Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica), is often times considered an irritating wild growing perennial “weed”. However, this herb is a vitamin-rich food source that has been used for 100’s of years for natural remedies, and used to aid in various medical conditions.
Nettle plants have sharp hairs that cover the entire plant and tiny fuzzy white flowers that break easily when the plant is touched, leaving skin irritation in it’s path. Nettles generally grow in the same location every year. Thriving in rich soil, moist woodlands, thickets, disturbed areas, and along partially shaded trails and riversides.
Interesting Fact: If you ever run into a Nettle plant – remember this! Rubbing nettle stings, WITH it’s own root, also known as Jewelweed, can be used to suppress the itch and burning sensation!
The Edible Parts
The leaves, stems and roots are all edible! Young leaves are most preferred, and resemble a spinach-like taste. No matter how far into the growing season, be sure to remember that until Nettles are dried or cooked, nettle will have those stinging hairs – never eat your nettles raw! Purchasing already dried herbs from Eden Ridge Market, will literally take the “sting” and work out of your Nettles! Our dried *organic nettle leaves are ready for your enjoyment!
How to Use Nettle Leaf
There are many ways to incorporate dried nettle into your life. Tonics and tinctures are often ways herbs can be used. One of the easiest ways to use this herb, while receiving many of the benefits – is by brewing nettle into a tea!
Nettle Leaf Tea
Pour 1 cup of water over 1 tsp of dried, Nettle Leaves.
Cover and allow to steep for 10-15 min.
Add raw local honey for sweetener (optional).
Nettle tea is not terribly strong-tasting, and has a delicious, yet distinctive “green” taste.
Warning: Be sure to talk to your doctor before trying new herbs. All-natural foods and drinks like tea can cause allergic reactions or interact with certain medications. Herbs and supplements can be harmful to people with certain health conditions. Always consult your doctor first.
Known as an overall nourisher and strengthener to the body. Stinging nettle leaf is chock full of vitamins and minerals most notably magnesium, calcium, iron, and protein that can be easily assimilated (Wood, Matthew 1997 & Weed, Susun 1989).
Nettle Leaf has been used to support healthy function of the kidneys, liver, digestive tract, and overall metabolism. Nettles have also been used to help flush wastes, ridding the body of acid, easing gout, eczema, skin rashes, and removing gravel in kidneys” (Wood, Matthew 1997, p. 483). Nettle has also been used to assist in “nourishing the mucus membranes of the digestive tract” easing constipation and diarrhea (Weed, Susan 1989, p. 174). Nettle is a nourishing herb, helping the entire body while increasing overall health. According to herbalist Rosemary Gladstar, “nettle is one of the highest sources of digestible iron in plant form” (1993, p. 29).
Nettle Leaf is an Astringent: used to tighten mucous membranes and capillaries in the body that are lax. Helps in situations where there is ample discharge such as with seasonal allergies, diarrhea, heavy menstrual bleeding, and recurrent nosebleeds.
Nettle is a woman’s best friend: Often recommended for menstrual issues such as PMS, excessive bleeding, anemia, fatigue, night sweats, and edema (Gladstar, Rosmary 1993; Weed, Susan 1989). It has been used to relieve fatigue caused by iron deficiency anemia (Wood, Susan 1997; Gladstar, Rosmary 1993). High amounts of iron in nettle can help to replenish iron stores and the astringent action assists in curbing excess menstrual bleeding.
Also enjoyed during pregnancy: helps to provide nourishment to mother and baby while assisting in preventing fatigue (Gladstar, Rosmary 1993). Containing high amounts of vitamin K, which is important for proper blood clotting, may help to prevent hemorrhage during childbirth (Weed, Susun 1989). Drinking nettle as a tea also has been known to help enrich and increase breast milk!
Excellent source of:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin K
Storing Nettle Leaf:
As with all spices and herbs, store in an airtight container to retain freshness. Keep out of direct light.
REFERENCES: Gladstar, Rosemary. (1993). Herbal Healing for Women New York, NY: Fireside.Weed, Susun. (1989). Healing Wise Woodstock, NY: Ash Tree Publishing.Wood, Matthew. (1997). The Book of Herbal Wisdom Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books.
IMPORTANT NOTE: We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications. This is for educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.