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Stinging Nettle— A powerful herb for seasonal allergy relief

Are you using Stinging Nettle this Spring for your allergies? If not, this is an herb/plant that you should really get to know.

While hiking out in our woods yesterday, I stopped suddenly as I looked down and spotted a Stinging Nettle plant. Sometimes it’s she small things that make me happy, and this was one of them! Now I know that we can begin to harvest our own stinging nettle for making tea! Stinging nettle plant

Stinging nettle at Ridge Haven Homestead

Of course, we will need more than one plant, but as in the case with the Pink Lady Slippers here, where you spot one, more are probably around!  I will be out investigating this!

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Stinging Nettle for allergies

We currently are drinking tea made from stinging Nettle. Once Spring flowers and trees began to bloom, and the pollen starting flying, my nose and head have been stuffed up, and my whole body feels dragged down.

When I drink the nettle tea regularly, these symptoms disappear, but I need to keep consistent with it.  I drink 2-4 cups/day, obviously the more I drink, the more benefits I feel.

Just today I awoke stuffed up. We sleep with the windows open, so we breathe in the pollen-rich “fresh” air. I already had nettle tea steeping from yesterday, so I went ahead and drank the last two cups. I then went back to bed, but within the hour, I felt better and all of the stuffiness was gone. Major allergies require constant use, to keep up your blood levels.

The advice that I’ve received on nettle tea, which is really the only way we take nettle at this point, is to make a moderately strong infusion of nettle leaves in hot water and to drink up to 4 cups per day.

Stinging Nettle Tea

For normal, allergy relief/preventative we use:

  • 1 quart boiled water.

Steep for at least 30 mins, but I prefer to make mine stronger by steeping up to a day.  Store the tea in the fridge if not drinking it right away.

For more serious symptoms, I double the amount of leaves. This would include sinusitis, really bad allergies, or a cold. I personally do this and notice a quicker relief.

To me, the tea tastes fairly neutral. It looks like pond water, but tastes kind of mellow, green, and to me, pleasant. I do not sweeten it.  And just in case you’re wondering, my tea comes out a lot greener than in the photo shown

Stinging nettle tea and dried herb
We make it black!

Since I’m not a doctor, do your own research to see how nettle may affect any of your other health issues. I believe that you’ll find this article from Dr. Axe to be quite interesting regarding the use of nettle.

I currently use these nettle leaves that I order off of amazon.com, because I did not have a source for locally Stinging Nettle. Hopefully, we will find more on our property, and then I’ll harvest and dry those. I will also try to save the seeds from the one plant we have and then we will soon have more.

The bag from Frontier Herbs is a whole pound, which is a whole bunch of nettle! It will last you a very long time! But that’s what I like.

Stinging nettle herb

Foraging

If you have your own Stinging Nettles, by all means, harvest your own! They grow in many locations, especially along roads, trails, and woody places. You’ve probably seen them, or experienced the sting. If so, you will not likely forget them.

If you decide to harvest your own, please use good gloves so that you don’t get the little stinging hairs on you, because then you’ll get a contact rash that is prickly and painful. It doesn’t last a long time, but it’s not pleasant, and can easily be avoided by just using gloves.

Stinging nettle and ladybug

See the hairs (stingers)?

If you are out foraging you own nettles, this website, Identify that Plant’s website, 3 Common Nettles, is excellent. It has great pictures hat illustrate the differences between Wood Nettle, Stinging Nettle, and Clear Weed. Note that the first two are desirable for foragers, but as far as I know, only the Stinging Nettle works as an antihistamine.

Stinging Nettle underside of leaves
Underside of leaves with tiny hairs.

I took the above photo to show the tiny hairs on a young leaf. They seem to become more pronounced with age.

Once you have harvested the leaves, you can wash and cook them, dry them, or make them into tea. Once cooked, or even dried, they lose their sting.

Incidentally, while scrolling through different folk’s blogs this morning, I came across a post from Cooking-Without-Limits blog mentioning Stinging Nettle as your best friend!  I could not agree more!  I already had this topic in the works, and thought that the two posts complemented each other. It’s a delightful read, with more options of what to do with Stinging Nettle plants!

There you have it–something to try for your allergies!

I have my own personal testimony to the effectiveness of Stinging Nettle, but I know others as well who use it.

We have friends who moved here from California a few years back. Their whole family suffered greatly from our Springtime allergens. East Tennessee has a bad reputation for allergies! They were told about using Stinging Nettle tea, so they began to brew gallons of the tea for their family of five. Now they all drink it regularly, 4 cups per day, all through the allergy season. They can give testimony to it being the reason that they were able to “make it” living here!

Another family we know moved here from Texas three years ago. They also could not handle the pollen and all of the allergens that we have here in this area. We told them about using Stinging Nettle. They began to use the capsules of dried herb, and found relief. When they began to make their own tea, they found much more relief! Now they tell everyone about the tea that has helped them so much! And they always say, “Make sure you make it black!”

Incidentally, both families mentioned were physician’s families, so they have full access to the usual pharmaceutical antihistamines, but they both prefer the Stinging Nettle tea. It doesn’t make you drowsy, but actually gives you more energy! Nettle tea is rich in vitamins and minerals! It is great for your adrenals, and for your urinary tract and prostrate.

Mother Earth News has a fascinating and informative article about the health benefits of Stinging Nettle tea. I enjoyed reading it.

Here on the homestead, we try our best to deal with sicknesses in a natural way, as much as possible.  If you’re interested to learn more about how we deal with common illnesses, such as a cold or the flu, take a look at this post, Natural Remedies for Cold and Flu.

So…with all of these great reasons, have you tried Stinging Nettle?

What is your favorite way?

Share in the comments below

🌻

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6 Replies

  1. Hey thanks for this post. I’m encouraged to dig out my bag of dried nettle leaves that I found somewhere here locally, maybe it was the bulk food store, can’t remember. I’ve never taken it regularly so can’t claim it has helped me. Guess I can count the liquid as part of my daily water intake, right? Going to get some leaves steeping right away.

    1. Yes, you can drink it like water! Probably want to still drink water too, since the nettles are diuretic. It’s really not bad!

      The boys made horrible faces when I told them they’d be drinking it (because it looks green) but nobody complained when they actually drank their tea!

    2. And, by the way, you can start drinking the tea even after brewing for a little while. You’ll still get the benefits! I usually make some, start to drink it after 15-20 mins, then leave the rest steeping overnight.
      I wouldn’t wait if I needed it!
      🌻

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