Susun Weed harvests Motherwort aka Leonurus cardiaca. Great for menopause. Harvesting flowers and tops. Healthy heart tonic for women and men. 3-5 drops at the onset of menses for cramps. Regulates blood pressure.
"The hot flashes didn't slow me down, but the menstrual cramps did. I remember cramps like this when I was a teen. I vaguely remember hot water bottles, my mother's tender touch, thick novels, time alone to dream, to envision how my life would flower."
Step 1. Collect information . . .
The amount and intensity of your menstrual cramping may very well change during your Change. The major problem menopausal women face in dealing with cramps is that most herbs and many drugs which relieve cramping also increase flooding. Steps 2 and 3 offer some that don't.
Step 2. Engage the energy . . .
o Menstrual cramps remind us to take time alone. o Sit in a hot bath and flow, melt, dissolve, relax, release, let go.
Step 3. Nourish and tonify . . .
H Liferoot is one of my favorite remedies for menopausal women dealing with intense cramps, especially if accompanied by severe fatigue, nausea, and faintness. A small dose (5-10 drops) of the tincture of the fresh liferoot flowers, taken daily during the luteal phase (from ovulation to menstruation) for at least 3-6 months has "worked wonders" for many women who were totally incapacitated by menstrual distress. This remedy may be difficult to purchase. Mail order sources are listed on page XXX. Or make your own. (Directions on page XXX.) H Black haw and cramp bark, both virburnums, are superb allies for menopausal women with cramping and flooding. The tincture of either is an astringent tonic, powerful antispasmodic, and rich source of hormonal precursors. A dose is 10-20 drops, in water, as often as needed. o Garden sage tea is hormone-rich and astringent, and, like all mints, a remedy for menstrual cramps. Most mints - such as catnip and pennyroyal, common and highly effective remedies for cramps - increase flooding, and are best avoided during the menopausal years. Smoking a catnip cigarette is, however, a highly effective way to diminish cramps and is unlikely to promote excessive bleeding.
Step 4. Sedate/Stimulate . . .
o If you're cramping but not flooding, try ginger tea. o A dose of 5-15 drops of motherwort tincture is a great choice for menopausal women with menstrual cramping. The dose may be repeated, but it is better not to use this remedy on a daily basis, as it may increase circulation and provoke flooding. H Valerian root tincture, 30 drops repeated as needed, eases menstrual pain dramatically. Valerian makes many women sleepy and a few hyperactive.
Step 5b. Use drugs . . .
o Aspirin eases menstrual cramps but can provoke flooding. So can Midol. Willow bark (Salix) tincture is as effective as aspirin in relieving cramps but less likely to cause flooding. Best in vinegar.
Step 6. Break and enter . . .
H A Crone's Year Away will disrupt every part of your life, breaking down carefully established patterns. It's time for a Change.
If you liked this excerpt by Susun S. Weed, you will want NEW Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way: Alternative Approaches for Women 30 - 90 by Susun S. Weed Foreword by Juliette de Bairacli Levy. 304 pages, index, magical illustrations. Completely revised with 100 new pages. All the remedies women know and trust plus hundreds of new ones. New sections on thyroid health, fibromyalgia, hairy problems, male menopause, and herbs for women taking hormones. Recommended by Susan Love MD and Christiane Northrup MD.
Before I went to sleep last night I asked spirit to give me guidance about my health and this morning found your site. As I don't believe in coincidences this must be the right place for me at this time.
I'm taking thyroxine for thyroid Waiting for surgery to have parathyroid gland removed Have osteoporosis as a result of p/thyroid gland leaching calcium from my bones
After surgery they say the osteoporosis can be reversed and bone rebuilt. This is what I'm worried about, what will they give me to rebuild bone? When I was finished reading your article I felt sure that bone could be rebuilt naturally, I'm confused about where to start though. Which herbal infusion to use and how often? And is there anything I can be using now to help the bones even before surgery?
