Sacred Herbs Series Part I: Nettle
Updated: Apr 3, 2020
Nettles are not just a weed! They are one of the most prolific herbs we have free and easy access to and are so beneficial for the body when incorporated in our daily lives. Nettles have remarkably high nutritional benefits, containing Vitamin A, C, K, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and beta carotene. Next time you walk past a nettle patch or think of eradicating them from your garden, bear that in mind!
The nettle is an exceptionally important herb for female health. Taken regularly, they can help improve the health of the reproductive system, and are often used to combat symptoms of both PMS and menopause. They can enrich breastmilk of nursing mothers, and replenish iron levels depleted by heavy menstruation. A decoction of nettles can help symptoms of seasonal allergies, due to its histamine content. They are also high in antioxidant content including polyphenols that help the body fight free radicals which cause oxidative stress, leading to cell damage and ageing.
When foraging nettles, this time of year is best, young fresh nettles being packed full of nutrients the body needs as we climb out of winter sluggishness as the wheel turns to Spring. Harvest the fresh tips, taking care not to sting yourself! I use the fresh herb material to make a cold infusion to drink first thing every morning, its high nutritional content making this a great way to start the day. Nettle is also very highly regarded as a hot infusion, so we like to dry our own nettles that we harvest to make supportive tea blends all through the year. Once dried, they lose their sting and can be easily crumbled and worked with. Some say drinking nettle tea regularly clears and brightens skin tone and makes hair appear shinier and healthy! Try adding nettle to your daily routine and see for yourself.
Check out our video on foraging for nettles on our YouTube channel (link on main page) or IGTV!
Contraindications: Nettles are very safe for general usage but those on blood thinners, diabetics or those with high blood pressure should seek advice from your medical professional before working with this herb.