Johann Wolfgang von Goethe saw the month of hope in April: “Streams and streams have been freed from the ice thanks to the invigorating look of spring, and the valley is full of hope,” he wrote in the “Easter Walk” in the first part of Faust. But hope also means that spring cannot be completely trusted. Peasant wisdom sums up skepticism. Sometimes it is warm like in summer, then the sky darkens and it snows. Then there is hail and rain.
- Tips and ideas for more energy in spring
- Why is “April doing what he wants”?
- Cold from the north, warmth from the south
- spring feelings
- Spring fatigue
- What to do about drowsiness?
- Medicinal herbs in April
- Wild garlic
- Lady’s mantle
- The spring flowers
- Healthy in spring
- Outdoor exercise
- vitamin C
- Keep allergies at bay
- Basic rules for pollen allergy sufferers in spring
- Home remedies for pollen allergy sufferers in April
- Do not exaggerate
- Asparagus – the popular spring vegetable
- How do you recognize fresh asparagus?
Why is “April doing what he wants”?
April is the first “right” spring month for us. The sun crosses the equator in March and moves north. It is now summerly warm in the Mediterranean. In contrast, the North Sea and the Atlantic stand in our latitudes – the sun is already warming up the country, but it takes much longer in the water because the sea reflects part of the warming sun rays. In addition, the warm water layer on the surface constantly mixes with the cold water of the deep.
Spring really gets going in April. (Image: Janina Dierks / fotolia.com)
Cold from the north, warmth from the south
The difference in temperature from water and land is enormous, and this means that high and low pressure areas change much faster than in summer. The cold air gathers over the North Sea and flows to the south, it becomes cold as in winter. However, if the air comes to Germany from the south, it will be almost as hot as in summer.
The spring feelings that spring up in April are not only a literary function, but the sometimes warm temperatures and especially the longer sunshine affect our senses.
We smell the early bloomers and the sprouting grass, our eyes absorb the greater amount of light, and our skin reacts to the warmth. These external stimuli set the hormones in motion in the body. Our level of serotonin rises and with it the feeling of happiness, the organism also releases dopamine and norepinephrine. At the same time, the level of melatonin drops, which makes you sleepy. First, we feel happier and second, we feel more awake, our bodies are pushing for action.
How does spring tiredness come about? It is just as little a fairy tale as the feelings of spring. It is particularly prevalent in April, which “does what it wants”. Although warmer temperatures and longer days ensure greater activity, the body does not seamlessly switch from the cold of winter to warmth – especially when cold and warmth jump back and forth.
Spring tiredness usually arises when it was warm for a few days and then cold again. In crazy April, when cold-warm-warm-cold-cold-warm whirls up and down, blood vessels dilate and blood pressure drops. We are getting tired.
What to do about drowsiness?
In order not to let spring tiredness arise in the first place, it helps above all to use the higher temperatures and longer days.
1) Spend as much time as possible outside in the sun and in the sometimes rising temperatures. Light awakens.
2) Move in the fresh air. Hike, garden, ride a bike. Moderate exercise balances blood pressure, boosts hormone production and strengthens the biochemistry of the immune system.
To get rid of spring tiredness, you should spend as much time in the fresh air as possible. (Image: Halfpoint / fotolia.com)
Medicinal herbs in April
April is a month of spring flowers, buds and germs. You can now collect a lot of medicinal herbs, dry them, prepare them for teas or use them as vegetables. This includes:
Adonis florets, angelica, comfrey, birch, nettle, cress, gentian, Gundermann, wild garlic or calamus. Kitchen herbs such as lovage and rosemary are now available, as are violets, pansies, cranesbills and cowslips. Last but not least, April is the month of catkins, which are not missing in any Easter shrub.
The leaves of the willow are just as important. A tea drained from them helps against pain, inflammation and fever. The willow leaves contain salicylic acid, the raw material for aspirin.
Now is the best time to harvest the leaves of the wild garlic. This relative of garlic has the advantage that we do not vaporize its fragrances through the skin. This prevents the chlorophyll in the leaves. Like garlic, wild garlic cleanses and detoxifies the intestinal tract and blood.
Wild garlic can be processed in many ways: as a pesto for pasta, as a spread, in soups, sauces and salads, pickled as wild garlic oil or with curd cheese and yoghurt as a dip.
Wild garlic blooms in April, and it’s best to harvest the leaves before flowering, as the flowers take away a lot of the taste of the plant.
