My dream of summer is quiet abundance. The world around me now is bursting in green and growth. In life and flavor. I want to soak up every summer day. So, each week, I spend intentional time out in the summer forests where I live. This practice, for me, is very personal time to rest and imagine. Some call this Forest Bathing. To surround oneself in the understory of trees, and look at the world with soft eyes. When we make the time to take in the smells, the colors, the organic shapes, the flavors, the textures, and the feeling of the air on our skin, our body becomes wired for bliss. Forest bathing with herbal allies for grounding rituals is truly abundance. When we bring herbs with us into our grounding rituals, it is a connecting, and deeply intimate experience.
Joy Tonic for Grounding Rituals
Your herbal allies can be anything that speaks to you: in taste, in smell, in energetic plant medicine, in connectedness of any kind. My favorite herbal ally to take with me on a forest bathing afternoon is Joy Tonic from Urban Moonshine. This beautiful, portable little formula combines herbs that support a calm, peaceful and inspired mood*. It highlights an herb that I absolutely love that is often so underutilized – Motherwort. Quite a bitter herb, it’s not included in many herbal formulas these days, but it’s one that I find so delicious in both taste and physical body sensation. Motherwort is traditionally used for issues around the heart, and its botanical name, Leonurus cardiaca, is a nod to that heart tonic affinity. One of the best herbs for grounding and calming.
Joy Tonic combines motherwort, rose, linden, lemon balm, lemongrass and mugwort. This aromatic blend of herbs is traditionally used to promote a joyful spirit, and when taken daily, that’s what I notice, too. This joyful bottle of herbal allies helps when stress leads to worry and tension. And it can offer support and stress relief for occasional anxiety*. I take this with me on my forest bathing excursions, and make small tonic potions throughout my afternoon, sipping consciously while I journal, or imagine, or meditate, or simply rest.
Joy Tonic How To
Sipping on Joy Tonic while forest bathing is such an ideal way to enjoy this herbal formula. I like to pour a bit of mineral or sparkling water in small cups (about 1 ounce) and add 5 ml (1 tsp) of Joy tonic. I sip slowly, and let the flavors fill up my senses. I make one of these little combos up to three times daily, and feel my spirit lift up with the trees. You can take each dose of Joy Tonic straight into your mouth, if you prefer. It is a bit bitter, and if you don’t enjoy the flavor of bitter herbs, then I would suggest you dilute in some water. Personally, I love the taste of bitter herbs, especially the combination of motherwort and lemon balm together!
How do you forest bathe? It’s so very easy. All you need is a tree. A groups of trees, a forest or small grove of trees works nicely, too. Walk to your space slowly, with gentle steps and open your peripheral vision to take in all that’s around you. Breathe in deeply and exhale fully. Take in the scents of the life around you. Take note of the air on your skin, and the thoughts in your head. Ground your feet into the earth with every step, and if you prefer, go barefoot. You can continue your forest bathing experience with a long walk through the trees, or find a spot and settle in.
I like to walk through the trees for a while before I lay a blanket and sink into a spot next to the river by my house. I lay out some seasonal fruits and berries, and bring my journal for when thoughts start to flow. I lay and rest when I’m tired, and I sit and gaze when my thoughts are calm. I’ll enjoy my Joy Tonic potions throughout the afternoon, and just sit quietly, taking in all the noises, the breeze, the heat, the smells, and the animals around me. Naturally, I leave all the electronics at home. Forest bathing, for me, is my time to connect with my world. When I enjoy herbal allies throughout that process – ingesting herbs that course through my body – that makes me feel intimately connected with this experience.
Show me your nature and herbal ally experiences with #herbalistination and share with our Urban Moonshine community! I’d love to take a peek at how you’re incorporating herbs into your daily rituals!
Photography by Renee Byrd
*The statements on this page have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.