Tag Archives: allergies

Stinging Nettles Infusion

nettles

Nettles infusion is the Ultimate green drink!  Stinging Nettles ( Urtica dioica) are a nutritional powerhouse, yet gentle enough to drink daily.  Yes, this is the same common weed that will sting you when the leaves come into contact with your skin. Those fine hairs on the leaves, no longer sting when dried. Voila! From stinging plant when fresh, to medicinal herb when dried.   Here is the nutrient breakdown from world renowned Herbalist and author Susun Weed ;

Nettle Nutrition

“Nettle is a superior source of protein; 10 percent by weight.

Nettle is a rich storehouse of  readily-absorbable minerals, trace minerals, and micro-nutrients:

calcium (1000 mg per quart of infusion)

magnesium (300 mg per quart of infusion)

potassium (600 mg per quart of infusion)

zinc (1.5 mg per quart of infusion)

selenium (.7 mg per quart of infusion)

iron (15 mg per quart of infusion)

manganese (2.6 mg per quart of infusion)

plus chromium, cobalt, phosphorus, copper, sulphur, silicon, and tin.

Nettle is super-charged with vitamins:

Vitamin A (5000 IU per quart of infusion)

Vitamin B complex, especially thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate

Plus Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Vitamin K ”

While only  the  leaves and stalks are used for infusions,  the seeds and roots are also edible and medicinal and have other uses.  Juliette de Bairacli Levy, grandmother  of herbal medicine had this to say of nettles;  “The whole plant is powerful medicine from the roots to the seeds”

Stinging Nettles have a long history of medicinal use in Europe and may have an even longer history of use in China and even Mexico. The plant was also used as an excellent fiber for clothing and the stalks as rope.

The medicinal uses are so numerous, that if I were to list them all, it would take up a few pages and you likely would not make it to the instructions on how to make this green elixir! In addition to the traditional and folk uses, there are now studies that corroborate some of these uses. Here is a smattering of what nettles is known to be used for; Gout, allergies, hay fever, eczema, joint pain, BPH and urinary issues,  and increasing milk production in nursing mothers. Nettles on their own or together with red raspberry leaf and oatstraw, as an infusion are a natural nutritional  boost to pregnant mamas!

I have included some resources at the bottom, for those of you that want more in depth information about the history and medicinal uses of stinging nettles.

So, what do nettles taste like?  Cooked nettles taste similar to spinach. Powdered nettle leaf can be used in place of spirulina or other green powdered supplements for energy in smoothies or as tea.  The infusion, a mineral rich, emerald drink is not bitter not tart, but slightly green and delicious, really mild tasting.  It can be sweetened with honey, combined with other herbal infusions, other herbs like hibiscus, lemongrass or even with mint and ice.  Add spices and coconut or other milk and you have nettles latte!  Add to a fruit smoothie or natural fruit juice like cranberry and pour into molds  and freeze for a cold tasty treat, kids love.

Infusion recipe

1 ounce by weight of dried nettle herb. I get mine here

1 quart jar

boiling water

put the 1 oz of dried nettles in the quart jar and fill to the top with boiling water, stir and cover. Steep for at least 4 hours, even overnight. Strain the herb out and the infusion is ready for drinking.  nettles infusion should be refrigerated, right away and is good for up to two days.

Have you used stinging nettles for anything? what are some of your favorite nettle combinations? I would love to hear.

 

Resources ;  Susun Weed – Healing wise

http://nourishingherbalinfusions.com/Nettle.html

https://draxe.com/stinging-nettle/

https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/products/nettle-leaf/profile

 

 

 

 

 

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DIY saline nasal wash

image

Just in the past week two people have asked  me for my homemade saline nasal wash recipe, so  I know it’s time to post it on the blog.

You  may already know that I like  to make a lot of my own  natural products, and this is no exception! Often, it is easier than you think.  You get to  control the ingredients,  many of which you may have at home or can easily purchase. It is empowering, can be fun,  creative and frugal too.

Benefits of saline nasal wash

Most of you are probably familiar with nasal sprays and  have used a saline wash or spray at some point on yourself or with your little ones.  Here are some of the more common uses and benefits of a saline solution:

  • Daily nasal washes can help reduce symptoms for people with chronic sinusitis and allergies
  • Clears out thick mucous and helps reduce nasal congestion by thinning secretions
  • Helps to relieve nasal dryness
  • Reduces coughing and other symptoms of post nasal drip
  • Soothes inflamed membranes
  • Helps clear stuffy congested noses for infants and babies  who cannot yet blow their  own noses. Have you ever tried to nurse a baby with a stuffy nose? They cannot, they need their little noses to be cleared and this is a gentle and effective method. This can also help reduce and relieve their cold symptoms.

Saline solutions are similar in composition to that of our body and can actually cause less tissue damage and be more soothing than plain water. Obviously we are not talking here about pouring   a cup of salt into a cup of water…ouch – that would sting! It is all about ratio.

What is xylitol ? why do I add it?

Xylitol, is a sugar alcohol and is naturally found in low concentrations in the fibers of many fruits and vegetables and can also be extracted from fibrous material such as corn husks and birch.  Xylitol has long been used as a natural sweetener, although  there is some debate as to it’s  health benefits as such, mostly due to  the methods of it’s production.  There is also research showing that xylitol can help remineralize enamel and help prevent cavities.  Some of the early  studies conducted in Finland in the 1970s were already  showing the effectiveness of xylitol on the prevention of cavities.

Xylitol has been shown to inhibit the growth of bacteria by preventing them from sticking to the tissue. Bottom line, if they can’t stick they can’t cause infection.  Xylitol helps to reduce germs, irritants and pollutants.  So, adding xylitol to a nasal spray makes the saline solution even better!

 Some people add essential oils to their nasal washes and people often ask me about this.  While some oils are very effective at combating bacteria and preventing infections, many of them are not safe to use internally, especially with babies and kids and some oils can cause irritation as well as allergic reactions.

There is so much more information about xylitol and it’s uses for oral health, upper respiratory infections and even otitis media, but this post is really about adding it to your nasal wash.  If you are interested in reading more, HERE is an article about some of the uses with case reports.

Recipe

1 cup of boiled water  – It is very important to use boiled filtered or distilled water for this, since the amoeba that could be present in regular water can pose a real danger.

1/2 tsp salt – for infants I use 1/4 tsp – I use natural Real Salt like  this one

1 tsp xylitol

A pinch of baking soda

mix all the ingredients  in a glass jar and cover. After it has cooled  pour into smaller squirt bottles or spray bottles.  Use as often as needed.