All Things Herbal

WHERE NATURE MEETS HEALTH

Spring: Love of the Wildflowers and Nourishment from Nettle and Dandelion

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wild Mustard flower

photos and article by Jessica Shepherd

Spring is afoot!   Fresh green growth sprouts from barren trees as life springs forth and thrives again. Our resting plant friend’s wake up and grow putting all their energy upward, and we too, begin sloughing off the winters introspection and rest, to set our selves—or rather “spring” ourselves back into motion.  Its that “feverish” season where we “clean house” and are inspired to tend the seeds of our dreams and hearts desires, work to cultivate them into our bountiful gardens, then have them be our fruit of reality come fall time.  Now is when we can turn to the Green and let the plants nourish us– body and spirit, helping to process away that which no longer serves us— and bring balance to assimilate all that will nurture, build, and revitalize us.  And the Spring flowers bloom too, fitting that the sensory organ of Spring according to Traditional Chinese Medicine is the eyes.  So much to see!  Rhododendrons, Irises, Trilliums, Lilly’s, the bright yellow flowers of the Wild Mustard, Lilac’s, Daisies,  California poppy’s, Apple and Cherry blossoms galore and more!  For the herbalist it gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “eye candy”!

In this Spring-time moment, I feel the plants, trees, and flowers are so content and happy to offer their love and I am marinating in it– just soaking it up—saying thank you, and I love you too!  I am present in the peace of nature, and am so grateful for all the lush green plants and bouquets of wildflowers scattered about the forest floor and the mountainside hills and meadows.

mountain side meadow of wildflowers

Spring is the season of the Wood element in Traditional Chinese Medicine, which is ruled by our Liver and Gallbladder.  Our bodies “filters” are always hard at work for us, and doing all they can to process whatever we send our bodies way, in addition to what we are exposed to environmentally—some things healthy and great, and some things we give thanks to have a liver for!  So it’s a fitting time to pay some extra care and attention to those organs through the support of nourishing herbs and foods.  For this herbal ode’ to Spring post (its a long one, maybe best read in the evening with a warm mug of tea!), I ask you join me in celebrating two powerhouse spring tonics most of us know and adore: Nettle and Dandelion.

First up is the one the only Nettle–Stinging Nettle that is…

IMG_8080

Nettle  Urtica dioica

…“Our nurse would not come nettle hunting.  Mary (the cook) would, and what is more, she made and doled out the nettle beer.  It was lovely to think that whole beds of nettles were entirely yours to do as you liked with and that, literally, no one cared if you picked the lot”… –excerpt from the book: The Surprising Life of Constance Spry by Sue Shephard

Spring is the perfect time for honoring the deep green nourishing beauty of the Nettle plant.   Many of us have met this plant and have felt the sting–you feel the tingles (ouchie!) and know you are alive!!  For me, it is a reminder to wake up, become alert, active and present in the current moment—alive, and receptive to nature’s wisdom and beauty.  No wonder Nettle was traditionally used for inactivity—if I brush upon it and feel its little sting I am “activated” and energized!  The Nettle plant is one of the first herbs I learned of and has always remained one of my favorites.  I love to put a few fresh leaves in cool water letting it steep for some hours as this delicate infusion tastes like the essence of the Green!

And like the excerpt above mentions, if you are lucky enough to find a big ole’ patch or even have one in your yard, you are a very happy foraging herbalist!  Most folks will not become as excited as us over these finds—I remember my neighbor giggled at me when I beamed in delight over the wild nettles in each of our backyards, before he could finish giggling I was rattling off all the wonders of the nettle and he was impressed.

