Thursday, January 15, 2009
Stinging Nettle Infusion
This startlingly dark green infusion is made with dried stinging nettle leaves. You can harvest them wild yourself if you know what you're doing, but I order mine online from Mountain Rose Herbs. Nettles are a great source of calcium (a mineral the paleodiet is often criticized for lacking) as well as being rich in other minerals.
According to the herbalist Susun Weed:
Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) builds energy, strengthens the adrenals, and is said to restore youthful flexibility to blood vessels. A cup of nettle infusion contains 500 milligrams of calcium plus generous amounts of bone-building magnesium, potassium, silicon, boron, and zinc. It is also an excellent source of vitamins A, D, E, and K. For flexible bones, a healthy heart, thick hair, beautiful skin, and lots of energy, make friends with sister stinging nettle. It may make you feel so good you'll jump up and exercise.
To make the infusion, you'll need:
1 cup (1 oz by weight) dried stinging nettle leaves
1 quart water
Bring the water to a boil. Pour over the leaves and let infuse for 4-10 hours or overnight. Strain into a quart sized container and store in the refrigerator. The infusion will keep for a few days. If it spoils, use it as a hair rinse or use it to water your plants.
I just started making nettle infusion for myself and my husband, but I'm hoping it will help boost our mineral levels as well as giving us more energy. It tastes very "green" but it's actually quite pleasant once you take a few sips.