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Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)

Another nourishing spring green, packed with iron & a multitude of vitamins & minerals. The young plants steamed, chopped into soups, stir fry, quiches....are a tasty green food, probably more nutritious than most spring greens & spinach you can buy in the shops. We should all be eating them now, just cook them briefly first!

As a tea they have a diuretic effect which helps eliminate water retention, relieves urinary problems & they also control bleeding.

So a good herb for blood in the urine from bladder infections or blood in the stool as many ulcerative colitis sufferers experience. Those who have heavy menstrual bleeding can eat this as a food to build iron levels preventing anaemia. Those with premenstrual water retention & heavy bleeding can drink it as tea 3x daily & eat it regularly during that time.

If you pick nettles, try to grab them from underneath as they are less likely to sting. Wearing gloves is clever but if you do get stung, rest assured you are doing your hands a favour by increasing blood flow to the area. This can relieve joint pain if done regularly. Many people purposefully sting their own knees, hands & back to reduce chronic joint pain. Mostly joint pain from weak ligaments or muscles that are not giving the joint the support it needs to move freely. The increased blood flow gives extra nourishment to the weak areas making them stronger. (Specific exercises would also be recommended, Qigong perhaps?) Knowing this though, gives us the perfect excuse to beat our husbands (or wives) with Nettles when they complain of any arthritic pain.

Still skeptical?... For a bladder infection, try the following recipe.

2 Nettle tea bags 2 Dandelion tea bags 1 Licorice root tea bag

(All available from most supermarkets or health food shops, if you prefer) Place them in a mug, pour boiling water over them & leave to stand until cooled. Remove bags & drink up to 3 x daily. They should feel almost immediate improvement with the next passing of urine.

Nettles are very safe & it is unlikely you will have any adverse effects from them. They are nutritious beyond belief, free & can be used as a weapon. What more can you want from a plant?!

One word of gentle warning.... If you are a Nettle tea drinker, drunk over a long period of time, is not so good for people who are weak or anaemic. As a tea it is not full of 'blood building' iron, you only get this if you eat it as a food. As tea, it tends to not only flush toxins & waste products from our bodies but can also rid us of certain nutrients we need. Over time this can make us weaker & tired, drained out. So always vary the herbal teas you drink.

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