You may only know of nettles or stinging nettles as a burden–generally known to gardeners as an annoying weed–but this wonder herb actually has amazing health benefits.
Although referred to some as a pest, she is also known for her mothering side, offering what we need to be healthy and strong. The flavour of nettle tea is likened to that of milk or mother’s milk, reminding us that while protective, she offers nourishment.
The nettle has been used since ancient times, going back as far as 3000-2000 BC, as a food, medicine and even fibre for clothing.
Nettles pack a powerful punch as they make a potent tonic after the long winter months, due to providing one of the best sources of vitamins and minerals. In spring, the fresh green leaves may be cooked and eaten like spinach, made into a delicious soup or drunk as a tea.
All you need
They are packed full of vitamin A, iron, magnesium, calcium, vitamin B6 and potassium, so you can get all of your daily needs in one hit.
The many other health benefits include:
- an excellent remedy for anaemia – the vitamin C content ensures that iron is properly absorbed
- reduces arthritis, joint pain and gout
- encourages the flow of breast milk and lowers blood sugar levels
- effective in stopping bleeding, as it promotes healing tissue used for profuse menstruation and nose bleeds
- useful in treating eczema and can eliminate dandruff
- high levels of chlorophyll that act as an anti-oxidant and enhances the effects of vitamins and minerals in the body.
As a young child, my son suffered from severe nose bleeds, that lasted for hours. After taking nettle capsules for a couple of weeks, the nose bleeds stopped and he never experienced another one.
A dear friend of mine suffered with agonizing arthritis in her hands. Her job required extensive use of her hands and she was experiencing great difficulty. She began drinking two cups of nettle tea a day and within a couple of days, her hands were pain free. She still uses it regularly with amazing results.
Drink them on the daily
It’s easy to incorporate nettles into your diet and daily routine via teas or tinctures.
Tea – infuse 1-3 teaspoons (2-6 g) in 1 cup (250 ml) of boiling water. Infuse for 10-15 minutes and drink 1 cup 2-3 times daily.
Nettle tincture – 5-30 drops in small amount of water, 2-3 times daily.
Or pop by Crossroads Market or Market on Macleod to pick some up.