If you were to walk into my kitchen, one of the first things you will notice is that I have loads of herbs. Somewhere along my plant-based journey I started to find value in the tea that I drank as well. I no longer wanted to drink tea just for the sake if drinking it. I was an avid lover of peppermint tea, because I was made to understand it was great for digestion. Along the way I wondered what are the benefit of all the other herbs and teas that are out there, and thus began my quest to understand the world of herbs and how they benefit the body.
Many herbs provide nutritional boost to your daily diet by providing large doses of vitamins, minerals and other compounds your body needs for optimal function.
Some herbs that you will find beneficial adding to your daily diet includes but are not limited to:
Nettle offers bone building calcium in a high bioavailable form. What do I mean by bioavailability? It means how easy it is for the body to absorb the nutrient and put it to use.
Now why use Nettle for calcium when its available in other foods such as dairy products, beans and seeds? the calcium in these foods is poorly absorbed because other compounds in these foods block the absorption or increase the excretion of calcium. Nettles also provide a significant amount of magnesium, potassium and silica.
Nettles are also a great food that is rich in chlorophyll and supports the alkalinity of the body.
Now from my research what I heave learned is that nettle leaves act as a diuretic (they make you pee), but it’s also a gentle kidney cleanser and a mild antihistamine.
Personally I use organic dry nettle herb as an infusion, that means I steep it in hot water and let it sit for at least 8 hours (overnight) then drink it in the morning.
I learned that raspberry leaf is known as a women’s herb but as a nutritive its beneficial for anyone.
When prepared as a super infusion, the freshly dried leaves provide a surprising amount of vitamin C as well as significant doses of calcium and iron.
Raspberry leaf has astringent effects which helps tighten and tone tissue. It strengthens the muscles of the uterus. Raspberry tea is often drunk by women during the last trimester of pregnancy to facilitate with birth.
This plant id edible from petal to roots. The plant offers a range of vitamins in both root and leaf. the bitter leaves contain more iron and calcium.
The dried raw or roasted roots have a woody, bitter chocolate coffee like flavor.
Dandelion also offers digestive bitters that stimulate all aspects of digestive function as well as detoxification via the liver.and kidneys. But each part has its job. the leaves work for the kidneys as a diuretic whereas the roots focus on the liver.
The bitter liver supportive properties of dandelion make it useful for aiding digestion, relieving constipation, improving fat digestion and absorption, improving skin issues, and lowering cholesterol and blood sugar levels
The leaves taste best as they are less bitter and the roots are most potent. You can have dandelion anytime as dry herbs. Dandelion makes a great tincture, tea or infusion.
As mentioned, the leaves can be eaten and made into a fabulous pesto
Of course as with everything, use herbs with caution. Talk to your doctor first especially if pregnant or if taking other medications.