Stinging Nettle – A Powerhouse Herb
This is one of my favorite medicinal herbs and superfoods. Nettles are not only tasty but are chock-full with a load of nutrients. In fact nettles are the most nutrient dense plant in the world—packed with minerals, vitamins, chlorophyll, phytonutrients and protein. I enjoy picking fresh nettles every spring and steaming them as a side dish. (Just picked some yesterday!) You could think of nettles as a “supercharged spinach.” Besides being a tonic superfood, nettles also have anti-allergy properties making it a perfect herb to help alleviate those spring allergies. Other benefits include positive effects on cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugars.
There is something really special about picking and eating wild foods. Personally I feel a reconnection with nature and the plant world and an appreciation of how it is sustaining us. It also becomes starkly clear how disconnected most of us are from our food. While foraging and growing all your own food isn’t likely, try visiting your local farmer’s market this spring where you can get some of the highest quality foods and learn more about where and how it’s grown. For those in the Port Moody area, visit http://www.makebakegrow.com to find out about our local farmer’s markets.
Here on the West coast, once the nettles are finished you might try wandering the woods to find huckleberries, salmon berries, thimbleberries, and later blackberries when they are ready.