Medicinal Herb Profile: Stinging Nettle
Updated: Oct 7, 2019
Handle with care!
Nettles contain formic acid, which gives them their stinging property. Wear gloves when handling this herb. The formic acid is destroyed by heating, mashing, or drying.
Key constituents and benefits:
Nettles are a tonic herb, which refers to herbs that are gentle, safe, and nourishing. Nettles are rich in chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals, micronutrients, and protein. Nettle is especially high in iron and calcium. It promotes liver and kidney health, and has anti-inflammatory properties, making it useful in the treatment of allergies and achy joints/arthritic pain. Nettle is a safe, beneficial herb that can be used daily to promote health and vitality.
How to use:
Nettles can be used fresh or dried. Use as a delicate spring green: lightly saute, steam, process into pesto, or add to soups or stews. To dry: lay nettles in a single layer in a dark area of your home or away from direct light. They will dry best in an warm area with good air circulation. Store dried nettles in an airtight jar or bag away from direct light.
Note: Pacific Northwest wild nettles are producing seed at this time of the year, which means they contain a substance that can be harmful to the kidneys and are therefore no longer harvested for food. Our farm nettles are on a different cycle and we hope to be able to harvest continuously throughout the summer!