Spring is here and the Nettles have come! The forest floor is starting to flourish with life as seeds are sprouting and popping out of the soil.
This month our focus is on the abundant nourishment that nettles brings us. Stinging nettles, get their name from the spiky cells that give off formic acid. This defense system is how nettles ward off herbivores from eating them. Even a soft touch of nettles can producing a burning prick on the skin. The burn is a quick reminder to be present and aware of the ecosystems and life that surrounds you. The nettle sting shows the strength and fortitude of these green abundant plants. They can grow in a variety of circumstances and places and continue to provide us with an supportive nutrition.
Nettles, or Urtica dioica in latin, have square stems and opposite leaves. This structure they share with the mint family, Lamiaceae, but are actually a part of their very own nettle family, Urticaceae. Nettles are native to the Pacific Northwest and are known medicinally for their super food benefits. Nettles are high in calcium, magnesium, boron, iron, beta-carotene and most B vitamins. The leaves and aerial parts of the plant are utilized for their nutrient, allergy, and diuretic support. Nettles are alkalizing for our bodies and, when taken regularly, can aid with seasonal allergies and hay fever. The roots of nettle have been used for kidney and prostate support.
Nettles, once broken down from heat, water, or friction are a delicious ingredient for cooking. Nettle pesto, nettle soups, and sauted nettles are just a few ways to add this plants nutrients into your diet. Nettles also make for a delicious tea infusion and can help to dry out the sinuses when sipped regularly!
At The Herb Shoppe, the nettle jar is always needing a refill this time of year. Whether for allergy or nutrient support, nettles are a tasty way to bring vitality into our bodies.
Our allergy and nettle blends include:
May your spring bring a supportive ease into the brightness ahead!