Stinging Nettles for Stress Support

Stinging Nettles for Stress Support

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

Coffee Nettles
Depletes Minerals Increases Minerals
Acid Forming Alkalizing
Stress on the Adrenals Restores the Adrenals (Especially the seeds)
Liver Toxicity – uses the same path that stress needs to clear) Liver Supportive
Pregnancy Risk Pregnancy Supportive
Dehydrating 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

Keyword Adrenal Fatigue, Health, Menopause, Nettles, PMS, Stress

Ingredients

  • 2-6 TBS Dried Nettle Leaf You can purchase online or directly through us at the office
  • 1 Quart 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

Instructions

  1.  Add the nettles in the jar

  2.  Fill the jar with hot water just off the boil for tea


  3. 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.


  4. Strain the plant material out squeezing well


  5. Enjoy warm or over ice. We enjoy it With organic milk or non-dairy milk of choice and a few drops of liquid stevia.

  6. 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)
How Positivity Positively Affects You

How Positivity Positively Affects You

There is nothing more important than having a positive attitude. The attitude you display toward your day-to-day activities can make a huge difference in improving the quality of your life. Positivity helps to ensure everything functions harmoniously.

Here’s how to allow the enhancing effects of positivity to start impacting your day as soon as possible. Start your day by letting small amounts of sunlight into your room, enjoying a cup of warming herbal tea and just reflecting on what it is you plan to accomplish today. A simple morning routine such as this can boost productivity and positivity throughout the day. (more…)

Going Deeper: The Kidneys

Going Deeper: The Kidneys

The kidney element in Chinese medicine governs water and is associated with the season of winter, where the energies are turning from the hotter yang months to the more yin of winter. Each organ has an element associated with it: liver and wood, stomach and earth, kidney and water, for example. There is also an emotion, a color and flavor associated with the organ system. For the kidneys, the emotion is fear, the color is dark or black and the flavor is salty. It also opens to the ear, has the direction of north and is paired with the bladder. The kidney element houses willpower and manifests in the teeth and luster of the hair.

The organs in Chinese medicine are more than just a physical representation. The organs include not only their physiological function, but also mental, emotional, spiritual and elemental qualities that align with nature and the seasons. Let’s explore the kidneys.

The kidneys are the body’s root and contain both yin and yang energies. Yin is associated with what is dark, still, cold, feminine and is inward. Yang is more outward, hot, bright, moving and masculine. The kidneys control reproduction, growth and development and are associated with bones and marrow. The kidneys are said to store jing, which is likened to essence, what you’re born with and what’s inherited from your parents.

 

There are two types of Essence:  

 

  1. Pre-natal is from your parents and can be likened to one’s basic constitution and DNA.

 

  1. Post-natal is what is transformed from the food you eat and lifestyle.

 

The second you have more control over health-wise. Ideally, there is a nice balance of kidney yin and yang energies, but if there is yin deficiency, there will be symptoms such as heat, sweating, dryness, irritability, insomnia and low back pain. If there is yang deficiency there are more cold signs such as cold extremities, cold and painful lower back, increased urinary frequency, fatigue, premature graying, water retention and low libido. There can also be an emotional component manifesting as increased phobias and anxieties. Many of the above-mentioned symptoms can be tied to the thyroid and adrenal fatigue in Western medicine.

 

How to care for your kidney this winter:

 

Keep warm: The kidneys are affected by exposure to cold. Try a nice scarf to protect your neck from the elements, and keep your feet and low back warm in those frosty winter months. Moxibustion, which is heated mugwort, is a wonderful supplement to acupuncture that warms particular acupuncture points on the body.

 

Eat warm: Foods that are beneficial to the kidneys (in moderation) tend to be dark in color such as black beans, sesame seeds, seaweed, kelp, lamb and beef. Other beneficial warming foods include ginger, cinnamon, miso soup, soybeans, walnuts, chives and Goji berries. It’s best to see your acupuncturist or other health care professional to get an idea of foods that are good for your particular constitution, as some of these foods can be harmful if taken in large amounts (kelp and seaweed, in particular). It’s also best to not eat too many cold, raw vegetables or cold smoothies. Also try to ingest food and drink at room temperature. There are wonderful herbal formulas to assist the kidneys that your acupuncturist can include in your treatment plan.

 

Light exercise: Light exercise such as tai qi, qi gong or walking has wonderful health and anti-aging benefits and won’t cause exhaustion.

 

Avoid overwork, overexertion, high stress: Overdoing it depletes your kidney energy, and you might experience ill effects of burnout that are usually associated with adrenal fatigue. Ancient Chinese medical texts also recommend curbing excessive sexual activity to keep kidney energy strong and vibrant and to increase longevity.

 

 

Exploring the 24 Hour Qi Clock

Exploring the 24 Hour Qi Clock

Most people are familiar with the terms diurnal and nocturnal. Diurnal means active during the daytime, while nocturnal means active during the nighttime. Together the two make up a 24-hour cycle known as a day. But, in traditional Chinese medicine, this 24-hour cycle is viewed as much more than just a day in the life. The 24 hours of the day are viewed as increments of time and every two-hour section is associated with a specific energetic meridian that runs through the body. This is known as the Qi clock.

Do you wake up every night or every morning about the same time? Have you ever wondered why? Some people call that an internal clock. In Chinese medicine, this gives a much deeper look into how the body functions though. Chinese medical theory divides the body based upon the 12 energetic meridians. Each of the meridians is assigned a two-hour time slot.  For example, the liver meridian is associated with the hours of 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. If you wake up during this time frame, then there is an issue with your liver meridian. So knowing this information can be very important to an acupuncturist/Chinese medicine practitioner.

