Nettle Tea

Tea made of nettles promotes radiant skin and hair, as well as prostate health. I always make extra nettle tea to use as a superfood additive for smoothies or for botanical preparations.

You can freeze the extra tea in icecube trays to keep it available for other uses. Heat up a pot of filtered water to just under boiling. (It is important not to boil if you want to maintain the active enzymes in the nettles.) Turn off the heat and add several stalks of nettles. Cover. Steep for 5 minutes or longer. Strain and serve. If the tea is too strong, add hot water to dilute. The first few times you drink nettle tea, it’s best to keep it weak and observe how it affects your body.

• Nettle Ginger or Ginger-Mint Tea: Add several sprigs of mint and/or a few slices of ginger along with the nettles to steep.

• Sweet Nettle Water: If you add honey or stevia to tea before cooling and freezing, you have the beginnings of a healthful and refreshing cold summer drink. To a tall glass of filtered water, add ice cubes made from nettle (or nettle/mint/ginger) tea and serve.

• Nettle Skin Toner or Spritzer: After washing face, apply cooled and strained nettle tea with cotton balls as a toner, or splash on face. Follow up with a good moisturizer. This works on all skin types. For a refreshing summer cool-me-down, store tea in a small spritzer bottle. Lightly spray on face as desired.

Wear gloves when harvesting nettles so you don’t get stung by the tiny hairs on the leaves and stems. The sting is not harmful, but it certainly hurts.