patch of Nettles

I won’t “pick the whole lot” but, a good paper bag full or two, of vibrant green, young upper leaf clusters will get the job done.  Yes, gloves are worn in this process, and long pants and my rubber boots too!  I am entering a Nettle patch after all!  The stinging hairs on the leaves and stems release acids when touched like an injection–acetylcholine (a histamine), galacturonic acid, oxalic acid, tartaric acid and formic acid to name a few.  Once released, these acids cause a reaction with the skin, the “sting” can itch and leave a slight rash and raised welts, but for most people the itch subsides shortly.  However, being able to properly identify Nettle, and harvesting wearing gloves makes your chances of getting “stung” quite minimal.  Not to mention, as we herbalist’s all love to point out, there are usually other plants that act as antidotes to the Nettle sting that tend to grow close by—like yellow dock or plantain leaves to make into an on the spot poultice for soothing the sting.  Even the juice of the fresh nettle leaf itself is claimed to be an antidote of its own sting!   The sting has in fact been used as a topical application, called flagellation, or urtication—where the fresh plant is essentially used in a whipping action for stimulating inactive organs (even paralyzed limbs) and nerves and also to relieve specific types of pain.  Flagellation is not a very common practice these days but some still practice it, and some books even deem it as the oldest known use of the nettle.

Harvesting:  Spring and Early Summer when the leaves are not as tough, and the young upper leaf clusters and stems are best to harvest.  Once Nettle goes to seed and has become rather tall (it can reach up to 9ft!) it is too concentrated in silica and renders it past the recommended time to gather leaf—but in temperate climates you can get a second growth of nettle and harvest again once the new growth sprouts, or if you have a patch you can cut it back after your first spring pick to yield another one!

Parts used: All parts—seed, root, leaf, stem, of this plant have some use and overall nettle provides food, fiber, and of course medicine. The nettle stems have fibers running through them that have been used to make cordage, netting, even clothing—the linen is of fine quality and is able to last a long time, in fact some ancient burial sites of western China have discovered 2,000 year old nettle clothing still in perfect condition.  It is a time consuming process to make the fiber into clothing but presently some herbalist’s are putting the efforts in, and are making their own nettle fabric and other wares from the fibers.

 Medicinal properties of the stem and leaf:

Coined the “spirulina” of the plant kingdom by the late and great herbalist Michael Moore, ounce for ounce Nettle leaf contains twice the amount of protein as spinach, and while we’re at it– more protein than any other native plant. It is also rich in: iron, calcium, magnesium, amino acids (lysine), protein, potassium, silicon, manganese, zinc, chromium, selenium, beta-carotene, sulfur, and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, C, and E.

I agree with the renowned and most beloved herbalist Rosemary Gladstar that nettle is “…one of the superior tonic herbs and is as important as many of the famous Chinese “long life” herbs”.  Nettle is a highly nutritive alterative that tones and strengthens the entire system.   The mineral rich tea helps to add electrolytes and alkali to assist the buffering system when under stress making Nettle leaf a wonderful tonic for the adrenals that have become taxed from excess or prolonged stress. 

It restores and aids the liver and kidneys to cleanse the body of toxins and waste—essential for vitality and energy; builds and nourishes our adrenals aiding with our stress response and how our system processes stress; nettle leaf helps build up a healthy supply of blood in the body and purify unwanted waste and uric acids from the bloodstream resulting in clearing up skin conditions and some inflammatory conditions like arthritis and in particular gout. The nutritive rich tea is well known to use for strengthening and promoting healthy hair, bones, teeth, and nails.  It has anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory effects employed for seasonal allergies and hayfever– for this you may try seeking out fresh “freeze” dried nettle in capsule form, as it has been found that the formic acid contributes to its antihistamine effects and that acid is only present in the fresh plant. It has also been used for myalgia, osteoarthritis, and arthritic conditions.  The amazing herbalist Matt Wood writes: “Nettle is a remedy that gets the job done.  It works with complicated protein building blocks to build some of the most complicated molecules used in the body.  It is a highly nutritious food which supplies these materials, but it also supplies the know-how, the intensity, to use them”.

Nettle leaf is also a reproductive tonic for women and men, and a mild diuretic helpful for edema and water retention.  Nettle has been used as a galactagogue (to enrich and increase the flow of breast milk) in nursing mothers, and can aid in restoration and recovery after childbirth building back up the blood supply. It has also been used as a post surgery recovery tonic to facilitate healing and to build back vitality.

