Nettles…Not Just A Pesky Weed

Stinging Nettle

Today, we have a guest post by our mother! She gives us the rundown on the stinging nettle plant, which is at its most potent right now in the spring. If you plan to harvest your own nettles, now is a great time to do it. Also, be sure to wear gloves!

If you’ve ever brushed up against a nettles plant you probably consider it a very memorable experience! Some people think they are allergic to nettles. That, however, is most likely incorrect. Unlike poison ivy, which has an oil that causes an allergic reaction in many people, nettles has tiny hair like follicles on the leaves and stems that embed themselves into any tender skin that touches them. It almost immediately causes a burning and itching sensation, thus giving it the name “stinging nettles”. It is possible to tame the beast. The hair like follicles soften when placed in very hot water and they are also rendered helpless when they are completely dried.

So why do we care about this seemingly pesky weed? It just happens to be one of the most important medicinal plants! A great use for dried nettles is for making tea. It has blood purifying properties and is wonderful for helping to detox your liver. It’s also good for acne, allergies, colds, constipation, eczema, headaches, iron deficiencies, joint inflammation, arthritis, gallbladder issues, stomach ulcers and stimulating hair growth, just to name a few.

The fresh nettles are said to be useful in helping with arthritis by touching the arthritic area with the fresh nettle leaf. I realize that this doesn’t sound pleasant, but the flow of blood to that area will help with inflammation that causes pain. It is even listed on the Arthritis Foundation website as a supplemental herb.

This gives you an idea how valuable it really is. Hopefully, you’ll never look at it as just a pesky weed ever again.

Here’s the tea recipe: (I would suggest using a tea ball but you can just strain them off if necessary.)

Place one heaping teaspoon dried nettles in tea ball or cup. Pour boiling water over herbs (never place herbs in boiling water) let herbs steep for 30 seconds to 1 minute before straining them off or removing tea ball. Drink as hot as possible.

Do not drink more than 3 cups per day to avoid irritation of the kidneys. Do not drink while pregnant! You don’t need to do it every day, but try it for a continuous 2 weeks every now and then and see how much better it can make you feel.

Resources:

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