Dwarf Ginseng / Panax trifolius
Native adaptogenic herb and spring ephemeral.
I’m prone to sadness. I’m just as prone to elation. The trips back and forth can be jarring and set red lights flashing on my dash. This plant helps keep me in my place. Not only because science tells me adaptogens act like guard rails on a highway of biological, chemical, and physical stressors - keeping me in the middle of the road, but also because I know this plant. We’re kind of like neighbors. I stop by for tea - I tidy its home - I stay while it dies - I eat of its flesh- I babysit the kids.
Through the winter - when I’m more apt to slide off the road - the phytochemicals do their good work but it’s as much the reminder of reciprocity that helps me, and to know that place is still there - right up the hill - and inside me too. That place where the Towhees nest and the Lady’s Slippers bloom and there’s enough Indian Cucumbers to dig a few for lunch. It’s cold and quiet now but it’s the same fertile ground - just resting and readying - pregnant with those seeds that fell while I picked the greens that gave themselves up - ready when it was time to go.
Things need time to rest and ready - in wombs in space in seeds in soil - almost everything needs to sit in the dark before it’s born.
So I take my spoonfuls of springtime and remind myself those seeds are up the hill living off the same damn juice and nothing springs hope eternal like seeing yourself in your medicine.