Many edible weeds and wildcrafted herbs that appear in the spring are excellent home remedies for the springtime. Dandelion and nettle grow pretty much everywhere; both are full of nutrients and both also make great spring detox teas. Cherry blossoms and apple blossoms have a delicate sweet flavor and are lovely additions to DIY tea blends.
Stinging Nettle DIY Herb Tea
The humble stinging nettle is rich in several vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C and E, and iron. Nettles help to get your strength and energy levels back after the winter (or after an illness), and they also help to cleanse the blood and remove toxins. I often make a DIY herbal detox infusion in the spring with nettles, dandelion and birch leaves and drink it daily for a couple of weeks. In herbal medicine, nettle tea is sometimes used to treat hay fever and other allergies.
Nettles are best used in the spring, when they also grow everywhere in abundance and when their flavor is the best. Pick the young leaves from the top of the plant (use gloves to protect your hands). Later in the year nettles might develop a slightly more bitter flavor, although they can still be used in tea blends. Ideally pick from a location where chemical fertilizers are not used!
Dandelion: Ideal for Detox Tea Blends
Dandelion is another “edible weed” that really should not be called a “weed”; this plant is so full of nutrients and has so many health benefits. It is a great natural detoxifier and a traditional herbal remedy for the liver and the kidneys. Dandelion is diuretic, relieves constipation and improves digestion. All parts of dandelion can be eaten, but I usually use just the flowers and the leaves for tea. You can also add young dandelion leaves and flowers to salads and use the roots in soups and stews.
Chamomile: Home Remedy for Hay Fever
If you grow your own chamomile plants, you’ll have a steady source of one of the best home remedies for many everyday health concerns in the family. Chamomile infusion or tea is a natural home remedy for hay fever; I get a little hay fever sometimes in the spring, and drinking chamomile tea several times a day relieves the symptoms. Homemade infusions are always my first choice, but chamomile tea bags work, too.
Apple and Cherry Blossom Tea
When apple and cherry blossoms come out, pick a few and add to your homemade herbal infusions. Both flowers have a sweet flavor and make nice additions to tea blends. Apple blossom tea is also said to soothe the nerves.
A good source of information about making your own herbal teas and tonics is Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health: 175 Teas, Tonics, Oils, Salves, Tinctures, and Other Natural Remedies for the Entire Family