Czech Herbal Trio For Spring Cleansing
We include superfood into our food owing to its high concentration of valuable materials which provide a great nutrition source to our body. We can cultivate them ourselves, buy from farmers or pick them in the nature. Mother Earth has placed this precious food all over the world. This time we have focused on herbs from our country which are usually found in meadows, fields or forest borders.
Spring has begun, a season when nature is waking up, when weeds and wild herbs are growing up. Our ancestors depended on harvest reserves and they didn’t usually have any in spring. But they knew how to deal with it. They were eating young bush leafs, herbs, sprouts and radicles.
Common nettle (Urtica dioica) is a plant which has been used for centuries. It has a plenty of heeling effects for both outer and inner use. Nettle strengthens lungs and adrenal glands which are often damaged by everyday stress. It also gives us energy. It contains a lot of minerals which contribute to bone building, blood vessels elasticity, beautiful skin and shiny hair. It controls liver and heart function and so it regulates blood pressure and blood sugar content. It has diuretic effects so it is applicable to treat water retention in your body. Decoction of nettle root has anti-inflammatory effects and it is used in case of prostatic hypertrophy. For external use, you can apply it to heal wounds, eczema, acne or to wash your hair.
Nettle was traditionally used in a kitchen instead of spinach, it was added to soaps, dips and salads.
TIP: Nettle Dried Leaves Infusion
Put 30 g (1 cup) of nettle leaves in a closable container. Pour on 1 litre of boiling water. Close the container and leave the blend to infuse for 5–10 hours, then put it in a fridge. Drink 2 cups of infusion per day.
1 cup of infusion contains 500 mg of calcium (62,5 % of recommended daily allowance).
TIP: Spring Energy Nettle Smoothie
This smoothie is a great source of calcium, iron and it has a high content of chlorophyll.
- 2 bananas
- 2 handfuls of nettle
Before a consumption, you always have to blanch nettle at first. Then mix plants with water until obtaining an ideal consistence.
Warning: Nettle contains lot of oxalates which could have a negative impact to a heart function, blood coagulability and destabilize blood calcium levels. So don’t take too much of it and make at least one week break after 2–3 weeks of using.
Dandelion grows in nature as any other weed, however it is a really precious medicinal herb to our body. We can use it throughout the year. In early spring, we pick young leaves which don’t contain milk latex. We can put those into our salad. A leaves infusion helps to remove acidic sediments in joints and so it is used to treat joint inflammation and rheumatism. You can also make a “dandelion honey” from flowers which has a positive effect on the liver.
Moreover, new field of scientific interest seems become also a root of dandelion. A tincture from roots has anticancer effects, especially in case of melanoma treatment. A root is picked up from March to April or from August to October, it is dried in the same way as a nettle root does. Dandelion is also a strong diuretic but contrary to classical medicaments, we are not in danger of losing potassium. Only breastfeeding moms should avoid it because bitters could get into the milk.
TIP: Dandelion Honey
1 small basket of dandelions (about 300g of dandelion flowers)
fresh lemon juice
1 bio orange
1 litre of water
1 kg of cane or coconut sugar
Gather dandelion flowers, preferable in the morning after the dew is gone. Don’t wash it - or you lose pollen grains, just be aware of the little insects :). Place the flowers in a cooking pot, add orange and lemon juice, grated peel of orange and water. Boil it for 10 minutes till the water gets light brown colour. Then let it cold for one day in a dark and cool place. Strain, add sugar and boil for another 30 minutes till it reaches the consistency of syrup. Boil it under permanent stirring till it become thick, then pour into jars. Close with caps and put the jars bottom up.
Wild garlic is a herb with an underground bulb. It’s abundant in moist areas of woods and forests, especially in meadows where literally plantations of wild garlic are found. It is one of the most popular spring detoxification herbs. We can use stems and leaves into salad, to make pesto, smoothie, creamy soup or garlic oil. It helps to a better digestion and free intestinal passage, it relieves muscle cramps and it also improves our immunity.
It has fungicidal and bactericidal effects so it kills fungus and bacteria and also intestinal parasites. It cleanses kidney, urinary bladder and blood vessels because it dissolves calcium deposits. It’s definitely worth going for a trip to a forest and get some of this powerful herb to your plate!
TIP: Wild Garic Pesto
2 bunches of wild garlic
50 g olive oil
1 handful of cashew nuts, almonds, pine nuts or walnuts
1 handful of young dandelion leaves
Wash wild garlic with water and mix the leaves with nuts while gradually adding oil. Finally, add some salt. Store in a fridge covered with olive oil or use directly into our food, for example into spaghetti.
TIP: Wild Garlic Oil
Cut two bunches of wild garlic into small pieces, press it into a dark glass bottle and pour on a good quality olive oil. The leaves shouldn’t be tight in the bottle. Put the bottle in a dark cool place and let macerate for 3 weeks. Then strain the oil and the work is done. Use the oil for seasoning your salads, into marinades or everywhere else a fine aroma and taste of garlic is desired.