Whew, I know the list of nettle’s benefits are plentiful (and there are even more!)—I never get tired of an Herbalist speaking or writing about nettles, and in all my many years of working at an herb shop I always loved filling the big bulk glass jar– to only empty it time and time again to happy nettle seeking customers!  Your pet companion’s can also benefit from nettles minerals and vitamins as well– helping to promote a healthy skin and coat, and offering support to the liver, urinary tract, and immune system.  A little sprinkle of the powder on food is a great way to incorporate it and it pairs very well with powdered dandelion leaf for a green sprinkle.  You can start with a 1/4 tsp. per 10 lbs. of animal body weight.

Preparations: Fresh young Nettle leaves have a deliciously mineral rich green flavor. Once prepared for use and the sting is removed (which is a quick and easy process), nettle can be used to replace spinach in all types of recipes.

The acids that cause the sting deteriorate rapidly once the leaf is dried or dehydrated, or gently steamed or boiled for about 15 minutes, just long enough to wilt and remove the acids.  To blanch nettles, use tongs to transfer the leaves into a pot of salted boiling water, wait 30 seconds, then remove to a bowl or sink of ice-cold water to stop the cooking process—then squeeze out excess water with your hands and the nettles are ready to go. To boil nettles, fill a pot with the nettle leaves and add 1-2 cups of water, bring it to a simmer turning the leaves a few times with tongs until wilted, then drain into a colander, when cool chop and use.  Remember if you blanch, steam, or boil nettle leaf to use the water that many of the vitamins, chlorophyll, and nutrients have ended up in—sip on it as tea, add it to soup stocks etc. it’s the goods and you don’t want it to go to waste—your houseplants will even thank you for it if you treat them to a sip!

You can freeze harvested young nettle tips after blanching, to store for future use throughout the year. Hooray for Nettles all year round!

Nettle leaf can be made into infusions (tea)—hot, and cold; I like to use 1 heaping tablespoon per cup of water of dry leaf and about 2 tablespoons of fresh, bring your water to a boil add the leaf and remove from heat.  You can infuse it for a minimum of 20 minutes and up to overnight.

Other yummy things to do with Nettle leaf: pickle nettle tops in apple cider vinegar with a bit of honey and garlic-Yum! ;dried and chopped leaves are great for use in seasoning and marinade blends; nutrient rich syrups can be made and no doubt the endless array of culinary options like mineral rich soups and broths, purees, lasagnas, stir-fry’s, quiches, simply just steamed with balsamic lemon and olive oil, of course there is spanakopita-gone-nettle too; nettle pesto is super yum,  also fantastic to powder after its been dried and you can add it to smoothie herb powder blends, and of course leaf powder or finely chopped leaf can be added to seasoning blends to be liberally sprinkled upon meals. As I have always been taught (thanks Jane!) “Eat your medicine!”  Give thanks for and to the lovely green Nettle!

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Nettle Hazelnut Pesto from Greg Higgins, Higgins Restaurant Portland, OR

2 cups Nettle Leaves, lightly blanched

2 cups Italian parsley leaves

2 cups crumbled feta cheese

2 cups hazelnuts, toastes

¼ cup minced garlic

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

freshly ground pepper

Salt

Rough chop the nettle and the parsley leaves. Combine in a mixing bowl with the feta cheese, hazelnuts, garlic, and oil and pulse in batches in the food processor or crush with trusy mortar and pestle until thick and saucy. Season to taste with salt and fresh ground pepper.  Serve on pasta or as a sauce or dip—you know the deal!  And reminder: pesto freezes well!

Nettles Gone Spanikopita

1/3 cup olive oil

2 pounds fresh nettle leaf, lightly washed and drained (wear gloves!)

1 bunch scallions, white and green parts, chopped

1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 pound feta cheese, crumbled

1 to 2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted

1 pound filo pastry sheets

You can make this in a casserole dish or you can fold them into “triangles”.

Click this link to get the full preparation instructions as I just adapted the ingredients from a Food Network recipe.  Click here for those instructions at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/spanakopita-spinach-triangles-or-pie-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback

 Spring Nettle and Savory Herbs Sprinkle

1 part Nettle leaf powder

1/2 part Parsley

½ part Marjoram

½ part Thyme

¼ part Oregano

¼ part Garlic granules

Mix all above dried herbs together and keep in a glass jar.  This tasty sprinkle can be liberally added to all types of dishes try it on: roasted veggies and potatoes, eggs, baked chicken, salads, and its especially good on a little bit of toasted bread with olive oil.  Lots of possibilities with this sprinkle and also plenty of room for your own twists—like adding some seaweed powder or dulse flakes.

