Notorious for the stinging needles along its leaves, nettle can be safely ingested when the irritant is tamed by boiling or drying. A tonic made from the leaves and stems is said to strengthen the body. Herbalists consider nettle a diuretic capable of removing toxins, and its iron and vitamin C may help prevent anemia. Nettle has an erect stem and serrated, dark-green, heart-shaped leaves.
Taken internally for:
Used internally only under the supervision of a physician for:
Over the counter:
Nettle is available as tinctures, capsules and dried leaves and stems.
Tea: 1 to 2 tsp. dried herb steeped in 1 cup boiling water for 10 minutes.
Juice: 2 tsp. juice squeezed from nettle added to a fresh vegetable or fruit drink.
Combinations: Nettle combines well with figwort and burdock to treat eczema; taken orally as juice or tea.