My Love Affair With Nettles...

in #naturalmedicine3 years ago

Yes, I'm talking about the stinging nettles!
In reply to @naturalmedicine question and challenge - How has a natural medicine impacted your life? #NaturalMedicines contest is at: I give you:

my love affair with nettles stinging nettle.JPG

It wasn't always this way. When I was younger, at camp, I had my first run in with stinging nettles and it was painful! I learned to stay clear of that plant.
Fast forward 30 years when I got into intensive gardening and learned about the benefits of nettle teas as a natural fertilizer for my plants and adding them to my compost.
Okay so nettles aren't so bad and I didn't have any in my area anyways.
Next move was up to northern Saskatchewan on our acreage that grows lots of nettles and I'm trying to establish my gardens.
By this time I had made friends with nettles but still didn't want them to grow where I was cultivating my garden because of the stings I was getting working in my garden.
I found a remedy for that - along with all the nettles growing around my garden there was also the plantain herb growing close by. By crushing the leaves and rubbing some of the juice where I was feeling the sting, it would take the sting away. That and learning how to handle nettles so you don’t get stinged, allowed me to welcome the nettles into my garden, keeping it in its own area.
After doing more research on nettles I found they had a lot of health benefits if you ingest them (recipes to follow.)
See my prior post on the benefits of nettles at:
Now I look forward to the first young shoots of nettles coming up in the spring (usually one of the first greens I can harvest.)

close up of nettle seeds.JPG

Nettles now gives my garden and me a lift!

I simply snack on the seed (the seeds have no sting) when I'm working or hiking along or I harvest the leaves to include in my favorite recipes (listed below.)
Keep in mind that when crushed or dried there is no longer a sting in the plant.

Nettle Mango Smoothie

Handful of fresh nettle leaves (wear gloves when handling these)
1 ripe mango peeled and cut into pieces
4 or 5 prunes or dates soaked in water to re-hydrate
2 cups of water plus the water from soaking the prunes or dates

Blend them all together and enjoy! I get a real energy boost from this and it keeps me regular too.

Potato Nettle Soup

1 Onion, Diced.
1 Leek chopped
1 bundle of Nettle Leaves (fresh or dried), chopped
3 Potatoes peeled and diced
6 cups water
2 cups stock
1 tsp. Mrs. Dash (I like the herb and garlic mix)
2 tablespoons of butter (ghee), or other oils for cooking.
salt and pepper to season to taste
1 tsp molasses (optional)

To turn this into a real tonic I add a bunch of chopped kale leaves and a handful of kelp (re-hydrated)

Saute the onion and leeks in the butter or cooking oil until golden brown. Sprinkle with the Mrs. Dash. Add the potatoes, stirring them in the onions and seasoning to pick up some of the flavoring. Next comes the nettles (plus kale and kelp if you are using them). Stir them in with the potatoes, cooking until the nettles start to wilt. Pour in the stock and water bring to a boil. Add the salt and pepper and molasses (if you are using it), turn down to a simmer and cook for about 20 to 30 minutes.

I harvest a lot of nettles and air dry them for the winter to use in my soups, smoothies and teas. I like the combination of mint and nettles for tea.

Since learning of the wonderful qualities of the nettle plant I have been able to share it with my friends. One of the main complains I recommend nettles for is being anemic because it is so high in iron. It's wonderful to see others benefiting from this wonderful plant.

Now you know why I have a love affair with the stinging nettle and I hope this post helps you to welcome the nettles into your life too!

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When I was a teenager growing up in Poland I started having problems with my knees. They were painful, I could not stay in the same position for a long time. Even driving a car became a problem. I've heard that smacking your knees with stinging nettles could help. So I did it. Yes, it was a little painful but I did it any time I was able to get ahold of wild nettles. Each time my knees got hot and red. Low and behold, my knee problems were gone to never come back:))

Happy to hear. I had heard that too. I think when it brings all the heat to that part the body goes into overdrive to clear it up. Thanks for sharing.

What a great idea, putting them in a smoothie! I've never eaten the seeds. There's no wild nettles around here, sadly, and I do miss them from living in England. They're a powerful plant indeed. My husband ate them once in a competition - I really must get around to steeming about that.

I love the smoothies and I put in the soaked prunes or dates for flavoring so it didn't taste so green! I'm curious about your husband eating them in a competition - do tell!

