One of the painful experiences we had as kids was walking down a bushy path in shorts and feeling a slight painful sting on our skin. These stings can cause mild, harmless inflammation that usually disappears within in a short while. After my experience with this medicinal plant, I have come to realize that its benefits outweigh its harmful side effects.
Stinging nettle also called the ‘common nettle’ or ‘nettle leaf’ is a flowering plant that is found in almost all continents of the world. Nettles are usually found in damp areas and areas that are surrounded by meadows. Nettle leaves serve as food to larva worms of some insects especially the Peacock butterfly because it is very high in protein. Nettle is one of the most famous plants ever known to mankind. William Shakespeare wrote about it. The Germans, French, Latin, Hungarians and Serbians have used this popular plant in their parables because of its stinging properties.
Nettles are called ‘stinging nettles’ because when it comes in contact with the skin it can ‘sting’ and cause sensations usually referred to as ‘contact urticaria’.
Nettle has so many uses. It can be used for food preparation, production of drinks, traditional medicine, textiles, and fabric production, food for animals and for aesthetic purposes.
I stumbled upon stinging nettle leaves again in the near by park, after a long time since my childhood days. I exercise in Richmond Park almost every day and am amazed at how stinging nettles populate the park during spring and summer. This park has become my go-to spot for fresh nettle leaves. I love hand-picking them. I never knew that they would give such amazing effects. I have been using nettle leaves for a while now to supplement my nutrient needs.
Nettles are rich in calcium. As I grew older, I realized that I was not getting enough calcium on my plate so I decided to incorporate nettles which is a natural mineral source. I am not a big fan of nutrient supplements in tablet form and I want to be sure that I am getting all that my body needs. I sprang into action after I embarked on this journey to make more research and find out if I could get more benefits from this miracle plant. I connected with famed herbalist and author Susun Weed. Susan Weed is a guru when it comes to making infusions and tinctures with herbs and she guided me on how to make an infusion with nettle leaves. I was ecstatic.
Nettle leaves are rich in natural minerals like iron, calcium, silica, and potassium. Nettles are also rich in vitamins like Vitamins A, D, and K.
I tried my first herbal nettle infusion and it wasn’t much of a problem navigating my way around things because I used to spend a lot of time growing up on my grandmother’s farm and was very familiar with how nettles could sting your skin and make you itchy and really red. However, my first infusion was not from the farmland nettle that I came across when I went picking raspberries in the orchard as a little girl but it was gotten from a shop. It was dried and sealed in a plastic bag. The ‘stinging’ properties had been eliminated.
Nettle Leaves Infusion recipe
What you will need:
2 cups of Nettle leaves
The first nettles leaves are usually the most effective. The smaller sized nettle leaves should be your best bet over the bigger ones because they are young and contain more nutrients.
I opted to go for distilled water while preparing my infusion. Distilled water helps to extract the vital minerals in nettle leaves.
• Bring your distilled water in a pot
• Pour into the jar containing nettles; fill to the brim and cover. Allow to sit overnight.
• Strain the ‘green liquid’ from the used nettle. Your infusion is set. Store in a refrigerator.
Nettle Infusion is a very healthy drink with a distinct taste. You will notice an improvement within a few months in your overall wellbeing if you consume this nutrient-packed drink. My memory became very sharp and I noticed I had more energy to go about my daily activities.
You can also prepare nettle soup. How may you ask?
Nettle soup will supply your body with natural minerals and vitamins. You should try it out.
Nettle soup recipe
What you’ll need
Fresh nettle leaves
Any soup of your choice
• Bring water to boil and pour over the nettle leaves to blanch them
• Allow the blanched leaves to cool and chop them into tiny pieces before adding to your soup.
As with the preparation method above, add blanched nettle leaves to your salad. If you are looking for a breakfast option that will give you more energy all through your day, try this salad.