Stinging nettle: Urtica dioica
Parts used: leaves and possibly stems
Other common names: Bichu, Common Nettle, Feuille d'Ortie, Graine d'Ortie, Grande Ortie, Great Stinging Nettle, Nettle, Nettle Leaf, Nettle Seed, Nettle Worth, Nettles, Ortie, Ortie Brûlante, Ortie des Jardins, Ortie Dioïque, Ortie Méchante, Ortiga, Small Nettle, Stinging Nettles, Urtica, Urticae Herba et Folium, Urticae Radix. (TRC- Natural Medicines)
Nettles- Urtica Dioica
Very nutritious- it has 10-15x the number of health benefits as spinach.
It can help heal the entire body. This is why it is a wonder plant that everyone should appreciate!
How to identify nettles: nettles have very sharp stingers that when touched, break off in the skin, releasing a toxin. That is what the sting is. Leaves are opposite and coarsely toothed. A look-alike is a white dead nettle. The white dead nettle does not sting but does have tiny hairs. If you do get stung by a nettle, quickly wash with soap and water, then grab some dock or plantain, chew it, and put on the sting.
When harvesting, it is best to use rubber gloves to help keep you from being stung a lot. You can easily grab the leaves and pinch them without being stung. I choose to use gloves though. Harvest before the plant starts to flower.
I am making a nettle-infused oil so I can make some salve. I am also making a nettle tincture and plan to try nettle tea.
Head out to the nettle patch to harvest. Take the tops, approximately 5 inches or so. The newer the leaves the better. If the plant is flowering, you have waited too long.
After harvesting the leaves, soak for about 10 minutes. This should help take out a lot of the sting.
Blot with a towel to get the excess water off the leaves.
Put in bunches of 5 or so and tie them together to hang.
Let dry for a few days until completely dry.
Process by putting in an air-tight jar, infused oil, or tincture.
I used some fresh leaves to make nettle tea. I first soaked my leaves for several minutes then shook them to get excess water off. I blotted to get even more water off. I put some fresh leaves in my tea infuser, added boiling water, and let steep for several minutes.
DRIED NETTLE LEAVES- these aren’t quite dry yet. They have only been drying for approximately 8 hours. You want them to break, not bend.
May lower blood glucose levels.
May interact with: antidiabetes drugs, diuretic drugs, lithium, coumadin (warfarin)
Avoid using if pregnant or nursing. It is likely UNSAFE when used orally due to possible abortifacient and uterine-stimulant effects.
What is a Private Membership Association (PMA)?
A Private Membership Association is men and women collectively asserting and standing upon their unalienable constitutionally secured perfect rights; their un-delegated/reserved authority; their pre-existing claim to absolute authority and control over the health of their own body, mind and spirit, and rights (hereinafter collectively referred to simply as “rights”) developed under the laws of the United States made in pursuance of The Constitution for the United States of America, 1789 CE, as amended and ratified by the passage of The Bill of Rights in 1791 (hereinafter referred to as “the Constitution”). People that unanimously agree with the terms, conditions, obligations, provisions, principles, and purpose set forth in a contract (hereinafter referred to as the “PMA contract”) and who refuse to apply for or accept any “public” statutory “entity” such as a corporation, LLC, foundation, partnership, social, fraternal, religious or other entity created by any local, municipal, city, county, state, the federal or any international governmental authority lawfully operating in The United States of America (hereinafter collectively referred to as “governmental authority”).
Over 241 years ago “We the People” created several independent compact commonwealths and states which, in turn, created the Nation named: The United States of America and, its government: The United States.
A PMA is created by and exists upon the exact same authority and power that people asserted in The Declaration of Independence of the thirteen united States of America; The Articles of Confederation; The Constitution for the United States of America; The Bill of Rights and, even, in the Laws made in pursuance thereof.
A PMA functions by the members acting as people, in their real character and capacity (rather than acting as commercial/legal/legislative/public “persons”), asserting and standing upon their constitutionally secured rights to freedom of association, speech, the press, to be free from unwarranted searches and seizures, to their individual right to privacy and other rights and authorities not mentioned herein that are all in full force and effect when people knowingly and voluntarily choose to become, as real people, members of a PMA.
A PMA does not need any authority or permission, of any kind whatsoever, from any government for its creation or in order for it to continue to exist and function.