A great post! We gave it a little water in the form of an upvote! I've never heard of using plaintain to counter the sting, only dock! Great info. Thanks for using the #naturalmedicine tag so we can find you easily. We love having you on board!


I was so happy when I found out about the plantain for it grows all around our place along with the nettle. The crushed plantain leaf is also good for drawing out bee stingers or slivers. Thanks so much for the upvote and setting up this challenge. Loving this community!

Amazing, and we're so, so glad you are in it!

I love nettles too, I have juiced them and I love to make nettle pesto and of course nettle tea, great post @porters xx

I haven't tried the nettle pesto yet. I have made pestos from arugula, calendula, and one with a mixture of herbs. I think I'll start adding some in to my next batches. Lately I've been adding them to my soup stocks.

Sadly, nettles don't really grow in the area of Spain that I am living ☹ I would be so interested to try those recipes. Loving the nettle love 😁❤

I would send you some seeds but I don't think they would make through customs. I use to do seed exchanges all over the world then after the 9/11 incident the borders really cracked down and I limit myself to trading seeds just within Canada.

I don't think the seeds would take here anyway, there are some nettles down by the river near town, (some not many), as there's more water down there. It's VERY dry here, practically desertifying.

Yes the nettles need more moist areas.

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Wow! Thanks so much! It's an inspiration to keep on posting and sharing my knowledge

I treat Myself for bronchitis, and My Wife for MS with stinging nettle. It has stopped my problem entirely, and works so well with her MS, that I was able to treat her, IN THE HOSPITAL, with a written doctor's order! They didn't like it, But he had ordered them to render all assistance, to me, to dispense herbal treatment! This stuff is THAT good! :)

Glad to hear of your healing. How did you use it to treat your bronchitis?

My lungs were danaged by extreme low temperatures working pipeline. I was sick about three times a year where I had to go to the doctor for meds.
I started taking about 1500mg of powdered stinging nettle every day, a decade ago, and had one bout in that decade. It was viral, according to the doctor. :)

For fun, not medication: it also makes a very good tasting tea.

Wow I have never known anyone who had your condition from exposure to extreme cold. Where we're you working at? I agree with you too it is great in tea. Thanks for sharing!

Pipeline up north. Worst blizzard on record with wind chills of 71 below. On pipeline, a little thing like weather can't interrupt work....

BUT, I am all better now! Nettle is actually more impressive on her MS. It has reversed the disease, which her doctor said is not possible! She was in the hospital for unrelated reasons (fever); and her doctor wrote an order that I was to be rendered all assistance in giving her herbal preparations that I would bring. I was able to give the stinging nettle to her, IN THE HOSPITAL, without a fight! :)

Wow1 71 below, I've been in 56 below weather and I sure didn't stay in it very long but 71 Yikes! Glad to hear you recovered. How is your wife doing?

Her MS attacked her brain. At first, she had no cognitive function, and couldn't figure much out. They told me this was permanent damage, and she would never improve. They recommended a nursing home. She is the air I breathe, and I decided I would take better care of her than some home somewhere. I started research on herbals seriously in 2002 when she was diagnosed. They told me she had 5 years, tops; UNACCEPTABLE!

I found Commission E out of Germany on MS, and they had done a Meta Analysis on Stinging Nettle that claimed 80% saw Improvement, and 25% saw reversal of lesions, with recovery of function.

She is in that 25%. I have to make a lot of capsules, but she is worth it! Her MRI scans show that she has less sclerosis lesions now than she had in 2002. Impossible, but well within the Commission E study. Her cognitive ability is returning, and she is remembering more each day.

This is all from Stinging Nettle. A True Giant in the herbal community! :D

Wow what an amazing story and so happy you have such love for your wife to pull her through this. All the best.

Alrighty then.

Sold on the nettles. I'm gonna plant these things for sure.

You do realize they are the stinging nettles so I would put them in an out of the way place. Also their roots run a bit so you may want to contain it somewhat. I hope you come to love it as I do! If you need seeds I can harvest you some. May have to be next fall for they are all under snow now. Perhaps someone from the states can dig you out some roots to get you started.

Ooh, maybe so! I'll ask around in NM and see if anyone's got any to spare. I'm okay with wandering plants. They'll do their thing and I'll work with it. As for the stinging; I'm sure they'll make up for it, as they have with you :)