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Nettle is a prolific weed that can be used as a vegetable or herb, particularly in herbal teas. Nettles are best picked and cooked when young, i.e. in the springtime, because they are less tough in texture. The stinging needles of nettles are destroyed in cooking, but wear gloves when picking. Nettle can be used in the same way as sorrell and spinach, but is best known for nettle soup.

When infused, nettle tea has an earthy and slightly tart taste, with spinach-like vegetal notes.


  • Quantity: 1 heaped teaspoon (2½ g) of dried nettle leaves per cup or person
  • Water temperature: 95oC (200oF)
  • Brew time: 8 - 10 minutes

Health Benefits


  1. Purifies, nourishes and builds blood
  2. Builds adrenal and kidney function
  3. Nourishes core energy and helps deal with daily stress
  4. Strengthens pregnant women and increases milk supply for nursing mothers
  5. Helps moderate allergy response

Further Reading

  • Brown, K. (1999) Herbal Teas, North Adams, MA, USA, Storey Books. ISBN 1580170994.
  • Dowell, P., Bailey, A. (1980) The Book of Ingredients, Dorling Kindersley. ISBN 0718119150.