This weekend I was fortunate enough to hear one of my heroines, Susun Weed, speak about herbal wisdom. I have enjoyed her books since I was a young woman, venturing into the Herb Room in Santa Cruz to smell and feel the herby goodness. Her book Wise Woman Herbal for the Childbearing Year has been an incredible ally both for my childbearing years, and as I help other women through theirs, as a doula. Susan is a fiery force of herbal wisdom and action. And one of her big messages was DRINK YOUR HERBS!
I have a nice big pantry with a nice big corner filled with nice big jars of dried herbs. I order my herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs, a company based in Eugene, and have always been pleased with the quality of their herbs. They were also the sponsoring organization for Susun's speech so I am grateful to them for the big reminders. I felt a bit sheepish that my lovely herbs have been so neglected. In the noise of my own home grown circus, I forgot to listen to their green voices. Susun reminded me in a not so gentle way that these are what sustain me.
What is an infusion? It's basically tea, but in this case, a very strong tea, made with a lot of plant material and steeped for a long time. Here is the basic recipe:
And now..... the moment you've been waiting for.
9 Reasons to Drink Nettles Infusion
1. Nettles will give us energy!
Forget the caffeine jolt. Nettles, when drunk regularly, will give our bodes sustained energy throughout the day. Why? Because they're filled with good things such as minerals: calcium, magnesium, chromium, cobalt, iron, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper and sulphur. Also, rich in B vitamins, and vitamins C, D and K. Curiously enough nettles also supply protein. This nutritional powerhouse is helpful to so many body systems, that our whole bodies thank us when we drink it!
2. Nettles will rock your energetic being!
Huh? Yeah, you know that expression of being nettling, kind of bugging someone to the point of distraction? Well, nettles have the power to shake up our our energetic systems, nerves, chakras, and more. What does this mean in English? Nettles effect more than just the surface and can actually be helpful in healing from chronic conditions.
3. Adrenal fatigue anyone?
Oh yes, this herby queen can help tone adrenals and kidneys, a friend to those with chronic UTI's or kidney stones, stress or the trauma of childbirth. (Are you in love yet? It gets better.)
4. Got a sore tummy?
Consistent use of nettles will help the whole digestive tract. Whether it's your liver, gall bladder, stomach or intestines, nettles help by tonifying the whole shebang and even shrinking hemorrhoids. (Use your infusion both internally and as a sitz bath--also great for after baby.)
5. Take a deep breath.
If asthma or allergies plague you, consider adding nettles to your regimen. Nettles restore and heal the respiratory system.
6. Nettles nourish new mamas!
If I could get my teenage daughters to drink nettles, they would surely thank me. I'm still working on that. But as their mother I have seen the positive effects from the time they were in utero. That's right, pregnant and nursing mamas, those finished having their babies and grannies among us can all benefit from nettles' positive effects on our reproductive and hormonal systems. Nettles supplies vitamin K and iron for pregnant mamas, increase the amount and quality of breast milk, and help mama to regain energy following baby's birth.
7. Nettles continue to nourish us as we age.
During Susun's talk she had all of the Crones stand. She asked them to stay standing if they drank herbal infusions. These Susun Weed groupies stood. She asked them to sit if they were 'missing anything', such as their uteri, or libidos. They stood. She asked if they had enough energy throughout their days. They stood. This is where I'm headed. I'd like to do it gracefully. Nettles are here to help.
8. Nettles nourish our beauty.
What's that? Not surprising--did you see how beautiful a plant it is? Heart shaped leaves, slightly fuzzy. Yeah, get over the stinging thing. Roses aren't the only plant who can be beautiful and a bit, ahem, prickly. Nettles' powerhouse of nutrition also nourish our skin and hair. In fact, make an extra batch of infusion and rinse your hair with it once a week. Your hair with thank you.
9. Nettles are delicious.
Seriously. If you happen to have a nettles patch near you, get out your scissors and your gloves. Taking just the top few levels of leaves as you go, and only if the plant has not gone to seed, gather a basket or bowl full of nettles. With your gloves still on, wash the nettles. With your gloves still on, chop the nettles. With your gloves still on, sauté the nettles in a little butter or coconut oil. Now you can take off your gloves and add this yummy green gold to your omlette, lasagne, soup.... the list goes on. If you're out walking, you can pick a leaf of nettle from the top, carefully folding it into itself and pop it into your mouth. See if you don't like it.
This information is for educational purposes only. I'm not a doctor and don't play one on TV. I am a mama and I'm sharing what has worked well for me. I also used information from Susun Weed's book Healing Wise, Rosemary Gladstar's book Family Herbal, and Jeannine Parvati's book Hygieia, A Woman's Herbal.