The humble nettle is not a very popular plant due to its painful sting when brushing past it on walks or weeding in the garden. However, it is one of the most versatile herbs in the European Herbal Pharmacopeia.
The leaves are anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, reduce histamine, are blood cleansing and good for detoxification.
The seeds are an excellent kidney tonic and are considered to be one of the few native adaptogens. (Adaptogens are a class of herbs that help the body to cope with stress better such as Rhodiola, Ginseng, Ashwaghanda - most of them are from Asia).
The root of the plant with its hormone like compounds is used for Benign Prostate Enlargement and helps hormone regulation.
How to take nettle:
As a tea- 1 tsp per cup a day, 1-2 cups a day
Try it as a cold infusion
Pick fresh nettles and leave them in a jug over night (do not cover as it will turn black). Start the day with a glass - it's a great tonic, rich in iron and other minerals and perfect for hay fever season. It also tastes really fresh and delicious.
Sauté some finely chopped onions and garlic in a bit of olive oil, add a bit of flour (I like to use rice flour) and a dash of milk subsitute (oat is nice and creamy) and stir. Add a handful of fresh nettles, some vegetable stock and nutmeg - Blend - Voila!! Makes a wonderful rich, dark green, nutrient dense (and cheap!) immune and anti-inflammatory booster.
Use the seeds to sprinkle over food or make a tea daily as a general tonic, 1/2 to 1 tsp a day.