Nettle is one of my favorite herbs. This heart shaped leaf is incredibly easy to incorporate into your everyday life and is beneficial for so many reasons. From reducing symptoms of pms, water retention, and low iron to increasing your digestive system activity, supporting the adrenals, and detoxifying the blood, nettle has an earthy, rich flavor that might take a few cups of tea to get used to but will soon become addicting! It can also be made into a skin treatment to help with hair growth, eczema and acne.
Since I’ve started drinking nettle tea, I have noticed a huge difference in the way my menstrual cycle dictates my day to day activity. Estrogen and progesterone levels are constantly changing and being able to provide my body with a woman’s herb that I really connect with is incredible. Cramps are lessening and the bloating and mood swings are under some sort of control. Nettle truly comforts the body- mentally, physically and emotionally. The best thing about nettle is that it is suitable for any stage in life. If you are trying to provide your body with nourishment during your period, nettle is the way to go. If you are going through menopause, nettle has the ability to reduce some of the symptoms that come along with the aging process. I have even heard stories that an application of nettle to your head can help hair grow back!
During pregnancy, nettle can be used after the first trimester as a way to increase your iron stores. It also has amazing anti-inflammatory properties if you find that you are prone to swelling or pain in your limbs. As a uterine tonic, nettle helps strengthen your uterus and prepares your body for child birth and lactation.
When I make teas for clients, I like to use nettle as the base. Depending on their taste and stage in pregnancy, I will add in Lemon Balm, rose, lavender, dried orange peel, red raspberry leave, mint, or an abundance of spices. Nettle has a very earthy taste that some people do not enjoy but it is easy enough to transform the flavour you bring to any cup.
One of the best parts about loving this hearty, earthy green plant is that it grows in abundance around Vancouver Island. When the spring time comes around, I love heading out in the late morning to collect the top leaves of the plants for fresh pesto, broth and tea. I take the leaves and dry them out on a flat surface or hang them in bunches until they are ready to be crumpled and jarred for tea. If you are not much of a harvester, you can most definitely purchase nettle tea at almost any grocery store. I love the Traditional Medicinals brand because they leave little notes on the tea bags that always bring me back into myself.
With Love, from Ficus