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Hildegard’s Spring Cleanse

Spring Cleanse

Hildegard understood the importance of clearing the way for the body to perform the natural function of detoxification. In her natural history book, Physica (Cap. 109), she describes a natural spring cleanse, consisting of wormwood that aids the body’s natural cleansing mechanisms. She describes this cure as follows:

“And when wormwood is fresh, pound it and express its juice through a piece of cloth.  Then moderately cook wine with honey and mix this juice into this wine, so that the wormwood juice overcomes the taste of the wine and honey” – Hildegard of Bingen, Physica, Cap. 109.

Using Wormwood for Spring Cleanse

Modern living in our industrialized environment exposes us to more chemicals and synthetic substances than ever before. Exposure to these foreign substances increases the energy required to excrete or otherwise neutralize their effects. Given that potentially harmful substances perpetually surround us, our bodies are subjected to a kind of stress that has only been around for a few generations; we have yet to adapt.

“He who cleans well, heals well”- Hildegard of Bingen, Physica

As a result of increasing demands levied on our bodies, the various metabolic processes involved in detoxification are often overloaded. What cannot be excreted ends up being stored in anticipation of resources becoming available for future cleansing. The long-term result is that our connective tissues and extracellular space eventually serves as the final repository for harmful materials.

Balance of Bodily Juices

The reactive allocation of resources impacts our natural vital functions at the cellular level. Spoken in Hildegard’s terms, shifts in our budget of bodily juices have far-reaching implications, including how our major organs function. Thus the imbalance of bodily humors juices creates an environment ripe for the emergence of various diseases.

Though Hildegard of Bingen wasn’t directly concerned with bodily function at the cellular level, she sought preventative remedies through the principle of balance.

Wormwood wine

“Drink the juice of fresh wormwood with cooked wine and honey every third day while fasting from May to October. It checks a person’s melancholy, clears the eyes, strengthens the heart, does not allow the lungs to become ill, warms the stomach, purges the intestines, and makes good digestion possible.” –Hildegard of Bingen, Physica, Cap. 109.

Spring Cleanse

This spring cure is the best way to sustain the body during the body’s detoxification and cleansing process. The idea behind this cure is that it builds-up and strengthens the defenses of the entire body.

Hildegard Wormwood Cure

The Hildegard-Wormwood Cure represents a tried and tested natural remedy used in Germany for generations. Regular intake of the cure helps the body remain healthy by strengthening the resources necessary to carry out the natural self-regulation process.

According to Hildegard, it is best to begin a Spring cleanse with the Wormwood Cure in the month of May. Spring is when the burgeoning power of nature (Viriditas) is in its fullest effect. Just as plants are subject to the seasonal fluctuations driving their life cycle, the human body is also subject to natural biorhythms.

Spring cleanse with transition to Summer

During Spring our body shifts from its “Winter operation” to a new focus on the “Summer operation”. Longer periods of light reduce melatonin levels, resulting in a reduced need for sleep. As a result, we align our activity levels with the increased daylight and become more active.  Reawakening our systems in Spring is essential, including attention to a Spring soul cleanse.

This transition generally runs smoothly but people occasionally experience trouble adapting to the changing environment. For many, the onset of Spring brings listlessness and fatigue. This so-called Spring fever has many different faces, but it often prevents the body from finding a consistent pattern – or the momentum needed to progress into Spring.

In preparation for the natural transition from Winter to Summer, Hildegard of Bingen recommended adopting the Wormwood Cure for a Spring cleanse in May and continuing through October. She posited that this helped to support a healthy conversion, renewal of the body, and preparation for the following Winter.

The positive effects of a Spring cleanse using Wormwood

Hildegard references many positive effects as a result of the a Spring cleanse, uwing the Wormwood Cure regimen. Improved renal function, meaning the entire kidney system (“lanken”), is one of the more prominent. The renal system is where many diseases originate, so a healthy renal system is essential to a robust immune system. Healthy and well-functioning kidneys process metabolic byproducts and excrete the resulting waste.

Spring Cleanse
The kidneys serve as the basis for stable health and, as Hildegard writes, they are our actual age organs.

Kidney weakness, as described by Hildegard, often leads to dangerous vascular deposits which affect the brain, the heart – even our eyesight and endocrine glands.

Cleansing the kidneys

Hildegard describes arteriosclerosis and its consequences as a chain reaction that starts at the kidneys wherein toxins and metabolic byproducts no longer effectively excrete due to reduced renal function.  Instead, these deposits store in blood vessels and connective tissue where they can damage the surrounding tissue or lead to complications that, in turn, must be addressed, creating additional stress on the body.

As particularly sensitive organs, the eyes often first register these harmful deposits, responding with impaired vision, or the early stages of cataract formation. Similarly, the heart coronary arteries are particularly affected by arteriosclerosis, resulting in heart pain, which we know as angina pectoris attacks.

Strengthen the immune system

Atherosclerosis also affects lung circulation and often results in increased vulnerability to winter influenza and chronic bronchitis.

Over an extended period of time, moderate, regular doses of wormwood bitters show positive effects on the intestine and gut-associated immune system, thus the Wormwood Cure is also recommended for the prevention of influenza and colds.

Stimulate the digestion

Wormwood bittering agents also promote the release of gastrin, a peptide hormone that stimulates secretion of gastric acid. Gastrin stimulates intestinal movement and digestion and aids in the production of bile and pancreatic secretion. The Wormwood Cure is an herbal tonic (strengthening agent) with a stimulating effect on the circulation.

In combination with the antioxidants contained in wine, the Wormwood Cure can have a positive influence on blood lipids, including fatty acids and cholesterol, thereby slowing premature aging processes in the body.

Spring Cleanse

Wormwood Cure Recipe

According to Hildegard, this Wormwood Cure has such a strong regenerative and performance enhancing effect on the body that she considered wormwood among her most important remedies for general well-being.


  • One liter of good wine
  • 150g honey
  • 40ml of Wormwood juice


Bring honey and wine to a boil, stirring gently. Stir in the Wormwood juice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat after a brief boil. Store in a clean bottle with a good seal.


For optimal effects of the Wormwood Cure, take a liquor glass every third day, before breakfast, from May through October.

The Wormwood cure strengthens organs over this entire period and promotes a rhythmic detoxification and cleansing process. The Wormwood Cure leaves resources available for the body to perform its seasonal regeneration processes, thereby stabilizing good health, and reducing the susceptibility to diseases. Find more information on Wormwood here.

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