Look to Nettle Tea for a Wide Spectrum of Nutrition!
Anyone who has ever gardened or farmed has probably fought with nettles, or stinging nettles as they are commonly called. They can seem to be a nuisance. But did you know; they can also be your friend!
Nettles are loaded with nutrition! Like as in what we might think of as a multiple vitamin supplement. Of course, exactly how potent each particular nettle patch might be depends on soil conditions, age and other variables. But some of the nutrients they contain are:
Vitamin A, C, E, F, K, P. Also vitamin B- complexes like thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and B-6 all of which are thought of as antioxidents.
Nettles contain minerals such as: Zinc, Iron, Magnesium, Copper, Selenium Boron, Bromine, Calcium, Chlorine, Chlorophyll, Potassium, Phosphorus, Sodium, Iodine, Chromium, Silicon and Sulfur. But wait, that’s not all…
There are also amino acids and carotenoids such as beta-carotene, luteoxanthin and lutein epoxide. Stinging nettle is a great source of multiple vitamins and a great health food.
Known benefits of stinging nettle include stopping internal & external bleeding, blood purifying, eases symptoms of rheumatism and clears mucus congestion.
I’ve heard that rinsing your hair with tea made from nettles softens hair. And that chickens fed ground up nettles in their feed, lay more eggs and cows fed nettle hay give more milk.
Pretty impressive if you ask me.
At our house I use nettle leaves combined with oatstraw and peppermint to make a tea that we have been using for several months to replace our Vitamin C, Calcium and Multiple Vitamin supplements. This is how I make our supply:
First I measure a healthy 1/4 cup of nettles (I use) into an empty honey jar, you can use any quart size jar but I like these for some reason, then add a scant 1/4 cup of oat straw (I use) and about 1/8 cup of peppermint (I use). These measurements are not exact and I would recommend adjusting them to your family’s taste.
Usually, I make up about 6 – 8 of these jars and store them in the pantry.
Then when I need to make tea, I’ll take one of the jars out in the evening; fill with boiling water, replace the lid and let sit until morning.
In the morning; we strain and each drink about a fourth of the jar. It gets strong tasting and isn’t the best tasting stuff but we just drink it down anyways. If you like, add honey, either locally sourced or stevia (like this). When we didn’t have local honey we’ve used (this) and it was very tasty.
We get four servings out of each jar and try to drink it within 48 hours to be sure the potency is still strong.
When we are drinking it through out the day, we use the same measurements but only let it steep about 10 minutes. This is MUCH tastier and usually we only add a lemon slice ( sometimes limes or oranges). You sweeten to your tastes but we like it this way.
Read more about stinging nettles from around the internet:
- Foraging for Nettles
- How to Use Stinging Nettles
- Herbal Infusions for Fertility and Hormone Balancing
- Chicken Nettle Soup
- Stinging Nettles
- Creamy Stinging Nettles Dip with Roasted Garlic Mint
If you are interested in learning more about stinging nettles, please consider the following books:
- 101 Uses for Stinging Nettles by Warren, Piers (2006)
- The Forager’s Harvest: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants
In addition; I used the following resources:
- Pitchford, P. (2002). Healing With Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition (3rd Edition)
Berkeley: North Atlantic Books