Herbalist Lingo: Nutritive

Nutritive

nu-tri-tive

ADJECTIVE

  1. of or relating to nutrition:

    "the food was low in nutritive value"

    • providing nourishment; nutritious:

      "nutritive food"

In Herbalism, a Nutritive herb is a plant which is rich in vitamins and minerals.  These plants help support and sustain the systems of the body, boost immunity, increase energy and overall well being. 

Nutritive Herbs

Happy New Year!  Thank goodness for 2017!  The month of January is a perfect time to get back on the pathway of good living.  An opportunity to set some healthy intentions for the mind, body and soul.    If this is your month to get back on track, consider adding some nutritive herbs to your daily routine. 

Nutritive herbs are packed with vitamins and trace minerals, chlorophyll, and energy.  Because these plant constituents are water soluble, all you need is some hot water.  This is easy medicine folks!  Skip the brightly colored, store bought synthetic energy drinks, and try adding in some nutritious herbal infusions to your daily diet.  Another great way to add these herbs into your day is to infuse with vinegar.  How about a Red Clover vinegar for your salad dressing?  Or a daily shot of Apple Cider Vinegar infused with Nettle?  Nutritive herbs can be found at your local apothecary or online.  Below is a concise guide to nutritive herbs.

Oatstraw

Avena sativa

The King of nutritive herbs, Oatstraw is high in iron, zinc and manganese.  It is considered a soothing herb for the brain and body. Oatstraw increases energetic performance, calms the brain, and may increase libido.  This herb could be a great ally during times of stress, anxiety and depression. For just $18.00, a 1 lb. bag of organic Oatstraw can be purchased online.  Check out Starwest-Botanicals.com  

Rosehip

Rosa sp.

 

A single tablespoon of Rosehip pulp contains a humans daily dose of Vitamin C.  Rosehips are packed with antioxidants, as well as Vitamins A, D, and E.  Rosehips are one of nature's finest demulcents, helping to reduce inflammation in the body. In addition, the oil of Rosehip has become a prized (and expensive) cosmetic, extremely high in antioxidants which helps diminish scarring, corrects dark spots, hydrates skin, and may quicken tissue regeneration. Purchase online or at your nearest Apothecary.  Better yet, take a walk in the woods some time in the late fall and gather some rosehips after the first frost.  Leave some for the animals please!

Watercress

Nasturtium officinale

This underutilized nutritive green can be found in produce section of most grocery stores.  Watercress is packed with vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, E, and K as well as trace minerals such as copper, potassium and magnesium.  This supergreen benfits the skin, enriches the blood and boosts the power of the brain.  While most of our medicinal plants tend to be dried this time of year, take advantage of the freshness of Watercress and add to salads, sandwiches or smoothies. 

Nettle

Urtica dioica

Nettle leaf contains very high amounts of vitamins, minerals, and chlorophyll, which when ingested, is extremely beneficial for the human body.  Chlorophyll helps stimulate red blood cells in the body (more Oxygen!), builds tissues, neutralizes free radicals in the body, and may be anti-carcinogenic.  Nettle is known to reduce adrenal fatigue and support the kidneys.  Thanks to an irritating and slightly painful sting, harvesting nettle leaf should be done with gloves. 

Spearmint

Mentha spicata

Spearmint, a nutritive herb?  Absolutely!  Per 100g, Spearmint is packed with iron (148% of RDA), Vitamin A (135% of RDA), B Vitamins, folates, and trace minerals.   The pleasant aromatics of spearmint soothe the soul, help combat stress and fatigue, and may help ease symptoms of the common cold and flu.  This is an easy plant to grow in your garden.  And once established, you will have fresh spearmint for days!  When purchasing dried, make sure the leaves are bright green in color and still have a strong spearmint scent.