Mother Nature is miraculously wise. I will never stop learning from her and I never want to stop either. If there was one thing that I'm certain she'd want me to know for sure, it would be the language of her babies. Her babies that possess her wisdom. The plants of the earth. Wild edibles.
These greens that we are so quick to dismiss as weeds and name-call as invaders to our gardens are actually nature's fast growing babies, screaming for attention, trying to tell us something...
I used to go berserk over a weed which had reappeared just days after I've ripped it out of the ground, but I know better now.
I am fascinated by how quick it grows back because I know that its roots extend deeply into the earth- a clue to become grounded for when I choose to eat it.
I am amazed by how it doesn't only survive through any weather, it thrives during changing temperatures that fuel its cells- a clue to become energised for when I choose to eat it.
I am intrigued by how a weed could burn or sting us when touched- a clue that if it is that good at protecting itself, it will be that good at protecting and immunising us also.
Not every weed is the same and not every weed is edible of course, but you'd be happy to know that a plant growing in abundance all around the UK, Asia, USA and Europe is one that's not only safe for consumption, but is a proven panacea to pretty much any ache and ill. Introducing... Stinging Nettles!
Benefits of nettles are endless, but here are my top 8 reasons to add them into your diet:
The fresh juice of stinging nettles stimulates digestion, enhances the excretion of wastes via kidneys and gently cleanses your entire system.
Nettle teas have been used for centuries to stop urinary tract bleeding, slow down excessive menstrual flow and inhibit haemorrhoids.
CURE FOR ARTHRITIS
The chlorophyll in the cells of nettles is highly alkalising, which works to release the uric acid from the joints of gout patients. As the pH levels begin to rise, pain decreases along with any symptoms of gout, arthritis, fibromyalgia and other joint and tissue conditions.
As a powerful tonic and cleanser, it works hard to shake up the internal system, promote appetite, and distress and eliminate intestinal worms.
The leaves of nettles, which you can use in teas, juice through a juicer or flavour salads with are packed with iron, hence making it an effective treatment for building blood, anaemia and chronic fatigue.
HAIR GROWTH STIMULANT
Applied topically, nettles stimulate the scalp, increase hair growth, strengthen the hair and prevent baldness. It's been proven to restore greying hairs to their original pigment and relieve dandruff too.
PERFECT SKIN REMEDY
Used as a wash, a nettle decoction will rejuvenate the skin and eliminate warts. A nettle tea, taken internally and applied externally at the same time is a great relief for eczema and acne.
This is one of the amazing [and once realised, obvious] clues that Mother Nature provides us. As a way of making you react with nettle allergies, like hay fever, asthma and hives, it is trying to bring our attention to what is missing in our system. In this case stinging nettle leaves used as a herbal treatment are usually the remedy to such allergies, being full of biologically active compounds which reduce inflammation.
Otherwise, go for it, get some gloves on and start picking your own nettles! If you can get them from a forest, growing away from pollution- even better, no need to wash! Here I'm sharing some pictures with you of my recent trip to my dear client's holiday home in Le Touquet, France, where nettles grew like they were in a race and we were only happy to pick them for our juice...
|Just 2 hours from busy London city and you are in the most serene country side and a different country!|
|We found a tractor!|
|I am blown away by this image, as I took it without a person in sight, but looks like nothing stops an angel.|
|Geri's country house has literally every sporting equipment and game imaginable. Fun!|
|I love to fly. I love to jump. And I don't mind a bit of trampolining action. Not one bit!|
|Who needs a caption, when you can see this with your eyes.|
|I think I may have taken about 100 shots of every angle and still I could take 100 more.|
|Nights are for movie watching by the fire.|
|The house has 7 bedrooms and sleeps 15 people, you can rent it! Ask me for Geri's contact details.|
|The room that saw the most action- we juiced our wild edibles, ate dehydrated snacks and chatted for hours.|
|Country side meets Nature meets France. All in one cosy, beautiful house.|
|Some friends saying hello.|
|Paris Plage is just over an hour drive away!|
|Apart from NZ, this is by far the most active beach of kite surfing, biking, swimming, running, playing and horse riding I've ever seen.|
|And something equally as fascinating in my books was this! Our ride back home... under water, through the ocean from France to England, inside EuroTunnel. Incredible!|
And because I can't just list a heap of reasons to take nettles, but not leave you with a way to do just that, here is a recipe, which is both easy and tasty...
SWEET NETTLE JUICE
Large bowl of nettles (or a mix of wild edibles)
1 celery sprig
-Pick the nettles using gloves so they don't sting you and use either tongs or gloves to transfer them into your juicer with.
-Slice the rest of the ingredients and feed them, including the rind of the lemon, through a juicing chute.
-Stir and enjoy.