Spring has sprung…go forage for your super greens (for free)!!
I love this time of year- after the long Winter, there are loads of bright green juicy herbs popping up everywhere. Every walk I go on there are herbs to be foraged and many can be used to help spring clean our digestive system and they are a great (free) source of nourishing nutrients!
Here are a few of my favorite spring time cleansers-they are all at their best and most nourishing now so great to get out there and start foraging!
Chickweed: 🌱🌱 (Stellaria media) is an amazing nutritive green abundant in late winter early spring. You can spot it by its delicate star shaped flowers ..this is where the latin name, stellaria comes from. It is also excellent raw and in salads. Herbally it is a cooling herb, a great cleanser and very good for itchy skin complaints. It is a mild diuretic and effective anti inflammatory. Nutritionally it is packed full of chlorophyll, vitamin c, calcium, zinc, iron and folic acid.
Try adding a handful of fresh chickweed to a morning smoothie, with soaked nuts, chia seed, almond milk, 1/2 avocado, a pear and 1 teaspoon of maca powder and a spinkle of cinnamon for a super energising start to the morning.
Tip: Chickweed will last 3-4 days in the fridge so collect a bag when out- it beats expensive shop bought greens wrapped in plastic any day. (and reduces the useof plastic horray!) You can also add it to salads.
Cleavers- Galium aperine
This is a great lympatic herb and encourages lymphatic circulation which is necessary for a well functioning immune system. It is very useful for people with fluid retention issues and is a useful duiretic. When taken regularly really helps improve the condition of skin ( due to detoxifying qualities) and can help with eczema and other inflammatory skin conditions.
Tip: You can add to juices and smoothies like you would kale or other green leaves.
Nettle is one of my favourite cleansing Spring herbs, traditionally it was used as a blood purifier, to help the efficiency of the kidneys and liver, and as a mild laxative and diuretic. It is a great remedy to use in the spring when the young leaves are tasty and packed full of nutrients. It has antihistamine properties to relieve symptoms of allergies such as sneezing and itchy, watery eyes and to clear up excessive mucus caused by allergy-induced lung irritations
Nettle has also been used to help relieve arthritis and reduce inflammation and heat from the body. It can be made into a syrup or a tea infusion for anaemia, as it is high in iron.
It is a gentle yet energizing remedy and very useful for nourishing the adrenal glands and improving natural energy levels.
How to take it: Nettle leaf can be taken as an infusion or tincture, and cooked they add a boost of vitamins, minerals, and protein to any meal (think of anything you may add spinach too). Make sure you always add boiled water to the plant to remove the sting!
Recipes- Sara’s Super Green Nettle Soup
Young fresh green nettles- rich in vitamins A and C and calcium and iron- an indigenous super food and free!
- Pick young tips with gloves, you will need at least a large pan full.
- Wash the nettles then blanch in boiling water (make sure all is covered)
- Put 1 tablespoon of coconut oil on heat in a large pan.
- Add 3 sticks celery diced, 2 garlic cloves finely chopped and 1 chopped leek. Add 2 chopped sweet potatoes. Saute.
- Add 1 natural low salt veggie stock cube and 200mls water.
- Add 3 bay leaves.
- Add strained nettles (then continue adding water that you blanched nettles in- this is full of nutrients)
- Simmer for 20 minutes then add pepper and Himalayan salt to taste. (You can add cayenne pepper for an extra boost).
- Whizz up in blender.
- enjoy and feel nourished!
Get your wellies on and get out there- there’s a loads of free wild food waiting to be foraged!! (its load of fun too)!
PLEASE NOTE: As ever, when harvesting from the wild you should use a good field guide, be aware of look-a-like plants. Also remember to forage in clean, non chemical sprayed areas .