Green With Envy
If there is one drink I ever do crave for all the right reasons, it would definitely be a Nettle infusion.
As is the case with most people that integrate a regular nettle infusion into their routine, I found myself to have much more energy, stamina and alertness. Some people also see a decrease in seasonal allergies, inflammation and more. The benefits are lengthy.
Once I started, I began craving this rich, grassy flavored green drink. For me, when I’m craving something (unless it is a cupcake) it means that there is something beneficial in there that my body needs. It took me some time to listen to my cues like this, now I’m intentionally tuning in to ensure my own wellness and working with others to help them develop this skill in listening to their own cues.
Nettle is a powerhouse plant packed with vitamin and mineral goodness. Because these minerals are in colloidal form (absorbed in plant material), they are highly bio-available for the body to absorb readily. I’ve found that I prefer to take in the whole plant and reap the rewards of all it’s beneficial goodness. The phytochemicals, or plant nutrients, and vitamins join forces to provide a much more effective health benefit than the nutrient taken alone. Which, for me, means I pitched all of my multivitamins (which are much harder for the body to absorb) in favor of a regular nettle infusion.
Nettles contain Calcium, Chromium, Cobalt, Iron, Iodine, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, Potassium, Riboflavin, Rutin, Selenium, Thiamine, Trace Minerals, Zinc. Just to name a few, phew! Nettles are also a great source of vitamins A, C and E, B complex vitamins and beta-carotene and are also 10 percent protein, the most of any other vegetable.
Nettles are highly anti-inflammatory. With the inflammatory lifestyles that many of us lead, Nettle is a welcome relief to all the inflammation that we must manage on a daily basis. Because of this anti-inflammatory benefit, Nettle can be particularly helpful with allergic rhinitis, arthritis pain and much more. The concentration of B vitamins provide support for relaxation and balancing stress chemicals in the body. High levels of bio-available calcium and magnesium help to balance the body and maintain the proper pH level in the blood as well as support bone growth. Nettle is often used as an anti-cancer herb in other countries.
If you follow the legendary and eccentric herbalist Susun Weed, you’ve certainly heard mention of her Nourishing Herbal Infusions. Which is, of course, where I’ve taken inspiration from. I drink an infusion every day, whenever possible. Nettle has become my fast favorite, but there are others that she recommends that have their very own benefits.
It’s simple to add a Nettle infusion into your routine. Simply prepare the infusion prior to bed and it will be waiting for you in the morning. I purchase organic dried Nettle in bulk quantities from Mountain Rose Herbs, however, it is widely available elsewhere (just be sure that the dried Nettle is green in color) or fresh Nettle can be foraged (just be mindful of the fact that this plant stings when you touch it).
1 Ounce (by weight) of dried or fresh Stinging Nettle
1 Quart of boiling water
1/2″ Licorice root or a pinch of Marshmallow Root (Optional: Include if you tend to have dry mouth, skin or eyes)
A pinch of dried mint or sea salt (Optional: Choose one or the other for taste)
Weigh 1 ounce of dried Nettle leaf with a kitchen scale. Add licorice or marshmallow if desired or mint or sea salt to taste. Pour 1 quart of just boiling water atop (you can use a quart sized mason jar or a french press). Cover tightly and steep for at least four hours (preferably overnight).