The Benefits of Stinging Nettles

Stinging Nettles - The Benefits

 

Urtica Dioica - The Stinging Nettle has been used for thousands of years for a variety of aliments including arthritis, lower back pain, wounds, inflamation, pleurisy, pnemonia, mouth sores, shingle, constipation, typhus, lethargy, excessive bleeding and many other things. 

Nowadays there are health benefits to be had from a plant that is full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. 

Potential benefits show that it may:

  • reduce inflamation
  • lower blood pressure
  • aid blood sugar controls
  • help with hay fever

So how can we reap those benefits? 

Stinging nettle in its raw form can cause horrible skin rashes, hives and itchy skin so please be careful when harvesting the leaves. 

You can make Nettle Tea, you can add it to soup, stews and stirfrys or you can take a supplement or use it as a cream. 

Nettle Tea

Just add a cup of leaves to around 2 cups of boiling water and let it steep for about 10 mins. Filter the leaves and Drink. 

*Did you know that drinking a daily cup of nette tea is said to help with seasonal allergies and supports hair, nails, organs and your bodily systems.* 

Soup

Add the chopped leaves to a basic potato soup add it to the oil with the stock and potatoes and cook before blending.

Cooking for about 10 mins will kill off the horrible stinging hairs and should make it safe to consume. 

The big outdoors

It isn't only you who could benefit from Stinging Nettles. Apart from the fact that a patch of nettles hosts a whole eco system of bugs,butterflies and feeds some seed eating birds in the autumn, a Fermented Nettle Tea can act as a fertillizer or natural bug repellent in your garden or allotment. 

Fermented Nettle Tea

Place the nettles in large buckets and cover in water (not metal buckets)

The Ratios for the teas are:-

Fertillizer = 1kg nettles to 10 lts of water

Repellant = 1 kg nettles to 10 lts of water

Mash them up and mix every few days

Once brewed you can spay the mixture directly onto the plants or for fertilizer dilute and pour onto the ground (10-20% tea to water) 

Some Fun Facts

  • Many ancient cultures like the Ancient Eygiptians used to flog themselves with Nettles, the Romans did it to keep warm!
  • The Greeks added Hemp to the Nettles to help with the relief of shock.
  • Burning Nettles during a thunderstorm was thought to ward against Lightning
  • In Bronze Age Denmark shrouds were made from Nettle Fibre. 
  • Thor is sometimes represented by Nettles
  • In both World Wars Nettles were collected to produce a dark green dye for camouflage. 

Please remember Nettles Sting so handle with care and if you are wanting to try adding Nettle to your diet and are under the doctors care or taking medication,especially linked with but not excluding blood pressure, diuretics, diabetes, blood thinners and Lithium please check with your doctor first. 

Enjoy your Nettles!