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Nettle Plant Tonic Recipe

Updated on May 21, 2013
nettle stings are not the only things nettle plants give us. The benefits of nettles makes impressive reading.
nettle stings are not the only things nettle plants give us. The benefits of nettles makes impressive reading. | Source

Nettle Habitat

along our road there are thousands of nettles providing an unlimited supply of nettles for homemade products free of charge.
along our road there are thousands of nettles providing an unlimited supply of nettles for homemade products free of charge. | Source

Stinging Nettle

nettles are easily found along country roads and in forests in springtime.
nettles are easily found along country roads and in forests in springtime. | Source

Stinging Nettle Plant ~

Nettle stings are often the first thing that springs to mind when thinking of nettles and not nettle tea or nettle plant tonics.

The fact it is thought of as one of the most remarkable gifts of nature we have will surprise many.

Surrounded by thousands of nettles since moving to the countryside, got me thinking of ways to utilize this wonder plant known as Urtica Dioica that has long been a plant I have avoided on purpose.

The amount of nettle stings I have had would be impossible to count over the years.

The nettle plant has been in existence since prehistoric times and it is said that if it had not been for the nettle stings, it would have been extinct long ago.

Animals and Insects would have destroyed the nettle had it not been for its ability to sting as a defence mechanism.

American Stinging Nettle

a young red tinted american stinging nettle common in woodlands and countryside.
a young red tinted american stinging nettle common in woodlands and countryside. | Source

Nettle Plant Benefits ~

  • Anti-Inflammatory Properties
  • Astringent
  • Diuretic Properties
  • Expectorant
  • Tonic
  • Contains Vitamins A, B2, C, E and K
  • Contains Iron, Calcium and Magnesium, Silica, Folic Acid and Amino Acids
  • Contains Fatty Acids, Phosphates and Beta-Carotene
  • Anti- Anaemic, Anti-Diabetic and Haemostatic Properties
  • Allergies
  • Rheumatic Conditions
  • Arthritic Conditions
  • Regulates Blood Sugar
  • Improves Circulation
  • Strengthens Immune System
  • Fights Fatigue

Nettle Sting

this shows a commonly seen nettle rash resulting from a nettle plant sting.
this shows a commonly seen nettle rash resulting from a nettle plant sting. | Source

Avoiding A Nettle Sting ~

The best way of avoiding getting stung is to wear long gloves, sleeves and trousers when going to cut your leaves.

Go armed with a scissors and snip the top of the plant directly into a saucepan (jar, juicer or whatever container you are using).

They are at their best when young and bright green before they get too tall or start to flower. Cut off the tops including the stem as it is also extremely beneficial to use.

If you do get stung, rub a dock leaf (if handy) over it or apply an anti-itch cream such as an antihistamine, hydrocortisone or calamine lotion.

Nettle Plant Recipes ~

Nettles may be used in many different ways that benefit the entire body from head to toe and not just used in a tonic form. They are one of the best examples of edible plants growing in the wild that foragers will know well.

Here are a few different suggestions to make the most out of your nettle plants.

As with any new remedies being introduced to the body, caution should always be taken. A cup or two of nettle tea is enough to start with for anyone new to this and it should be first checked with your doctor.

This is essential for anyone under medication of any description or with a known medical condition to avoid any adverse reaction to the tea.

Ever tried a nettle tonic?

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Different Nettle Tea Methods

Nettle Tea Recipe ~

  • Use approximately 1 cup of fresh nettle leaves to make 1-2 cups of tea.
  • Add 2 cups of water into a saucepan with your nettle leaves and bring to near boiling. Reduce heat and allow simmer for a few minutes.
  • Pour the tea through a strainer and it is now ready to drink.
  • Add a little sugar if you prefer it sweeter.
  • For stronger tea allow to simmer longer. For weaker tea add more water when bringing to near boiling.
  • The leaves may be eaten with a little butter on top or even added into soups and stews. Make sure to taste a tiny piece first to make sure the sting has gone.

