Updated: Apr 13
My absolute favourite-cannot-be-without herb, there is a very little that the gentle chamomile cannot do. Just looking at it makes you smile and it has so much to offer your self-care routine.
As well as easing stress related digestive upsets, it is sedative and mood enhancing, it promotes sleep but most useful it also has actions that aid the respiratory system and immunity including being an anti-inflammatory.
In warm tea it can be used for sore throats, colds and flu.
As an anti-inflammatory, it can relax the bronchial tubes and therefore release broncho-restriction. Use in steam inhalations to relieve hayfever, catarrh and sinusitis.
As an anti-microbial, immune enhancer and antiseptic it can help resolve infection and can also be used as an antihistamine for allergies and for eczema.
Make a STRONG and healthful brew by steeping 25g of chamomile for 10-15 minutes in water below boiling. Drink 2-3 cups of tea daily to support your nervous system and reduce stress.
Alternatively add a couple of cups to a bath for skin that is silky and smooth.
Soothe sore or itchy eyes with two damp, warm chamomile tea bags.
Despite its off-putting name – Stinging Nettle – Urtica Dioica – has many health benefits and can be used for all sorts of ailments.
Particularly useful right now at the start of Spring, Nettle is a natural anti-histamine and can be used to improve symptoms of hayfever including nasal congestion and watery eyes. It may also be effective for lowering blood sugar and alleviating pain associated with osteoarthritis. Nettle may soothe skin irritations by reducing redness and swelling, soothe itching and speed healing.
Nutritionally, nettle tea contains a number of bone loving minerals including calcium, magnesium and iron as well as Vitamins A, C, and beta carotene, so it’s a really good tool to give yourself a boost generally and enhance immune function, and may also help to enhance red blood cell production, preventing anaemia. Its potassium content has been shown to relax blood vessels so aid lower blood pressure and support healthy circulation.
Add it to your herbal tool chest today! There are many nettle containing herbal teas available in your supermarket or health shop, but you can often pick it up fresh in bags at your local farmers markets. It is of course readily available everywhere, think twice next time you weed your garden, or if outside just make sure you pick away from polluted areas such as roadsides and give them a good wash when you get home using gloves!
See my recipe for Nettle pesto below. Or just juice it up and add it to your morning smoothie.