Nettle, Dandelion and Horsetail tea is a biotin, folic acid and digestion supportive drink which tonifies all the systems of our bodies, helping us feel and radiate beauty from the inside out. Because we understand beauty as being a reflection of the way we feel on the inside, as well as a reflection of the abundance and ever-giving life that thrives around us, I asked a dear friend of mine Renee Blair to create this post about a Springtime Tea……A nourishing tonic to the female body. This tea is fun to prepare because many of us have these plants growing wild close to our homes, and we can forage them ourselves which makes for a much more satisfying tea.
Renee is a Pacific Northwest dwelling mama to Hazel, and a passionate maven of nourishing foods. She plants, grows, wildcrafts, cooks and prepares beautiful medicinal food for post-natal mamas and families who seek to eat closer to the earth. Check out her Vegetarian Food blog here and follow her out on Instagram at @nourishtheroots
Thank you, Renee for offering this beautiful post!
Please enjoy and share:)
Nourish the Roots Springtime Beauty Tea
by Renée Blair
It is the time of year in the Pacific Northwest when the earth is waking from her winter slumber and vibrant green medicinal wild plants are once again emerging from the soil. This is the time of year that our skin and hair crave and need extra nutrients from mineral-rich green plants to restore vibrancy and shine. Of course, you can go to your local apothecary, health-food store, or the internet to purchase dried forms of these medicinal herbs. But something must be said for the potency of the medicine that is growing right outside our front door.
Responsible foraging can be a wonderful way to connect with the earth and the medicine she provides for our bodies to thrive. When gathering edible plants, some important rules apply. First, be sure you are using a field guide written for your particular bioregion so you are identifying plants correctly. Always be sure you are gathering from areas that are not sprayed with pesticides, herbicides, or other pollutants. Steer clear of areas where dogs frequent, so avoid harvesting too close to a pet-friendly trail. Always make sure the plants you are foraging are not endangered and be sure to harvest in a way that is not harmful to their population. Only pick what you plan to use. And finally, one of my favorite grounding practices is to always ask permission from the plant before harvesting. If permission is granted, offer a statement of gratitude to the plant for all of the medicine it provides.
Nettle, dandelion, and horsetail make up this herbal infusion, or tea, and grow in abundance in many bioregions throughout the world. These herbs are considered weeds or pests by many, yet they are indeed powerful medicine and offer amazing benefits for hair and skin health. I can personally attest to the hair-growing and skin-glowing properties of nettle alone. I drink fresh nettle tea regularly and my goodness, it is hard to keep up with the rate of growth of my hair! Combine nettle with dandelion and horsetail, and you have a powerful beautifying trio of herbs.
Ask any herbalist if they could name one herb they would recommend to anyone for any ailment, they would most likely say nettle. Nettle has been used since ancient times as a medicine, food source, and fiber. It is one of the most nutrient-dense herbs, truly a superfood, and the perfect spring tonic. The list of nutrients in nettle is practically endless, with B complex vitamins, iron, calcium, and a host of antioxidants. They truly have the power to make you glow from the inside out. In addition to making tea with nettle, I love using fresh nettles as I would any type of leafy green. Nothing quite compares to the earthy aroma and flavor of nettle. Since nettles are growing in such abundance this time of year, I harvest weekly basket-fulls and cook them in a variety of ways throughout the season. Harvest with care, as nettles do sting.
Dandelion has been used in traditions of herbalism throughout the world for thousands of years. It is considered a resilient weed and can be found on lawns, in meadows, and growing out of cracks in city sidewalks. All parts of the dandelion are edible and support healthy liver clearance, which is vital for clear healthy skin. The liver-cleansing properties of dandelion are well-documented and are known to help clear acne, psoriasis, and eczema. They also help regulate digestion and elimination. Dandelion is abundant in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin C. Make tea with all parts of dandelion, prepare a salad with the leaves and flowers, or lightly sauté the greens in garlic and olive oil. The medicinal and culinary possibilities with this herb are endless!
Horsetail is a wise and ancient plant, one of the oldest plants on Earth. The roots of horsetail grow incredibly deep, allowing it to absorb huge amounts of minerals. Horsetail grows abundantly like a weed here in the temperate climate of the Pacific Northwest. I find it growing all over my lawn and on the edge of wooded areas in damp soil. When left to reach maturity, the plant really does look like a horse’s tail. And it also has the ability to make your hair thick and long like a horse’s tail, as well, due to it’s extremely high silica, calcium, and iron content. These nutrients in horsetail also make it an amazing herb for nail and bone strength. It should be noted that prolonged use of horsetail can irritate the kidneys, so avoid using it internally for longer than two months at a time. Horsetail has also been used externally in hair rinses and shampoos to promote lustrous hair growth and skin poultices to increase tissue repair in wound healing.
Fresh Nettle, Dandelion, and Horsetail Beautifying Herbal Tea Blend
(makes one quart of tea)
Herbal measurements are approximate and represent fresh, not dried, herbs. There is no need to be exact with measurements, simply use what you have. And of course, be sure your fresh herbs are thoroughly washed.
2 cups packed fresh nettle leaves,
1 cup packed fresh dandelion leaves (flowers and roots are welcomed additions, as well!)
1 cup fresh horsetail
filtered or spring water
- Fill a quart-sized French press or mason jar with herbs. Using kitchen shears, snip the herbs directly in the jar to cut them into small pieces. The reason for doing this is to beak open the plant cell walls and increase their surface area, allowing more nutrients to be released into the water. Using kitchen shears and cutting them directly in the jar (instead of chopping them with a knife) also keeps the herbs contained (less mess!) and makes it less likely that you’ll get stung by the nettles. Alternatively, you can pulse the herbs in a food processor before adding them to the jar, but really, who wants to have to wash a food processor?
- Pour boiling water over the herbs and cover. Let steep at least 20 minutes, but you can steep this tea for several hours to extract as much goodness as possible.
- Strain and enjoy in health and love. Drink throughout the spring season, when these herbs are in their peak harvest period and when our bodies need their medicine the most.
PS. Love these braids? Section long hair into many different sizes and create fishtail braids in each section. They, wrap/fold/construct the many braids, pinning as you go, into an intricate braided hairstyle. Get creative! Practice on a friend:)