Nettles have been a staple in my herbal and nutrition-based kitchen for some time. Thanks to the size of my pantry stash, my husband keeps telling me we’re going to be raided for selling marijuana. :snort:
They’re a nutritional powerhouse and a great herb to start with for newbies.
We’re going to pair it with raspberry leaf in the following tea recipe. It’s a simple way to reap the benefits of both plants and is a fantastic multi-nutrient supplement (so much more than a multivitamin!) that’s easy for your body to absorb and use.
Check out my recipe for nettle and rose hips tea here.
Most of my herbal knowledge comes from study over practice with my plant allergies, but nettle and I are the best of friends. It makes my hair pretty.
Hair is where you’ll probably notice nettle’s benefits first. Nettle is known for reducing hair loss, increasing hair growth, and making what you already have shiny and lustrous. Postpartum hair loss is greatly reduced, and it can help your hair grow back more quickly.
Note: it does increase the likelihood of looking like a macaroni penguin. Ask me how I know.
Those of you with seasonal allergies, post-nasal drip, and symptoms of histamine overload will probably first notice a serious reduction in symptoms as nettle helps to purify the blood and detoxification system.
Drinking nettle tea regularly during pollen season can drastically reduce your symptoms.
Couple it with a clean diet free of foods that trigger your immune system, and you can usually say buh-bye to the rest of them.
* * * In some people, stinging nettle can produce allergic reactions. If you are highly sensitive to plants or have severe allergies, be sure to do a skin test and only take a small amount internally at first. Also be careful with histamine intolerance. I find that they can greatly help to reduce it but they do contain some histamine.
Due to its high nutrient content, nettle is also my favorite galactagogue and has helped increase my breastmilk production and quality for over a year now.
It’s well known in the herbal world for lactating mothers. It’s even dried and given to cows for the same reason. Mooooo. #callmebessie
I always suffered from low production until I learned to pack my diet with nutrient-dense foods like nettles and moringa. Good digestion + good diet = good mama’s milk (unless there’s a mechanical problem, of course).
I’ll give you the bullet point version of nettle’s benefits in case you struggle with Internet A.D.D. too.
- great for healing digestion when included with a digestion protocol
- stops bleeding, including internally
- blood purifier
- can prevent scurvy
- high in minerals – calcium, chromium, magnesium, and zinc
- astringent, tonic
- galactagogue – increases breastmilk
- high in chlorophyll
- diuretic – increases production of urine, reduces edema
- traditionally used to treat asthma, burns, wounds, heavy menstrual bleeding
- hair tonic
- plant source of iron that seems to be well assimilated
Red Raspberry Leaf
Raspberry leaf is given as a remedy for stomach bleeding, ulcers, diarrhea, and stomachaches. It can reduce nausea, inflammation, vomiting, and was traditionally given to children to help minimize the effects of influenza (flu).
When paired with nettle, it’s a great addition to a digestive healing protocol.
Raspberry leaf is a hot topic in the mama world. It’s highly debated on when mothers-to-be should start drinking it due to its ability to strengthen & tone the uterus and assist contractions.
My view after extensive research is to avoid it for mothers who are prone to irritable uterus and/or miscarriage during the first two trimesters unless working with a skilled herbalist and midwife.
What’s not debated is that this is an outstanding herb for pregnancy and postpartum.
It’s good for preventing and relieving nausea, can reduce the pain of childbirth (um, yay!), and foods high in minerals are always good for skin health and may prevent or reduce stretch marks
…or not if you didn’t start early enough and had a big baby. Sigh.
It can even help prevent or keep possible hemorrhages in check during labor.
Raspberry leaf is a great pairing for nettle for its similar properties and nutrient-density and has a wide range of uses and benefits.
- astringent, tonic
- good for digestive, urinary, and circulatory systems
- drink and gargle for sore throats, canker sores/mouth ulcers, bleeding gums, and inflammation
- diarrhea remedy, especially when served cold
- traditionally given to
- relieves excess menstrual bleeding
- rich source of iron, manganese, niacin, calcium, magnesium, selenium, and Vitamins A & C
- 1 cup dried stinging nettle leaves (Urtica dioica)
- 1 cup dried red raspberry leaf leaves (Rubus idaeus)
- 16 cups filtered water
- Bring water to rapid boil in a large stockpot.
- Let sit for 5 minutes for best temperature for steeping herbals.
- Add herbs and stir to thoroughly saturate.
- Cover pot and allow to steep for 24 hours.
- Strain and enjoy hold or cold.
We like to sweeten with maple syrup and drink cold for everyday drinking. Use only unrefined sweeteners and sweeten lightly for better health benefits.
Should keep refrigerated for up to 5 days.
Where to buy
I buy all of my herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs and have for over 4 years. Their quality is unmatched, in my humble opinion, and I love their commitment to purity and sustainability.
Click HERE for my referral link if you are looking for a reputable herb source.
These are some of my favorite herbal texts and where I pulled my data from for this post. (Amazon referral links; where I buy all my books!)
Nutritional Herbology by Pedersen
A Modern Herbal (Volume II I-Z) by Grieve
Healing Wise by Weed
The New Holistic Herbal by Hoffman (ebook version linked since this is no longer in print)