Public Law, Regulations, and internal Rules of administrative agencies that regulate the public do not generally reach a PMA because they would impair, impede, obstruct or defeat the PMA members’ ability to discuss, hear, read or speak about, print, obtain and use things which may be prohibited to be disclosed to or used by the public.
The advantage of placing your healthcare operation, product manufacturing facility, distribution, transportation, Midwife practice, Fitness Gym, CHURCH MINISTRY, wholesale or retail sales company or business organization in a PMA, is that in a PMA you can educate PMA members on, prescribe for their use, or actually use on members any natural substance including, but not limited to, treated air or water; all natural foods; any individual (or combination of) vitamins, minerals, herbs, enzymes, phytonutrients etc.; raw or whole (unpasteurized) milk and dairy products; any creams, lotions, salves, etc.; any devices/products that produce or use color, electricity, light, magnetism, ozone, radiation, sound, vibrational energy; or any other thing which may not have been submitted to the FDA for approval; which may have been submitted to the FDA for approval but were not approved by the FDA at all, or not approved by the FDA for the specific use that you have in mind, but which may, in fact, help the body, mind or spirit heal a condition or disease that you or someone you know may have.
Furthermore, you can educate PMA members on how harmful mercury fillings and root canals can actually be; how medical procedures may cause other problems; what a particular drug really does, and what all its side effects are; and, you can offer alternatives to dental and medical procedures and pharmaceuticals which may do more harm in the long run than temporary good.
You can concentrate on providing products and services that help people heal rather than spend your precious limited time/financial resources dealing with public laws, regulations, (state/federal code sections), and administrative agency (FDA) operational rules or the rules of any state medical examining or licensing board.
A PMA does not generally have to shoulder the obligation or spend the time/money necessary to meet regulatory requirements for FDA approval on any such information, device, product, or service before that information, product, or service could be manufactured, sold, prescribed for, recommended, used on, or purchased privately by PMA members.
PMAs are under no general lawful/legal obligation to recognize any statutory title of public competency, education or training (licensed persons/experts). All proper parties in a PMA are equal. There is no “doctor-patient” type relationship in any properly run PMA. PMA members are free to exchange any information whatsoever on any topic they choose under the Rights to Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press secured by the First Article in Amendment to the Constitution and can speak or write about, listen to, or read any information, use or obtain any information, product, or service on any terms agreeable to any member who chooses to provide that information, product, or service.
A PMA generally falls outside the jurisdiction of Public Law, Regulations, and internal Rules of administrative agencies including, but not limited to, the Public Law that created the FDA and other agencies.
If you are a practicing healthcare provider or you currently manufacture, distribute, sell (even as an independent sales agent or distributor) any healthcare information, product(s), or service(s); give information about, prescribe, recommend for use or actually use on patients/clients/customers anything that is or could be regulated by any governmental authority, whether any governmental authority currently regulates it or not; you are or should be well aware of the public laws, regulations and agency rules (restrictions) placed upon dissemination of healthcare information, products or services by local, municipal, city, county, state and federal dental and medical licensing boards and healthcare administrative agencies, none of which would generally apply to your dealings within a PMA with PMA members.
Benefits of a Private Membership Association
1. Enjoy a general immunity to public laws, regulations, and internal rules of local, state, and federal administrative agencies (including, but not limited to, the FDA) that protect public health.
Properly set up, what occurs inside a Private Membership Association by and among members is private; generally not subject to any public law, regulation, or agency rule. A PMA is similar to a private family in that what is stated or done inside the family home by, to, and among family members is not generally subject to any governmental scrutiny, censorship, or control. Just as peoples’ speech is generally immune from governmental restriction; so is the speech and acts of the PMA members and what is published and done by and between PMA members in the PMA;
The above-mentioned immunity is not absolute. The single exception is that neither a PMA nor its members may do anything that creates a “clear and present danger that they will bring about substantial evils that Congress has a right to prevent.”
2. Increase your income safely. When you act and communicate with PMA members you do so privately, each party asserting and standing upon their constitutionally secured rights to freedom of association, speech, the press; the right to privacy, and other rights.
