Saturday, December 24, 2011

We Drink Nettle Tea

Nettles have so many health benefits, they should be one of our most valued plants. They are a powerful anti-inflammatory, high in Omega 3's, and great for cleansing and detoxing. We're lucky they grow like weeds in the semi-wild places around our town. Nettles can be used in so many beneficial ways it's totally worth it to learn about this plant, and find ways to use it on a regular basis.

dried nettles for tea
Steep 1/2 c nettles in a 4c french press or mason jar for 4-8 hours
For the tea, we generally buy dry nettles by the pound from Mountain Rose Herbs and make an infusion from the leaves. I drink this every day, and have felt the health effects since we started drinking nettles. As an anti-inflammatory, nettles encourage the immune system to not overreact to every little thing. I used to get rashes from the slightest scratch; I just thought I had "sensitive skin", but it seems like my inflammatory response was a little off-kilter. Nettles have definitely helped.
I like it hot, some like it cold, and my 6 year old likes it warm with honey.

nettle tea
After steeping for a few hours it's dark green and lovely
I recently gave some to Loki for the first time when he was getting an earache. He had never really given it a chance before, thinking that teas are for grown-ups or something, but he will do anything to avoid getting an earache. So, he drank it, and liked it enough to continue drinking it every day since then (as long as I put enough honey in it...) and that earache went away quickly without any other treatment.

nettle tea for illness
When Loki was hurting, he gave it a try. No more earache!
I find that I can use the same nettles for two batches of tea, as long as the second batch steeps overnight or all day. Then, after straining out the infusion, the old tea leaves can be fed to the chickens! Since nettles are edible, nutritious greens and free of caffeine, there is no reason not to feed them to the chickens. I usually mix them with whatever bowl of scraps I've got for them that day. I love that nothing is wasted. If you don't have chickens, you could put them in the garden as a nutritious mulch, or just add them to the compost.

For info on using fresh, wild harvested nettles, check out my article on raw nettle smoothies.


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44 comments

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January 9, 2012 at 4:38 PM

We harvested some nettles on a hike when we were camping on the Peninsula last spring. Ate them alongside our pasta dinner, sauteed with a little butter and finished with a squeeze of lemon. Mmm! But this inspires me to try drinking nettle tea!

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September 17, 2012 at 9:13 PM

So, maybe I am thinking of the wrong nettles, but how in the world do you harvest wild nettles without pain? The stinging nettles around our house are extremely painful when you touch them. I can't imagine eating or drinking them. Am I thinking of the same plant?

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September 18, 2012 at 8:29 AM

They are the very same nettles! You are lucky you have them growing in you own yard... though I know they can be painful. I describe how I harvest them in this post: http://alifeunprocessed.blogspot.com/2012/03/wild-harvested-nettles-smoothie.html
For the tea, I do buy dried nettles. Nettles are very nutritious and completely lose their sting when they are either cooked, dried, or blended. If you are feeling very brave, you can even carefully pick a young leaf, fold it up, pop it in your mouth and chew it up. I've done this a few times and never gotten stung. I believe the underside of the leaves have more sting. They have a mild flavor and are very good for you!
Nettles are quite unlike poison oak or ivy, by the way- the oils in those plants aren't rendered safe by drying or any other process I know of, and they should never be used for anything, just fyi!

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October 25, 2012 at 4:23 PM

Thank you for this post! I need to try that!

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October 25, 2012 at 4:29 PM

You're welcome, I hope you like it!

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October 28, 2012 at 8:08 PM

I love nettles too! It is a base to a lot of my teas. I love the flavor and the numerous health benefits it has. I also use nettle in my daughter's eczema salve! It is amazing stuff.

Thanks so much for sharing on Natural Living Mondays! I am excited to see what you have to share this week.

http://www.naturallivingmamma.com/2012/10/28/natural-living-mondays-blog-hop-8/

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November 12, 2012 at 8:11 AM

We love nettle leaf tea and often feed the used up leftovers for our chickens or even our goat herd (very healthy for milk does). Thank you for sharing.

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November 12, 2012 at 9:11 AM

Nice! I bet you have some healthy goats!

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JES
November 13, 2012 at 9:30 AM

Thank you for this information. We have nettles growing like crazy. I will have to dry some for tea and YES, feed the leftovers to those chickens :) No waste is beautiful.

