Nettles have a long history of medicinal use. Victorian women used nettle tinctures to thicken their hair whilst they were used in soups to build strength, stamina and vitality.
The ancient safe of Tibet, Milarepa, even fasted on nettles until his skin turned a light green hugh (not recommended 😉 ). After which he reportedly developed legendary psychic and physical powers.
Nettles are hardy and come into abundance in the wild during Springtime. They can be harvested fresh through gentle foraging and to dried for later use.
All parts of the nettle plant have medicinal properties making these plants a pretty magical supplement to meals, during the Spring.
Nutritionally, 1 cup of stewed or blanched nettles has a mere 36 calories, 6.5 g of carbs, 2.5 g of protein and no fat.
It’s the mineral profile that make nettles magical. They are an excellent source of iron, calcium, vitamin D and vitamin A. Nearly three times the daily RDA of vitamin A can be found in 1 cup of nettles and they are fantastic source of Vitamin K which is essential for blood clotting, bone health and calcium absorption.
Below, I delve into the benefits from a Chinese Medicine perspective and common ailments that they can aid with when used nutritionally or as a tonic or tea.
Plus, I will be offering my favourite Nettle recipe, “Wild Garlic and Nettle Pesto”, below.
This is a great exucse to get outdoors and forage your own food.