Nettle leaves are harvested in the spring, once the plant has had time to mature but before it goes into flower. The leaves can be steeped as nettle tea, incorporated into herbal infusion blends, and added to soups and broths.
This celebrated herb is an emerald queen who proudly reigns over her realms—food and medicine—with vim and vigor. Nettle leaves are packed with vitamins, minerals, and chlorophyll; this vitality is easily infused into nutritive herbal teas, vinegars, and medicinal foods. The poten- tial to sting disappears when nettles are dried or cooked.
Nettle leaves are a supreme blood builder and nourishing tonic (see the notes below on its nutritional profile). Because it is a food plant, it can be consumed frequently with less atten- tion to dosages than many other herbs. With its high iron content, it is highly useful for iron-deficiency anemia. It can be consumed during pregnancy and postpartum to help with the extra nutritional demands, and it is especially helpful to rebuild iron levels after heavy bleeding during childbirth. Nettles are also used to promote the production of breast milk, especially for thin women with less nutritional reserves. The greens and tea of nettles are high in minerals, vitamins, and chlorophyll, including vitamins A and C, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and iron.
Nettles are considered one of the best herbs to take daily when feeling tired or depleted. I often recommend nettles with milky oats (Avena sativa) and tulsi (Ocimum tenuiflorum) to support people during challenging times of transition or extra workloads. Nettles can help rebuild reserves after a long illness.