Summer trimesters always seem to be easier for me. The sun, the warm weather, the beach, and farmers markets are just some of the things helping me stay grounded and not feel so drained.
After spending all my spring break in the clinic, I definitely needed some vitamin D and time to relax.
This past weekend was a busy one with the Healthy Kids Open House at the Lombard Whole Health Center on Saturday, but that didn’t stop me from waking up very early on Sunday morning to drive to Chicago, have breakfast on a patio, and then go shopping at the Logan Square Farmers Market.
Being raised in Romania, I’m used to having a farmers market near my house. There is nothing special or fancy about a farmers market in Romania. It is just a natural thing and you can always find fresh local produce all around the year. I specially miss springtime when all the green leaves flood the markets: stinging nettle, wild spinach, pigweed, ramps, sorrel, lovage, and green garlic.
You can imagine my joy when last year, at Logan Square Farmers Market, I found fresh stinging nettles, sorrel and lovage. I know it’s a cultural thing and each country uses different herbs and plants, but I still dream about the tastes of my childhood. If you are curious to try fresh stinging nettles, you can add them into a green smoothie or you can go for this traditional Romanian recipe.
Why do I love nettles so much?
Nettle is rich in vitamin A, B2, C, K, and trace minerals. Being a diuretic, it transfers uric acid from tissues into the blood and increases uric acid elimination through urine. It helps in cases of gout, kidney stones, rheumatism, and rhinitis. Traditionally, nettle has been used in wounds, varicose ulcers, or hemorrhoids. The tincture is also used for anemia and detoxing the body.
In European countries, every spring, people try to incorporate nettles in their diet as much as possible to help the body detox after a heavier diet during winter.
If you don’t have the chance to try fresh nettles, just go for the tea that you can find in any health food store. I like the one from Traditional Medicinals but you can do your own research and choose the one you like.
Have a great summer and good luck with all the exams coming up soon!