Nettle Tea Benefits

  • Urinary Inflammation
  • Slight Laxative effect useful in depurative remedies
  • Diabetes as it lowers the sugar levels
  • Eliminates viruses
  • Antibacterial
  • Blood Purifier
  • Lowers High Blood Pressure
  • Headaches
  • Kidney stones
  • Cleans out Intestinal tract

Easy Nettle Infusion

Nettle Infusion Recipe ~

  • Bring a litre of water to the boil and let cool slightly.
  • Add a large bunch of fresh nettles, 1 cup of dried nettles or 4 nettle teabags to a teapot or thick glass jar (make sure the glass will take the heat and not break).
  • Pour over the water and put the lid on or screw lid tightly.
  • Leave to infuse for 5-10 hours or even overnight.
  • Strain off the leaves.
  • You now have a super rich and beneficial elixir you can drink throughout the day. Aim for at least 2-4 cups if not all of the drink. The nettle infusion does not have a long shelf life and may start to spoil after 36 hours, depending on room temperature.

If you have trouble finishing it or it starts to spoil, use it as a fantastic hair rinse. It will give the hair a wonderful shine, be thickening, strengthening, nourishing and is brilliant for controlling dandruff.

Plants may even be watered with this infusion to give them an additional boost.

Nettle Infusion Benefits

  • Great detox for the body
  • Replaces lost iron for women during menstruating
  • During pregnancy
  • Promotes milk production during breastfeeding

nettle washcloth

a handmade washcloth made from a nettle yarn.
a handmade washcloth made from a nettle yarn. | Source

Nettle Plant Puree

nettle leaves may be made into a puree and served as part of a meal.
nettle leaves may be made into a puree and served as part of a meal. | Source

Nettle Facts and Trivia ~

  1. A tissue of the plant was found in a tomb dating back to the Bronze Age in Denmark.
  2. Nettles have been used in the Textile Industry for example they were used to make the uniforms of the German army during the First World War.
  3. In the Neolithic period, nettle stems were used to make strings.
  4. Caesar’s army brought back the nettle plant from England to Italy.
  5. In folk medicine, it is said by placing fresh nettle leaves directly onto the skin over the kidneys will induce a stinging and burning sensation which will have a dramatic effect of easing severe rheumatic pain. This practice is known as urticaria.
  6. Nettles grow in the same place each year.
  7. Nettle season is spring through summer and then they die away during autumn winter.
  8. Stinging nettle has a flavour similar to spinach and cucumber when cooked.
  9. Native Americans harvested and cooked young nettle plants in spring and ate as a cooked plant when other food was scarce.
  10. Nettles are used in dishes such as polenta, puree, pesto, soup and stew.
  11. They have been used as flavouring in Gouda cheese.
  12. Certain Nettle extracts has been used by body-builders in an effort to increase free testosterone.
  13. Folk remedies for treating the itching a stinging nettle gives include; horsetail, mud, saliva, dock leaf, dandelion, onion, oil, lemon juice and baking soda.
  14. Nettles may be made into alcoholic beer, a favourite in rural areas of The British Isles.
  15. Nettle Juice, Nettle Smoothies, Nettle Lemonade and Nettle Orange Juice may all be easily made at home.
  16. There is a world nettle eating championship held yearly in England that attracts contestants from all over the world.

Author Info ~

Information on the author, her bio and full body of works available @ Suzie HQ

Credit to homesteadbound ~

All dividers used in this hub are used with permission granted on hub, Creating Dividers to Use on Your Hubs

Nettle Plant Tonic Recipe Comments

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      We have no shortage of these bad boys here in Washington State. They are everywhere. I just saw a show on the internet about making nettle tea. Interesting stuff and I would actually be willing to try it. Well done Irish, and Happy New Year to you.

    • anglnwu profile image

      anglnwu 4 years ago

      I remember trying to harvest some nettles after reading of its many health benefits and was poked in many places on my hands. I've given up but your hub rethink my "wimpy" decision. I didn't know that the leaves can be pureed and eaten. Great hub and rated up and shared.

