Many people realize that herbs have medicinal properties and are rich in certain vitamins and minerals, but do you know which ones are traditionally rated the highest? There are many nutritional herbs I can list that pack a punch with nutritional content but today I am going to talk about three of my favorites: nettle, dandelion, and alfalfa.
3 Nutritional Herbs To Know & Use This YearThe three nutritional herbs being discussed today are Stinging Nettle, Dandelion Leaf and Root, and Alfalfa. Each of these contain different properties for different ailments. However, they are all multi-vitamin, multi-nutrient plants. I will be discussing what each one has in them, a few things they are used for, and how to use them in your own home.
One of my very favorite nutritional herbs to use is Stinging Nettle. Nettle is packed with a variety of vitamins. It has:
- Vitamin A, C, E, F, K, P
- Vitamin B-complexes as well as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, B-6 all of which are found in high levels and act as antioxidants.
- Zinc, Iron, Magnesium, Copper and Selenium
Along with the nutrients mentioned above, it contains on average 22% protein, 4% fats, 37% non-nitrogen extracts, 9-21% fiber, 19-29% ash.That is quite a list! Why take synthetic store-bought multi-vitamins when you can use this in your kitchen for a lot less? What else is it good for?
Extracts of nettle have been included in hair tonics for centuries due to its purported ability to stimulate hair growth. Like many bitter herbs, nettle is a blood purifier.
Its long list of traditional uses can be summed up in its ability to increase the production of urine, its mild laxative effect and its ability to increase the efficiency of liver and kidney function.
Dandelion Leaf and RootI absolutely love dandelion. When your grandmother said dandelion greens were good for you, she wasn’t kidding. It's easy to find, easy to use and is rich in vitamins and nutrients which include:
- Vitamin A, K, C, B6
Dandelion is commonly thought to be one of the “bitter herbs” recommended in the Bible. Its young leaves have been gathered and eaten as a pot herb or as an addition to salads for centuries. It has been used to aid digestion, relieve liver distress, and to treat all manner of ills from dropsy, jaundice, and kidney stones to warts and psoriasis. Culpeper states, “It is of an opening and cleansing quality, and therefore, very effectual for the obstructions of the liver, glass, and spleen. It opens the passages of the urine, both in young and old, powerfully cleanses, and doth afterward heal them.”I remember when we were kids we would blow the puffy seeds all through the yard. My dad would yell us for spreading weeds! If only he knew how beneficial this "pesky weed" was he might have joined us sitting in the grass enjoying the floating fluff flying through the air on sunny summer days. Here is a sweet article on Dandelion by Debi Pearl.
AlfalfaThis herb didn't get its name "Father of all Herbs" for nothing. This herb contains:
- The entire spectrum of B-vitamins
- Vitamin A, C, D, E ,K.
- Folic acid