"Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud." - Maya Angelou
Spring is coming! We feel it in the air and in our souls. We are looking forward to getting back into our gardens and enjoying the vibe of "patio season" and more outdoor events and gatherings as the pandemic loses its grip on our communities. The symbolism of the changing of the seasons can be quite healing, and we'd love to hear how you are embracing the changes.
In response to feedback from customers, we have added NEW HOURS on Mondays. Our hours are now: Monday 9-7, Tues-Sat 11-7, and Sun 11-5. And our online shop is open for delivery and pickup!
Visit a Practitioner at Vervain
In addition to Vervain's well-curated retail space, we also have two locations for on-site holistic health care! Practitioners are currently offering naturopathic medicine, Rolfing, cranial-sacral therapy, reiki, and holistic skincare! Learn more about our practitioners and book an appointment here! If you're a practitioner that wants to be more involved with Vervain, please get in touch! We have many entry points - from using our apothecary for custom blends, teaching classes, meeting with patients/clients, and more! Here is our "For Practitioners" resource page.
Herb of the Month
In honor of the upcoming allergy season, nettle is our lucky #vervainHOTM!
What is nettle? Urtica dioica, or stinging or common nettle, is a herbaceous perennial native to the temperate regions of Europe and Asia that grows abundantly throughout temperate regions of the world in sunny areas along lakes and streams, at the edge of forests, creeping into fields, gardens and barnyards, and reclaiming empty land. Since they prefer rich, moist soil they are an indicator of soil quality, and make an excellent addition to the compost pile due to their high nitrogen content. Nettle Benefits Where do we begin?! Nettle has been used for food, medicine and fiber for thousands of years. Nettle is considered a medicinal food as well as a tonic: an herb that strengthens, nourishes, and enlivens organs throughout the whole body, especially the lungs, stomach, and urinary tract. The high concentration of minerals and vitamins in nettles makes them a go-to for anemia and other nutrient deficiencies. Nettles are indicated for liver and kidney issues, symptoms of PMS and menopause, and their anti-inflammatory properties have traditionally made them a main ingredient in hay fever and other allergy formulas. Nettles have topical uses as well: sprinkling the powder on a wound helps to staunch bleeding, and applied to the scalp, nettles can help stimulate hair growth. Additionally, nettle tea is useful for asthma, chronic and acute urinary complaints, urinary stones, nephritis and cystitis, diarrhea, dysentery, hemorrhoids, and chronic arthritic and rheumatic problems. Nettle is truly a powerhouse herb! Nettle's nourishing and medicinal action is attributed to its rich vitamin, mineral, amino acid, and chlorophyll content, as well as formic acid. The high mineral content gives nettle a salty, earthy flavor slightly reminiscent of seaweed. Stinging Nettle Spring Pesto Recipe 1/8 cup toasted seeds or nuts (pumpkin, sunflower or nuts work well) 1/8 cup grated hard cheese (or nutritional yeast for vegan pesto) 3 cloves garlic, chopped 1/2-1 cup blanched nettles* Salt to taste Olive oil Optional: you can also add any garden or foraged herbs to your pesto. Basil, rosemary, thyme, lamb's quarters, chickweed, wild onion, horseradish tops, kale, arugula...any flavorful, green plants will be lovely additions! Add all ingredients except the olive oil to a blender jar or food processor. Start to blend ingredients together and drizzle olive in a little at a time until your pesto is well blended and a desirable consistency. Store in fridge and use within a couple days or freeze in an airtight container for several months. *To blanch fresh nettles, drop from into boiling water for 60-90 seconds, then carefully remove them with tongs and put them in an ice bath. When they're cool, squeeze out the water (they will not sting you once they've been blanched!) and proceed with pesto making.
Thank you to our lovely and brilliant shop steward, Erika, for sharing her recipe!
If stung by nettle leaves, treat by rubbing the freshly bruised leaves of yellow dock or plantain over the affected area. These are often, conveniently, found growing nearby.
The stinging sensation is caused by formic acid and histamine contained in the tiny hairs that cover the stems and leaves. When they touch skin, the sharp hairs penetrate the skin, break off, and release their chemicals.
When people say they "feel nettled", now you know what they mean!