Happy Gut Water Kefir Nettle Tonic
Optional: 2-3 tablespoons organic beet juice for color and sweetness
Ideal for spring allergies, inflammation and boosting the immune system.
April’s Super Food of the Month
Stinging Nettles (Urtica dioica)
With the start of spring comes the return of amazing plant medicines.
Nettles are well-known for the sting they can cause if brushed up against in the wild, but did you know that these amazing plants are also incredibly beneficial for treating a number of conditions? It has been used as medicine since as early as Ancient Greece.
While the prickly, stinging sensation from fresh leaves can be a little bothersome (wear gloves when handling it to eliminate the issue), nettles are a perennial flowering plant with powerful healing properties. To name a few:
*anti-inflammatory- nettles assist with swelling and inflammation of muscles and joints, especially with osteo and rheumatoid arthritis. Nettles are often used along side NSAID medications so that patients can decrease the amount that they take. This is beneficial as NSAIDs can cause stomach irritation. Both ingesting and directly applying nettles to aching joints has been shown to decrease symptoms.
*allergy relief- nettles contain a natural antihistamine which is excellent for allergies or breathing-related problems, making it the perfect addition to a spring diet.
*Urinary and prostate disorders- nettles can aid in the recovery from UTIs and Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH/enlarged prostate).
*Nettles are rich in serotonin, histamine (which sounds backwards, but is the main reason they decrease allergy symptoms) and ascetylcholine (a neurotransmitter)
Nettles can be prepared in tea, sauteed like spinach (the flavor is very similar), used as a topical in a poultice, ointment or salve, or dried and put into capsules for easy ingestion. We love making nettle pesto, nettle soups, and even using nettles in our second ferment water kefir!