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November 13, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Another great thing to do with nettles is make a fresh green smoothie. Here's instructions:
http://alifeunprocessed.blogspot.com/2012/03/wild-harvested-nettles-smoothie.html

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November 15, 2012 at 7:33 AM

What a wonderful post about nettles and how make nettle tea ~ thanx ~ going to give it a try ~ ( A Creative Harbor) ^_^

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November 15, 2012 at 12:29 PM

This is very interesting. I love Mt.Rose Herbs. I am your newest follower. Stop in and say hello www.everydayruralty.com

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November 15, 2012 at 1:35 PM

Thanks Patrice. I like your blog name! I've "Liked" your blog on FB; your fritters look amazing. I was just looking at that article through a blog hop this morning!

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Jen
November 16, 2012 at 8:05 AM

Stinging Nettles have been on my 'to get' list for a long time now. You have inspired me to stop putting it off. :) Thanks!

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November 19, 2012 at 10:15 AM

visiting from clever chicks.... I love nettles but not fond of the tea - tastes like spinach water to me. Instead, I use it as an ingredient in food recipes. Althoug... it does have a diuretic effect that I am more sensitive to than the rest of my family :-/ I have a few recipes for fresh (or dried nettle) on my blog too - www.mossytrees.blogspot.com. We are blessed that they grow wild in the lower 2 acres of our forest and I harvest them fresh in the spring - With rosegloves! Drying and heat neutralize the chemical that gives the sting. I find the sting not painful but, more frustratingly annoying as it causes my skin to prickle for a whole 24 hours - no wonder folks apply the sting to arthritis. My hens are not fond of nettle but I "trick them by mixing dried crushed leaves into their mash - he he he. :-] THanks for posting on chicken chick - I will be subscribing to you now... that fermented dandelion soda looks interesting! - danielle

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November 19, 2012 at 3:47 PM

Hey Danielle,
If you have fresh nettles, you should try making this:
http://alifeunprocessed.blogspot.com/2012/03/wild-harvested-nettles-smoothie.html
It's my favorite thing to do with nettles! I wish I had access to tons so locally, like you do!
Mellow

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November 30, 2012 at 5:09 PM

Thanks so much for sharing this post! I definitely want to give this a try:)
I found you via Anti-Procrastination Tuesday and I'm your newest follower:)

Stop by and say hello
Eliza K Prints

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December 5, 2012 at 11:01 AM

I have hard so many good things about Nettle Tea!! Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :)
I hope to see you again this week!

This week is sponsored by Sugar and Spice Market! They are giving away a package of their gluten free sugar cookie mix and a package of their gluten free pancake/waffle mix! It is just in time for the holidays!

Link up starts tomorrow (thursday) at 7:05pm eastern time! Cindy from vegetarianmamma.com

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December 28, 2012 at 8:01 AM

I've never tried this. Thanks for linking up!

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January 8, 2013 at 6:59 AM

They are high in iron too aren't they? A true super-herb!

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January 8, 2013 at 8:33 AM

Yes! They're so good for you.

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January 8, 2013 at 2:37 PM

Great info to know! I don't have any wild nettles growing around us, but I am placing an order from Frontier Herbs in a few weeks. I'll have to try them!

Thanks for sharing on the Winter on the HomeAcre Hop!

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January 8, 2013 at 4:33 PM

Do you order directly from Frontier Herbs? I've never done that! Do you have to have a large group purchase? I normally use Mountain Rose Herbs, but it would be nice to have another option for price comparison.

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January 9, 2013 at 8:28 AM

Awesome---Now I know why I want to plant those nettle seeds that I've been hanging on to. :)

Visiting from Wildcrafting Wednesday at The Self Sufficient Homeacre. :)

Kristi @Let This Mind Be in You

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January 9, 2013 at 2:44 PM

Wow, you have nettle seeds? I wish our yard was big enough to grow some, I just love nettles!

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January 11, 2013 at 11:36 PM

Thanks for sharing on Wildcrafting Wednesday. This is awesome. I had no idea that Nettles were a cure, I just thought they were a tonic. Great share.

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January 25, 2013 at 4:34 AM

I have never tried nettle tea, but I am hoping this year to be able to get more into herbs. Thanks for linking up at what i am eating!

