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Spring Nettles (Urtica Dioica) Food Or Fluids?

Spring Nettles (Urtica Dioica) Food Or Fluids?

Nettle header

How long to infuse Nettles for? Infusion photos above taken at 8 minutes and to the left for 19 minutes. You can use a good handful of nettles in your teapot. Pinch off only the top 2 pairs of leaves, pour on boiled water and leave to brew for a minimum of 10 minutes. Strain and drink freely, your left over Nettles make a good mulch for plants, or you can add them to a stew, the numerous benefits and uses of Nettles include:

  • They make a wonderful soft, lightweight fabric, captured 1917 German army uniforms and remnants of sheets in Bronze-Age sites are evidence of this. 40kg of Nettle are needed for one shirt!
  • They can be eaten in spring just like spinach, steam or sauté until soft, chop, rub through a sieve, serve with poached eggs.

Nettle beer is delicious, and easy to make, so is;

  • Nettle pudding
  • Nettle soup

Nettles traditionally have been used as food and medicine for centuries. They contain histamine and therefore spring is the best time to start eating them in quantity, helping people who are sensitive prepare for the pollen season. They are anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, diuretic and hypotensive, also FREE!

Nettle soup

Other medicinal and nutritional benefits would make a long list but some of the most interesting include;

  • valuable source of iron and other minerals such as silica, thus Nettles’ reputation of Traditional use for rheumatism, gout, bursitis and tendonitis and as a blood tonic. Boron can increase Oestrogen levels lifting the mood and improving memory.
  • applied to hair as a tonic for scalp and hair growth
  • washed, bruised and boiled Nettle roots make a tonic and Traditional remedy for prostate enlargement, along with leaf extract..

Nettle tops are picked all the way through spring into early summer. They can be dried, frozen or made into crackers with a food dehydrator. They are best picked before June as once they begin to flower, they are no longer putting energy into the leaves, the seeds are reported to be a kidney tonic.

Always consult a qualified Herbalist before taking herbal medicine, especially important for anyone with a medical condition, pregnant or breastfeeding. The advice here is intended as a guide for supplementary food use, it cannot take the place of a suitable consultation for the treatment or diagnosis of medical conditions.