This may afford you freedom in advertising, marketing, and operation of your business that you may never have experienced before. In a PMA, communicating only with PMA members, you are now able to state and publish all the true facts (or at least the true facts that you want to disclose) about your personal experience, the experience of others, and what verifiable testing has shown that people have experienced using your device, product, procedure or service and what that device, product, procedure or service really offers PMA members. For example, on a PMA’s website, in the “for members, only section” publishing testimonials sent to you would not violate the public law named Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Being able to demonstrate, speak and publish the truth about what your device, product, procedure, or service will do for people and animals in your advertising and marketing should lead to excitement about your device, product, procedure, or service, markedly increase sales volume and afford you greater profit with safety.
3. Greater Peace of Mind is achieved by not having to worry about qualifying for any license from any licensing administration or board, having any agency determine how you practice, or censoring what you can state or publish about your device, product, procedure, or service. This frees you of the time and expense burdens placed upon persons who deal with the public and, thereby, allows you to react quickly to ever-changing markets and be more creative and relaxed in your thinking, advertising, marketing, and the way you run your business. This also reduces stress.
Arugula- Eruca sativa
Also known as rocket, ruchetta, rugula, roquette, rucoli
Arugula is a fast-growing leafy green. It is supposed to have a tangy, mustard-like taste. I tasted a couple of seeds and I picked up on a slightly peppery flavor. It has high levels of polyphenols and beneficial nitrates. It grows up to 3 feet tall with yellow flowers.
Some possible benefits:
Lower blood pressure
Has some possible anticancer benefits due to the glucosinolates.
High in calcium and vitamin K so it is good for bone health.
Good source of fiber. Helps regulate glucose and may reduce insulin resistance.
Good for heart health due to polyphenols and organosulfur compounds.
Good source of potassium, magnesium, folate, iron, and vitamin A.
Some possible risks:
You might want to speak with your health care professional before adding a lot of Arugula if you are on blood thinners. Vitamin K helps in blood clotting.
Eating large doses of nitrate-rich foods may interfere with some medications like nitrate drugs.
The best time to plant Arugula is in the early spring or early fall. It prefers nutrient-rich, well-drained soil. It is great for your garden. You can even plant in containers and raised beds.
Soil preference is the ph of about 6 or 7.
For best results, plant in full sun.
Avoid planting where other Brassicaceae have recently been planted, as disease and pests may still be present.
Sow 1/4th inch deep and 1 inch apart with rows 10 inches apart. You may want to put a couple of seeds in to start and thin as needed. Sometimes seeds will not germinate.
You can plant every 2 weeks to have a continued source of Arugula.
Thin seedlings to about 6 inches apart. You can use the thinned seedlings in your next salad.
An up-close picture shows the seeds looking like tiny multicolored rocks. I thought that was interesting!
Arugula seeds image by Carrie Windsor
The leaves are best harvested when they are about 2-3 inches tall. The older they are, the tougher they are, and pack more of a bite. You can either dig up the entire plant or just take the leaves. The flowers are edible as well.
Some pests you may want to watch for
Flea beetles- will leave many tiny little holes in the leaves. Try planting some native plants to attract beneficial insects.
Flea beetle- image by UMN
Cabbage worms- will leave large, ragged holes. They lay their eggs underneath the leaves. Plant thyme nearby to attract beneficial insects.
Cabbage worm- image by Almanac
Downey mildew- yellow spots and black speckles on top of the leaves. Assure good circulation and avoid overhead watering.
Downey mildew- image by Cornell
White rust- white chalky blisters under the leaves. If you get this, you want to destroy the plant.
White rust- image by The Daily Garden
Ways to preserve Arugula:
Can be stored in the crisper drawer in the fridge. Just wash and place between paper towels. Put in a glad-type bag and place in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Freeze in olive oil to lock in the flavor. Simply put Arugula in a dish. Cover with olive oil and freeze. Once frozen, break into smaller chunks, put in a bag, and put back in the freezer. Can be used as a salad dressing once thawed.
Dried. Wash the Arugula leaves and dry them as much as possible. Place the leaves on a baking sheet. Put in the oven for 30 minutes on 170-200. When removed from the oven the stems should not be bendable at all. Crush and pulverize. Place them in a jar until you are ready to use them. It takes a few batches to get just one ounce of powdered Arugula.
Taraxacum Officinale also known as the dandelion is one of my favorite “weeds.” It has so many health benefits and can be foraged nearly everywhere.
