WHY WE LOVE THEM
Many of us think of nettles as being a prickly plant that is painful to touch. But did you know that that nettles actually have a lot of health benefits? Nettles grow usually from June to September and produce heart-shaped leaves with yellow or pink flowers. Most of the health benefits come from the stem and the leaves, but the roots can also have many healing properties.
Throughout history, nettles have been used for many different purposes. Most commonly, nettles have been used as a diuretic and to heal other urinary issues. Nettles have been found to reduce joint pain and soothe arthritis as well as reduce the symptoms of hayfever.
SELECTION + STORAGE
Nettles can be found in several different forms. If you’re looking for fresh leaves, try looking in the late summer and find deep green leaves, just before they begin to flower. Dried nettle leaves [or nettle tea] are easily found in your local health food store. Nettle can also be purchased in a powder or capsule form from local sources or Rose Mountain Herbs.
Fresh leaves can be kept in a plastic bag in your fridge for 2-3 days. Or the leaves can be frozen for use throughout the year.
FEAST ON NETTLES
One of the most common ways to get the benefits of nettles is by drinking nettle tea. Enjoy this tea cold-brewed overnight or freshly brewed hot. Nettle leaves can also be sauteed similar to spinach. After being sauteed to remove the stinging hairs, nettles can be used in soups, stews, smoothies and pesto.
Here are some of my absolute favorite recipes from around the internet to help you give nettles a try!
Nettles Soup with Kale and Cauliflower
Lentil and Nettle Curry