Nettles - yes, stinging nettles or "burning weed" - you either love them or hate them. If you are only familiar with the painful itch they can cause when they touch your skin, you're probably not a fan. But this plant actually has so much to offer.
Nettles are one of the most nutritious leafy greens you can eat.
You do need to cook the sting out, but it's as simple as cooking any other green: sauteed in a little garlic, fat or oil, they are so delicious.
You can also use nettles to make a nourishing herbal infusion. Drinking these infusions is a great way to get a wide range of vitamins and minerals that many modern diets are lacking. Nettles are rich in calcium, iron, and magnesium, for example.
Infusions are easy to make, but it does take some time. Making infusions at night for the next day is one way to go.
How to Make A Nourishing Nettle Infusion
To make a nettle infusion, you'll need water and nettles.
What is an infusion?
An infusion is a drink made by placing a flavoring ingredient, often herbs or fruit, into a liquid like hot water and leaving it for a long time. Infusions are the most popular method of preparing teas and tisanes. Infusions are stronger, water based beverages made by long steeping herbs in hot water to pull out the most of the plant essences. Some people infuse their herbs for four to ten hours.
What part of the nettles do I use?
Use nettle leaves and stems. You can use dried plant matter or fresh if you are fortunate enough to have a source to pick them. If using fresh nettles, use gloves when handling them because they sting. Once hot water is poured over them,, or once they are dried, they no longer will sting. If you do not grow your own nettles, order dried nettles in bulk from reputable suppliers.
What is the process for a nettle infusion?
Use a heat proof glass container with a well fitting lid. Pour four cups of boiling water over one cup of dried nettles. Usually leaves and stems are the parts used, though you can use cleaned roots. Cover and allow to steep or infuse for four or more hours, even overnight. Strain it, and you're good to go! You can drink your infusion hot or cold.
If you are into the traditional and spiritual sides of plant medicine, here are some more interesting bits of info:
- Nettles have been used for a very long time.
- Nettles are associated with the planer Mars, which correlates with their abundant strengthening and energizing qualities.
Nettles are simply a wonderful plant ally and a strong herbal infusion is a great way to enjoy them.