We are days close to the Spring Equinox, nature fully wakes from the slumber of the cold and dark winter months, the land is reunited with the return of the light, with the sun gracing the lands with it's warmth and regenerating the soil, the commence of regrowth, rebirth and new beginnings are sourced from the powerful forces that burst through the hedgerows during the potent time of spring. Native medicinal plants that govern this season all share many properties, a collective of awakening, replenishing, cleansing and detoxifying herbs such as; Nettle, Wild Garlic, Cleavers, Plantago, Dandelion and many more are at their prime to embody, these bitter herbs are the perfect conduit to align yourself with the arrival of spring, through the harmony of these seasonal herbs supports the body for a new cycle of cleansing, these plant allies create space for new beginnings, and prepare the body for a fresh space and welcomed ventures to come.
Wild Garlic, very much like classic culinary garlic is one of nature's strongest antibiotic, antimicrobial, antibacterial herbs and also stimulates blood circulation, purifies the blood, promotes heart health, reduces inflammation, boosts the immune system, supports bone health and so much more.
Nettle, incredibly rich in iron, magnesium, potassium and other minerals, known for it's bitterness, Nettle deep cleanses the liver and kidneys, stimulating these organs, this earthy plant medicine promotes detoxifying and cleansing abilities that leaves you feeling refreshed and replenished, especially after winter. Nettle is enriched with limitless properties, one of nature's most powerful antihistamines, Nettle is great to use through food, tea and medicine to prepare the body for allergy season ahead.
Carpets of Wild Garlic shows it's abundance in woodland areas and clusters of Nettle appears confidently within the hedgerows, these herbs are a natural reference and reminder that warmer days are coming, embodying them firmly ties the connection with the season and creates a stronger tapestry with nature and ourselves, as we are part of the heritage that creates these lands.
If you are unsure when identifying these herbs, please check with an avid forager and herbalist before using them.
You will need:
2 tbsp of Olive Oil,
1 medium Onion,
200g White Potatoes,
150g freshly picked Nettles (harvest with gloves),
15 freshly pickled Wild Garlic Leaves,
750ml Vegetable Stock,
1/2 cup full of Cashew's (soak over night),
Salt and Pepper.
Heat your Olive Oil in a large saucepan, prepare and chop your onion and add to your saucepan, cook until the onions go clear. Chop up your potatoes into small cubes and add to your onions, cook for a few minutes before adding your vegetable stock. Add stock and cover with a lid, simmer until the potatoes go soft. Prepare you Nettles, remove the fresh leaves from the stalks (use gloves) and wash the leaves, repeat with the Wild Garlic leaves, add to your saucepan and simmer for 2 mins. Add your cashews for creaminess, stir well and take off the heat, use a hand blender to combine all your ingredients, add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!
A bowl of earth medicine, that deeply nourishes the body and reconnects us to the abundance of the land and the season of spring.
- Blessings, Harriet - Medicinal Herbalist and Founder of West Apothecary.