I have been feeling in need of a boost and recently read a lovely article about using green herbs found abundantly in nature – think nettle, cleavers, dandelion amongst others – in tonics and also as juice shots. I have enjoyed wheatgrass shots in the past and grown my own wheatgrass, but I wanted to see if I could forage for my juice ingredients this time and I have been keen to use nettles due to their high nutrient content (more here) and cleavers due to its medicinal qualities (more here).
In the last year or so, since going on a foraging course in the autumn of 2015, I have become more and more drawn to herbs and their wonderful properties. We became members of the Herb Fairies club in the summer of 2016 and are enjoying the Wildcraft game, which is all about herbs and their potential medicinal uses. It’s fascinating – all these wonderful remedies right under our noses! It is certainly an exciting field that I feel I want to explore much more.
My German grandmother, who I was very close to, was a keen gardener and a believer in natural remedies and had generous borders of herbs which she used in all her salads to add nutrients and flavour. As a child I didn’t understand any of this, but as I became a gardener myself, I felt myself drawing closer to my roots and to my grandmother. My grandmother has long since passed, but I feel she is showing me the way with herbs. She used comfrey for all manner of ills, from bumps and bruises, to sprains and even acne. I often suggest my daughters use comfrey ointment when they have a sore, bruise or itch and they are also drawn to it as a cure all, funnily enough (and my children are the last ones to allow me to doctor them or apply any ointments or even plasters!).
So on my morning walk yesterday, armed with rubber gloves (a must with nettles!), I went a-foraging 🙂 It felt as though my grandmother was right with me somehow. I made sure I picked the herbs from dog free zones and came back with a carrier bag full of green goodness. And there is so much more, I shall undoubtedly be doing another trip – nature is so generous, it is thrilling!
Spring is the natural time for spring cleaning our homes – the light is so unforgiving right now (!) and detoxing our systems that have become sluggish over the winter months. So a nice fresh green juice shot full of chlorophyll and wonderful nutrients is the order of the day 🙂 I used cleavers (also known as goosegrass and sticky weed), nettles and some dandelion.
If you have a juicer, give it a try. It’s free and so good for you! 🙂 If not, there are always nettle soups, teas and if you put a handful of cleavers in a jar of water overnight, you can drink the strained water the next day as a lymph cleansing tonic – delicious too!
Here is what I did:
Place the greens in a bowl of water and give them a quick dip.
Shake off the excess water
Place the herbs in your juicer ( I use a matstone juicer) and juice.
When all your juice is made, either drink a shot right away or pour it into an ice cube tray as I did so you can add it to your daily smoothie to up the nutrient content.
So full of life force. I am already enjoying the support from these herbs with gratitude.
And the left overs from the juicing make a wonderful addition to your compost too. 🙂
Of course I picked some extra herbs for our chickens and guinea pigs to nibble on. 🙂 They are grateful for spring too! 🙂