Pasta with homemade wild garlic pesto is a delicious spring dish. (Image: Doris Heinrichs / fotolia.com)
The cowslips are an insider tip in the natural kitchen. They bloom in nature on lean meadows in April. Caution : the rare plants are protected. Please only use flowers from your own garden.
The flowers make an effective cough tea, which, rarely for cough medicine, also tastes good – a little like honey. The leaves go well with salads and green vegetables.
Coltsfoot blooms at the same time. We can mix the flowers just like the buds in salads or process them in vegetable patties. Coltsfoot is full of minerals, the leaves and flowers are the basis for cough teas.
The valerian leaves sprout from early to mid-April, and then you should harvest them, because at the end of the month the plant blooms and the leaves lose their aroma. The leaves are edible from April to October.
The fresh shoots taste particularly intense and are reminiscent of lamb’s lettuce. They can be prepared as a salad, cooked in soups or used for spreads with curd cheese as well as for smoothies. The dried leaves make a good tea and can be used for herbal blends.
Valerian loves humus, moist meadows, riparian zones and the edge of the forest. He doesn’t like blazing sun.
The leaves of the lung herb are suitable for salads in April, now the plant is blooming, and the flowers can be processed into spreads and teas. Lungwort cleanses the airways, is a good home remedy for cough, and improves wound healing.
In the fourth month of the year, the leaves of the Alant plant, which grows in sparse forests and along the path, sprout. You give your own note in a vegetable soup, but you should first let the leaves soak in warm water to relieve the bitter taste of the raw state.
Applied externally, disinfect the leaves, in soup or tea they help against cough.
The leaves of the women’s coat can now also be harvested. They are suitable for salads, soups and casseroles. In casseroles we use them similarly to savoy cabbage.
Lady’s mantle in tea promotes digestion, relieves cramps, helps against headaches and problems with falling asleep.
The violet blooms from March to April on the edge of the forest and in the garden. We can enjoy the flowers and buds raw and put them in fruit salads. They give fruit juices a special taste, flavor jams and honey, and are suitable for teas and jellies.
Violet cleans the blood, helps against rheumatic pain and cough .
Cress is a versatile herb and can easily be grown at home. (Image: Rangzen / fotolia.com)
Cress likes it damp, so it grows on the banks of streams and lakes. From April we can harvest the leaves. They are cut into small pieces for dips, spreads, salads, for soups, sauces, herb butter and herbal oils.
Watercress has an antibacterial effect and relieves the symptoms of a cold. It stimulates digestion and helps with gastrointestinal complaints.
The spring flowers
The first “right” spring month delights us with intense fragrances. After the early bloomers such as snowdrops, crocuses and March cups, things really get going. Many garden fans consider April to be the most beautiful month of the year: the area is still so free that the individual flowers come into their own and yet are so lively that they show their colors.
These fragrant plants include the cone flower with pale blue flowers and blue stripes, the common dandelion, the common night violet and the poet daffodil.
Healthy in spring
The change from cold to warm, rain to sun is a paradise for colds. The massive pollen count becomes a problem for allergy sufferers. Wind and rising temperatures ensure that the pollen is everywhere.
At least one cold can be prevented, especially by exercise outdoors and a balanced diet.
Exercise outside aerates the lungs and drives the circulation, making it difficult for cold viruses to penetrate. A walk of more than half an hour every day is enough to reduce the risk of a cold. You can also go to the gym.
In April you can also start with various sports outdoors. It is still too cold for swimming in nature, but climbing, mountaineering or forest hiking now requires less effort than in winter.
To prevent a cold, good nutrition is advisable. Vitamin C boosts the immune system, it helps prevent a cold, but is of no use to cure an existing cold.
Vitamin C to a high degree contains citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons or limes, kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, peppers and spinach. In spring you can also get vitamin C with fresh rhubarb.
In general, you should take in lots of vitamins and minerals from your daily diet , but only a little fat and little sugar.
Adequate sleep is very important to keep the immune system fit. (Image: Rido / fotolia.com)
Make sure you get enough sleep right now, as the days get longer. Lack of sleep is an underestimated trigger for colds because it weakens the immune system.
Keep allergies at bay
April is a risky month for people with pollen allergies. Some of the largest pollen spreaders, namely rapeseed, birch and willow, are now spreading their pollen with the wind. The massive expansion of the rapeseed area for the production of bio-fuel has ensured that the amount of rapeseed pollen has skyrocketed in recent decades.
