& Enjoy with Nettles
an article by Susun S. Weed
is my season. I love the snow and the cold; I crave
the deep and nourishing dark; I delight when the
sun makes rainbows in the snow. The holidays grant
us all permission to glitter and shine, to be golden
and glowing, to twinkle like a star and smile at
strangers; and that is nourishing to my soul.
But winter isn't for everyone. For some, winter
is a time of sadness and exhaustion. The reduced
hours of daylight can bring the doldrums. Too much
permission to drink alcohol and eat refined sugars
can leave one feeling less than lively, even leaden.
There are numerous remedies for those who wish spring
were around the corner, but the two I like best
are St. Joan's wort and stinging nettle.
St. Joan's wort (Hypericum perforatum) is also known
as St. John's wort. But since it is a plant associated
with fire, I figure St. Joan is the better name.
No matter what you call it, this yellow-flowered
plant is a real sun-lover. It soaks up as much sun
as it can all summer, even stretching itself horizontal
to catch those rays. And it stores that laughing
sunshine in its leaves and flowers, which I harvest
in the heat of July and tincture. You don't have
to make your own, of course, you can buy it. Just
be sure to get a tincture made with fresh plants,
not dried ones.
I imbibe St. Joan's wort's sunny disposition by
taking a dropperful in a little water or tea as
often as every hour, or as needed, to chase the
blues. Though the popular press seems confused by
the studies, scientific medicine is convinced: St.
Joan's wort is as effective in altering mood, even
for those severely depressed, as the most commonly-used
drugs. And even high doses of the tincture are without
be careful, as capsules and tablets may increase
skin sensitivity and interfere with the effectiveness
of drugs you may be taking. For safety's sake, I
use only Hypericum tincture, no other form.
Since St. Joan's wort is a powerful antiviral as
well, it does double duty. Taking several dropperfuls
a day can drastically reduce the number and severity
of colds and flu episodes. And that makes everyone
happy, as well as healthy.
nettle (Urtica dioica) is a common weed throughout
much of the world. The dried herb makes a nourishing
herbal infusion that packs more energy per cup than
any stimulant, and without the downside of caffeine
or stimulating herbs like cayenne and ginger. Tired
teenagers, sleep-deprived new moms, stressed executives,
wakeful menopausal gals, and wise women of all ages
depend on stinging nettle to restore mood, replenish
energy, and guarantee sound sleep.
Nettle is amazingly rich in protein, vitamins, and
minerals, especially the critical trace minerals:
anti-cancer selenium, immune-enhancing sulphur,
memory-enhancing zinc, diabetes-chasing chromium,
and bone-building boron. A quart of nettle infusion
contains more than 1000 milligrams of calcium, 15000
IU of vitamin A, 760 milligrams of vitamin K, 10%
protein, and lavish amounts of most B vitamins.
There is no denser nutrition found in any plant,
not even bluegreen algae; and nettle is much more
reasonably priced than any supplement, especially
if you buy more than an ounce or two at a time.
(Sources of dried herb at good prices are found
in my books and at my website.)
we must consume lots of nettle to get this power-packed
nutrition. I infuse a full ounce dried nettle in
a quart of water to make a brew that nourishes my
ability to think and supports my desire to work.
Infusing nettle maximizes its energy-enhancing effects
too. Teas, tinctures and capsules of nettle contain
too little herb to make a difference in vim and
vigor. To experience the miracle of nettle, you'll
need to take the time to make a real infusion (directions
A student writes: "After drinking a quart of
nettle infusion daily for only four days, I now
have more energy then my toddler! Now, when he goes
to sleep, I get some time to myself, instead of
falling asleep with him. I can't thank you enough
for the gift of nettle."
Nettle builds energy from the inside out by nourishing
the adrenals, which I think of as "energy central."
Nettle smoothly and persistently carries optimum
nourishment to every cell in the body, and brings
a smile to your face. Because the minerals in nettle
infusion are polarized to the blood, they are literally
magnetized into the blood stream without needing
to be digested. Drinking a glass of cold nettle
infusion pumps so much nourishment into the blood
you'll feel invigorated in just a few days.
Regular use of stinging nettle (I drink 2-3 quarts
a week) not only increases energy, it brings a shine
and swing to the hair, strengthens fingernails,
clears and firms skin, restores elasticity to blood
vessels, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol,
counters incontinence, improves digestion, reduces
cancer risk, and strengthens the lungs.
student writes: "My doctor is astonished. He
insisted that I had to take drugs to deal with my
severe osteoporosis. Instead, I drank two quarts
of nettle infusion a week for several years. According
to my latest bone scan, I now - at the age of 67
- have the bone mass of a woman half my age. Ha,
ha, ha! With nettle, I get the last laugh on modern
To make a nettle infusion: Measure out one ounce
of the dried herb. Boil a quart of water. Put the
dried herb into a quart jar and fill to the top
with the boiling water. Stir with a wooden spoon
and add water until the jar is full to the top.
Lid tightly and set aside to brew for at least four
hours, or overnight, whichever is easier for you.
To use: Strain and squeeze the liquid out of the
herb. Be sure to refrigerate your infusion, as it
will go bad at room temperature once it is done
brewing. (If that happens, I use it as plant food.
And you should see how my roses adore it!)
infusion is delicious over ice. Its rich green taste
is not at its best when served hot. Adding honey
can make it taste quite strange. Some folks like
to add a little apple juice to sweeten it. Or stir
in some miso, for a salty drink. However you consume
it, do drink it up within a few days, as nettle
infusion doesn't last.
Green blessings surround us, even in the middle
Disclaimer: This content is not intended
to replace conventional medical treatment. Any suggestions
made and all herbs listed are not intended to diagnose,
treat, cure or prevent any disease, condition or
symptom. Personal directions and use should be provided
by a clinical herbalist or other qualified healthcare
practitioner with a specific formula for you. All
material on this website/email is provided for general
information purposes only and should not be considered
medical advice or consultation. Contact a reputable
healthcare practitioner if you are in need of medical
care. Exercise self-empowerment by seeking a second
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Susun Weed at: www.susunweed.com and www.ashtreepublishing.com
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and involved, Susun Weed has garnered an international
reputation for her groundbreaking lectures, teachings,
and writings on health and nutrition. She challenges
conventional medical approaches with humor, insight,
and her vast encyclopedic knowledge of herbal medicine.
Unabashedly pro-woman, her animated and enthusiastic
lectures are engaging and often profoundly provocative.
Susun is one
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and natural approaches to women's health. Her four
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article is © copyright Susun
S. Weed 2004 - Republished here with kind permission.