Stinging Nettle / Common Nettle (Urtica dioica)
The poor old stinging nettle is often given a bad rap because of its stinging qualities, but it’s a versatile and pretty plant with many uses.
Nettle has traditionally been used as a general tonic and has a high vitamin and mineral content. Nettle infusions/tea can be taken to support natural detoxification, urinary tract health, and improve inflammatory skin conditions.
When nettle is cooked or dried it loses its stinging properties. Plunge in boiling water to neutralise the sting.
Nettle tea has a delicious earthy taste, a bit like green tea. Try adding honey to sweeten if it’s not to your taste! Fresh or dried leaves can be used.
For fresh nettle tea add approximately half a cup of nettle leaves for each cup of water. Bring to the boil then leave to steep for five minutes. Adjust the number of leaves for a stronger or weaker taste.
To dry nettle leaves, make small bundles of 5 or so stems tied with string. Hang in a dry, dark place for 1-3 weeks. (Hot Water cupboard is ideal!)
Always wear gloves when harvesting nettle. If accidently stung apply Nature Body Kowhai Anti-Itch Gel for immediate relief!
Nettle leaves have a delicious ‘green’ flavour often likened to spinach. The leaves are best used fresh for cooking and should be harvested just before cooking.
There are lots of great recipes for nettle, including simply steaming or sautéing, but our favourite is replacing the spinach with nettle in a spinach and ricotta lasagne – just delicious!
Remember that cooking neutralises the stinging ability, so don’t be afraid to experiment!
Organic nettle as a Nature Body ingredient
Organic nettle is the key ingredient in our Nettle Shampoo and Nettle Conditioners. The leaves are rich in silica and sulphur which helps to make hair shinier and healthier. The vitamin C content, in addition to the antioxidative properties, contributes directly to healthy skin and hair. Nettle helps eliminate dandruff, reduce oiliness, and soothes and treats dry and irritated scalps.
Nettle can spread rapidly in the garden if left to its own devices, so restrict growth by planting in the ground in a bottomless bucket or grow in a container.
Posted: Thursday 30 March 2023