Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Nettle's for food and medicine

 Nettles free food & medicine source vitamin and energy packed
It’s Spring again and the buds are peeking out from hibernation and the lane at the bottom of my garden is covered in fresh young nettles, it’s official, it’s Spring.
As a herb lover and strong believer in their medicinal qualities, I’d like to share more details on why nettle’s are so useful as both a food and medicine.
At the end of the winter months were a little sluggish and run down, were generally less active, and a detox of cleansing and nourishing nettle’s can be just the thing. Nettles are nutrient dense wild foods available to us as free food and medicine, high in calcium, magnesium, chromium, zinc, iron, potassium, trace minerals, selenium, protein, vitamin A and C, nettles are a good all round tonic herb.
Nettle has a good reputation of being an iron tonic due to the high levels of amino acids and vitamin C, nettles contain tannins which can tone mucus membranes of the digestive tract and prevent too much iron absorption in a balanced way.
Nettle is high in flavonoids, quercein and rutin, which help the blood and circulatory system.
Practitioners of Chinese medicine use it to treat blood deficiency.  The hair and nails also benefit from nettles as it feeds the follicle’s, it’s amazing how strong these grow when nettle is taken regularly.
The medical fraternity do frown upon herbs, they want to dissect every component, but  an explanation of why the herb works isn’t always easy to pinpoint because by nature, and the holistic in the way they act and this is the beauty and wonder of herbs.
Nettles are used as a prime remedy for treating fatigue and blood sugar balancing and can help to regulate the body’s metabolism , from balancing the thyroid, strengthening adrenal function and restoring the productive organs.  Nettles work to balance sugar levels, by energizing and increasing vitality, it reduces cravings for artificially stimulating foods like sugar and caffeine
Nettle has astringent, toning and cleansing properties that enable the liver, kidneys, skin and lungs to worke more efficiently increasing natural detoxification.  We commonly turn to the nettle for atopic conditions such as eczema, asthma, allergies and hay-fever and though useful to many, it can in some cases cause allergies.

Some interesting ways to add nettle to your diet :
Nettle Tea : add two teaspoons of fresh nettle to a cup of boiling water for a refreshing drink, use 1 tsp if using dried nettle.
Juiced : throw some in the juicer with your regular vegetables and fruit
Nettle vinegar: simply place a fresh stems into cider vinegar and leave for a month to six weeks then take the nettle out and use on salads or to pep up other dishes.
Nettle hair rinse: make a strong infusion of nettles and boiling water and leave to steep over night, use as a rinse, to help make hair shiny and strong.

Nettle Soup
·  2 leeks
·  4 cloves garlic
·  Colander full of nettles
·  Veggie stock
·  Fresh herbs- I use parsley, a few sprigs
·  Drizzle olive oil
·  Sea salt and pepper to taste
chop and lightly fry the leeks, garlic and nettles add the veggie stock, enough to cover the contents plus a little more, boil and then use a blender, add chopped or dry parlsy add salt and perpper and a little milk to dilute and make it creamy
Nettle Pasta:
A bunch of fresh nettle tops,
1 onion
garlic to taste
salt and pepper
lightly fry the ingredients and add your own herbs, I like oregano, rosemary and basil

Boil pasta of your choice
place the cooked pasta on a warm plate an place the nettle Bolognese on top
You can vary this by adding tomatoes or cheese or any other favorites.

References:  The energetic of western herbs – Peter Holmes
The book of Herbal Wisdom – Matthew Wood


1 comment:

  1. What wonderful information! Thank you for taking the time to share it.