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January 28, 2013 at 4:12 AM

I knew nettles were good for you, but I didn't realise just how good! I really enjoyed learning more about them. I've always been a little scared of nettle tea, but now I've read this I will definitely give it a try. Thank you for sharing this post with The Hearth and Soul hop :)

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February 15, 2013 at 12:47 AM

This is really interesting thank you. I knew nettles were good for you but hadn't go around to using them. I really want to learn more about different herbs and you are helping me with that so thank you!
Thank you for sharing this with Healthy Vegan Fridays. Check back to see if you were one of the Top 3! We hope to see you again today. You can submit a post from Friday to end of Tuesday:
http://www.greenthickies.com/healthy-vegan-friday-30/

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February 26, 2013 at 8:11 AM

Thanks for sharing this with us at Eco-Kids Tuesday! Hope to see you again today! http://likemamalikedaughter.blogspot.com/2013/02/bunnys-bento-box-eco-kids-tuesday.html

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March 29, 2013 at 7:29 AM

I didn't know nettle tea had so many benefits and was good for you. I will have to get me some, so maybe it will help me with my inflammation. Thanks for the information.

Visiting from Project Inspired.

Linda

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April 3, 2013 at 7:25 AM

I need to try nettle tea. I've been having a lot of ear issues during the winter for the past few years despite being healthier.

Thanks for sharing this at Fabulously Frugal Thursday!

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April 6, 2013 at 11:21 AM

Thank you for sharing your post on The Creative HomeAcre Hop!
I hope to see you back tomorrow for our next hop!
http://www.theselfsufficienthomeacre.com/2013/04/the-creative-homeacre-10.html

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April 15, 2013 at 9:22 PM

I've always looked at the stinging nettles at the farmer's market and wondered what I could do with them. Will have to try this! Thank you for sharing at Tuned-in Tuesday! Hope to see you tomorrow! http://www.healthyrootshappysoul.com/2013/04/tuned-in-tuesday-blog-hop-5.html

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April 29, 2013 at 6:02 PM

I've never tried nettles before. Thanks for sharing your tips for tea on Tuesday Greens!

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May 15, 2013 at 8:12 PM

Hi,

may i know where i can buy or find this nettle tea herbs?

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August 10, 2013 at 6:07 AM

Hi I am so following. I love this article. I am an MS patient and of course my immune system overreats to everything, I had heard they were doing research with green tea maybe they should which to nettle tea for MS patients. Do you think the health food stores in california would have the nettles. I will have to talk to my neurologist seeing her in a few weeks to switch from shots to pills (hate shots). I'm lorraine at http://lorrainesresources.blogspot.com

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August 11, 2013 at 6:41 PM

Oh I'm sure you can find it at health food stores that sell other herbs- or at least they should be able to special order it for you. But you can order it directly from Mountain Rose Herbs, or other herbal supply websites.
I'd love to know if you see a difference with nettle tea! And yes, I do think they should study it. Green tea gets so much publicity, but nettles are amazing.

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October 10, 2013 at 6:31 PM

I haven't tried harvesting my own nettle tea, but I love the flavor of the blend I buy. I like it hot without sugar. I tried it iced and didn't care for it, go figure. Thanks for posting to Real Food Fridays :)

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Tasha
January 30, 2014 at 6:06 AM

Last week, my family went thru a bout of the flu. After much research, I found out that drinking nettle tea could help. I administered it to everyone. For myself, I became extremely gassy. I was already prone to having gas but nothing like this. It's not extremely painful. There is some cramping and excessive gas...way more than usual. Do you think the nettle tea contributed to this change?

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January 31, 2014 at 7:10 AM

I've never heard of that reaction, but if it's related to the tea, it's probably something you could work through and it would help you in the long run to drink it regularly. Just a guess! :)

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February 12, 2015 at 7:56 AM

Hi:)
Im new to this post.
I have been looking everywhere for information on this and found your post.
I have a two and five year old who dont like to eat that healthy and i wanted to know if it is safe for them in tea form? Maybe everyday since it has so many important vitamins they really need right now.
Thanks

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March 1, 2015 at 8:45 AM

Nettles are absolutely safe, in tea or any other form. I would give it at any age, as often as they'll have it. My older son likes to drink it every day, my younger only when he's sick. I add raw honey to my kids' nettle tea, and they both really enjoy it. I don't sweeten mine, but it helps the kids like it better.

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