Nettles, a spring food are incredibly healthy and nourishing. This is my favorite way (so far) to get my nettles on. You can easily adapt this recipe to basil if you’re cleansing during a time without Nettles.
1 bunch of fresh Nettles
1⁄2 C pine nuts (if you can’t tolerate pine nuts try almonds, walnuts or cashews)
2-3 cloves garlic (chopped)
Olive oil (best to do this by sight, but start with 1/8-1/4 C)
Salt to taste.
- Use tongs to handle Nettles, they will sting you until blanched!
- Bring a pot of filtered water to boil enough to submerge the bunch ofnettles you have.
- Rinse the Nettles- using tongs- in a bowl with cold water and gentlyagitate to clean off dirt, drain, repeat 2 more times.
- When water is hot or boiling places nettles – using tongs- into thewater and push around until the color changes – and they begin to brighten and plump – just a few seconds.
- Remove by pouring water into a mesh strainer or colander sitting overa bowl – so you can capture the water. Set aside this Nettles water and drink as a hot tea. Drink it plain or add some mint to it.
- Place nettles, garlic, pine nuts, (basil and/or mint if desired) and someoil into a food processor (or Vita mix)
- Add more oil for desired consistency, add salt to taste
Serve with zucchini or spaghetti squash pasta. Dip veggies into it; serve over
roasted cauliflower, or with anything, really.
Let Stinging Nettles Help You – In So Many Ways
The Nettles plant – Urtica Dioica (commonly known as Stinging Nettles) is an interesting herbal ally. If you look closely, the needles on the leaves will let you know that it WILL sting you, if you are not mindful when harvesting. However, once the Nettles is dried, blanched, or pulverized, the sting is ameliorated. Best harvested with gloves starting in early spring, Nettles can provide us with a treasure trove of support for many conditions. However, regular use provides the biggest benefit in the long run.
This wonderful plant is safe to use, and is high in calcium, iron potassium, phosphorus, chlorophyll, vitamin C, and other nutrients. Nettles support the kidneys and adrenals making it a potent stress fighter when used regularly. It is alkalizing and anti0inflammatory helping us with joint pain, osteoporosis, PMS, hot flashes and skin conditions like Psoriasis. Nettles contains more Calcium and Magnesium than the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance).
Nettles Works Synergistically with the Body
Nettles has an adaptogenic effect on the body. Nettles can simultaneously
- Bring Healing to Dryness OR Drain Dampness
- Gentle OR Fierce
- Hemostatic OR Circulating
- Nutritive OR Dispersing
- Cooling OR Building Energy
Could Nettles be an Antidote for Coffee?
So much about coffee is alluring. The smell, taste and ritual of morning and/or afternoon coffee. Coffee and conversation with a friend. Coffee is string medicine. Because of this, it takes a toll on us when we consume it regularly.
I would not normally think of using Nettles to replace coffee. When I retreat (yes retreat! ) from my coffee habit, I generally move to Decafe coffee, then black tea, then green tea, and then once I’ve weaned from caffeine and I want that coffee taste, I drink either Dandy Blend or Four Sigmatic’s Mushroom elixir. There are a few to choose from – just don’t choose one with actual coffee in it. These are both fairly good substitutes for the coffee taste. Both are fairly nutritive, especially the mushroom elixir. Yet how can we repair the damage we’ve done with coffee.
Since going deeper into my studies of Nettles, I am convinced that Stinging Nettles power plant ally that can help heal the imbalances we create with regular coffee use. Take a look.
Coffee Vs. Stinging Nettles
|Stress on the Adrenals
||Restores the Adrenals (Especially the seeds)
|Liver Toxicity – uses the same path that stress needs to clear)
||Helps Hold Hydration
Regular use of Nettles can repair and restore the acidity and depletion that occurs from regular use of coffee.
Stimulating vs. Energizing – You get to Choose
Coffee and other caffeine products don’t really “give” us energy. They stimulate our system – but this is at the high cost of our adrenal glands. While the effect may be what we want (after all, I can get a lot done after a cup of coffee) the toll on our health is too great. When we tax our body this way, we are depleting our “jing” or essence.
Nettles, on the other hand, energizes our body and it’s many systems. It does this by nourishing our system and working synergistically with it. In fact, Nettles seed is considered an adaptogen – working to support the adrenals by nourishing and strengthening the HPA-axis – this is the Hypothalmic-Pituitary-Adrenal relationship. Adoptogens are herbs that help your body deal with stress. Other wonderful herbs in this category include Ashwaganda, Hawthorn, Schisandra, Rhodiola, Ginseng, Gingko, Astragalus, Holy Basil, and more.
70% of people Suffer with compromised Adrenal function due to stress.
Nettles for Women
Nettles can support us through all phases of the moon cycle including menopause.
- Helps relieve cramps due to stagnation.
- They are loaded with chlorophyl which moves the blood, increasing circulation.
- The Hemostatic action also helps regulate and balance blood flow, lightening heavy flow and nourishing light flow.
- Nettles supports us with pain during ovulation and helps regulate excess water, relieving bloating.
- Excellent for Menopause as they are cooling and anti-inflammatory.
- Great for Pregnancy – it’s like a liquid multi-mineral – Best mixed to use Nettels tea on and off with Red Raspberry Leaf tea (tones the uterus).
