Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Know Your Herbs - Stinging Nettle

know your herbs - stinging nettle
Last year on Marigolds' Loft I attempted to give you some info on various herbs as they came around, but our summer was very short and not optimal to show you anything :( I have taken it upon myself to keep a look out this year and will post on anything I find as soon as I find it :)

I am starting off the series with Stinging Nettle. 

Stinging Nettle (Urtica Dioica) is known by many for it's sting!

This sting is actually quite a good thing and it is beneficial to allow yourself to be stung by this plant now and then as it is rich in histamines, which are super if you happen to be suffering from hay-fever or the likes.

I recall how my father-in-law, when cutting the grass on the alps with the scythe, would always grab a big bunch of nettle, remove his shirt and slap his back with it as an annual health treatment.

Stinging nettle uses

Let me list some of the benefits of Stinging Nettle:

Treats Rheumatic discomfort


Poor Appetite
Bladder Infections
Prostate problems

There are a couple of ways of using Stinging Nettle, the most common being as a tea. You will find it in most bladder/urinary tract infection teas.
It is also included in spring detoxes and soups.

I find the tea rather pleasant to drink and drink it on its' own or together with Dandelion for the extra urinary tract benefits.

To make a tea:

1/2 Teaspoon Nettle
1/2 Teaspoon Dandelion.

Add to 1 cup and allow to infuse for 8-10 minutes. Drink 3 times a day in cases of Bladder infections.

Disclaimer: This is not a medical treatment and does not replace your health practitioner. If you suffer from urinary tract infections and they persist after taking the tea, please consult your practitioner.

Now would be a perfect time to start to collect the leaves. 

I have put together a quick video to show you how to pick the nettle without getting stung. (I apologize for the glare in the video, we had sun that day - an almost unnatural occurrence LOL, and I didn't realize how much glare until I put the video together :()

If you manage to pick some young stalks here is a recipe for Stinging Nettle Soup - A great Detox soup.

For the soup you need:

Approx 300g Fresh Nettle leaves
2 Potatoes peeled and chopped
1 Onion Chopped
750 - 1000ml Vegetable Broth
1 Tbsp Butter

In a pot, fry the onions until translucent. Add the potatoes and cover with the broth. Bring to the boil and then leave on a low flame for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are almost soft. 
Add the nettle leaves and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes.
Once the herb is wilted, whiz the soup to get a fine consistency.
You can add a couple of tablespoons of sour cream to the soup and serve.

Let me know what you think :)

To dry:

Collect leaves and stalks once the dew is gone.

Brennessel Stinging Nettle

Place in the dehydrator and dry on 30°C until dry.

stinging nettle dehydrator

stinging nettle dry

Place in a tea container with a tea bag/cloth with some rice inside to keep tea dry.

Remember to only collect as much as you need until next spring! 

Another great tip that not too many people know about, is that Stinging Nettle Seeds are great anti-agers! I always keep some in my spice cupboard to add to my breads. 

Do come back next week for some more herby info!

Next Week Tuesday - I will be sharing about Woodruff!

Questions regarding stinging nettle?

Please post them below, I will gladly answer them all!

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  1. This is something I definitely want to try for fatigue. Great info!

    1. Hi Daphne,
      Thank you kindly :) Tomorrow I will be attempting to make Stinging Nettle Beer, if all goes well I will share the tutorial with you when it is done - takes a couple of days to make!

  2. I have been wondering about Stinging Nettle. I just shared the info on our Facebook page. Thanks for sharing!

    Mel S


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