During a 24-hour period, your energy or Qi (pronounced “chee”) moves through the organ systems in two-hour intervals. Qi draws inward to help restore the body between the hours of 1 a.m. and 3 a.m. The liver cleanses the blood and performs other functions, such as getting the blood ready to travel outward into the rest of the body.  Over the next 12 hours, Qi cycles through the organs that assimilate, digest and eliminate food through the body or our diurnal organs. By mid-afternoon, the body begins to slow down again in preparation for the nocturnal phase. The nocturnal phase is all about restoring and maintaining. So when one organ system is at its peak, its counterpart, on the opposite side of the clock is at its lowest point. An example is 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., which are the hours of the stomach. This is when the stomach is at its peak and also why it is recommended to eat a big breakfast. On the opposite side of the clock lies the pericardium, which is associated with the pituitary, hypothalamus and reproductive organs. The pericardium is at its weakest point between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 a.m.

Here’s a brief summary of the 24-hour qi cycle:

3 a.m. to 5 a.m. is lung time
5 a.m. to 7 a.m. is large intestine time
7 a.m. to 9 a.m. is stomach time
9 a.m. to 11 a.m. is spleen time
11 a.m. to 1 a.m. is heart time
1 p.m. to 3 p.m. is small intestine time
3 p.m. to 5 p.m. is urinary bladder time
5 p.m. to 7 p.m. is kidney time
7 p.m. to 9 p.m. is pericardium time
9 p.m. to 11 p.m. is triple burner time (associated with the thyroid and adrenals)
11 p.m. to 1 a.m. is gall bladder time
1 a.m. to 3 a.m. is liver time

So if you have recurring problems at the same time every day, then there is a good chance that the organ/meridian associated with that time is in distress. This is why traditional Chinese medicine practitioners ask so many questions and also why they look at the body as a whole instead of just one particular organ. By understanding that every organ/energetic meridian has a maintenance schedule to keep daily, you can then treat your body properly so you achieve the ultimate health and well-being and acupuncture can help you achieve that goal. Acupuncturists treat the body based on things like your symptomology, your pulses, your tongue and the 24-hour Qi clock indications you exhibit. The goal is to bring the body back into balance and knowing when the meridians are at their peaks and valleys is a great place to begin.

 

A Gift of Love & Support​

A Gift of Love & Support​

The holidays are a swirl! Step into this holiday season prioritizing self-care… and love.

Just for you and yours, we have lovely gift cards to turn a gift into a genuine gesture of loving kindness.

You can pick one up during an appointment or call the office and we can mail them out to you in time for the holidays.

 

Five Ways to Alleviate Insomnia

Five Ways to Alleviate Insomnia

Insomnia is a phenomenon almost everybody experiences at some point in their life. And most of us don’t know how or why it happens.  Insomnia is defined as difficulty falling asleep, despite being tired. Combating insomnia may be easier than you think. Here are five simple ways to fall asleep faster and stay asleep all night.

1. Turn off your phone

In today’s society, we are almost surgically attached to our phones, iPads, laptops, etc. And while the devices keep us informed and connected, they are also harm us when it comes to our sleep.  Smartphones and other gadgets emit blue wavelengths. These wavelengths suppress the production of melatonin in our bodies. Melatonin is a natural hormone that makes you feel sleepy. Also, the light given off by your devices can actually stimulate the mind, thus causing poor sleep. So as hard as it may be, buy a regular alarm clock and turn off the phone.

2. Keep a sleep schedule

Sleep is just as important to proper health as eating healthy-wholesome foods. In other words, make sleep a priority. You don’t have to give up dinner with friends or that periodic concert, but staying out late every single night will eventually take its toll. Make a sleep schedule and do your best to stick to it.  Lack of sleep has been proven to increase blood pressure, depression, weight gain and stress. Why do this to yourself when you don’t have to? Once you set your sleep schedule, your body will react favorably.

3. Meditation

How many of us groan when we hear the word “meditation”? Meditation really isn’t difficult but people constantly tell themselves it can’t be done because they can’t shut off their minds. But what most people don’t realize is the goal of meditation is not turning off your mind or your thoughts. Meditation helps you cope better while telling your sympathetic nervous system to relax. When the thoughts come in, you should acknowledge them but do not dwell on them. That’s what meditation helps you do. And there are many different types of meditation. For beginners, guided meditation tends to work best because you are listening to somebody guide you through the journey. Why not give it a try?

4.  Bedtime Yoga

Yoga is an ancient Indian practice that combines physical exercise, mental clarity and spiritual beliefs all rolled into one discipline. Bedtime yoga poses are very low-key and quite simple. Utilizing yoga just before going to bed can signal to your brain that slumber time is approaching. Poses such as forward bends, happy baby pose, cross-legged bends and corpse pose all have been shown to help the body prepare for restful sleep. Also for those who are a little more skilled, inversion poses like shoulder stands can help alleviate stress and calm the mind.

5. Acupuncture

Really? Getting poked with needles will help me sleep better? The simple answer is YES!  Acupuncture works with your own body to help bring it back into balance. If you have stress, you have an imbalance.  Acupuncture needles are strategically placed on points that will calm the mind, balance hormones and settle the nervous system. Most people will notice some change after just one treatment, but to get the full effect and truly eliminate insomnia, you should commit to several treatments. And always seek out a properly trained and fully licensed acupuncturist to get the best results.

There are many other ways to fight insomnia too, but these are some of the best. Give these five methods a try and then focus on the ones that resonate with you. Over time, your body and mind will thank you and there won’t be any harsh side effects…just good sound sleep. Sweet dreams!