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Home / Health / Powerful Herbs: Nutrition Packed Nettles!


There is a saying that goes: “The sting of the nettle is but nothing compared to the pains that it heals.”  Indeed this herb has healing power. There are very few herbal teas that pack such a strong nutritional punch like Nettles! A prehistoric plan naturally found in Europe, Africa, Asia, and North America, stinging nettles is a flowering plant that has been used for centuries for a variety of medicinal purposes. Nettles are rich in chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals, and even contain some protein. One cup contains 6.6 grams of carbohydrates and 2.4 grams of protein. As far as vitamin content, one cup contains three times the daily requirement of vitamin A, and up to 400% of the your bodies’ need for vitamin K.

Nutrition Benefits of Nettles

Consuming nettles can be  helpful to recover from fatigue and anemia as it is high in iron. Adding to its’ stellar nutritional profile is calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sulfur, and zinc for a powerful combination of minerals that are vital to the body’s functions.  A vitamin B powerhouse, nettles contain vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5 along with vitamins C, E, K and folate. Nettles are packed with a host of essential phytonutrients such as lycopene, beta-carotene, caffeic acid, acetic acid, and betaine.

Nettles to Treat Disease

These naturally occurring plant compounds (phytonutrients) help prevent and treat many of the diseases in humans by preventing and reducing free-radical-induced damage to your cells and DNA.  With these nutritionally powerful properties, there’s no wonder nettles carries a sharp reputation for overall good health as a dietary supplement (pun intended because they can actually sting). Nettles have possible antispasmodic, diuretic and expectorant effects; they also have anti-inflammatory qualities, which Blue Shield Complementary and Alternative Health attributes to their ability to inhibit the release of pro-inflammatory prostaglandins.

As a tea, nettles can be used to treat a number of diseases and inflammations of the urinary system.  Nettles can be used to treat anemia, asthma, allergies such as hay fever and allergic rhinitis, benign prostatic hyperplasia, cancer, diabetes, goiter, kidney problems, and malabsorption syndrome. It’s great for the kidneys, helping to expel gravel from the bladder, and dissolve kidney stones.  Nettles stimulates the kidneys to excrete more water, helping to purify the blood of toxins, metabolic wastes, eliminating viruses and bacterial infections. Also, due to the decreases the tea causes in blood sugar levels, and subsequently the glycemic level, it is great as a tea for diabetics. The tea actually cleans out the entire intestinal tract, and activates the body’s natural defense mechanisms.  Other uses and benefits include helping with high blood pressure, anemia, skin inflammation, and more. For patients undergoing chemotherapy, who have a hard time with solid foods, including nettles tea and drinking throughout the day can assist in getting in some important nutrients. With all of the apparent uses for nettles, there’s no wonder why this herb is such a hit with so many people who are aware of its benefits- and even more- it tastes great! Below are a few ways  you can use nettles to add great flavor and abundant health to your life one tea cup at a time.

Herbal Tea/ Tisane  

Soak fresh or dried nettle leaves in boiled water.  For a more concentrated, infused drink, use more nettles and make sure they are finely crushed, then let them sit while covered and boiling for a good ten minutes.  This can be served either hot or cold.

Nettle Tincture

For a healthy and youthful hair and scalp, 6-7 fresh leaves or 2 spoons of dried plant in a half a liter of alcohol for 10 days will make a concoction that will revitalize your hair, eliminating dandruff and leaving hair silky and fresh.  Rub this at the root of the scalp.

Nettle Juice

For a powerful addition to your daily routine, nettle juice will provide a host of healthy and powerful benefits if added to your juicing regiment.  Just take the leaves and the stem and place them in the juicer. Filter the paste that results from this process and you will be left with a juice that is to be kept cold in the fridge in a dark container.  Consume a half a glass before the most important meals of the day to regulate arterial pressure and straighten the blood vessels. If you suffer from renal insufficiency and you want those kidneys to kick it back into high gear, drink one glass of this every day after waking up for 20-30 days and you’ll be feeling a major change.  Drink 1-2 glasses of nettle juice every day for 2 weeks if you suffer from anemia and de-mineralization.


Gladstar, R. (2012). The beginners guide to medicinal herbs: 33 healing herbs to know, grow, and use. Pownal, VT: Storey.


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