I am vegetarian and I don't: eat processed food drink smoke use sugar
Thank you for your time Joyfully Lesley
Starting to use any of the infusions on a daily basis will be of great benefit - Comfrey leaf infusions are wonderful for bone health… cooked greens with medicinal vinegars, not eating a low-fat diet, good organic dairy… Susun would also recommend a bit of fatty fish – sardines, salmon… only fermented soy such as miso or tamari… Susun has a lot about bone health in her book, The New Menopausal Years… You may also be interested in taking Susun’s free online course which covers the infusions, medicinal vinegars, etc. and has additional resources on bone health… We’ve linked to some good reading below. Susun is available during her free health hotline, each Tuesday from 7:30pm – 9pm Eastern; 646-929-2463; http://www.blogtalkradio.com/susunweed
If you're ready to go deeper with your herbal studies, join Susun on her new Mentorship website. Get new content weekly such as the expanded herbal ezine, replays of teleseminars, videos, audio of Susuns past lectures, many articles by Susun, and even personal one on one mentorship from Susun. www.wisewomanmentor.com
Susun Weed and her granddaughter, Monica Jean demonstrate making a nourishing herbal infusion with red clover blossoms. Red clover is better in every way than its cousin soy. It contains four phytoestrogens; soy has only one (isoflavone). Red clover infusion has ten times more phytoestrogens than soy "milk," fewer calories, more calcium, and no added sugars. Red clover is the world's leading anti-cancer herb; soy isoflavone encourages the growth of breast cancer cells in the lab.
Birth control, never simple or easy, is complicated incredibly by the erratic ovulations and unpatterned menses of the premenopausal and menopausal years. Remember your high school chums who unexpectedly had a little baby brother or sister? The biological imperative to reproduce doesn't die without a struggle. This section is for those who don't want to have a(nother) child. If you do, go to page 57.
Step 2. Engage the energy . . .
~ Barrier methods (diaphragms, cervical caps, and condoms) are good choices for menopausal women. But the spermicides used with them may provoke vaginal yeast infections, bladder infections, and dryness. ~Try an erotic massage instead of intercourse. Use a special lubricant, like coconut oil. Light candles; buy a bouquet of flowers. Take your time.
Step 3. Nourish and tonify . . .
~ Ejaculation control and withdrawl won't prevent conception for a woman in the fullness of her fertility, but it will for most menopausal women. And, it's a womderful way to nourish intimacy in a realtionship. ~ Self-pleasuring is safe sex for menopausal women. Guaranteed to not result in pregnancy and promotes health, too! Let Betty Dodson help you with her self-loving books and tapes (page 64). Your mid-life mate may appreciate learning that sexual pleasure is more than penetration. Lesbianism and celibacy also work very well.
Step 4. Stimulate/Sedate . . .
~ Get him (and his testicles) in hot water. Sperm are easily killed at temperatures over 110F. if he sits in hot water for 15-25 minutes a day for six weeks, he will shoot blanks for at least three months. A vasectomy is even safer, and lasts longer. ~ Women find a teaspoon of wild carrot seeds (Daucus carota or Queen Anne's Lace) eaten in food daily is an incredibly effective way to prevent pregnancy.
Step 5b. Use drugs . . .
~ Doctors who used to tell menopausal women to stop taking birth control pills, now urge them to start, then switch to "replacement" therapy.
Step 6. Break and enter . . .
~ Remove your IUD if it causes heavy menstrual periods or flooding, common menopausal problems which can be serious threats to your health. ~Sterilization and hysterectomy are extreme forms of birth control for menopausal women who will soon need no birth control of any kind.
If you liked this excerpt by Susun S. Weed, you will want NEW Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way: Alternative Approaches for Women 30 - 90 by Susun S. Weed Foreword by Juliette de Bairacli Levy. 304 pages, index, magical illustrations. Completely revised with 100 new pages. All the remedies women know and trust plus hundreds of new ones. New sections on thyroid health, fibromyalgia, hairy problems, male menopause, and herbs for women taking hormones. Recommended by Susan Love MD and Christiane Northrup MD. Retails for $16.95
Seaweeds The weeds of the ocean have so much to give us. Let them help you:
• Prevent and relieve osteoporosis
• Maintain strong, flexible bones
Seaweeds contain lavish amounts of every mineral needed to create and maintain solid bone mass. Kelp is an exceptionally rich source.
• Lower blood pressure and cholesterol, increase cardiac efficiency
• Eliminate varicose veins and hemorrhoids
Japanese research confirms the cardiotonic and hypotensive effects of seaweeds.
