One of the first medicinal herbs to re-appear after the cold winter months is the stinging nettle. With its reputation for invading gardens and causing misery to the incautious as a result of its painful sting, this unsung hero of the hedgerow doesn’t receive the warmest of welcomes.
The Nettle plant is highly nutritious, packed with vitamins and minerals, most notably high in calcium (1 cup of cooked nettles contains 42% of the Recommended Daily Value of calcium) with a good proportion of magnesium (necessary for the uptake of calcium) as well as being a valuable source of vitamins A, C and iron. A nutritious and tasty nettle tea to enjoy this Spring:
Nettle Tea – How to Make it:
This fresh tea can be drunk as a spring tonic when the nettles appear in March and April.
6 nettle tops (The young tops with the first 4-6 leaves)
1 litre boiling water.
Wearing gloves rinse the nettles under cold water to remove any debris. Place the nettles in a teapot and pour on the boiling water, covering with a lid. Allow to steep for 10 minutes and then drink, sweetening with raw honey if desired.
Note: Do not use the nettles once they start to flower (the flowers appear as small green seed-like clusters on the nettle) as these can be an irritant. Ensure you find a source of nettles free from contamination – avoid areas that may have been sprayed with weed killer or popular dog walking paths.
The Herbal Clinic in Swansea provides natural healthcare with the use of organic herbs, acupuncture and iridology.