I’ve shown you recently how to get revenge on those pesky dandelions that never seem to stop growing in your yard by making tea and salad out of them. After getting attacked by the evil little plant known as Stinging Nettle last week I was curious if there were ways I could get my revenge on this plant as well. I wanted to find some alternative uses for the herb. Well, much to my surprise nettle is actually one of natures super foods with amazing health benefits and a ton of uses for natural home remedies.
Some of the benefits of nettle include:
- Great source of vitamin C, A, iron, potassium, magnesium and calcium
- Source chlorophyl and tannin, beta carotene and B vitamins
- Has 10% more protein than any other vegetable
- Used to treat anemia, arthritis and gout
- Because of its high vitamin K content it is used to treat high blood pressure and bleeding.
Nettles grow around my house like weeds. Seriously, I collected mine from my back yard but they are EVERYWHERE all around the farm. It’s great to be able to put them to use instead of just being constantly stung every time I wear Capri pants outside. Nettles are a perennial shrub native to North America, Europe, Asia. It grows in wooded areas and open meadows. If there is some kind of green space near you, there is a good chance you can find some nettles.
Make sure you pick your nettles away from the roads or places they may be exposed to chemicals and weed killers.
Look for young nettles and clip off the tips of the plant to harvest the small leaves. It’s best to pick them in the early spring. You want to avoid larger mature plants because they can taste bitter. Obviously you should wear gloves. The tiny hairs on the plant hurt like heck if they sting you. Once the leaves are cooked or boiled they loose their stinging power.
Once you have enough nettles you should wash them gently, chop them and put them in your tea pot, add boiling water and steep for 5-10 minutes. I used about 1 cup of nettles for 1 small pot of tea.
For those who have not had nettle tea before, you may want to go easy and not make the tea too strong or drink more than one cup per day to start with. Since nettle tea can act as a diuretic and laxative. If you drink too much to soon you may be running to the bathroom every five minutes for the rest of the day.
The taste is similar to green tea. It has a light herbal, woody taste. You can add lemon or sugar if you like.
I've got a lot more uses for nettle to share including some natural skin care remedies and garden pest control . Stay tuned for a post on those topics soon. What do you think about nettle? Have you tried it? Would you try it?