• Maintain healthy thyroid function
• Relieve incontinence, vaginal dryness, and persistent hot flashes
• Nourish the glandular and urinary systems
Seaweeds are superb sources of the nutrients most needed by the endocrine, circulatory, and immune systems. Regular use helps maintain adequate production of all hormones, especially thyroid hormones. Lavish use may reverse hypothyroidism.
• Increase immune functioning
• Increase stamina
• Minimize the effects of stress, chemicals, and radiation
• Lengthen life span
Algin in seaweed escorts damaging compounds harmlessly out of the body. Free radicals are also eliminated. Vitamins E, C, and A are found abundantly in seaweeds. I use seaweed to protect myself from air pollution, chemicals in my food, and the thinning ozone layer. It can be used freely for several days before and after any X-ray, from dental ones to mammograms.
• Improve digestion
• Restore sexual interest and enjoyment
• Ease sore joints
• Bring a glossy glow to hair and skin
As befits denizens of the ocean, seaweeds are especially good at nourishing juices: digestive juices, joint juices, emotional juices, erotic juices. Seaweed helps them all flow.
All seaweeds are edible, so you can gather your own, if you wish. Kelp, wakame, khombu, dulse, hijiki, and arame are sold at Oriental and health food stores.
Dosage: As a vegetable, 1/2 ounce/15 grams dry weight, weekly. As a condiment, unlimited daily use.
CAUTION: The iodine in kelp may aggravate hyperthyroid conditions.
Some post-menopausal women tell me stinging nettle is so nourishing and energizing they find themselves unexpectedly having a normal menstrual flow after regular use of it.
The more usual effects of nettle are to:
• Nourish, strengthen, rebuild kidneys and adrenals
• Ease and eliminate cystitis, bloat, and incontinence
• Rehydrate dry vaginal tissues
Nettle has a miraculous ability to heal and restore adrenal/kidney functioning. Stories continue to make their way to me of women who have avoided dialysis, gotten off dialysis, and so repaired their kidneys that replacement surgery was canceled, thanks to sister stinging nettle. Nourish your post-menopausal adrenals with nettle infusion and they'll produce enough estrogen to keep you looking and feeling juicy.
• Nourish and energize the endocrine glands
• Nourish and rejuvenate the cardiovascular system
• Normalize weight
• Ease and prevent sore joints
• Relieve constipation and reduce hemorrhoids
• Nourish supple skin and healthy hair
Nettles' super supplies of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and micro-nutrients nourish every bit of you, encouraging optimal functioning in all aspects of your being. Nettle influences hormones through its wealth of lipids (triglycerides, fatty acids, tocopherols, sterols, galactosyl-diglycerides) and restores health to the cardiovascular system burdened with cardiac edema and venous insufficiency.1
• Create strong, flexible bones
Nettle infusions, vinegars, and soups are fantastic sources of calcium, magnesium, potassium, silicon, boron, and zinc: the strong bone sisters. Nettles are also a source of vitamin D, a crucial nutrient for flexible, healthy bones.
• Stabilize blood sugar
Rich in chromium, manganese, and other nutrients restorative to glandular functioning, nettles, I suspect, help prevent adult-onset diabetes.
• Reduce fatigue and exhaustion; improve stamina
Nettles nourish your energy at the deepest possible levels with intense supplies of iron, chlorophyll, and copper.
• Reduce and eliminate headaches
• Nourish and support the immune system, prevent cancer
• Nourish and heal the digestive system
• Nourish and strengthen the nervous system
Nettles are an optimum source of the vitamins critically important for health: vitamin B complex (especially thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin), carotenes (vitamin A), and vitamin C (ascorbates and bioflavonoids).
Enjoy cooked nettle greens all spring, but be sure to harvest and dry enough for winter-time infusions, too. I pick nettles only before they flower. Fresh leaves steeped in olive oil impart a rich taste and innumerable healing qualities to the oil. Nettles make a great vinegar, too.
Dosage: Infusion of dried herb, 1-4 cups/250-1000 ml, a day.
CAUTION: Do not use flowering nettle for food or medicine.
"Open your heart to me, my own," whispers Grandmother Growth so softly you aren't certain you hear her. "Open the wisdom way of compassion here in your heart and draw me inside. Let Grandmother Growth be inside you, helping you encompass the whole, in the beat of your own heart, my heart, Crone's heart."
