What do herbal spring tonics and the absence of a multi-vitamin have to do with keeping your child healthy?
Next Monday I’ll be sharing my thoughts and findings on using a daily multi-vitamins for kids, but today I’m going to give you a recipe for an easy to make, herbal “spring tonic” blend that my kids take in place of a daily multi-vitamin. Now, they don’t take this blend every single day, but they do take some form of nutritional herbs on a daily basis to add more whole food vitamins into their diets. However, this is what I commonly use during the spring since this is the time these fabulous herbs are growing in your yards, fields, and forrests.
What do you think of when you hear the term “herbal tonic” or “spring tonic”?
- I think of something nutritional that tones the body, can be used in large amounts, and doesn’t really have any dosing limits.
- I don’t think of dealing with a specific problem or a specific organ.
- I don’t really even think of something medicinal. The word “nourishing” comes to mind.
- I think that it must be intended to use during spring time and not necessarily year round.
Spring Tonic Herbs
The herbs used in this spring tonic blend are all herbs that start growing and are abundant in the spring… hence the term “spring tonic”.
Now I’m a big fan of eating with the seasons… as in trying to find recipes and side dishes that contain vegetables that are currently in their natural growing season. My family eats more meats in the fall and winter than we do in the spring and summer. If you look back over my free weekly real food meal plans, you may have noticed that. This also means that I try to use herbs that are in season as well. In the spring, certain plants tend to grow readily, and this is the time when all the energy of the plant is moving from the roots into the new fresh leaves and stems. That’s what I want. I want that energy… that nutrition… that life. To me, this is how God meant for it to be. It gives our body that cleansing boost that it needs after a long cold season.
These herbs are packed with nutritional vitamins and minerals among other phytochemicals that our children’s bodies will benefit from. You can find them in many health food stores as well as online.
Now I typically buy my herbs in whole form (flowers, leaves, roots), but when I buy these herbs, I buy them powdered because that’s how I want to use them. Powdered herbs don’t last as long as whole herbs, but that’s okay in this case because I’ll be using them right away.
The herbs used in this blend are nettle, chickweed, plantain, and maca.
Nutritional Content Of Spring Herbs
- Nettle is an herb that contains high levels of protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, and beta-carotene as well as high amounts of the vitamins A, C, D, and B complex.
- Chickweed is an excellent source of vitamins A, C, D, B complex, and rutin (an accompanying flavonoid), as well as iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, sodium, copper, and silica.
- Plantain is a very nutritional leafy vegetable containing calcium and vitamins A, C, and K.
- Maca is LOADED with nutritional benefits. So many that I couldn’t possibly list them all, but if you want a good overview, visit this maca nutrition facts page, to see for yourself. Basically though, maca is high in calcuim, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and sodium as well as vitamins B1, B2, C, and Niacin. It’s also a good source of healthy carbs and bio-available plant proteins. Plus it contains nearly all of the essential amino acids a body needs.
So as you can see, this blend of herbs offers your child a good variety of vitamins and minerals as well as other nutritional benefits that will help their growing bodies this spring.
The Recipe: Nutritional Spring Tonic Herb Blend
- 3 T. red maca root powder (buy here)
- 2 T. nettle leaf powder (buy here)
- 2 T. plantain powder (buy here)
- 1 T. chickweed powder (buy here)
Mix each powdered herb together in a bowl and store in a glass jar. Don’t forget to label it! To use this blend, just add 1 tsp. per serving of recipe to whatever you’re making.
For example, when I’m making fruit smoothies, I sprinkle in 4-5 tsp. of my blend slowly into my blender while it’s mixing in order to mix it all up with no clumps, and I end up with 4-5 smoothies… one for each of us! Very easy!
More Ways To Use This Herb Blend
The above recipe can be used in place of the herbal mix that’s used in my multi-vitamin herb balls for kids, and it can also used to add to your smoothies or to your raw granola bars. Let me just say that I never put this in foods that will be cooked or heated above 100 degrees because I don’t want to destroy any of the nutrients in the herbs.
Wondering how this tastes?
Honestly, it tastes pretty good. Trust me. My kids can be picky, and when it comes to herbs and wanting your kids to take them, you MUST make them taste good. Red maca root is used in this blend and it tastes great all by itself, but once you take the whole blend and combine it with your nut butters, fruits, honeys, etc. it’s going to taste so good. Your kids probably won’t even know they’re eating herbs!
If you wanna get more of maca’s superfood powers into your kid’s diet, then take advantage of my 10% discount when you purchase maca root powder for your kids by using my coupon code “HERBAL” when you place your order on any of The Maca Team’s products! Hey, every little bit helps!