The Joy of Nettles


Several friends are complaining of general lethargy–of not feeling quite right–of having no energy.

I reckon we all need a nice spring tonic and it is almost time for the joy of nettles. Stinging nettles. Beautiful nutritious nettles.

They are monstrous and terrible weeds that will sting like a jellyfish if you are not careful and respectful. You can wear rose gauntlets and long sleeves and long pants and she will still find a way to give you a little jab that soon grows to a burning, itching wound. (Those stings are actually quite invigorating and healthful or so I have heard. I like to avoid them, if I can.)

I prefer them as soup and as a tisane. Once they are cleaned and boiled the little sharp barbs are neutralized and a cream of nettle soups is delicious. Mmmmm. My favorite, though, is to let it steep or poach for a couple of hours and then remove the weed from the water and keep it in a big mason jar in the fridge as a tea. I take a glug of it every time I open the fridge and drink it down pretty quickly.

Nettles will give you more energy, help detox your liver, good for your kidneys and delicious. But be very careful as you harvest her. Have some respect. Be nice to her and she’ll reward you richly, greenly.


6 thoughts on “The Joy of Nettles

  1. So, is it actually the BOILING process that neutralizes the sting? I have always wanted to try nettle soup or tea, but I have always been worried about how exactly to take the sting out of them… I remember that feeling all too well, from many childhood (and a few more recent) experiences!

  2. Thanks for the good words on Madame Urtica. Mine are just starting to come back up. One aim this year, besides the usual (eating some and not getting stung): retting some long stalks and spinning the fiber. If anyone has experience in this area, I’d love to hear it.

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