Thinking of taking hormone replacement to keep your heart healthy? Think again. Data released in April of the year 2000, from the federal government's Women's Health Initiative, showed "a small increase in the number of heart attacks, strokes and blood clots in the lungs of women on hormone replacement compared with women on placebo." The Heart and Estrogen/Progestin Replacement Study (HERS), completed in 1998, found the same connection. For a healthy heart, don't take hormones.
"Recently released data from the federal government's Women's Health Initiative suggests that during the first two years of postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy there is a slightly greater risk of heart attack, stroke and blood clots."
Heart disease is America's top killer (claiming a life every 34 seconds). Women aged 30-50 have far less risk of heart disease than a man their age. But postmenopausal women die from heart disease at rates as high as men's. (Women account for 51 percent of all cardiovascular deaths; men, 49 percent.) Is it lack of estrogen?
No. Estrogen does lower LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol, but cholesterol is only weakly linked to heart disease, especially in women. (Most heart attacks happen to people with normal cholesterol levels.)
Estrogen raises blood pressure (one of the top three reasons for heart attacks in women), increases triglycerides, promotes clotting (a leading factor in heart attacks and strokes), and raises levels of C-reactive protein (a marker for inflammation associated with heart disease). Take progestins/progesterone too and you increase your risk of heart disease even more. Hormone replacement really isn't heart healthy.
Aren't there studies linking estrogen usage to lowered risk of heart disease? Only retrospective ones, which cannot establish a cause-and-effect link. And the women in those studies ate well, exercized regularly, and were unlikely to smoke - behaviors that are critical to heart health. The simple truth is more than 90 percent of all heart disease is preventable with lifestyle choices.
The three top risk factors for heart disease in women are too much belly fat, smoking, and untreated hypertension. High cholesterol is one of the top three risk factors for men, but not for women. (This is because, after menopause, we make heart healthy hormones from our cholesterol.)
The Nurses Health Study - which followed 86,000 women for 14 years - shows what happens to those wise old Crones who follow heart healthy behaviors:
+ Those who ate more fish than meat, plus plenty of whole grains, beans, leafy greens, fruits, and vegetables reduced their risk of heart disease by one-third compared to those who ate a "normal" American diet. Eating one serving a day of whole-grain foods reduced heart attacks by 34 percent in another study of 34,000 postmenopausal women.
+ Those who are at least 5 ounces of nuts a week were only half as likely to have a heart attack as those who ate none.
+ Women who walked a total of three hours per week or who exercised vigorously for at least 90 minutes a week had one third fewer heart attacks than women who got no exercise. Those who walked five or more hours a week cut their risk in half.
o Rose flower essence and rose quartz essence are both recommended for engaging the energy of the heart.
o Do you attack your heart? Do you close your heart to protect it? Love yourself. Give yourself plenty of nice strokes so you won't have a bad stroke. Try Stephen Levine's meditation "Opening the Heart" in Who Dies?
o People in Hawaii, New Mexico, and Arizona have the healthiest hearts in the United States. Imagine you live there.
Smile! Depression increases your risk of both heart attack and stroke. In fact, severe depression is more strongly linked to stroke risk than high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking cigarettes, being overweight, and nine other known risk factors. When you smile, your brain makes hormones that make you, and your heart, feel good. So, smile.
~ Touch and be touched. In numerous scientific studies, people who were touched lovingly every day had significantly fewer heart problems than those who weren't.
~ Nuts to heart attacks. The fats in nuts have been linked to a reduced risk of heart attacks. Volunteers on high-fat diets (35-40 percent of calories nuts and olive oil) lowered their LDL cholesterol by 13 percent. Greek women do the same, and have one of the lowest rates of heart disease in the world.
o Essential fatty acids, especially omega-3s, are ever so essential to a healthy heart. Look for them in fish (salmon, sardines, trout, herring are highest), seeds, whole grains, beans, and nuts. They are especially abundant in wild seeds such as plantain, lamb's quarter, and amaranth. And in freshly ground flax seeds. Women who consume the EFA alpha-linolenic acid daily have the lowest risk of a fatal heart attack.1
~ Keep your heart healthy with regular use of seaweeds. Seaweeds have clinically proven cardiotonic effects: they stabilize blood pressure; regulate levels of triglycerides, phospholipids, and cholesterols; prolong the life of the heart muscle; and encourage a steady heart beat.
o Women who regularly eat foods rich in carotenes cut their risk of stroke by 40 percent. Women who eat broccoli at least once a week have roughly half the risk of heart disease as women who eat none.
