Already one year ! I wrote then “With the equinox, spring has come to us. A period of changeover when the days begin to be longer than the nights. A moment of renewal that influences our body, our psyche, our health and therefore our hair. This is an opportunity to be vigilant and to take special care of ourselves”.
Today I would first like to say a few words to you again on the spring equinox and then suggest a practice that could during this period, precisely the most appropriate, contribute to your well-being and harmony.
During the year there are two days where on all the earth, wherever you are, the duration of the night is equal to the duration of the day, these are the equinoxes. There is the spring one, which in this year 2017 took place on Monday March 20 at 11:28 a.m., to be precise, and the autumnal equinox which will arrive on Friday September 22 at 22:01 p.m. You will be explained that the occurrence of the equinoxes, like that of the solstices and especially the seasons, is due to the fact that the axis of rotation of the earth on itself is not perpendicular to its orbital plane, it ie to its plane of rotation around the sun. These are explanations that never really made me understand why there were two equinoxes, two solstices and four seasons. It was only recently, thanks to a certain gentleman "Bongo", that I was finally able to understand and really physically grasp the why of the equinoxes, solstices and seasons.
I really felt in my heart that the method used by Mr. "Bongo" and the understanding of the passage of the seasons and the arrival of the equinoxes and the solstices made me feel good. All life on earth is dependent on the conditions existing on the blue planet and the energy provided by the sun. How could we live in well-being and harmony if we did not feel part of the earth and the sun? And to live this belonging, what could be more obvious than to understand deep down, really, physically, naturally, the equinoxes, the solstices and the seasons. These are events that have an important influence on all life processes and therefore on each of us, whether we like it or not, whether we are aware of it or not. So might as well know.
These are the reasons that made me decide to share with you the simple and intuitive explanation of Mr. “Bongo”. For this you need two objects, one all in length and another rather voluminous. It can be a pencil and the case in which this pencil is housed, for example.
The pencil will represent the axis of rotation of the earth and the kit the sun. To begin, place the pencil case in front of you in your right hand and the pencil on your left, (at 9 o'clock) in your left hand and tilted to the right. This position corresponds to the summer solstice and summer in the northern hemisphere. Given the inclination of the axis of rotation of the earth, the northern part of the earth receives more rays of sunshine per m² than the southern hemisphere, to the point that the regions above the polar circle experience the midnight sun, as shown in Fig. 1.
With the earth revolving around the sun counterclockwise, the next position of the earth relative to the sun will be at 6 o'clock. The pencil now sits between us and the pencil case, with the pencil still leaning to the right. But in this position it is not leaning over the sun represented by the case. The sun is directly above the equator and it is the autumnal equinox. We continue to move the pencil always to the right and always inclined in the same way and we arrive at the 3 o'clock position as shown in Fig 2.
The inclination of the pencil, that is to say of the earth, now means that the northern hemisphere receives a minimum of sun rays per m², the regions above the polar circle not even receiving any at all as we do. seen in Fig. 2. It's the winter solstice. The next position is at noon and the inclination of the pencil then has no effect on the solar radiation hitting the earth. It's the spring equinox and for the second time this year the length of the night is equal to the length of the day everywhere on earth. In 2017, the spring equinox is March 20.
For millennia in the northern hemisphere the spring equinox has been associated with renewal, rebirth and for good reason it is the moment when nature comes back to life at an often astonishing, exuberant pace. But if it were not for plants, the only ones capable of transforming solar energy into living matter, there would be no life on earth. This irrepressible vitality has inspired many civilizations of the northern hemisphere to the point of making the spring equinox the date of the new year. The oldest calendars, such as the Babylonian and Mesopotamian calendars which date back more than 4.000 years, had the year begin at the vernal equinox. I have even heard that until the Renaissance the new year was often celebrated on the first of March in a good part of Europe.
In the northern hemisphere humans have always felt the effects of this force of renewal which at the beginning of spring seizes all living beings. What could be more sensible than taking advantage of this renewal, this new cycle of life, to start on a healthy basis that will contribute to the good vitality of everyone throughout the months to come. Especially since the plant world encourages us to do so by offering us a series of plants which, when used appropriately, will contribute to our well-being and to a harmonious life. The first step after winter is to cleanse our organism, to detoxify. There are three plants which can really contribute to our good health and which have the advantage of offering themselves to us in turn, successively over time. I mean birch (Betula spp), dandelion (Taraxicum spp) and finally nettle (Urtica spp).
Today I would like to talk to you about birch. There are many species of birches. In Europe two species are used in herbal medicine, namely downy birch (Betula pubescens) and white birch or silver birch (Betula pendula). Birch is one of the first plants to come into activity at the end of winter and its rise in sap can begin well before the official end of winter if the climatic conditions are favorable to it. Birch sap, leaves and bark have medicinal properties.
In northern and eastern Europe and Russia, where birches cover very large areas, the plant is held in high esteem for its purifying properties. Towards the end of winter it is traditional to collect birch sap and drink it fresh daily for two or three weeks, one glass in the morning on an empty stomach. For a few years in France, birch sap has become very "trendy" and an impressive number of qualities are attributed to it. I will not enumerate the whole list of the benefits conferred on it today and I will stick to what has been confirmed for a long time and recognized, among other things, by the German Commission E, which today remains the only body mandated by a government to evaluate the effectiveness of medicinal plants. You should know that in Germany, unlike France, herbal medicine holds a prominent place in the healthcare system. Its teaching is also an integral part of the training program for doctors.
In fact, whether it is its sap, its leaves or its bark, birch is above all a depurative and in particular for the entire uro-genital system. It is a drainer of the urinary tract which it promotes the proper functioning. Its effectiveness is even recognized in the case of nephritis and kidney stones. It would also have a favorable action on the liver, therefore on detoxification, the liver being the main organ of drainage. As such, it would also have a beneficial effect on the bile duct and even on gallstones.
There are a few contraindications to consider. Thus people allergic to birch pollen are likely to also be allergic to birch sap. Similarly, individuals suffering from edema linked to heart or kidney disease should not follow a birch sap cure. Same for those who are allergic to aspirin, birch containing a high rate of salicylic acid which can be aggressive for the stomach and the intestine. Finally in case of pregnancy or breastfeeding it is prudent to avoid birch cures.