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The New Moon, the time in which the moon is occluded from our earthly vision due to its position in the sky between the Sun and Earth, is commonly understood as a time for new beginnings. If the Full Moon is a time for fruition and manifestation, the New Moon is the time to light a candle of intention in the dark. It is a time for rest, reflection, and intention-setting. Just as plants have growth cycles and the tides ebb and flow, our energy levels also have a cyclic quality. This article will discuss the energy of the New Moon and how to support yourself with herbs during this internal time in the lunar cycle. Energy of the New Moon In order to understand how to support the energies of the New Moon, it is helpful to first flesh out the qualities of the New Moon phase. Though the New Moon is the time during the monthly lunar cycle in which the moon is not visible to our eyes, the New Moon phase can include a time frame within 3 1/2 days after the official New Moon. Also, for our purposes of discussing the energies at this time, we can also include the time just prior to the New Moon—the Balsamic Phase, which may be considered the “Depth of Dark” (George, 1992). Here are a few words to describe this potent, dark time that is ideal for turning inward:

At the Balsamic Phase, the life impulse distills and concentrates the wisdom of the entire cycle into a capsule of seed ideas for future visions” (George, 1992, p. 67). “At the New Phase, the flow of solar-lunar energy emerges, initiates and projects the seed impulse…that will fulfill and complete a purpose as the remaining cycle unfolds” (George, 1992, p. 66).

The New Moon phase is a perfect time for gathering one’s energy and seeding intentions. Furthermore, herbalist Ashley Elenbaas describes the New Moon as being a time dominated by yin energy. It is likened to the Winter Solstice (in the solar cycle). It is a time for quietness and new beginnings. If you have an herb garden, it is a good idea to plant just before a New Moon as the subsequent Waxing Moon energy will pull the shoots upward (Elenbaas, n.d.). You can also view cycles of plant maturation in connection to the phases of the moon. If the New Moon is likened to seeding, the Waxing Moon is the time in which roots and shoots extend and leaves sprout. The Full Moon’s energy of manifestation is likened to that of a flower, and as the flower gives way to fruit, thus descends the Waning Moon phase (Elenbaas, n.d.). To further expand on this metaphor, “The process begins at the New Moon phase when a seed, containing a new vision infused with an intention, germinates in the darkness” (George, 1992, p. 69).

Herbs for New Beginnings

In addition to planting seeds of intention and/or literally planting seeds, we can enjoy herbs that match the intentional energy of the New Moon. This New Moon Herbal Mix features seeds for intention-setting, as well as rose for a touch of nourishing heart support during this time when our lunar luminary is out of sight.

Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) Seeds

Cardamom is considered a sattvic spice, meaning it has a clarifying, purifying quality (perfect for the New Moon!). It is aromatic, refreshes the mind, and assists in the digestion of heavy foods, such as dairy. Indicated for low appetite, nausea, belching, excessive gas, and poor absorption, cardamom gently yet effectively stimulates the digestive fire (agni) without overheating pitta dosha (Dass, 2013). Cardamom’s ability to sharpen and clear the mind, as well as its symbolic connection to seeding (given that we consume its seeds), make it a fitting herb for the New Moon phase.

Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) Seeds

Like cardamom, fennel seed is a gentle yet effective digestive support; it also stimulates the digestive fire without overheating. Fennel is aromatic and mildly sweet with a cool energy. It is indicated for a range of conditions, including gas, bloating, abdominal pain, poor appetite, and various urinary tract issues, such as cystitis (Dass, 2013). The mildly sweet aromatic flavor of fennel combines beautifully with rose and cardamom for a pleasing New Moon blend.

Rose (Rosa spp.)

If ever there was a plant with an affinity for the heart it is the rose. As herbalist and author Maria Noel Groves (2016) puts it so aptly, “Energetically and as flower essences, roses help quell stress by connecting you to your heart and reminding you to enjoy life” (p.158). Furthermore, research points to rose’s function in supporting the physical heart through the plant’s antihypertensive, antidiabetic, antianxiety, hypnotic, and anti-inflammatory functions (Groves, 2016). Like cardamom and fennel, rose also has digestive benefits. Its astringent properties help tone gut tissues and when used externally (as in the form of rose hydrosol, for instance), rose offers many skin benefits (Groves, 2016).

Though the New Moon is a time of renewal, the darker nights can sometimes bring a sense of sadness and emptiness that comes along with the quiet. For this reason, a little extra heart support from the rose may be welcome at this time of the lunar phase. New Moon Herbal Mix

This New Moon herbal mix incorporates seeds as well as rose petals to set intentions for beautiful fruition during the Full Moon. When the next New Moon comes around (or any time you feel like it, really) brew a cup of New Moon tea, sprinkle a spoonful of New Moon Herbal Seasoning on vanilla ice cream, or stir it into your hot cocoa. This recipe specifies the amounts in parts. A part can be anywhere from a teaspoon to a ¼ cup. Ingredients 2 parts fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) seeds, ground 2 parts rose (Rosa spp.) petals, dried 1 part cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) seeds, ground Directions Mix all ingredients evenly and store in a closed container out of sunlight.

New Moon Milk

Steep the New Moon Herbal Mix in milk for an extra-nourishing, soothing blend that is perfect to sip on while star-gazing on New Moon nights. Ingredients 1 tablespoon New Moon Herbal Mix 12 ounces milk (whole milk or nondairy milk) Directions

  • In a small saucepan, heat the milk until bubbles just start to form. Careful not to let the milk boil over

  • Remove from heat and stir in the New Moon Herbal Mix. Steep covered for 3-5 minutes.

  • Sweeten to taste (optional) and sip as you reflect on dreams and intentions for the coming lunar cycle.

New Moon Tea This is a related idea for how to use the New Moon Herbal Mix, more suitable for morning consumption. Prepare this on the morning of a New Moon to give yourself a little bit of upliftment during times of lowered energy. If you enjoy this blend, you don’t have to wait until the next New Moon to brew a cup! Ingredients 1 cup filtered water 1 cup milk 1 tablespoon black tea leaves* or 2-3 black tea bags 1 tablespoon New Moon Herbal Mix Directions

  • In a small to medium-sized saucepan, bring 1 cup water to boil.

  • Add the black tea leaves or tea bags. Remove from heat and steep covered for approximately 2 minutes.

  • Add 1 cup milk to the saucepan and heat until bubbles just start to form. Careful not to let the milk boil over.

  • Remove from heat and stir in the New Moon Herbal Mix. Steep covered for 2 minutes.

  • Strain, sweeten to taste, and enjoy. Optionally, sprinkle a few additional fresh or dried rose petals on top.

*For strength of flavor, I like to use CTC Assam (standing for “cut, torn, curled”) if available. However, black tea bags or a strong loose-leaf black tea work nicely as well.

In Closing, Reflection, retreat, dreaming, and intention-setting are important parts of the creative cycle. Just as diligent work and extending outside of our comfort zones are key elements in bringing our hopes, dreams, and goals to fruition, gathering and renewing our energy and creative power is essential as well. We can nourish the auspicious time of the New Moon phase by resting, reflecting, imagining, and enjoying botanical allies that support the energies of the New Moon.


Dass, V. (2013). Ayurvedic herbology East & West: A practical guide to ayurvedic herbal medicine. Lotus Press. Elenbaas, A. (n.d.) Herbs for the decreasing moon. Retrieved from George, D. (1992). Mysteries of the dark moon: The healing power of the dark moon goddess. Harper Collins. Groves, M.N. (2016). Body into balance: An herbal guide to holistic self-care. Storey Publishing.


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