Healing Plants, Sacred Rituals

A Garden Picnic with Earthy Nettle Tea

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Florida is an excellent place to spend the “winter.” I woke up late yesterday morning and was pleased to walk out into the garden to find it was in the high 70’s and sunny. I believe the weather inspired my whole morning. I listened to a mix of 70’s African soul music on cassette, and read a funky indoor gardening book that also graced the era. As I moved to the groovy beats and dreamed about propagating new plants, I drank an earthy and deeply nourishing Nettle Tea.

I happen to have a lot of nettle leaves from living in Vermont this past summer. Many people dislike the plant because of it’s sharp sting, but it’s really quite magical. Working with nettle taught me patience, and to be present. I found when moving slowly and with intention I was rarely harmed.

Nettle is a very powerful tonic when taken daily. It is high in iron and many other vitamins and minerals. Nettle is particularly high in B vitamins, which many of us modern folk are deficient in.

 When I was living with Rosemary Gladstar, she had a whole patch of it that she would use to make pestos. When you blend the herb or heat it up the stinging properties disappear,  you just have to be extra careful collecting it fresh from the garden (or wear gloves).

To reduce allergy symptoms, nettle is often taken daily as a tea throughout the day, or Rosemary suggests freeze dried capsules. In my tea blend, I included lemon balm and rose petals. Nettle in combination with lemon balm is an excellent way to tone and strengthen the nervous system, and consequently your entire body.

If you can’t find nettle growing in the wild, my other favorite sources are Mountain Rose and Zach Woods Herb Farm. The nettle normally can be found in the wild starting in the spring time, and the leaves are best to use before the plant goes to flower.

MATERIALS

Loose leaf tea bag, coffee press, or loose leaf tea pot (for herbs).

Nettle leaf

Lemon balm

Rose petals

Honey (optional)

Quart of water

*All the herbs can be either fresh or dried.

METHOD

Combine 2 parts nettle, 2 parts lemon balm, and 1 part rose petals in your loose leaf tea bag or contraption of choice. Use one ounce of herbs to one quart of water, or one tablespoon to a cup of water. Use more herb material if picked fresh!

***I would suggest making a quart and drinking the tea throughout the day, as this herbal tea is most effective at toning when taken through the day and a few times a week.

Heat your water until boiling, and then pour the water over the herbs in your desired container or jar. I love to put my loose leaf tea bags in a quart size mason jar, then I can just put a lid on it and take it with me throughout the day. Cover the container and let the herbs steep for at lease thirty minutes, so that it can draw out all the good medicine.

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