I woke early this morning to set out and harvest nettle root from my small but healthy patch of nettles (urtica dioica)

The peak time to harvest roots is early spring while the vitality still resides in the root pushing upwards for new growth, or autumn while the vital energies are drawing downwards to the earth to rest over winter.

While most of us are familiar with the benefits of nettle leaf, few pay attention to the hardy root. Nettle root nourishes the spleen and enhances the immune system providing the body with nutrients. It decreases inflammation from the body and in particular, it’s shown to be an effective anti-inflammatory for Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), prostatitis, and even prostate cancer.  It also tastes really good!

Once I bring my nettle roots home I wash them well – I don’t peel them – instead I chop them like carrots, filling a clean glass jar about 1/2 – 1/3 full of fresh roots.  You can fill your jar to the brim with roots instead of half way. It’s really a matter of how much root you have, and how intense you want the taste of the finished product.

Next I cover with apple cider vinegar.

Using vinegar as a solvent (also called the menstruum in herbal medicine) is an effective way to draw out minerals from plants. The vinegar I recommend using is  raw, unpasteurized organic apple cider vinegar.  Cider vinegar is inexpensive to buy, and incredibly easy to make yourself. If you are new to making medicinal vinegars, you can read more about them here. And to learn how to make your very own vinegar, go here.

Pictured below is my earthenware crock with homemade vinegar in it. The volume level is low because the day I took this photo I was busy making a lot of formulas with it. I made this vinegar by fermenting apple juice from my neighbours apples. Steeping herbs from my own land, today nettle root, makes for truly local medicine!

Next cover your herbs with the vinegar

and don’t forget to label your medicines!  Date and location are good to note.

Store away from direct light and let it steep for 1-2 weeks. Admire its beauty, reflect on the miracle of nature, and each time you shake it infuse it with good energy and intention for how you’d like it to help you and your loved ones.  That’s part of the magic of medicine making.

After a couple of weeks, strain and separate the herb roots from the liquid. Compost the roots. Bottle and label your nettle root infused vinegar. It’s now ready to use.

HOW TO USE NETTLE VINEGAR

I use all of my vinegars in food: as a base for salad dressings; sprinkled over steamed greens (which improves mineral uptake from those veggies); to flavour grains. I also use the vinegar straight up or in a bit of water to ease digestion. You can also take it this way as a tonic, instead of a tonifying tincture. And by the way, herbal vinegars are really handy to ease burns (just splash a little on)

Enjoy!

Seraphina

11 Comments

  1. Manipal on October 7, 2014 at 12:14 am

    Good natural medicine preparation . By additional of water we can import many healthy medicine which is helpful to our body.

  2. telestream on December 2, 2013 at 4:15 am

    It’s not that I want to duplicate your internet site, but I really like the style and design. Could you let me know which style are you using? Or was it especially designed?

    • Seraphina Capranos on December 4, 2013 at 11:30 pm

      I had it custom designed with Rainbow Raven Graphics. Just google her, she’s on Vancouver Island. Thanks!

  3. Debra Capranos on April 17, 2011 at 8:24 am

    Hi – I had no idea Nettle roots were also used medicinally – what great information! The pictures add such a nice dimension to the instructions.

  4. heather ferguson on April 16, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    Hi Seraphina

    Love the instructions and pics! I’ve harvest my nettle root and am ready to go — once it’s infused for a week, do I simply eat the root? how much at a time? THANKS! Love the site.

    • Seraphina Capranos on April 17, 2011 at 9:19 pm

      Heather ~ glad you enjoy! Please check out the Douglas Fir vinegar post (under the catagory herbal), scroll to the bottom of that, and you’ll see full instructions on how to make an herbal vinegar….sure you could eat the root, but the vinegar works as an extraction solvent, pulling all the minerals out of the root and into the vinegar which you use on salads, rice, etc for bountiful health ! Enjoy!

  5. Sylvie on April 15, 2011 at 8:56 am

    Great Blogs!
    can’t wait to start making my own apple cider vinegar and dig up some roots !!
    keep blogging!!

    • Seraphina Capranos on April 16, 2011 at 1:12 pm

      Thanks Sylvie! Glad to see you here
      Yes it’s a great time to harvest the roots, and I’ll be writing an article on apple cider vinegar soon!

  6. Willow on April 14, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    HI,

    Do you usually use the vinegar as part of a salad dressing or hot drink?

    Willow

    • Seraphina Capranos on April 14, 2011 at 8:50 pm

      Hi Willow!
      I use all of my vinegars in food: as a base for salad dressings; sprinkled over steamed greens (which improves mineral uptake from those veggies); to flavour rice. I also use the vinegar straight up or in a bit of water to ease digestion. You can also take it this way as a tonic, instead of a tonifying tincture. And by the way, herbal vinegars are really handy to ease burns (just splash a little on). Hope that helps,

  7. Tucker on April 14, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    The step by steps are awesome!! The first picture is so beautiful!
    Do more!!!

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