The arrival of spring calls the lovely rebirth of the Nettle plant. This abundant (and edible!) herb
is a member of the Urticaceae plant family. Nettle grows widely in nitrogen rich soils -- found in
both the United States and dispersed throughout Europe. Although painful to the touch, when
used internally, nettle is a gentle healer for various ailments.
What are the benefits of Nettle?
Nettle has a plethora of vitamins and minerals housed within its green leaves. It’s commonly
known to herbalists as a revitalizing plant -- used to “revive” the entire body and increase organ
functionality. In particular, nettle works to improve daily kidney, liver, and stomach functions.
For many, nettle has been used as an essential herb for stress, fatigue, and burnout. Herbalists
recommend nettle for prolonged stress since the plant works profoundly on the adrenal system.
Nettle is also the perfect herb for treating seasonal allergy symptoms - such as runny nose,
itching, and allergy-related headaches due to its natural anti-histamine property.
Nettle is known as a “super herb” regarding its ability to help women at every stage of life.
Specifically, it helps women combat fatigue caused by low iron. For expecting mothers, nettles
provide high amounts of Vitamin K to prevent blood clots from pregnancy. Once the child is
born, taking nettle supplements increases the supply of a mother’s breast milk. The plant
provides deep nutrition for both the newborn baby and the mother’s health.
How do you take Nettle?
The way nettle is taken depends on personal preference. The most common ways are teas,
tinctures, and herbal capsules. Many herbalists will also incorporate nettle into their daily meals
(via soups, sauces, or infused vinegars) for the best assimilation of the plant’s vitamin and
mineral content. As a food-grade plant, nettle is gentle enough for people of all ages and
constitutions to use in moderation.
Note: Fresh nettle leaves will sting upon contact. This property is deactivated with drying or
cooking, so have no fear!
If you are feeling adventurous and want to make a healthy green smoothie with foraged nettle,
try this recipe during the upcoming spring months:
- Half a cup of fresh nettle leaves (you’ll need to wear gloves to harvest them!)
- Half of an organic cucumber
- One large banana
- Half cup of organic sliced pineapple
- Two cups of organic coconut water (or regular water)
- Half an avocado
to deactivate the sting in their leaf hairs. Bring a pot of water to a boil and drop the clean leaves
in, allowing them to cook for 1-2 minutes. Stir frequently. Strain out the leaves and add them,
along with the rest of the ingredients, to the blender. Puree and drink!