The Azores: Paradise for The Herbalist, Stinging Nettle Harvest Time

I am always looking for natural ways to heal. I have taken one of Susun Weeds online herbalist courses, I have books, herbalist friends,and a love for natural magic, I know the basics.  I know how to dry herbs, make tinctures and infusions, and I can identify and safely harvest some of my favorite herbs in the wild.  But I am in no way an expert, I am learning everyday.

The Azores seem to have more herbs than anywhere I have ever lived.

There is a little old lady in our village who noticed me looking at her lavender the other day, she slowly hobbled outside and in Portuguese she told me how “lavender can cure things that the hospitals cannot”. She then offered to give me some lavender and rosemary.. But she said in her crackly crone voice. ” You have to come back, because you need to plant the lavender three days before the new moon.Come back when the moon is nearly dark”  I will go back. Lavender is my favorite herb. Favorite smell, favorite tea, maybe even my favorite plant. Practical and magical wisdom: Things they don’t teach in school. 

I do have lavender growing in my herb garden. It is beginning to flower. It brings me so much joy. But this isn’t a post about lavender. In fact, maybe this post is just me rambling about herbs. Herbs. Santa Maria has so many. Growing wild everywhere. We go hiking and I see Mint, Stinging Nettle, Milk Thistle, Chamomile, Clover, Horsetail, Fennel, Dill, Dandelion, Aloe vera, and Watercress, and these are just naming a few- the most easily recognizable.

We found a spot deep in the woods with a large Bay Laurel tree. “Lets go hiking to get some more Bay leaves”… my kind of FUN!

Trees, leaves. Wisdom and medicine of the ancients..

Anyways, my daughter just turned 5 months old, and my hair is still falling out in clumps. I eat a good diet, take multivitamins, and live a healthy lifestyle.  I am still exclusively nursing. My body is supporting 2 people. Nutritional demands are high.  There are no health food stores here. There is no food co-op. What should I do?

Use my natural wise woman wisdom and HARVEST STINGING NETTLE.

nettleharvest

 

There may not be a health food store, but there is plenty of health providing food and herbal medicine. So, yesterday, we harvested Stinging Nettle. Early spring is the perfect time to harvest Nettles.

Beautiful Green Medicine

Beautiful Green Medicine

To protect the nettle, and for the most health providing leaves, I have learned only to harvest the top three tiers of leaves on each plant. To protect yourself from the painful stings, wear gloves.

You can use fresh nettle right a way, but you have to steam or cook it. It tastes delicious in soup. Or gather the nettle in small bundles, and hang to dry. Depending on the humidity, the leaves should dry within a few days. Then you can make delicious tea and infusions. :) Once dried or steamed the stinging disappears.

Tying the Nettle in bundles, WITH GLOVES

Tying the Nettle in bundles, WITH GLOVES

“There are no contraindications to the use of stinging nettle infusion. Side effects may include: thicker hair, softer skin, stronger veins, and greater delight in life.” ~Susun Weed

“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.” ~Susun Weed

A couple of the drying bundles in my kitchen.. (being blessed perhaps by the prayer flags)

A couple of the drying bundles in my kitchen.. (being blessed perhaps by the prayer flags)

Nettle really is a powerful energizing healing tonic.I am grateful that we have so much green medicine growing everywhere. Taking our health in our own hands (sometimes with gloves). haha. ;)

Be Healthy~Yogini Tiff

 

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