 Spring Nourish-Me Tea

1 part dried Nettle leaf

1 part dried Dandelion leaf

½ part dried Oatstraw Tops

½ part dried whole Red Clover Blossoms

½ part dried Peppermint leaf

½ part dried Orange Peel

¼ part dried Hibiscus

This is a simple and highly nutritive tea to enjoy during the Spring season.

Mix ingredients together in a bowl—making sure to infuse your intentions of love and nourishment into the blend as you mix. Then use 1 heaping tablespoon per cup of water.  Bring water to a boil and pour over the herbs and letting them steep for at least 15-20 minutes and as long as overnight.  Then strain off the herbs and you can enjoy up to two-three cups of tea per day throughout the Spring to offer support to your liver and nourish your body.

Fresh Spring Garden Sun Tea

Spring Garden tea

Celebrate spring with simple garden infusions—depending on what you may have coming up like lemon balm, rosemary, marjoram, a dandelion or two, violets, nettle, and perhaps some sort of mint—I currently have an orange mint.

Grab a quart jar or larger if you desire—forage around your garden and yard picking fresh sprigs, blossoms, leaves—whatever is vibrant and calls to you.  I usually end up with about ¾ to 1 cups worth of “fresh picked herbage” that I then set in my glass jar, pour cool water over the herbs, put the lid on and let it sit in a sunny spot for at least 2-3 hours– up to overnight.

This is a marvelous way to connect with the fresh energy of the Spring season and taste the delicate essences and aromatics of the vibrant plants in your yard and garden.

Here are the herbs I chose for my most recent Garden Tea: Lime Thyme, Lemon Balm, Rosemary sprig, Orange Mint, sprig of Lavender flower, Pineapple spearmint, English Daisy, Nettle Leaf, Redwood Needle sprig, and Dandelion blossom and leaf–Yum!

And next up– that infamous weed with the very easily recognized yellow flower head sometimes referred to as “Fairy Clock” or “Blowball”—yup I’m talkin’ bout’ Dandelion.  

Spring Dandelion's--make your wish!

 

 Dandelion  Taraxacum officinale

“Eat em’ don’t weed em’ ” one of my favorite pro-Dandelion slogans from Dr. Peter Gail and the folks who make a concentrated herbal coffee substitute called Dandy Blend.  Every now and then I catch a “weed killer” commercial with a dramatic plot to eradicate the Dandelion from your yard—a chemical battle never to be won my friends, this is a longevity herb that will sprout right through the cracks of concrete to say ha! –“the Green shall prosper!”  dandelion growing out from concrete

My lawn is only about 15% Dandelions and that’s fine by me, they are more than welcome to stay in my yard!  I always enjoyed talking with folks at the herb shop I worked at about this terrorized weed—people new to herbs as medicine are generally surprised at how much the dandelion offers–giving them reason to hopefully not want to kill it!  The dandelion too is such accessible and abundant medicine packed with minerals and vital nutrients.  Not to mention who hasn’t felt the magic of getting to make a wish on a seeded dandelion head!  Many common weeds in your backyard are able to heal common ailments and beyond—thanks Mother Nature! You need not seek out an exotic “designer” plant from a whole different bioregion when the dandelion and nettle are thriving right there in your own neck of the woods.

A superb spring green or potherb, and fantastic nutritive alterative, the tender young leaves are quite tasty and can be incorporated into culinary dishes, or with a little sautéed garlic, onion, olive oil, and balsamic it can be a side dish all on its own.

Dandelion

Medicinal Properties of the Leaf and Root: The leaf is generally used as a nutritive tonic and is high in potassium. Compared to romaine lettuce, dandelion greens have 4 times the vitamin C, 7 times the Vitamin A, and twice the amount of potassium!  The leaves are also higher in beta-carotene than carrots!  It also offers a bio-available form of iron, and calcium—way more than spinach contains.  Also vitamins C, A, B (1,2,5,6, and 12), E, P, D, biotin, inositol, lecithin, phosphorus, zinc and contains the sugar inulin.