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Bill,

      Glad to see you and that you may try this super wonder product!! Nettles have been the bane of my life and now to think in spring I have my own supply of this miracle plant is very appealing! Many thanks my friend for your welcome comments, hope you noticed my link to your hub in it!!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi anginwu,

      Lovely to have you visit here. Hopefully you will give collecting nettles a go again. Make sure to wear long rubber gloves and long sleeves. Long trousers too just in case! Many thanks for your votes and share my friend :-)

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      OK, my little Irish Lass....I've been familiar with Nettle, but certainly not to this extent, with the MANY uses and benefits. Now, you've got me interested in planting my own when Spring comes round.

      I am confused though (which I'm famous for)......if the little pricklies cause a skin RASH.....how is it used successfully directly on your face...as shown in the video?? I don't get it. Please explain oh Genius of all things "natural"...You are just a wealth of information on this topic.

      One more thing....You must tell me.....Mickey, "Baby Cakes" went back and forth with me on my Gabby Van Gibberish Hub.....and he said you are his lover girl......For real? or is it simply a Torrid Cyber Affair?.......I've had "several" since moving to Hubville! In fact, Suz, I fall in love with a different Male hubber every week. I'm such a wild & loose one! ROFLMAO!!..........Love this hub!...UP+++

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      H iPaula!

      Well my friend firstly many thanks for this wonderful comment, in your usual witty style! The nettle has both stinging and non stinging hairs. In the video she is using the stem on her lips, crows feet and forehead which will stimulate these areas. A mild sting may occur. When my nettle supply grows again I will be trying it and let you know!

      Now to the question of MJ - Babycakes . . . . Yes I have to fess up and say we are an item for real! We have independent careers here on hubpages but yes we have been together over 5 years! God help me! LOL

      Life is never dull, that's for sure!

      Thanks again Paula, appreciate the votes my friend and no doubt you will be recovering from the shock news awhile that MJ is two timing Gabby!! LOL

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      I've heard of folk remedies with nettle, but I didn't know this plant offers so many benefits! The history is fascinating, too, and that it has been used in textiles for many years. Here in Peru, nettle is often used to treat arthritis and depression. The patient is stripped down and beaten all over the body with stinging nettle plants. I wonder if it really cures of the patient? Maybe the patient just claims to be cured to avoid more torture! lol Another great hub, Suzie. Thanks!

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Suzie. Who knew something so irritating could be so useful. We have plenty of Nettle Plant here in New England. I have never heard of Nettle tea? Will have to give it a try.

      Another great job Suzie. I think 2013 will be a great year for you here on HP's. Have a happy and healthy New year. Voting up, sharing, etc...

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi vespa,

      My reply to you froze and was gone so apologies for replying this way! Thanks so much for your comments. I don't think I would be a fan either of getting beaten all over with the nettles but maybe if it was a guaranteed cure, it might sway me! The nettle is quite surprising in it's many benefits considering it is looked at being a hindrance or a weed by many!!

      Wishing you all the very best for 2013 my friend!!

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Bill,

      Great to see you and thanks so much for visit, comments, votes etc. . . . much appreciated! Nettles are certainly interesting and the tea is great to detox with. Use in small quantities if trying for the first time and do check it out with a doctor if unsure if to take it with any medical conditions.

      Hopefully 2013 will be good to us both, it has certainly been an eye opening experience that I have enjoyed here on HP.

      Wishing you and your family all the very best for New Year!!!

    • tlpoague profile image

      Tammy 4 years ago from USA

      This plant has been a plague in my yard, but after reading this, I think I will have the upper hand come spring. I have heard of the nettle tea tonics and many uses, but never tried them. After all of your advice here I think I will give it a shot. Thanks for sharing such helpful information.

    • Suzie HQ profile image
      Author

      Suzanne Ridgeway 4 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi tipoague,

      Many thanks for visiting here! I know how much of a nuisance nettles are but at least we know how beneficial they are and will have a ready supply now!! Hope you enjoy giving the new year detox a go when the nettles start growing again. Happy New Year wishes to you for 2013!!

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