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 few days. 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 by the river, after a long time since my childhood days. I exercise in this 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. That’s what my mum thought me and she was an expert in preparing them.
Nettles are rich in calcium. As I grew older, I realised 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 a 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.
Nettle leaves are rich in natural minerals like iron, calcium, silica, and potassium. Nettles are also rich in Vitamins A, D, and K.
I tried my first herbal nettle infusion by picking a handful of nettle leaves in the park using thick rubber gloves. I made sure that I picked smaller, baby nettles as they are more nutrient dense as suppose to large, overgrown ones.
Nettle Leaves Infusion recipe
What you will need:
Distilled water (preferred)
2 cups of Nettle leaves
I opted to go for distilled water while preparing my infusion. Distilled water helps to extract more vital nutrients from nettle leaves.
• Boil water in a saucepan
• Pour it into the jar containing nettles; fill to the brim and cover. Allow to sit overnight.
• Strain the ‘green liquid’ from the nettles. Your infusion is set. Store it in a refrigerator.
Nettle Infusion is a very healthy drink with a distinct taste. You can add honey to improve the 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.
When you strain your nettles and use the liquid for infusion, you can chop the leaves and mix it into soup or salad of your choice. Don’t waste any nutrients!
You can even freeze the infusion in ice cubes tray and use it for refreshing your face in the mornings to reduce wrinkles.
I hope you’ll find a nearby park where you can pick some nettle leaves as it doesn’t cost anything and it gives plenty of nutrients and energy.