Taraxacum Officinale, a dandelion in the United States, is a powerful, therapeutic herb found in the wild or grown in your dandelion patch. Many people try to kill these plants as they are considered a weed. When harvesting dandelion, you want to take it from a chemical-free area and not near a roadside. Many plants are similar to dandelion. The dandelion will have a milky liquid if you break the stem.
There are four stages to a dandelion’s life cycle. The first stage is the seedling stage. This can last from 8-to 15 weeks. During this stage, the plant is growing a strong root system. The leaves mature, and the edges become jagged. Stage 2 becomes a plant anywhere from 3-to 10 inches long. Stage 3 is flowers. The stem will grow up to 12 inches tall. The flower will open and close at night and as the weather changes. They close in the rain. The flower head will stay open for a couple of days, then close for a few days before reopening again. This leads to stage 4. When the flower head reopens, it releases the seeds. Each flower head can have almost 200 seeds. Each plant can spread over 2000 seeds each year. The seeds are spread by the wind. The dandelion will come up each year, offering even more dandelions to harvest.
When harvesting, you should only take what you need at that particular time. The bees love dandelions, so we need to be sure to save some for them. Without bees, we don’t have life. The flower, roots, stem, and leaves can be harvested. They all contain phytochemicals that have medicinal properties. The main phytochemicals are carotenoids, flavonoids, phenolic acids, polysaccharides, sesquiterpene lactones, sterols, and triterpenes.Studies show that dandelion has 12 medicinal properties. They are diuretic, hepatoprotective, anticolitis, immunoprotective, antiviral, antifungal, antiobesity, antioxidant, antibacterial, antiarthritic, antidiabetic, and anticancer.Dandelions have been used for health purposes since ancient times. It has diuretic properties as well as helps fight inflammation. Therefore it has been known to be an excellent herb for weight loss. It is also great for gut and liver health. Dandelions are rich in beta carotene, iron, vitamin A, and calcium.
When to harvest:
Leaves- the best time to harvest the leaves is in early spring, when they grow fast. It is best to gather early in the morning. Dandelions harvested from shady areas are less bitter and the leaves more tender. You can harvest the leaves again in the fall.
Flowers- the flowers can be harvested any time from mid-spring through summer. Try to find some with less dust and debris because they can be hard to clean.
Roots- the best time to harvest the roots are late fall through early spring when the plant is dormant and has stored energy.
Ways to enjoy different parts of the dandelion:
Leaves- used in salads or soups. Or you can simply add it to any meal as it helps in the digestion process. It can also be used to make a delicious dandelion tea.
Flowers- can be used to make dandelion wine, tea, and jelly. They can be dried for future use. Another excellent use for the flowers is to dip them in egg and flour and fry them. They taste kind of woody, like a morel mushroom. If you pull the green parts off the flower, you can use the flowers in desserts. The green part is too bitter.
Roots- great for a coffee substitute. They are also used in tea, infusions, and soups. They can also be dried for future use.
For dandelion tea:
For dandelion infusion:
Honey, lemon, or other flavorings can be added for taste. The infusion is much stronger than tea, so it has higher health benefits. It may be an acquired taste, but it will be worth it!
Rose of sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) - native to Asia but commonly grown in the United States. It is a perennial plant. So once you find it, you will enjoy it year after year!
Relocating: It is best to not relocate during hot months. This can kill them. If you need to transplant, do it between November and March while they are dormant.
Cuttings: you can take cuttings to start your own Rose of Sharon. Take several cuttings from the new growth, about 4 inches long. Remove all but about 3 leaves from the top. Stick in a pot with soil-less mix. Don't use potting soil as it is not sterile. The roots will form and you will be able to move to its permanent location. You can also plant directly in the ground. It is best to do this in the Summer.
Leaves- taste like lettuce. Great in salads and on sandwiches. Pick in Spring, Summer and Fall. Can be used to make tea as well.
Flowers- makes a great tea! Can also be used in cooking. They are mild tasting with a hint of nectar. Can add to salad for a mild flavor and lots of color.
Unopened flower buds- makes a great veggie replacement. Eat raw or cook like you would Okra.
Lowers blood pressure
Contains Vitamin C
Contains anthocyanins which are antioxidants
Mucilaginous properties- mild laxative, mildly diuretic, used to heal burns, wounds, gastric ulcers and internal and external inflammation and irritation, such as sore throats or urinary tract infections.
