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Spring Tonics

Perennial roots, tall leaves, O the winter shall not freeze you delicate leaves, Every year shall you bloom again, out from where you retired you shall emerge again; O I do not know whether many passing by will discover you or inhale your faint odor, but I believe a few will; O slender leaves! O blossoms of my blood!
~Walt Whitman, Scented Herbage of my Breast

We’re celebrating the coming of spring here in the apothecary. There are a few seasonal cues that tell us spring has arrived: pairs of ducks begin looking for nests, daffodils bloom, bats are out in full force, and (most importantly for us) the sap begins to rise. This weekend we’ll force all our friends to share a cup of spring tonic with us, as our ancestors did, and plenty of Appalachian folks still do. To know a bit about the history and lore that surrounds Spring Tonics you need to know a bit about the Appalachian folk beliefs surrounding blood. There are four states that blood can exist in which are arranged into two sets of extremes: high and low blood, and thick and thin blood.

Read the original article at: Otherworld Apothecary

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