20 Mar Nettles, a nourishing tonic for free
In these tough times when we need to build our immunity and nourish our bodies we often forget that we are surrounded by an abundance of healthy foods for free. In every garden now the nettles are starting to grow offering up vibrant new growth. The young tops of this wonderful herb are packed with vitamins and minerals that can treat arthritis, asthma, eczema, anaemia, rheumatism, kidney stones, infections, inflammation, urinary problems, obesity, infertility and prostate enlargement.
Would you believe that the stinging nettle is one of the best plants for human health, a complete supplement of vital vitamins and minerals and growing in a hedgerow near you. Packed full of many nutrients including vitamin C and chlorophyll it makes a powerful spring tonic that can be made into a tea, soup, pesto and can be used as a vegetable like spinach. In fact no other green vegetable has such a large vitamin and mineral content.
Nettles can also reduce blood sugar levels and lower high blood pressure. If you are worried about the sting, immersing the plant into boiling water will neutralise the stinging cells.
Not only are nettles nourishing for us they also make a great plant food. Use the stems and lower leaves and place in a bucket, weigh them down and cover with water for about 4 weeks. It should then be ready to use by diluting one part of nettle concoction to 9 parts water and use to feed your plants. They will love it.
So if you want a nourishing supplement, a healthy tea, a hair tonic, a homemade beer, a wholesome soup you will find one of the best herbs for the job in your garden.