Herbs & Plants,  Nutrition

The #1 Health Saving, Money Saving Herb!

What would you say if I told you there was an herb that could give you all if not more of the nutrients that eating your favorite green vegetables can give. And it costs a fraction of what organic greens cost.   Even in it’s dried form when consumed as a tea it can provide you with minerals and vitamins not readily available in other herbs.  Well if you’re like me and you’re interested in most things nutritional and natural healing, you might already know this herb.  Or you could be someone saying, “What is this herb?! Tell me more!”  Well for those of you out there in the second category that my friends is exactly what I’m going to do.


Before I go into this magical herb  I want to discuss briefly how now more than ever so many people are walking around malnourished.  Yes malnourished even with restaurants, supermarkets and convenience stores on just about every corner in most towns and cities.  Most of us are not getting the proper nutrients into our body. We’re lacking in key minerals and vitamins to keep not just our body but our mind and spirit functioning at a high level.

According to the US government’s 2015-2020 dietary guidelines it was reported that at least half of all American adults have one or more preventable chronic diseases, many or related to poor quality eating patterns and physical inactivity.   Now the key word here is “quality”.    Quality food should have the proper nutrients to nourish a body.  However the problem is most of the soil used to grow produce and feed livestock is becoming depleted of nutrients.  And buying organic can be pricey.  There’s even some questions about the authenticity of buying organic (⇠please read it’s very informative about USDA organic practices).

Everyone seems to be looking for an answer as to how to keep their body healthy, nutritionally balanced in the least expensive way possible.  And I believe there’s one herb that can help greatly!

Nettle Leaf

The magical herb with all the nutrients I’m speaking of is stinging nettle leaf.  I first learned about stinging nettle years ago when I was looking for natural remedies for my own chronic illness.  My most recent herbal studies has reunited me with the power of nettle again, its amazing properties and nutritional values.  Before I get into my personal use of using nettle and all the benefits let’s talk about the history of nettle.

The Make Up of Nettle Leaf

The botanical plant name of stinging nettle is Urtica Dioica, it’s also known as Common Nettle and Nettle.  It belongs to the botanical family of Urticaceae.  One of my favorite herbalists, Nicholas Culpepper described the appearance of Nettle in these words, “…the stalk is ridged, and grows a yard or more high, beset with little prickles or stings, with a perforation at the point, and a bag at the base...The leaves are large, broad, oblong, sharp-pointed, serrated, and covered with the same prickles.  The flowers are greenish and inconsiderable.”  As you can see from the picture below he was very accurate in his description. 😊

Nettle is a perennial plant which can reach five feet in height.  The stingers on the leaves are basically how the name stinging nettle came to be and when touched will cause a stinging sensation and result in a rash for most people.  However when the leaves are wilted, dried or cooked the stingers are not active.  Stinging nettle comes up in the Spring and goes back to dormancy towards the Fall.  The leaves and roots can be used for medicinal purposes with some of the actions of the herb being nutritive, diuretic, a blood tonic, immunity booster and digestive.

The History of Nettle

Stinging Nettle is native to America, Asia and Europe and has been used for centuries.  In ancient times, during Egyptian and Roman periods beating oneself with fresh nettle leaves, a process called urtification was known to treat coma, chronic rheumatism, typhus, cholera and paralysis.  This practice of urtification was also known to be a part of the medicinal methods of Native American, Canadian and Ecuadorian Indian Tribes.

You might also be surprised to know that nettle was even used for fabrics!  The Native Americans used nettle not just to treat bronchitis and digestive issues but used the fiber for things like fishing cloths, sail cloths and cordage.  And during World War I due to a textile shortage the German soldiers were reported to have had uniforms made out of 85% nettle fiber.  The medicinal purposes of stinging nettle are many!  According to the reports of Hippocrates and his cohorts back in the time of 460-377 B.C. there were 61 remedies using nettle,  many of the remedies still used today.

The Benefits of Nettle Leaf

Listed below are twelve of the many benefits of nettle:

  • The best herb to use for prostate enlargement, reduces prostate.
  • Helps with hair growth, graying hair, baldness and dandruff.
  • Aids with arthritis.
  • Helps to lower blood sugar.
  • Helps to diminish acne.
  • Works to purify blood.
  • Provides nutrition (has serotonin, vitamins A,B,C,K, iron, protein, calcium, zinc and magnesium as components)
  • It’s useful in treating nerve disorders.
  • Can be used as a mouthwash to keep away mouth sores & plaque.
  • Has anticancer properties.
  • Helps with anemia.
  • Can help to decrease blood pressure.
  • Helps with blood circulation.
As you can see stinging nettle is amazing!

