Wild plants offer some fantastic nutritional benefits and today I want to talk to you about my love for stinging nettles. While these awkward plants may be a constant nuisance to the perfectionist gardener, for people like you and me, stinging nettles provide an abundance of health-affirming nutrients.
What’s so great about stinging nettles?
- Rich in vitamins A, C, potassium, manganese, iron and calcium.
- Incredibly alkalising for the body which helps to reduce inflammation
- Some sources suggest they are one of the best plant sources of iron. They are 40 % protein which is considered high for a vegetable.
- In folk medicine they were used to treat anemia among other conditions.
- Recently nettles have been proven helpful to treat hay fever and osteoarthritis.
- Acts as a diuretic
- Aids in the recovery of eczema, asthma, sinusitis and rhinitis
- Diminishes susceptibility to colds
- Protects against hair loss, , allergies, hay fever, kidney stones, osteoarthritis, internal bleeding, uterine bleeding, nosebleeds and bowel bleeding.
- Stinging nettles protect against enlarged spleen, diabetes, endocrine disorders, stomach acid, diarrhea, dysentery, lung congestion, cancer and anti-aging, and it is used as a general tonic.
- Stinging nettles can used for muscle aches and pains also
Here’s what David Wolfe had to say about these awesome little stingers.
“Stinging nettles have been eaten by the druids in the U.K. for thousands of years and it`s one of the most important foods to eat, if you know how to do it or if you juice it or you can just dry it and make a tea out of it, which is what I`m recommending; horse tail, nettle, oat straw. The oat seed of the oat grass has a little straw around it. It has a little coating. It`s the seed capsule. That oat straw is one of the richest sources of silicon. You can buy it in health food stores. You can get it as extracts in health food stores.”
How to get your hands on stinging nettles:
Stinging nettles are readily available growing in the wild although I have read that in America, you can buy them at some farmers markets. The Mothership and I picked our bunch from the abundance that is growing in the woods behind our garden.
How do you make nettle tea?
Bring 500ml water to the boil. Remove from the heat and add in a cup of nettles and let steep for 10-20 minutes. Add sweetener if required in the form of liquid stevia.
How to juice nettles:
Simply wash the nettles and feed them into your juicer shute using gardening gloves so you don’t get stung!
Here’s what I juiced:
- 3 stalks celery
- chunk ginger
- 1/2 lemon
- 3 large cavalo nero leaves (dinosaur kale)
- 1 bunch sunflower sprouts
- 1 bunch stinging nettles (I didn’t juice all the nettles in the photo – I took a bunch from the bunch pictured)
- 2 apples
Nettles can also be cooked and eaten in place of dark leafys such as spinach, chard and kale.
Tell me in the comments below, have you ever consumed stinging nettles and in what form? Would love to hear your thoughts!