Other Amazing properties of Nettles
- Bone Building Nutrients: Nettles carry 15 out the 18 Bone Building Nutrients including Boron which helps maintain and stabilize calcium in the bone.
- High in bio-flavonoids which reduces varicose veins
- Nettles is very supportive to all of the tissues and membranes of the body
- Replenishes energy and builds you back up
You can use the entire plant. Leaf, seed, stalk and root.
Uses of the Seed:
- Supports the kidneys and adrenals
- Builds stamina and lasting energy reserves
- Thyroid support
- Use the seed oil for Alopecia
- Also use for Erectile Dysfunction
- Makes a great hair oil (crush in oil)
Eat the seeds raw or if using daily – dried (as the raw can become overstimulating).
The seed and Root can be tinctured as well as the leaf.
Uses of the Root:
- Anti Inflammatory for Prostatitis
- Great for gout- clears uric acid
Stinging Nettles is a smart plant and it helps your membranes be smart as well. It increases the health of your blood and helps revitalize you and flush out old patterns. It is commonly advised to brew
How to Start using Nettles Daily
You can purchase a tincture at your local health food store. Another easy way to start with Nettles is using it as a tea.
Nettles Tea (Infusion Method)
Nettles tea works best as an infusion
Dried Nettle Leaf
You can purchase online or directly through us at the office
Filtered or Spring water - NO fluoride or Chlorine
Feel free to make more - adjusting the nettle measurement
Organic Milk or Non-dairy Alternative
A few drops of liquid Stevia
Add the nettles in the jar
Fill the jar with hot water just off the boil for tea
Tightly close the lid and allow to steep for at least 8 hrs up to 24 hrs. - I make this at might and let sit over night. I also make more in the morning for the evening.
Strain the plant material out squeezing well
Enjoy warm or over ice. We enjoy it With organic milk or non-dairy milk of choice and a few drops of liquid stevia.
Refrigerate and drink/use within 24 hours
Other Ways to Take in Nettles
The following are best for fresh spring nettles. Be sure not to eat fresh nettles after it has gone to seed – this can be too taxing on the kidneys.
- Nettles Soup
- Nettles Pesto
- Juicing the Nettles – You can drink the juice or use it directly on the skin
- Add it into Smoothies
- Nettle Chips (make like Kale chips)
Spring is the element of WOOD and the color GREEN.
The ancient Taoists (Prounounced “dao-ists”) looked to nature to understand the human body, mind and spirit. They were philosophers and we need to be clear, Taoism is not a religion.
Spring- Wood – Green, Liver,
Liver out of balance = Anger
Liver in balance = Flow
In Western North Carolina and Western Tennessee, Yang is Rising
Let’s look around, what do you see? Trees leafing out, flowers blooming, greens pushing up? This is YANG rising. This is the start of the great in-breath – the height of which is the heat and outward orientation of summer. Yang is rising, the rivers are flowing, the birds are chirping and making nests, we all come out of hibernation.
The LIVER is the organ associated with spring. If our liver is in balance we experience free flow of qi (energy, emotions). If our liver needs some support, we may be quick to anger, snap at loved ones, or experience a low slow simmer of anger. Also, referred to Liver Qi Stagnation. I suffered with this for years. It’s true. Part of this is constitutional, meaning I have a tendency towards this, my family has a tendency, essentially – lots of – um- venting. Living in the south has been a balm to my constitution. I deeply enjoy – and have learned from- the kindness and generosity of spirit I have met in this region.
One of the solutions to opening up the free flow of liver qi is to take an aimless walk. This is for real, and it works wonders at opening up the free flow of liver qi. There is also a wonderful herbal formula called, Free and Easy Wanderer. Also, very helpful. These work wonder in conjunction with acupuncture which will support your liver and it’s reflexes. Ask your acupuncturist more about these remedies.
Foods to add in to your diet are – Greens, Greens, Greens. Greens impart, light, flexible energy to us. Bitter Greens and herbs, support the liver directly. Dandelion, Broccoli Rabe, and Nettles are especially helpful. Chickweed is growing abundantly, add this to your salads or smoothies. When working with the more bitter greens, please be sure to have them with plenty of healthy fat, it cuts the bitterness and adds a nutritional punch. Health fats would include Avocado oil, coconut oil, ghee, grass fed butter, and for those who tolerate it- bacon fat. A wonderful tincture to support the liver is Milk Thistle.
But truly, any greens- the fresher the better. These new greens that sprout up are here to help us clear away stagnation. Here is a fantastic Nettles Pesto recipe I LOVE to make with Fresh Nettles every spring. I am currently a green juice cleanse and my spirit and my body feel lighter and more upbeat.
A wonderful stone for this time of year that would support the free flow of liver qi is Amazonite. Known by the ancients as “Heaven flowing into the river stone.” It is calm, tranquil and supports us.
Here are some other thoughts to help us tune into the beauty of Spring.
- Young plants
- Spring fever- is Yang Rising
- Moved by nature – Emotions, awakening
- Nature sings, puts on a show
- Slough away the old, the dense
- Joyousness and Cheer
- Tending to the garden can bring joy and connection
As we align our hearts with Nature, we arrive more deeply into balance.