Herbalist and Acupuncturist Leslie Tierra says “taken cool, dandelion leaf tea is one of the most effective diuretics, as effective as Lasix, and because it is rich in potassium, it isn’t as harsh, thus cleansing the kidneys, eliminating water retention and lowering blood pressure.”  I saw this to be true with a lot of the folks I helped while working at a local herb shop. Some folks with water retention issues found relief, and women whom had cyclical swelling in their breasts with tenderness to the touch also gave positive feedback about dandelion leaf tea.

white milky "sap" of the dandelion stem

The white milky sap of the dandelion stem used as a folk remedy for getting rid of warts!

The leaf gently supports the detoxification of the liver and has an affinity for building and cleansing the kidneys. The milky white sap squeezed from the fresh stems of the dandelion is touted as an old folk remedy as an effective topical treatment of warts, moles,calluses, and can sooth stings and blisters.  Why not try– if it’s already growing in the front yard?

Dandelion root is a superior safe and gentle, liver and gallbladder cleanser helping to strengthen the entire body and promote the building and restoration of vitality. The root promotes bile flow and reduces inflammation of the bile duct.  It has the capacity to clear stagnation and/or sluggish liver activity by aiding in liver function stimulation, thus helping the liver more effectively eliminate toxins from the bloodstream.  With modern lifestyle and a diet too rich in dairy, meat, sugar, white flour etc. it’s rather easy to put a load on the liver to deal with.  In addition, pent up feelings or repressed emotions, and stress also add their toll to the work of our liver and can manifest symptoms like anger, rage, short-temper, irritability, and even depression.  Dandelion root tea is “…recommended for stressed-out, internally sluggish, and sedentary people.  Anyone who’s a victim of excessive fat, white flour, and concentrated sweeteners could benefit from a daily cup of dandelion tea ” says “Wildman” Steve Brill.

The root has a high content of lecithin, which contributes to its liver supportive qualities, and in particular works as a liver protector that some say can even help with the prevention of cirrhosis of the liver. It also has reported use for hepatitis, reduces liver swelling in jaundice.  With its high mineral content dandelion root is an excellent blood purifier useful for conditions like eczema, dermatitis, and acne.  The root is also a mineral rich blood builder used for treating mild anemia and promoting vitality.  A well-known “bitter” that stimulates all digestive glands and organs, dandelion root gets the juices flowing like– bile secretion, hydrochloric acid production, and digestive enzymes thus rousting the appetite and supporting more efficient break down, and assimilation of nutrients from our food.  It is a chart-topper when needing an herbal coffee substitute—when the root is roasted, it pairs very well with chicory root and together they make what some herbalist’s call “Cowboy Coffee”.  Not only is it a rich, roasty, bitter tasting stand in for coffee, its going to help repair and restore your liver from your coffee habit–if you have one! I know I like a good cup, I am not afraid to admit it—some have gotten off coffee altogether with their yummy roasted root blends.  And some just make sure they have a cup of dandelion root tea a few times a week to counter the effects of the coffee they consume—hey better than nothing!

The name Taraxacum actually translates to “bitter herb” in Arabic and Persian, but it does such a balanced job at it—I would describe it as “gracefully bitter”.  It is full bodied indeed, but unlike other bitter herbs that can become intensely bitter and almost intolerable like gentian or goldenseal etc. to drink, dandelion root even after steeping for a while, remains palatable. The root contains inulin which is a sugar that doesn’t promote increased production of insulin, like refined sugars do, so with that being said it is a great herb to consider and incorporate into a wholistic regime for mature onset diabetes and hypoglycemia, and can also act as a specific herb in blood sugar balancing tea blends and formulas.

dandelion blossoms and leaf

Harvesting: Leaves, usually before it flowers when tender and smaller—although I have read of people preferring after it flowers so try for yourself and see!  This herb is pretty perpetual in most climates so prime harvest of the root is late fall and early to mid spring.  For some climates you can harvest year round!

