There are few things more lovely than a hot cup of fresh nettle tea on a cold spring morning. Nettles – Urtica Dioica – are stinging nettles they are a deeply nourishing tonic plant and a medicinal herb.
Nettles have been used as both a food and medicine for generations treating everything from seasonal allergies to joint and bone ailments, blood pressure, urinary system dis-ease and skin conditions. Nettles are a great reproductive tonic and helpful for cooling the symptoms of menopause strengthen and tone the body, especially the kidneys.
Nettle Tea is nourishing, rich in minerals, vitamins and protein, an excellent tonic for our bodies and also for our gardens; if you are a gardener of natural, organic, permaculture, biodynamic practices look into making a nettle tea for your plants too.
Ingredients are naturally rich in essential minerals. Salty taste in botanicals like parsley, nettles, seaweeds indicates the plants have a high mineral content.
Recipes have ingredients with anti-inflammatory nutrients and avoid common inflammatory foods like sugar, gluten, dairy and processed food. A whole food diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods can help relieve symptoms of inflammation within the body. Inflammation is at the root of most disease = dis-ease.
Recipes have ingredients that support our immune system and help our bodies to fight bacterial and viral infections. Foods high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals support our immune functions. Food and herbs with anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties help our bodies fight infection and support our immune response.
Herbal Medicinal Recipes have healing food ingredients with medicinal properties. Culinary & medical plants have properties that benefit our health.
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Fresh Nettle Tea
HARVEST young leaf tips from a plant under 3ft | 1m and not in flower or seed. I was using gloves if you don’t want to sting yourself.
RINSE fresh leaves in a colander with clean water.
PLACE fresh nettles into a saucepan and cover with 8 cups of cold water.
BRING water with the fresh nettles to just under a boil with the lid on.
TURN OFF the heat and let infusion steep for a minimum of 15 mins up to overnight. The longer the nettle tea infuses, the stronger and more medicinal it will be.
SERVE ladle hot tea into your favourite teacup or mug. Few things are more lovely than a hot cup of fresh nettle tea on a cold spring morning.
STORE any leftover Nettle Tea in the fridge and reheat gently on the stove or use it in a food as medicine recipe.
Make a Nettle Tea Porridge for your breakfast as the ultimate accompaniment to your fresh tea.
Make a Nettle Spinach Frittata with the infused leaves adding more fresh ones.
Use the tea to make a hot Nettle Chia Chocolate.
*FRESH & DRIED NETTLE BREW STRENGTH – I like my nettle tea strong; nettle is a tonic herb. It is up to you and your body how strong you make it. Start using 1 tsp dried leaves per cup water or 1 tbsp fresh leaves and see how you feel. Do not consume more than 4 cups for Nettle tea a day.
*FRESH NETTLES use whole, loosely packed leaves. The traditional ratio is 1 tbsp fresh leaves + 1 cup water. The ratio I use is ½ cup | ¼ handful fresh nettle leaves + 1 cup water.
**DRIED NETTLES leaves are cut and sifted = finely chopped up. TRADITIONAL RATIO is 1 tsp dried + 1 cup water. The ratio I use is 1 tbsp dried + 1 cup water.
CAUTIONS: Nettles can be a strong diuretic or cause skin irritation or headaches in rare cases. Pregnant women, people taking medication, and those with health concerns should always consult their healthcare practitioner first.
REMOVE THE STING naturally by drying or cooking fresh nettles ~ sauteing, stirfrying, blanching fresh leaves in boiling water or pouring over cold water and bringing to a boil will remove the sting and make the most delicious tea.
DO NOT EAT FRESH nettles without cooking or infusing them, as they will sting your hands, mouth and throat, which can be severe.
DRYING the leaves completely also removes the sting.
KNOW YOUR PLANT ~ ID before harvesting. Know your plant has not been chemically sprayed.
HARVEST respectfully leaf & stem top third and only ⅓ – ½ whole pant so it will continue to thrive.
HARVEST YOUNG LEAVES before nettle flowers, and the plant is under 3ft |1m tall as it has been harvested all spring.
Harvest plant before flowering – The traditional practice is that after flowering, leaves can contain an insoluble calcium compound.
Collect seeds respectfully, leaving some for the plant and wildlife
Roots can be used from cultivated plants.