Nettle Power: How to make a nettle herbal infusion
Updated: Jun 28, 2019
Energy, vitality, clear skin, shiny hair, stronger fingernails, sharper focus, longer endurance, relief from allergies, relief from arthritis, relief from skin disorders, relief from PMS and menopausal symptoms, increased oral health, stronger bladder and digestive health — the list goes on.
Why is stinging nettle such a powerhouse for overall health and wellbeing? Because it is one of the most nutrient-dense edible plants on the planet! And it is often regarded as a pesky weed that does nothing more than leave us writhing in pain if its stinging hairs are touched. But nay — nettle is definitely a plant you want to integrate into your life, and one of the best ways to reap the benefits of this powerful medicinal plant is by making and drinking a nettle herbal infusion at home. No need to be daunted by this, either — I assure you this is one of the easiest recipes you will ever make :)
But first, more reasons to love nettle
Nettle is rich in protein and detoxifying chlorophyll, iron for blood health, vitamin C for tissue strength, boron for bone health, zinc for brain and memory function, antioxidant selenium, numerous B vitamins plus vitamins A, D, E and K, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and more. Phew, quite a mouthful.
Nettle herbal infusion recipe
No, I won't send you off foraging for nettle in the wild like we do (unless you want to — but if you do, please first educate yourself on how to correctly identify and handle stinging nettle before ever putting it into your mouth!). Nettle is widely available dried and ready to go so look for it at your local health and bulk foods stores (or buy online). If you can't access dried bulk nettle herb, you can still bring the energy and benefits of nettle into your life (albeit much smaller doses), by seeking out packaged nettle tea from your supermarket or health food store.
What you need
1/3 cup dried nettle (organic, if possible)
1 litre water (filtered, if possible)
Sieve or nutmilk bag
A very big glass jar with lid that can hold 1 litre liquid volume, or a glass/ceramic jug or saucepan with lid. Plastic vessels should be totally avoided as we'll be using boiling water.
+ Using a kettle or stovetop, set a litre of water to boil. Meanwhile, Place your measured dried nettle into a jar, jug or saucepan.
+ Once water has boiled, pour over the nettle into your vessel. Give it a quick stir and then immediately put on the lid. The reason why we need to cover the infusion is so that the precious volatile oils from the nettle steam don't escape and dissolve out into the atmosphere. We want to keep all of that good nourishment contained within! :)
+ Now simply let the infusion steep for at least 4 hours (I let it steep overnight, but no longer than this). Once ready, take your sieve or nutmilk bag and strain the liquid into another vessel and then throw the leftover nettle herb into your compost or garden!
+ Store your nettle infusion in the fridge and drink 1-2 cups a day. Drink cold instead of heated. Consume the infusion within a few days, otherwise it will start to go bad. If you have left it sitting around too long, don't tip it down the drain! It makes for a great, nourishing tonic for your plants :)
So there you have it, how easy is that? Like when undertaking any health journey, consistency is key — so be vigilant in preparing and drinking nettle infusion for at least a month to reap the full benefits (but you will no doubt start to notice little differences within days).
If you do find yourself falling off the nettle infusion wagon, as mentioned above, you can at least bring the essence of this wonderful medicinal plant into your life by drinking nettle tea where possible. It's actually a fantastic alternative to coffee for those wanting to kick the caffeine habit as it drives energy, pep and vitality into the mind and body without spiking blood sugar, so you won't experience a caffeine crash/come-down as you do with coffee, and it won't interfere with your sleep quality like caffeine does!
So now you know why sassy, strong and sting-a-riffic nettle is a firm favourite of herbalists the world over. Oh and fairies, too. In Celtic lore, coming across a patch of nettles signified that there were fairy dwellings nearby. And fairies know best, right?