A “herb shot” for me is 20 ml in a 200ml glass of juice. Or around 30 ml in a 300 ml glass. All approximate as Paleolithic people did not carry a measuring jug around with them! I use 1 or 2 shots per glass depending on the taste of the plant and the effect I want to achieve. You can also dilute them. Goosegrass or nettle with lemon and ginger is very nice diluted with sparkling water – a sort of wild lemonade. For more on the benefits of power juicing click here.
HERBAL JUICE RECIPIES
Shot: Clivers (also called cleavers, goosegrass or sticky willie. Use the leaves and stems)
Juice: Pear (or apple) juice
Dash: Lemon juice
Use: Clivers (Galium aparine) is a great lymphatic tonic. It is alterative, diuretic and stimulates the lymph system and is used to treat conditions like lymphadenitis, tonsillitis, glandular fever, enlarged adenoids, tissue oedema and water retention. Historically it was considered one of the great ‘blood purifiers’ and used to cleanse a sluggish system to rid the body of “scurvy, scrofula, psoriasis, skin diseases and eruptions generally.”
Shot: Nettle (Leaves – tops are tenderest, roots)
Juice: Beetroot (raw is tastiest but you can used cooked)
Use: Nettle (Urtica dioica) is diuretic (makes you pee more), very high in iron, and has an antihistamine effect. Nettle juice and nettle tea is helpful in managing a variety of allergic type conditions including hayfever, asthma, eczema and rashes. The root is also used to help manage the symptoms of benign prostatic hyperplasia. So for men over a certain age, drinking nettle root regularly can help to avoid the urinary symptoms associated with an enlarged prostate.
Shot: Sweet Cicely (Leaves, flowers, seeds and roots are all edible)
Dash: You choose!
Use: Sweet Cicely (Myrrhis odorata) contains an essential oil called anethole (as does Fennel) which makes it a soothing digestif for the stomach and helpful in preventing flatulence! It has an aromatic anise/licorise scent and sweet flavour. Sweet Cicely is fantastic cooked with cabbage or brussel sprouts (to reduce the windy effect) and when cooked with tart fruit such as rhubarb or gooseberries where it provides sweetness and flavour. Dried leaves can be used in tea instead of sugar and the dried root nibbled instead of sweets. This juice combination is the guaranteed favourite of the day in our Spring workshops.
Shot: Wild Garlic (leaves, flowers, bulbs)
Dash: Cayenne / Tabasco / Wild Mustard
Use: Wild garlic (Allium ursinum) is a member of the onion family. A milder form of garlic which is a well-known remedy taken internally to help reduce high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries The typical ‘garlic’ smell is caused by sulphur compounds, which have beneficial effects on the circulatory, digestive, and respiratory systems. Garlic (Allium sativum) is the most pungent and the strongest therapeutically. This combination makes a tasty savoury juice. Wild garlic can cause stomach aches if taken in very large quantities.
Shot: Dandelion leaves
Use: Dandelion Taraxacum offcinale is a well know diuretic used in detox, weight loss and cleansing programs. Diuretics are also taken to clear sluggish conditions and skin congestion. Young leaves should be used as bitterness increases with age!
Use: Mint Mentha piperita is a digestif that is soothing and calming after meals. Ginger also helps to prevent griping and nausea.
Juice: Carrots / Tomatoes
Use: Parsley Petroselinum crispum is high in vitamins. It is used in Chinese medicine to reduce blood pressure. Parsley also helps the body absorb manganese, needed by the body to build bones, especially when eaten with shellfish and wholegrains. It also contradicts the smell of garlic so helps to keep the breath fresh if chewed after garlicky meals. Parsley, especially the seeds, contains apiole oil which is a diuretic and kidney stimulant. Another medicinal use is to stimulate blood flow in the pelvic area, useful for irregular periods and should not be eaten in large quantities by pregnant women.
These are just some suggestions. Experiment wildly!
I use a simple manual wheatgrass juicer because:
- It is easy to assemble, easy to wash, easy to transport
- It does not require electricity so it can be used anywhere
- It is perfect for high fibre ‘weeds’ that will tangle blender blades and burn out motors
- Everyone including the kids love turning the handle!!
- It costs under £30 (as of writing this)
So here is where you get The Lexen Healthy Juicer.
If you want to preserve your juices for an all-year round supply then consider pasteurising them.