Queen Anne's Lace (Wild Carrot)

Well, I have been shocked a few times this year while researching the things that grow in our fields! Some of these things that I have always considered "weeds", are now being looked at in a new light. Queen Anne's lace is one of these.

I know it makes a great cut flower and is one of those things you can colour by putting food colouring in the water, but I had no idea it was such a useful medicinal herb!

According to the "Carrot Site" (the "Carrot Museum"), Queen Anne's lace leaves "contain significant amounts of porphyrins, which stimulate the pituitary gland and lead to the release of increased levels of sex hormones". Really? Really? Is this true? Hmmmm...interesting... What does this mean, exactly?

More from The Carrot Site:
"Queen Anne's lace (a wild carrot): "is an aromatic herb that acts as a diuretic, soothes the digestive tract and stimulates the uterus. (Pregnant women should definite NOT use it!) A wonderfully cleansing medicine, it supports the liver, stimulates the flow of urine and the removal of waste by the kidneys.

An infusion is used in the treatment of various complaints including digestive disorders, kidney and bladder diseases and in the treatment of dropsy. An infusion of the leaves has been used to counter cystitis and kidney stone formation, and to diminish stones that have already formed...A tea made from the roots is diuretic and has been used in the treatment of urinary stones.

An infusion is used in the treatment of oedema, flatulent indigestion and menstrual problems. The seed is a traditional 'morning after' contraceptive and there is some evidence to uphold this belief.
Ongoing studies are proving this to be a very valuable plant, useful in many areas of alternative medicine, a few are Alzheimer's, Crohn's disease, Parkinson's disease, Infertility, Asthma-preventive, most types of cancer, Diabetes, Leukaemia, HIV, Spina-bifida, Migraine headache, obesity, and much more, even the common cold. Used as a medicinal herb for thousands of years as an abortifactint, anthelmintic, carminative, contraceptive, deobstruent, diuretic, emmenagogue, galactogogue, ophthalmic, and stimulant..."
Wow! According to these people, Queen Anne's lace will fix just about anything! I wonder how much of it is true...

Stinging Nettle Benefits

Stinging Nettle
One of the Strongest Herbs for Health Out There! 

Stinging nettle (Urtica 
dioica) is packed with vitamins, minerals, and trace minerals along with hefty dose of potent phytonutrients including deep-green chlorophyll and carotenoids. In fact, more than 100 chemical components have been identified in nettle, including:

Minerals – iron, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper, boron, strontium

Vitamins - A, C, K, and B vitamins

Phytonutrients - chlorophyll, beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, quercetin, rutin
NOTE: The sting isn't dangerous, and the red skin + itch will subside within about half an hour ... there's really no need to find the nearest ER and rush over there, just cos a nettle stung you. 

Nettle tea, made from dried nettle leaves, is perhaps best known for its high mineral content. The leaves are packed with more minerals, especially magnesium and calcium, than a number of other medicinal herbs. One recent study found that dried nettle leaf has more magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, boron, and strontium than dried chamomile, peppermint, sage, St. John’s wort, linden, and lemon balm. 
Nettles in any form are good for hayfever allergies. 
That translates into having more energy, mental acuity, disease resilience and radiant well-being
In addition to its high nutrient content, results from preliminary studies show that stinging nettle has many other health-promoting properties. For example, nettle has been shown to:
  • The natural polyphenols in nettle leaves are thought to be responsible the powerful antioxidant abilities of nettle tea. 
  • Fight infections. Nettles have antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal effects. 
  • Decrease inflammation. Nettles work as a natural anti-inflammatory through a number of different mechanisms.
  • Lower blood sugar, blood pressure, and cholesterol. Nettles are used in diabetics to combat high blood sugar and cardiovascular risk factors. 
  • Fight cancer. Nettles have a beneficial effect in prostate cancer. 
  • Heal stomach lining. Nettle tea helps heal the mucosal lining of the stomach in the case of ulcers or stomach irritation.
  • Nettle roots instead of the leaves are used to decrease symptoms of enlarged prostate. 

Nettle seeds are the most nutritious part of nettle plant. They contain all the goodies of nettle, vitamin A and C, iron, calcium, magnesium and silicon. What is more, they contain essential fatty acids and vitamin C which are especially good for skin and brain.

Nettle seed is considered a Western adaptogen herb that supports the adrenal glands and endocrine system. This is why in herbal medicine it is used as a tonic for fatigue and adrenal exhaustion; for people who are burnt-out, run down and low in energy, zest for life and libido. For those interested in biochemistry, the ‘feel-good’ factor from eating raw, dried nettle seeds is caused by the neurotransmitters acetylcholine and serotonin, closely followed by choline and histamine.

Acetylcholine binds to the mood receptors in our brains. It stimulates the autonomic nervous system, improves mood and heightens sensory perception, attention span, vigilance and intuition.
Nowadays medical herbalists mainly use nettle seed to increase energy, as an anti-inflammatory and as a highly effective kidney trophorestorative. It slows down renal failure, evidenced by increased kidney glomerular function and lowered serum creatine levels. Modern clinical studies have shown that it also protects the liver, repairing it and restoring liver function after oxidative damage. Another macronutrient found in nettle seed called choline (a component of lecithin vital to liver function). Choline is sometimes used to treat liver cirrhosis and hepatitis. Studies have also shown that it is indeed anti-inflammatory and will soothe colitis

Pick the seeds green, then dry them and rub gently to remove the stems. Start with just 1 teaspoon per day. Build up to 1 tablespoon a day slowly, when you know you can handle it. Sprinkle the in cereals or other foods. If you are picking the seeds, please leave enough on the plant for it to reseed.Be careful when eating nettle seed not to exceed 30 grams a day. It can be over-stimulating and, like an amphetamine, prevent you from sleeping 

Wear gloves when picking nettles! When dried or cooked the plant parts have no more sting. To dry the leaves or seeds, lay them out on a paper towel before storing and turn occasionally. If you are unsure of the dryness of the seeds, put them in a paper envelope for a few weeks before storing in glass, plastic or metal. Label the envelope. I store all my seed in envelopes labeled with type, dates and other notes.  

Nettle Tea: Steep 1/4 cup of dried, crushed nettle leaves in a quart or litre of boiling water for 30 minutes, covered. Make a healthy mixed herbal tea by adding rose hips, yarrow flowers, fireweed flowers, red clover flowers, lemon grass or any combination of the above additives. Add a drop of honey if desired. Maximum recommended dose of nettle tea is four cups a day.

Make iced tea in the hot weather! Delicious! 

1. If pick nettles where fecal matter has been deposited, like pastures or barn areas, let it sit for a few days to lower the nitrate level.
2. Don't give nettles to babies or nursing mothers. 

I might be planting stinging nettles in my garden this year! I'm considering planting an herbal health garden. 

(Mother Earth News), (Schoolofthewild.com), (Napiers.net), (Henrietttes-herb.com)