Learning to Love Nettle


Jenny FloresI first met my now good friend, stinging nettle, coming out of a tent one morning on the property I now call home. I was half-asleep and barefoot. Our first meeting did not go well. The stinging that began on the bottom of my foot crawled up around my ankle and burned for much of the morning.


nettle growing

I refused to believe it when I was told nettle grew all over the yard until I was taken by the hand, walked around the property (this time in mucking boots), and shown clump after clump of nettle. Oh, and I had such glorious plans for this yard! “Nettle will never do,” I exclaimed and grabbed a gardening book. Certainly there are ways to get rid of it.

Somewhere between the first and fourth article I decided getting rid of the nettle was a bad idea. Once I learned the medicinal properties of this plant I stopped calling it a weed and began referring to it as an herb. I spent time that season researching the plant – how to use it, what conditions to use it for, and where it was growing in the yard. I did not eat any that season. I admit it – I was scared. I remembered being excited about how good dandelion was for you. And eating it. And spitting it out. (If you love, or like, or can even tolerate dandelion, eat it! It's good for you.)

Nettle is used as a diuretic, which is helpful to people suffering from fluid retention as well as those prone to bladder infections and kidney stones. It works to maintain healthy bones and joints, and relieves pain from arthritis and gout. It is used to combat the symptoms of asthma, seasonal allergies, hay fever and hives. Nettle offers protection against neoplastic diseases (tumors), cardiovascular disorders and immune deficiency. The high level of the mineral boron in nettle is helpful for improving short term memory and elevating mood. It is also used for neurological disorders such as multiple sclerosis.

2/22/2020 5:16:35 AM

Nettles are a good source of nourishment and can be used in a variety of ways. Not only do they make a good tea, but you can throw them in soups or smoothies. Make an Acetum by infusing nettles in vinegar to make a salad dressing, for using as a linement or even a hair rinse. Dry and powder them and they can be used in many items you make.....toss them into your spagetti, bake them in your bread, make a seasoning to put on your meat or veggies, throw some in a casserole and some people even mix a little in their morning coffee. It is a great way to give your kids (or husband) some of the minerals and vitamins they need without them even knowing it.

2/22/2015 9:35:13 PM

I just came across this link and was really impressed to see these lovely ideas on gardening. Thanks for brilliant ideas and tips. Keep it up with those tips. I works with fencing company in and around California provides you the best service and offer a lifetime warranty for movable materials utilized in custom vinyl fencing. Nice share

2/15/2015 7:40:57 AM

Jenny, Welcome to the GRIT blogging community. Already you have peaked my interest with your knowledge of plants with health benefits. I'll be looking forward for more wisdom on living naturally. ***** Yup, I've always heard that nettle was good for health but never had the nerve to try it. All through my youthful years on the farm, our goal was to eradicate it and never touch it. The few times that I did get into a middle of a patch, the sting wasn't so bad for me. It lasted a few minutes and was done. I always thought because of its stinging nature, it would be crazy to eat or drink tea made from the nettle plant. I still have a reluctance to try it. I have found that most of the things that I considered weeds to be eliminated from the row crops on the farm are actually very beneficial to health. Imagine that. ***** Have a great nettle tea day.

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