How To Use Nettle Leaf

To use dried nettle leaf just infused it into filtered water for tea or for extra nutrition add it to your cooking.  I’ve added nettle to soups, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, homemade flat breads, the list goes on and I also drink it as a tea.   If you find fresh nettle you’ll get even more nutrients and it can be juiced and cooked like you would any other greens.   The roots are normally dried and taken in tincture form or capsules.
Spelt Sourdough with Nettle Leaf and Sea Salt

How Nettle Leaf Can Save You Money!

Using nettle leaf is not just healthy but it’s a great way to save money!  I have been able to save quite a bit of money since using nettle leaf.  As you know trying to eat high nutrient rich organic food can be quite expensive.  I use to buy organic vegetable broth for my soups and stews.  Now I use dried nettle leaf to make my broth.  To do that I add a tablespoon of nettle into my water which is normally around 2 cups, add some onion powder and sea salt and I have a very tasty broth loaded with vitamins and minerals.  Then to that broth I’ll add my favorite noodles and some veggies.  Most of us can attest to times when after paying the bills, funds are limited and there’s not much left for grocery shopping.  By drinking nettle leaf tea you’re still consuming your vitamins and minerals without having to buy a whole bunch of organic greens.  I normally take 2 teaspoons of dried nettle leaf and add it to 12 ounces of hot water and let steep for about 5 minutes, strain and then drink.  You can reuse the leaves at least one more time.
Fresh organic greens is always the preferred way to get your nutrients but having dried organic nettle leaves is a close second.   And unlike fresh greens you can store dried nettle leaves for months. My preference for storing them is in a glass container and out of sunlight (see pic below).
My Stash 🙂

Nettle Leaf and Hair

Another way to save money is by using nettle leaf for your hair.  Nettle leaf is great for the hair!  I save a lot of money not getting the fancy hair masks, hair rinses and hair dyes I use to buy.   To help your hair internally drink nettle leaf tea.  But to help your hair externally you can make an infusion of nettle leaf tea and use it as a hair rinse after washing your hair.  Here’s a recipe for a nettle hair rinse linked right here. You can also make a nettle leaf oil, a great video on how to do that is linked right here, rubbing nettle leaf oil on your scalp before going to bed will help in hair growth, dandruff and help to prevent hair loss.
What I personally do for my hair is make a hair mask using nettle leaf.  I take amla powder and mix a concentrate nettle leaf mixture (1 tablespoon of nettle leaf  to a half cup of hot water steeped for an hour) and mix the nettle leaf infusion into the powder to make a mask for my hair and sleep with the mixture on overnight.  I do this every two weeks.  Since I’ve been using this mask I’ve noticed a difference in the amount of hair fall I have.  The color of my hair is richer looking and my hair looks healthier.

My Experience with Nettle Leaf

The best way I can describe the taste of nettle is to say that it tastes similar to spinach but much lighter.  It’s earthy and grassy in a subtle way.  I prefer to drink the tea without any sweetener.  And I personally like the taste.  I tend to incorporate nettle into my regimen in some form practically everyday.

Side effects of Nettle Leaf

As far as the side effects of taking nettle are concerned, there’s hardly any besides being careful about picking fresh nettle leaf due to the stingers.  However it’s been reported that consuming nettle medicinally can interact with some drugs such as blood thinners, diuretic, blood pressure and diabetes medications.   Like always when using any herb for medicinal purposes consult your local herbalist or holistic practitioner to make sure you’re taking the right herbs and quantity of herbs for your condition. This website right here is a great source for how to use nettle and the right quantity for various ailments.

Final Thoughts

Nettle leaf is one of those amazing herbs where if I was stuck on a desert island and had only one herb I could take with me, stinging nettle would be my choice.  There’s so many nutritional values, benefits and uses for nettle!  If you have yet to try nettle and what to start small try a box tea like this one or go to your local health food store.  There you can go to the dried herb section and scoop out an ounce or two and try it as a tea.  But if you want to jump right into the full nettle leaf experience I recommend Foster Farm Botanicals where I get my organic nettle leaf by the pound. 😊


Culpeper’s Complete Herbal, Nicholas Culpeper
Herbal Medicine for Beginners, Katja Swift and Ryn Midura