Monday 23 October 2017

Stock up on our ancestral plants -- free of charge

The nettle may be an unpopular weed, but it is one of the most valuable plants in the plant kingdom. Scientific studies have shown that nettles lower blood pressure, reduce heart rate and have a notable diuretic action. They are high in fibre, packed with vitamins and essential minerals, and provide a powerful source of folic acid and iron.

"Many people have told me on the stall that their mam used to put a fist of nettles in with the cabbage, or their gran would give them a dose of nettles in early spring -- nettle soup for strength, nettle tea for hangovers." Nettles are even said to slow hair loss.

Hawthorn trees grow prolifically in Ireland and hawberries are amongst the most beneficial native berries.

"The ripe red berries have shown in blind placebo trials to significantly improve heart function, particularly effective in the treatment of heart failure and hypertension in people with type 2 diabetes." Hawberries also help in lowering cholesterol.

Rose hips, mint, elderflower, elderberries, wild thyme, blackcurrants, redcurrants, blackberries, chives, valerian, and wild garlic are other superfoods often overlooked in the modern kitchen.

"These are the super foods our ancestors trusted, and they grow freely in the wild around the country. So why aren't we using them in our diet?"

Irish Independent

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