What plant has the highest amount of protein, by weight, of any plant? Hint: it’s not a bean, lentil, or pea, and you can gather it yourself in wild and not-so-wild places. The answer is stinging nettle.
Stinging nettle is an amazing superfood vegetable, high not only in protein, but also in calcium, magnesium, iron, selenium, zinc, potassium, boron, vitamins A, B, C, D, E, and K, bioflavonoids, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and chlorophyll.
During the most of the year, I prepare dried stinging nettle into an infusion, which is a little like a tea but much, much stronger, containing many times the amount of nettles and steeping for hours. In the spring I like to harvest my own nettles and prepare them into soups and vinegars. I harvest it in parts of the summer as well, mainly early and late, when the leaves are young. Continue reading “Stinging Nettle”
By Nina Katz – Herbalist
Yesterday, we harvested our first yarrow of the season. Yarrow is one of my favorite plants, and its uses are legion. It makes a nice cooking spice, effective bug spray, stops bleeding, brings down temperatures and activates the immune system, soothes sore throats, supports the digestive system, and promotes labor. Not only that, it’s a beautiful plant with lovely, usually white flowers, and feathery leaves.
Yarrow has a place of honor in Greek mythology as the plant in whose waters Thetis bathed Achilles. According to the Greek myth, Yarrow gave the hero its protective powers to make Achilles invincible wherever the herbal bath had penetrated his skin, and Achilles in turn healed his wounded soldiers with Yarrow. Yarrow’s official botanical name is Achillea millefolium, Achilles’ thousand-leaved plant.
The topic of the day is borage! Botanical name: Borago officinalis. I have taken pictures of the borage plants growing in the garden here at the herbal cottage. The leaves are hardy and fuzzy and the tops of the plants are flowering with beautiful blue, star-shaped flowers.
Continue reading “Borage – The “Heart Comforting” Herb”
Wild edibles have more nutrients, and particularly more minerals than the tamer stuff of supermarkets. They let us taste the seasons in the most literal, deepest way we can. They also help us minimize our reliance on large agro-business and on food brought from great distances at considerable cost to the environment.
Wildcrafted herbs connect us to our environment and let plants support us with mechanisms they have developed in response to the same environmental challenges that we ourselves face. Herbal products that we make ourselves offer greater control over our bodies and a greater appreciation for natural bounty.
When we look at the world through new eyes, eyes that see common weeds and plants as beneficial both nutritionally and for our wellbeing, we began to understand some of nature’s great mysteries. We enter into a relationship of respect, honor, and sincere gratitude.
Learn more about using wild edibles in our posts: 6 Steps To Revitalize Your Health With Herbs This Spring and How To Identify & Wildcraft Plants Outside Your Front Door.
By Nina Katz – Herbalist