Wednesday, March 25, 2009
The Ultimate Tonic
After posting about my spring de-tox, it occurred to me that Stinging Nettle Tea really deserves its own post. This is a tonic everyone should know about, a tonic that's survived through the ages because it works.
The month of March, I was surprised to learn from my family doctor, is the worst time for flu, and I found this out first-hand toward the end of my de-tox. Who knows whether thrice-daily cups of Nettle Tea boosted my immune system, but I was able to lick the flu relatively easily without suffering the worst of its blows.
How To Make Your Own Nettle Tea
1. Forage stinging nettles or buy at a farmer's market.
2. If you have a screen window you can repurpose or some other similar screen or mesh, prop it up on the floor of a sunny room so that air passes underneath. I scavenged a window screen and lay it across stacks of books at the four corners. (You could probably use baking pans in an oven turned very low, too.) Now employ a fan to blow off moisture. Turn the nettles periodically with tongs. Drying time will vary by local climate. Here in the Pacific Northwest it took a few days to fully dry my batch. Once dried, the nettles lose their sting.
3. Feed dried nettles into a food processor and pulverize. Voila: tea. Now store in a proper air-tight canister.
Nettle Tea will surprise you with its distinctive taste, and as a spring tonic it has few equals. Give it a try and tell me what you think.