~ Eliminating or limiting carbohydrates, especially refined flours and sugars, has halved the cholesterol of several friends whose totals were above 400.
"What emerges is a clear association of heart disease with . . . consumption of devitalized, processed, fabricated food items, including sugar and fructose, soft drinks, fortified white flour, milk and egg powders, caffeine, imitation broth products, synthetic vitamins, vegetable oils, and hydrogenated fats." -- Sally Fallon
~ Garlic, Knoblauch, Ail (Allium sativum) is a great friend to old hearts. Several cloves a day of fresh, raw garlic can lower blood pressure, reduce phospholipids and cholesterol, strengthen heart action, increase immune response, reduce platelet clumping and clotting (thus reducing strokes), and stabilize blood sugar levels.
Don't like raw garlic? Use powdered! A four-year study found women who ingested 900 mg (1/4 teaspoonful) of garlic powder daily had 18 percent less arterial plaque than those taking a placebo.
~ Hawthorn berry tincture is the standard herbal heart tonic, and for good reason. It is broadly effective, virtually without overdose, and easy to make from fresh or dried berries. An elegant shrub or small tree, hawthorn is frequently cultivated in the suburbs.
Injectable forms of Crataegus were used by MDs up until the 1950s to treat vascular heart disease, high blood pressure, inflammation of the heart muscle, and arteriosclerosis.
The action of hawthorn is slow but complete. It strengthens the heart, establishes a regular heart beat, relieves water build-up around the heart, and resolves stress throughout the cardiovascular system. Dose is 25-40 drops of the berry tincture, up to 4 times a day. Expect results no sooner than 6-8 weeks.
~ Motherwort, that dear friend of menopausal women, is a favorite heart tonic. A dose of 10-20 drops of the tincture of the flowering tops, taken up to three times a day, helps lower blood pressure, strengthen heart action, ease palpitations and irregular heartbeats, and make room in the heart for compassion.
~ Keep your heart healthy by eating chocolate. Sound too good to be true? Despite its reputation, chocolate is loaded with heart healthy phytochemicals. Cocoa's tretramers curb oxidation of the blood vessel walls, short-circuiting the build up of atherosclerotic plaque; they also help keep the vessels relaxed, keeping blood pressure down.
Chocolate's flavonoids are more powerful than vitamin C in limiting oxidation of LDL; they protect all lipids in the blood from free-radical damage. Procyanidins are flavonoids that work like mild aspirins, keeping the blood thin and free-flowing.
Polyphenols are heart-healthy substances found abundantly in red wine, green tea, and chocolate. Daily use may prevent stroke by delaying blood clotting time. (.75 ounces/20 grams of dark chocolate = one-half cup tea = one glass red wine.)
Chocolate also prevents blood platelet fragmentation (which occurs when platelets get sticky), and boosts HDL (good) cholesterol. No wonder it often comes in heart-shaped boxes!
o Lemon balm is so strengthening to the heart, it is said those who drink it daily will live forever. Brew fresh or dried leaves in a cup of water for 5-10 minutes. Or steep fresh leaves in a glass of white wine for 1-2 hours and drink with dinner. Or enjoy 1-2 tablespoons/15-30 ml of the vinegar.
o You don't have to sweat, but you do have to move! to keep your heart healthy. However you can do it, do it; no excuses.
o Dandelion root tincture lowers blood pressure and keeps your heart and cardiovascular system healthy and happy. Use 10-15 drops with meals.
~ If you eat meat, be sure to eat whole grains and beans. Homocysteine is concentrated in the blood of those who eat a lot of animal protein and don't get enough B vitamins to process it completely.
"It is a bone-deep change you are going into, my beloved," counsels Grandmother Growth. "You must open to your very marrow for this transformation. No cell is to remain untouched. You are to open more than you ever dreamed you could open, more than you have opened in birth or in passion. You open now to the breath of mortality as it plays the bone flute of your being. What can you do but dance to the haunting melody, develop a passion for an elegant posture and a long stride?
"Ah, yes," Grandmother Growth smiles rather wantonly. "It would do you well to develop a taste for dark greens tarted with vinegar and mated with garlic. These things will build strong flexible bones to support you as you become Crone."
