Stuff I Swear By - Nettle Tea
By the quart, baby. 'Cuz that's how I roll...
Yep. Urtica dioica. The stinging variety. But, not to worry, when dried or cooked the sting is deactivated.
Nettle tea, or more like an infusion in this case, is one of the suggestions I make in my PMS ebook, and I gotta say, while I had gotten away from making this for a while, I did get back to it this past month, and what a difference I felt in my cycle. Little to no mood swings, only one or two cramps, a brief drowsy spell easily alleviated by a quick nap. Unlike the all-day dragging I typically feel.
Was it the tea? Who knows? But nettle is rich in chlorophyll, and iron, which makes it ideal for that time of the month.
Because nettle is is a nutritive herb, it's gentle enough to ingest regularly and it is packed with calcium, magnesium, iron, B complex vitamins, C complex, vitamins A, D and K. It's long been traditionally used to strengthen the kidneys and adrenal glands. Perfect for so many of us who are stressed and now being diagnosed with yet another vague label, 'adrenal fatigue'.
Here's a cool article about nettle and how to use it, called "The Glory of Nettles".
As you can see, I make mine a quart at a time, as per Susun Weed's method (which you can learn about here). I drink it throughout the day and if for some reason, I don't make it through the whole jar (you will notice after about 12 hours, the liquid will turn a much darker green, and lose some of it's potency..after which you can use it as a nourishing hair rinse. (Healthy hair is a reflection of healthy Kidney chi... see how that works?)
How does it taste? Had to describe. Very mild though, and I usually put in a small amount of honey, though I think it would fine without it.
Where do I get nettles? Well, I do have a flourishing nettle patch in my yard (much to hubby's dismay) but when I've had to get it elsewhere, I order from Heartsong Farm Healing Herbs in New Hampshire. I buy it in bulk, because when you make it regularly and by the quart, it goes pretty quickly.
Heartsong is a little pricier than other places, but let me tell you, when you hold their stuff up next to, say a larger supplier whose product you find in health food stores, you will be amazed at the difference.. in color and texture, and in flavor. (And if herbs are processed in such a way that they still retain their vivid color, then you know they essential properties are still intact.)
**(Okay, a quick check shows that they are currently out for now.. another drawback of dealing with a small family farm.. but get on their mailing list, and in the meantime, check your local stores for what's available...)
Other benefits of nettle?
- Nettle shoots (eaten during the spring) helps to clean body of toxins
- Nettle tincture, started taken six weeks before allergy season hits is said to make that ordeal easier
- Reduces symptoms of goat and arthritis by improving the excretion of uric acid
- Used for treatment of urinary retention caused by enlarged prostate