Be sure to harvest in areas that have not been treated with pesticides or herbicides!  Some of us (depending on where you live) can also find dandelion leaves these days at your local natural food store or Co-op in the produce section or at your Farmer’s Market

Preparations: The root of the dandelion can be simmered into a decoction: take 1-2 tsp. dried root per cup of water and simmer in a saucepan with the lid on for 15-30 minutes.

To make an infusion from the dandelion leaf use 1 tbsp. dry or 2 tbsp. fresh per cup of water, bring water to just about a boil then turn off from heat add your herbs and let steep covered for 15-30 minutes or longer if desired.

To roast your dandelion root place dry chopped root on a cookie sheet, preheat oven to around 250 degrees and slow roast for about 45 minutes Otherwise if its fresh chopped roots your using, do the same process but allow for it to take up to 3 hours to slow roast and dry for use in tea’s etc.

You can also roast the dry root on a cast iron skillet over low heat until it reaches a nice roasted brown color about 15-20 minutes.

Most folks generally drink 1-3 cups of tea per day depending on their needs and sensitivities.

The leaves are wonderful in salads, sautéed, or steamed. Great in lasagna, pasta dishes, spanakopita and quiche and even in your green smoothie!  The flower petals can also be tossed into salad adding a bright floral element and texture.  Dandelion flowers have also been made into wine, syrups, pickled, added to stir fry, or even dipped in batter to become fritters.  The root can be added to soups, and grains can be cooked in the decocted tea (after straining out the roots).

“Rootsie Tootsie” Tea

Roasty rich and rootsie, this tea supports and nourishes the liver, aids digestion, and relieves indigestion and gas, and can also help to balance blood sugar levels and help with sugar cravings.

1 part dried roasted Dandelion root (raw/unroasted is fine too!)

1 part dried roasted Chicory root

½ part dried anise seeds (fennel seeds are good too)

¼ part orange peel

¼ part dried cinnamon chips

Mix together above ingredients.  Use a nice heaping teaspoonful of the blend per cup of water.  In a saucepan bring your water to a boil toss in your root blend, put the lid on and turn heat to a very low simmer for about 15-25 minutes.  Strain off herbs and enjoy your richly bitter with a hint of sweet, herbal tea.  You can make a quart or so at a time if you want and keep the extra in your refrigerator—it will be good for about 3 days and you can just re-heat it as you want a cup.

Dandelion Pasta (adapted from an Herb Companion magazine recipe)

3 cups prepared dandelion greens

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 garlic cloves

½ cup diced spring onions

¼ to ½ cup of kalamata olives

1 green bell pepper cut into strips

1 red bell pepper cut into strips

½ pound cooked pasta

Parmesan cheese to taste

Cook dandelion greens in 2 quarts salted boiling water for about 7 minutes  Drain and squeeze greens dry and set aside

Sautee’ garlic, onions, and peppers in olive oil.  Add the greens and kalamata olives to this mixture and stir, then add it all into your desired cooked pasta, tossing with salt and pepper and grated parmesan to taste.

Dandelion Sautee’ from Wildman Steve Brill

Serves 4-6

3 cups chopped onion

3 tbsp. olive oil

4 cups chopped dandelion leaves

2 cups grated carrot

several cloves of garlic, minced

1 tbsp. of wine

1 tbsp. tamari soy sauce

black pepper to taste

Sautee’ the onions in the olive oil.  When soft, add the dandelions, carrot, garlic, wine, and soy sauce.  Cook for 10-20 minutes until all the flavors blend.

Liver Support  Massage Oil– a nourishing general tonic to support  the liver “the organ that regulates and replenishes life force”, it can be also used on areas of tension and stagnation to reduce inflammation and get the blood moving.  It can also support water retention and mild female hormonal imbalances (our liver plays a big role in “filtering” out excess hormones from the body) like pms, and irritability especially if coupled with some dandelion root tea!