Did you know that your bones are always changing? Every day of your life, some bone cells die and some new bone cells are created. From birth until your early 30s, you can easily make lots of bone cells. So long as your diet supplies the necessary nutrients, you not only replace bone cells that die, you have extras left over to lengthen and strengthen your bones.
Past the age of 35, new bone cells are more difficult to make. Sometimes there is a shortfall: more bone cells die than you can replace. In the orthodox view, this is the beginning of osteoporosis, the disease of low bone mass. By the age of forty, many American women have begun to lose bone mass; by the age of fifty, most are told they must take hormones or drugs to prevent further loss and avoid osteoporosis, hip fracture, and death.
Women who exercise regularly and eat calcium-rich foods enter their menopausal years with better bone mass than women who sit a lot and consume calcium-leaching foods (including soy "milk," tofu, coffee, soda pop, alcohol, white flour products, processed meats, nutritional yeast, and bran). But no matter how good your lifestyle choices, bone mass usually decreases during the menopausal years.
For unknown reasons, menopausal bones slow down production of new cells and seem to ignore the presence of calcium. This "bone-pause" is generally short-lived, occurring off and on for five to seven years. I noticed it in scattered episodes of falling hair, breaking fingernails, and the same "growing pains" I experienced during puberty. I did not see it in a bone scan, because I didn't have one.
The idea behind bone scans is a good one: find women who are at risk of broken bones, alert them to the danger, and help them engage in preventative strategies. There's only one problem: bone scans don't find women who are at risk of broken bones, they find women who have low bone density.
I would like to help you let go of the idea that osteoporosis is important. In the Wise Woman Tradition, we focus on the patient, not the problem. In the Wise Woman tradition, there are no diseases and no cures for diseases. When we focus on a disease, like osteoporosis, we cannot see the whole woman. The more we focus on one disease, even its prevention, the less likely we are to nourish wholeness and health.
Menopause is a time of enormous change. Wise women of all times have found simple life-style changes can make their Change much easier. For optimum health during and after menopause, do these two things: exercise a different way every day and drink nourishing herbal infusions.
Exercise a different way every day
Take walks, lift weights, dance, garden, do yoga, try tai chi.
We all know how important exercise is for strong bones, healthy hearts, resistance to diabetes, and weight maintenance. But did you know it prevents depression too? By yourself, or with a friend, exercise is one of the golden keys to a long, healthy life.
Drink Nourishing Herbal Infusions
Nourishing herbal infusions are the second key to vibrant elder years and an easier menopause. They provide protein, minerals, phytoestrogens, and special fats needed by menopausal women. Many common menopausal problems can be connected to a lack of one or more of these nutrients.
Low protein leaves hair and skin dull, lifeless, and thin. Nourishing herbal infusions, plain yogurt, lentils, and organic meats are excellent sources.
Low levels of minerals leave the bones and heart deprived of calcium, the immune system low in zinc, and the muscles prone to pain and spasms. Nourishing herbal infusions, plain yogurt, seaweed, and organic chocolate are magnificent sources.
Insufficient phytoestrogens in the diet increase breast cancer risk and menopausal distress. Nourishing herbal infusions, lentils, roots and seeds are the best sources.
Lack of high-quality fats, can lead to thyroid problems, immune system stress, lack of energy, and blood vessel disease. Nourishing herbal infusions, full-fat yogurt, organic chocolate, olive oil, organic butter, nuts and seeds are superb sources.
To make a nourishing herbal infusion: Buy (or gather and dry) at least one ounce of nettle leaf or oatstraw or red clover blossoms or comfrey leaf. Place the ounce of dried herb in a quart jar. (One ounce equals one full cup of dried herb.) Fill jar to the top with boiling water. Cap tightly and allow to brew for at least four hours. Overnight is fine. Strain and drink 2-4 cups a day. Most menopausal women prefer their infusion iced, but you can drink it hot or at room temperature. A little mint or sage may be added to change the flavor.
Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) builds energy, strengthens the adrenals, and is said to restore youthful flexibility to blood vessels. A cup of nettle infusion contains 500 milligrams of calcium plus generous amounts of bone-building magnesium, potassium, silicon, boron, and zinc. It is also an excellent source of vitamins A, D, E, and K. For flexible bones, a healthy heart, thick hair, beautiful skin, and lots of energy, make friends with sister stinging nettle. It may make you feel so good you'll jump up and exercise.