested, chlorophyll helps do the job of hemoglobin. Meaning, more plants equals more oxygen to our cells. You’re green smoothie or green juice in the morning is allowing you to bathe your cells in fresh, nourishing oxygen.
Plants live in sync with nature, they live by the laws of nature and respect the cycles of the seasons. We should not think we are so special to live outside of these laws of nature ourselves. Our plant friends are here to thrive and help us live in sync with the season and thrive too. Take a look at what the plants are offering us as they grow in sync with the seasons.
Plant Nourishment Through the Seasons
Spring is the season of Kapha, it’s a time of new beginnings and nourishment as seeds are planted. The seed and earth contain Kapha energy from the hibernation of winter which is heavy, moist, stable and grounded.
As the season progresses Pitta begins to fill the earth and air, the sun comes around stronger adding the qualities of light, hot, mobile and liquid giving the seed the transformative energy to take root and then to sprout.
The sprout holds massive energy, it’s dense with nutrients and new life energy. Sprouts by weight are the most nutritious food you can eat. They hold 300x more nutrients than any other part of the plant. That is the dense and nurturing energy of Kapha.
Summer is the season of Pitta, in the peak of summer qualities are hot, sharp, liquid and mobile. The sprout that started in a Kapha stage uses the energy of Pitta to move from the root up toward the sun, into the stalk and leaves which provide us with oxygen rich nutrients.
In mid summer when greens are their leafiest is the best time for us to take advantage of this gift of oxygen and chlorophyll that the plants offer. If the plant is fruit, vegetable or flower bearing this is it’s time to reach its full expression of Pitta; colourful and beautiful.
Fall is the season of Vata, bringing the elements of dry, light, cold and mobile into play. At this time if the seed is a root vegetable the energy starts to move downwards back into the moist, heavy and dense earth producing our plant meals.
Root vegetables thrive in the dirt so they hold those qualities of dense, heavy, moist and grounding. In this Vata time of year, taking in foods that hold the qualities of heavy, dense, moist and grounding will help us keep our heads, feet and (bowel movements) where (and when) they should be.
Come winter, activity in nature slows right down, almost to what seems to be a stop. This is nature’s cycle of rest and restore. To recharge for the energy of new life in spring. Ideally up until late winter we are still eating the nourishing, dense, warm, heavy, moist and grounding foods that fall harvest brought to keep Vata energy in balance and grounded.
Once late winter arrives we begin feel the energy of Kapha arise which brings on the qualities of heavy, moist, stable and nurturing. It’s time to start the cycle all over again. If we follow the cycle of nature and eat what the plants are offering we will thrive in our bodies and minds like the effortless thriving of our ecosystem.
If you are ready to thrive in your body, then start by taking a look around you. What season are you in? What plants are readily producing food for you to eat? The plants are trying to nourish you – are you listening?
Click here for an Ayurveda Fall Cleanse Stew