Stinging Nettle – a super herb that as its name professes, stings the skin through hollow hair called trichomes. Best handled with gloves.
A superior tonic herb, nettle is rich in iron, calcium, potassium, silicon, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and chronium, as well as a host of other vitamins and minerals. It is a great hair and scalp tonic, an excellent reproductive tonic for both men and women , and a superior herb for the genitourinary system. Nettle is also extremely helpful for treating liver problems and allergies and hay fever (Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health).
This herb has an extraordinary amount of nutrients and health benefits on top of being tasty and super easy to prepare. Some of the benefits:
- It is widely known to assist with nerves as well as restoring and replenishing energy when used over a period of time.
- Can be added to a hair rinse for an excellent hair and scalp tonic that can assist in preventing hair loss and thicken hair by stimulating hair growth. Also adds shine and luster.
- Activates the metabolism by strengthening and toning the internal systems.
- High levels of iron which are essential for health and high energy as well as keeping the blood oxygen rich.
- Rich in B vitamins and vitamin C.
- Can be used in tea to assist young children with growing pains.
- Is frequently used in to assist with cystitis or urinary bladder inflammation.
- Herbs for Women: One of the best all-round women’s tonic herbs. A rich source of iron, calcium and vitamin A. Used during pregnancy to enrich and increase the flow of mother’s milk and to help relieve water retention (Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health).
- It is high in calcium which can help prevent osteoporosis and other bone problems as well as hot flashes.
- Can help to alleviate symptoms of PMS and menopause.
- Known to help with impotence and infertility in both men and women.
There are a few different ways to consume nettles without harming yourself in the process. If there is a farmer’s market nearby or a grocery store that sells fresh nettle, it can either be cooked or juiced. To juice, be sure to wear gloves so you do not get stung, simply run through your juicer and drink. When cooking, prepare similar to spinach. They can be sauteed, but be sure to cook completely or it can still sting. You can also prepare nettle tea. I recently purchased a bag of organic nettle from my local Whole Foods and have been drinking roughly 2-3 mugs per day. This is a loose leaf, but I believe you can also buy tea bags.
I have never juiced or cooked nettle, but as a tea it is grassy and earthy. Very delicious. I hear it tastes amazing with a hint of Elderflower syrup.