Nettle (Urtica dioica), also known as Stinging Nettle, is a lovely plant that is is a favorite if many an herbalist (including myself!). It sometimes gets a bad reputation because its stems and leaves are covered in small, sharp spurs that can cause severe irritation and pain on areas of skin that come in contact with the plant. However, despite its sting, nettle is a valuable wonderful medicinal and a tasty, nutritious edible. There’s much to love about this wonderful herb!
Nettle grows in temperate regions all over the world. The entire plant can be utilized for food or medicine. Young nettle leaves can be cooked and eaten like spinach. (Old plants may cause kidney damage when eaten raw.) Nettle is a valuable edible, as it is an excellent source of vitamins- including A, C, D and K- and minerals, like choline, lecithin, silica, and iron. The aerial parts are utilized for teas and tinctures and the roots are medicinal.
For some tasty ideas of how to add more nettle to your diet, check out these recipes:
Note: If eating nettles sounds a little dangerous to you, never fear – the plant loses its sting once it is dried or cooked. But, you may want to wear gloves while harvesting nettle and preparing any recipes with nettle to avoid getting stung during those processes.
–Nettle Beer from The Herbal Academy
–Nettle Garlic Buttermilk Biscuits from Mountain Rose Herbs Blog
–Stinging Nettle Spanikopita from Join Me For Dinner
–Nettle Pesto Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes from The Bojon Gourmet
–Nettle Chips from Mountain Rose Herbs Blog
–Stinging Nettle Lasagna from Learning Herbs
–Ali Baba’s Savory Stinging Nettle Muffins from Palachink
–Garlic Cream & Nettle Pizza from Food & Wine
–Wild Weed Frittata from Mountain Rose Herbs Blog
–Nettle-Mushroom Pie with Pine Nuts from Voodoo & Sauce
–Stinging Nettle Ravioli with Butter & Sage from La Tavola Marche
Hungry for more ways to enjoy nettle? Check out these 12 stinging nettle recipes from The Herbal Academy.
In addition to being a delicious and healthful edible, nettle is also a wonderful medicinal plant. It is a general toning herb that strengthens and nourishes the whole body, balances metabolic function, and improves circulation. It has been used traditionally as a cleansing herb because of its ability to aid elimination of waste from the body.