  • First make your Dandelion blossom oil 2 oz. To make this: Take fresh blossoms and let them wilt for a day or so to release some of the water content.  Place the herb in a glass jar and cover over plant material a good 2 inches above it with the oil (olive oil, sunflower oil, or even castor oil are all great choices) and seal the jar with a lid.  Let it sit in a sunny window or counter for 2-4 weeks, shaking it every few days to cover all the surface area of the plant material.  Strain and viola’ you have your herbal infused Dandelion Blossom oil!  It has been used topically to support the overall health of the liver and general metabolism.IMG_1593
  • Next, add to this herbal infused oil the following liver supportive and regenerative essential oils:

5 drops Carrot Seed essential oil--one of the most effective liver regenerating and stimulating essential oils there are!

2 drops of Rosemary essential oil- stimulating, anti-inflammatory,

 3 drops of Juniper Berry essential oil- invigorating and energizing, supportive to breaking up stagnation and getting things           moving

5 drops of Lavender essential oil--  a harmonizer to the blend and my favorite stress-buster, promotes peace and relaxation while also helping to calm tension and stiff muscles

4 drops of Lemon essential oil– a well known “cleanser” and antiseptic with a cheery and  uplifting disposition

  • Now to create the whole combination:  Take a 2 ounce amber bottle and add the essential oils drop by drop to it. Then, fill the bottle with the Dandelion Blossom infused oil you made.  Shake it all up to mix the e.o.’s well.  Label and Date your creation and its ready for use.  

The oil can be massaged over the liver area of the body which is located on your right side, upper quadrant area below your diaphragm.  You can massage the oil over this area for liver support, and you can also use this massage oil on any other muscles or areas of the body experiencing tightness, stiffness, or where any stagnation seems to be causing tension– for a lot of us that is the neck and shoulders.  If you don’t want to make this oil but are interested in purchasing something similar I recommend trying Dandelion Dynamo a fabulous infused oil offered by Flower Essence Services, the link I provided also includes their descriptive actions of the oil which can be applied to the above recipe I am sharing.

Make a Wish!

Make a Wish!

Happy Spring!—Give thanks to the Earth—“The Earth is our Mother–We must take care of Her/ Her sacred ground we walk upon, we must take care of Her!” 

May you delight in the Green this Spring and let nature’s Wild Garden nourish and feed you body and soul. 

May love bloom in your heart!

A hummingbird moth--the first I have seen!  Hovering over the wildflowers!

A hummingbird moth–the first I have seen! Hovering over the wildflowers!

Sources Cited:

Besides Author’s own thoughts, feelings, and acquired knowledge from her cherished Herbal Teacher’s the following books:

Identifiying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild (and Not So Wild) Places by “Wildman” Steve Brill  with Evelyn Dan

Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast by Pojar and Mackinnon

Peterson Filed Guide Western Medicinal Plants and Herbs by Hobbs and Foster

Staying Healthy With the Seasons by Elson Haas, M.D.

Pacific Feast by Jennifer Hahn (I am loving this book right now!)

The Surprising Life of Constance Spry by Sue Shephard

The Humorous Herbalist by Laurel Dewey

Healing With the Herbs of Life  by Lesley Tierra

 Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health by Rosemary Gladstar

The Book of Herbal Wisdom Using Plants as Medicine by Matthew Wood

and of course you can always find vibrant herbs and supplies through Humboldt Herbals–I am not an affiliate, nor do I make any money off of this blog it is just to share and spread information out of love for the plants and people!

a fun song for Spring if for some reason you are still here reading–Thank You So Much for reading what I have to share!

*This post is intended to be an exchange of information in hopes to keep the herbal tradition alive and well.  It is of course not intended to treat, or diagnose, nor is it intended to replace the care and treatment from a licensed practitioner or health care provider.  These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.

 

One thought on “Spring: Love of the Wildflowers and Nourishment from Nettle and Dandelion

  1. What a wonderful post! Lovely photographs and so many good ideas. I had to laugh when I saw the bit about the battle that can’t be won with the dandelions – it’s so crazy – all the spraying. I was delighted to see dandelions leaves for sale in a major Canadian supermarket this spring. That’s the first time I’ve ever seen them for sale and it gave me hope that we might come to our senses… ; )

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