With the spring upon us, I’d like to share one of my personal springtime rituals for boosting lucid dreaming and for general physical and psychological well-being.
Many of you, especially fellow Brits, will be painfully familiar with the infamous plant Urtica dioica, aka the Stinging Nettle.
The Stinging Nettle is, more often than not, considered a rather unpleasant weed, just the slightest brush against this plant will result in a painful sting and long-lasting itchy rash.
However, many of you may not be aware that this plant has a long history as a wild-food and is often foraged and eaten as a vegetable. Indeed, I’ve made it a seasonal tradition to welcome in the springtime by adding nettle to my diet, and with good reason.
Nettle as a “Super Food”
Nettle acts as a fantastic springtime tonic, containing high levels of protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, beta-carotene and high amounts of the vitamins A, C, D, K and B complex.
Moreover, Urtica dioica first caught my eye while hunting for foods that may aid lucid dreaming. Curiously, the nettle’s infamous sting is caused due to a cocktail of chemicals administered through the tiny hairs in which it is covered.
While very unpleasant when injected via its sting, the chemicals contained in this venom are histamine, acetylcholine, and serotonin.
For lucid dreamers, serotonin and acetylcholine, might sound familiar – They’re produced in our bodies.
Serotonin is sometimes referred to as the ‘happy hormone’, though it’s responsible for a number of other roles, and acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that plays an important role in arousal, attention, memory, motivation and most importantly, lucid dreaming.
While it is still in the realms of speculation as to whether ingestion of nettle would allow for these chemicals to influence the brain, personally I’ve noticed a dramatic improvement in my psychological well-being and the frequency and length of my lucid dreams whenever I include nettle in my diet.
Indeed, I feel an almost instantaneous boost to my mood shortly after a hearty and delicious bowl of nettle soup.
Perhaps this is simply the result of a foraged nutritious meal and a walk in the beautiful springtime woodlands, but the effects are so immediate and compelling that I am strongly convinced that the nettle may be a natural and overlooked lucid dreaming superfood.
How to Collect and Prepare
I use nettle primarily as a delicious soup and pasta sauce. Although the leaves may also be brewed into a tea (although it’d not recommend this, as it’s somewhat unpleasant this way).
When collecting nettles, use a thick leather glove and only collect the fresh tips of the plant.
While foraging be respectful of the natural world. Be especially careful to check for anything that is using the nettle as a home (certain butterflies, such as the wonderful Peacock Butterfly) use the nettle as a place to safely lay their eggs). So avoid those plants that look inhabited, and to be certain, give the leaves a shake before bagging them.
For a soup that feeds 3 to 4, you’d want to collect more than enough nettles to fill a standard shopping bag.
Depending on your tastes and dietary needs, following any recipe for a leek and potato soup, replacing the leek with nettle, will make a hearty and filling meal.
Don't worry - cooking or boiling nettles removes the sting entirely
My own recipe (to feed four), includes: a large bag of nettle tips, garlic (or Allium ursinum aka Wild Garlic/Ransoms - which also grows this season), a large onion, 4 strips of smoked bacon, a strong cheddar (to taste), three large potatoes, vegetable stock and seasoned with fresh black pepper. For best results use a food processor to blend the soup once cooked.
The results are a shockingly green, delicious and rejuvenating meal that certainly appears to be beneficial for lucid dreamers and enhances one’s general well-being.
So, before you rush out to buy expensive and often ineffective lucid dreaming supplements, first consider looking for natural ways in which to enhance your lucid dreaming diet.
Not only is it cheaper but it’s also far more rewarding, direct and lucid lifestyle.