Liverleaf, Hepatica nobilis

Besides Lungwort, Liverleaf is another spring flower that blooms before new leaves are fully developed. As if they couldn’t wait longer, light purple flowers raise their heads from damp soil to the spring sun even in the shadow of forest.

I know the place where Liverleaf grows in abundance, creating incredible carpet of live wildflowers. The beauty of them takes my breath every time, and I am almost afraid to enter the place because those flowers are so fragile!

Yesterday, I found the first blooming Liverleaf. So far, it was the only Cinderella in the middle of nothing, but also it was a clear sign that the right time is coming and sisters are going to bloom very soon.

If you are looking for the place with Liverleaf before blooming, you can find it easily according to the evidence of last year leaves. They are very unique with 3 lobes, tough in consistency like an old alcoholic liver. No matter how long and hard the winter was, the old leaves stay in their place, so the young flowers could lean on them.

Similar to Lungwort flowers, I like to eat the Liverleaf flowers. As they grow close to each other and bloom simultaneously, they create beautiful and healthy mix of edible flowers, suitable for immediate consumption.

Even though I’m careful to keep the ratio in favor of Lungwort because Liverleaf is slightly poisonous as it belongs to the family of Ranunculaceae, But the main portion of active substances is contained in leaves, so the consumption of flowers is quite safe.

As the name suggests, Liverleaf (Hepatica nobilis) is used in cases of liver disease. Although I prefer to use other herbs for this purpose, I still gather some Liverleaf because I’m fascinated by the shape and tough consistency of its leaves. I admire the ability to overcome difficult conditions and hope to learn it, drinking the tea.

With love, Ivana

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Pink beauty for healthy lungs

It looks that spring is finally ready to manifest itself! Despite strong frosts and snowfall recently, sunshine calls nature to start unrolling buds. Even though it’s too early, I’ve been already checking my places and searching signs of new life among dry and brown last year’s leaves.

First what I’m looking each spring for, are wonderful flowers of Lungwort. I’m hungry for the moment when I see the incredible tenderness of pink and purple. In my daily life I always prefer yellow before pink, but the first spring flowers of Lungwort are probably the only exception.

I really love the unique colors of Lungwort, sweet to look and also sweet and juicy to taste. It’s like a promise that the whole season could be such sweet and delicious. Once I discover the first Lungwort flowers of the year, I gather them directly to my mouth and eat them immediately 😋

My second choice for Lungwort flowers is still eating them directly, but in more civilized way like adding them into salad or put them on potatoes with cottage cheese. It looks and tastes fantastic!

Lungwort belongs to the plants that bloom before their leaves grow fully. So you can enjoy the beauty and taste of flowers before serious harvest for healing purpose. And there is one big purpose of the Lungwort, clear by the name, the healthy lungs!

Lungwort has strong anticarrhal and demulcent effects, so you can successfully use it in case of cold with cough. It reduces unwanted mucus caused by pathogens and protects irritated tissues. The content of silicon and allantoin accelerates skin regeneration, so the Lungwort can be also used externally for longterm wounds even with pus. But the most common use of Lungwort is still in wide range of lung diseases like bronchitis, asthma, pneumonia, etc.

Even though the Lungwort looks so useful and kind, there is one warning for all who have problems with blood coagulation (clotting) because the Lungwort slightly increases the level of it. A few fresh flowers should be fine, but be careful about longterm use.

I hope to see the pink and purple flowers soon and this year herbal season will really start!

Which plant is the sign of spring for you?

With love, Ivana

Seasonal clock

Even if the life seems to be ruined into pieces and difficult to fix, there are rules we can rely on. The all known universe works on the principle of regular repeating events. If you like to profit from it, observe. Be aware of what surrounds you.

Soon you find that everything has a rhythm. And depends on your inner tuning, through which rhythm you see the world. My tuning works with four beats, but there are systems built on three or five beats as well. All of them have a logic and even tradition, so follow your self.

My “seasonal clock” could represent anything what is repeated regularly and makes a cycle. It could be a year, a day, a month, a life, etc. For the picture above I have chosen the year, divided to zodiac signs in the inner circuit and illustrated by typical nature/people event on the outer circuit.

I have applied the 4 beats rhythm, so the circle is divided into 4 main parts (elements) – fire (red), air (yellow and green), water (blue) and earth (brown). Most people would probably orientate the picture upside down, because it is more common to see the fire and air above the water and earth. Both are OK.

Relating seasons with elements was quite easy. The hot summer belongs to the fire, while the cold and wet winter is represented by water. Autumn is the harvest time, so it fits to the earth, while the major sign of the spring is a fast move and change, so it fits to the air. Then the vertical line indicates solstice and the horizontal line indicates the equinox.

We can do the same with the lunar cycle and you see it on the picture too. The full moon is the place on the circle, where is the most light, so it corresponds to the summer solstice of the solar cycle. The new moon is the place full of darkness, so you find it on the same place as the winter solstice, while the quarters are placed like equinoxes. Do you see the trick?

If we talk about the day, so morning is spring, noon is summer solstice, afternoon is summer, evening is autumn, midnight is winter solstice and the night is winter. The same could be applied to the life: spring is childhood, summer is youth, autumn is maturity and winter is old age and also prenatal age (spent in water).

Once you comprehend the rhythm of the life and typical characteristics of each phase, you will be more stabilized, better choose the right timing and succeed more easily.

I have even started to read my body through the same clock. Still in a process, but there are some results! Hopefully I will share them soon.

With love, Ivana