The more I get to know it, the more I love it–stinging nettle. Sounds painful, but this little plant is loaded with healing properties. And I promise you won’t get stung unless you plan on picking this plant in the wild without gloves! Good news is, if you get it dried you’re in for a real nutritious tea. Nettle is often used as a “nutritive tonic” which pretty much means you drink it for its nutritional value. It’s loaded with vitamins, minerals, and most interestingly to me, protein. Since we’re not big meat eaters around here and we rely on vegetable proteins, I like giving nettle tea to my son. He seems to enjoy it as well, with a little honey or agave nectar thrown in for sweetness.
What else can you hope to get from stinging nettle? You can dump the tea on your head for aid in scalp circulation if you suffer from hair loss, and if you have dark hair but seem to be greying, the iron content in nettle can help darken the hair. Feeling dull? Tired? Moody? Or maybe you’re pregnant and getting a little anemic. Or you’re nursing and need a little help in the lactation department. Stinging nettle may just become your new favorite tea.
And alright, I’ll admit–stinging nettle tea is not exactly the sweetest, most fragrant of herbs. Personally, I think it smells a little like vegetable broth. Like I said, my two-year-old loves it with a little sweetening, but I gave a cup of it to my husband this morning whose facial expression was priceless. While it’s not a strong overpowering flavor by any means, not everyone digs it. But I enjoy it quite a bit by adding a good pinch of licorice root to a tea ball filled with nettle. Other suggestions would be adding lemon balm or peppermint. Regardless of whether or not you add other teas, honey, or agave nectar, any effort is certainly worth this most nutritive of teas.