Leaf: Alternate, simple, coarsely serrated and often three-lobed, ovate or diamond shaped, 2 to 3 inches long, palmately veined from the base, green above, slighter paler below.
Flower: 5-petaled, ranging from white to reddish-purple depending on cultivar, 3 to 4 inches across, perfect, blooms most of the summer as long as the plant is actively growing.
Fruit: Ovate, pointed, brown, dry capsule, 3/4 inch long and wide, ripening in late summer and fall, persistent.
Twig: Moderate, light gray-brown to brown, raised leaf scar, hairy stipules may be present, buds small and not evident.
Bark: Fairly smooth with brown and gray striping.
Form: Small tree or upright shrub up to 10 feet in height, pyramidal crown.
Typical Preparations- powder, tea, oil, decoction
Parts used- Ariel (everything exposed to air) Harvest before or during Summer flowering.
Therapeutic Actions: Astringent, digestive, cholagogue, hepatic, carminative, anti-spasmodic, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, vulnerary, calming
Uses: aids in digestion, improves respiratory health, improves bladder control, improves skin health, improves hair & nails, detoxifies the body, potential anti-cancer, helps with sore throat, upset stomach, mild diarrhea, fluid retention, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), corns, warts, heart tonic, sedative, antihistamine, diabetes, gallbladder issues, bleeding, tuberculosis.
Dosage: 1-2 tsp per 1 cup of boiled water to make a tea. Drink up to 6 times per day. 1-4 ml of tincture up to 3 times per day.
Caution! may interact with blood thinners, diabetes medication, medicine used to lower blood pressure.
Be sure to ask your doctor or natural health doctor before taking any herbs, tinctures, capsules, teas, supplements.
ALERT- HEMP- AGRIMONY is toxic! It has dangerous levels of the carcinogenic and highly toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids. Do not use.
DIGESTION: Agrimony is an anti-inflammatory agent. It has been used to eliminate digestive and gastrointestinal issues. By reducing irritation and inflammation in the gut, it helps sooth the stomach.
Respiratory health- Agrimony reduces inflammation. It is used to improve respiratory conditions such as coughs, cold, and flu. It can help speed up the healing process. Bladder- Agrimony is an astringent. It has been used to help with bladder control. It has been given to children for many years with no known issues.
Skin health- applying Agrimony topically has been known to help with pimples, rashes, acne, excema, psoriasis, and blemishes. Agrimony is an astringent. People with Cutaneous Porphyria accumulate a chemical called porphyrin on their skin. This makes them sensitive to sunlight. Research suggests that crushing Agrimoy and taking by mouth 3-4 times per day reduces sores on skin exposed to sunlight.
Hair & Nails- Agrimony has Silicic Acid which is known to significantly boost the strength, appearance, and overall health of the hair and nails. Helps prevent breakage and dull appearance.
Detoxify- Some active ingredients in Agrimony have been directly linked to helping with the gallbladder and liver health. With the gallbladder and liver being at optimum health, the body is able to eliminate toxins that have built up, thus preventing other major health issues and helping promote overall metabolic efficiency.
Anti-cancer- A research article on Basil Cell Carcinoma suggests that the leaves and seeds of Agrimony were used topically against various health issues like cancer and ulcers. In a publication in the Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical Technology (https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/74a2/853bf94e2b43d027c86497245cb80163caf5.pdf) suggest that an Agrimony extract has anti-tumor properties. Agrimony possibly has anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants. It may protect against free radical damage linked to cancer. Furthur studies are needed to explore anti-cancer potential.
Diabetes- the active components of Agrimony moderate glucose and insulin processes in the body better than any other natural treatments.
Tuberculosis- at the beginning of the last century, due to its astringent effect, Agrimony was recommended for Tuberculosis.
Due to its antibacterial effect, uses are: diarrhea, chronic hepatitis, gastro enteritis, upset stomach.
Due to its anti-inflammatory effects, uses are: inflammation, sore throat, angina, rheumatic pain, gout, thrush for babies. It also has a diuretic effect which can help prevent kidney stones and urinary sand. It helps with bed-wetting and incontinence. Helps with fluid retention. Agrimony stimulates digestion and regulates the function of the spleen.
Agrimony has many useful benefits. It helps with many health issues. There are some precautions to take. Always do your research. Talk to your doctor or Natural Health Care Doctor before adding Agrimony to your routine.