Allergy sufferers help themselves by information: At this time, check the pollen calendar regularly to see which pollen is currently on the way. The basic rule is: When the wind is calm and cold, “pure air” is, the stronger the wind and the higher the temperature, the more pollen fly around.
You can overcome allergy attacks more quickly if you are in good physical condition overall. Sports and healthy eating in turn ensure this.
Basic rules for pollen allergy sufferers in spring
Rural pollen usually flies in the morning, and the urban pollution is highest in the evening. Do not ventilate your apartment during this time.
- Store the clothes you are wearing outside of the bedroom.
- Wash your hair before going to bed so you don’t carry pollen with you.
- Keep the car window closed while driving.
Home remedies for pollen allergy sufferers in April
Birch pollen is particularly aggressive for allergy sufferers. Those affected need the substances that bring an allergic reaction back into balance.
Black cumin oil presses the level of the hormone histamine through linoleic and linolenic acids as well as nigellone oil. This triggers the allergic reaction. The organism forms prostaglandins from linolenic acids, which inhibit inflammation and relieve the symptoms of allergy.
Recent studies suggest that zinc also slows down pollen allergy and hay fever , both allergic inflammation and chronic irritation. Zinc strengthens the cell membranes. It is available in the form of tablets, but also in foods such as beef liver and seafood.
A high magnesium content in the body increases the threshold for allergic reactions. It is found in oat products, beans, lentils and spinach.
Pollen allergy sufferers should ingest a lot of magnesium through their diet, because this inhibits the release of histamine. (Image: samael334 / fotolia.com)
Allergy sufferers should regularly rinse their noses with a saline solution because the fine pollen attaches to the hairs of the nose. In addition, you can treat the attacked nasal mucosa with black cumin oil.
Do not exaggerate
If March was frosty, then April is the first month to get started outdoors. The flowers bloom, and when the sun is shining and the days get longer, we are driven outside.
But be careful not to overload yourself. If you exercise regularly in the gym in winter, exercise in nature is not an issue for you. Most of them spend the winter on the sofa or office chair.
The muscles are not trained and the serotonin makes us overestimate. As a result of untrained movements in cycling, skating and even running, bruises, bruises, strains and grazes are now. Typical spring ailments are over stressed muscles, tendons and bones.
Warm up before exercise and stretch your body, start the sport slowly.
Put on sportswear in multiple layers, all of which are breathable. In changing weather, you can put on a warm top when the temperature drops and run in the sun in a T-shirt. How to prevent colds.
Asparagus – the popular spring vegetable
The fourth month of the year is mainly the time of sowing, not the harvest, but some healthy vegetables are already on the table in spring – especially asparagus. If April, which does what it wants, brings warm weather, it can be harvested in Germany from the middle of the month.
Asparagus is a superstar for food-conscious people. It is one of the least calorie vegetables. With 18 calories per 100 grams, it can be feasted by the kilo without us gaining weight. It also helps with dehydration, because the white stalks contain large amounts of potassium – plus phosphorus and the rare vitamins A, E and K. Asparagus cleanses the blood, strengthens the liver and kidneys.
Asparagus is a great spring vegetable because it contains many vitamins and minerals, but very few calories. (Image: karepa / fotolia.com)
There are white asparagus, purple and green. The white variant is most common in Germany. In April you can buy the popular vegetables from the farmers around Nienburg or the Lüneburg Heath directly from the farmers. They are usually best there because the sticks should be eaten as freshly as possible. Rolled in a damp tea towel, they keep in the fridge for up to three days.
How do you recognize fresh asparagus?
Fresh asparagus breaks easily and can hardly be bent. The interfaces are juicy and the bars squeak when they rub against each other. If the vegetables are fresh, they will shine.
The color of old asparagus is dull, it looks brownish, is dry and sometimes even hollow.
Rhubarb can be harvested from April to June. We only eat the stems, the leaves are poisonous. It can be processed in desserts, in jams, as a compote or sweetened juice. However, they are vegetables, not fruits.
This contains iron, magnesium and potassium. Potassium drains and promotes digestion. 1 kilo of rhubarb covers our daily requirement of vitamin C. Added to this is vitamin K, which is important for blood formation. It has only 12 calories per 100 g, but we eat it almost exclusively sweetened.
In addition to sweet cuisine, we can also use the aromatic sticks classically as vegetables. The sour taste harmonizes with fish and chicken as an alternative to asparagus.