Homegrown Nettle Tea

Making my own nettle tea was so simple!  We have loads of nettle that springs up in our yard and, until the past few months, I saw it only as a nuisance.  If you've never experienced stinging nettle, be glad.  When you come into even the slightest contact with this weed, it's tiny little 'hairs' that cover it sting and cause a burning, itching sensation for 10 to 15 minutes.  Not fun.  If you do happen to come into contact with it, do your best not to rub or itch, as it only makes it much worse!  BUT this weed has a redeeming quality!  It is chock full of lots of vitamins and lots of wonderful nutrients and has been used through the ages to treat all sorts of maladies.  Because of it's high vitamin and nutrient content it is a wonderful way for a pregnant woman to get the necessary nutrients she needs.  Nettle is high in calcium, magnesium, and IRON which is why I was anxious to try to make my own.  I have been deficient in all of those during pregnancy but the pill forms leave much to be desired and produce some undesirable side effects. You can read more about the benefits of nettle here.

So one spring afternoon when it was actually not raining, I very carefully cut down as much nettle as I could from our yard, filling two small baskets.  WEAR GOOD GLOVES AND LONG SLEEVES.  I thankfully did not get stung even once.  Once inside I tied up several bunches of the nettle and hung them upside down to dry in the mudroom.  After several days, they were completely dry and ready for the leaves to be removed.  My guess is you could probably use the stems as well but it seemed easier to me to just remove the leaves.  At this point I did not need to use gloves as the stinging properties are gone once the nettle is dried.  It's still a bit prickly but nothing painful.  After collecting all the leaves in a large bowl,  I simply crushed them into a quart size Ball jar.  There it is, nettle tea!

You can use any sort of fancy tea steeper that you'd like...I'm sure there is a correct name for that device but I don't happen to know it...I'm new to this tea thing, after all.  I found one for $3 at our local grocery store.  I simply fill the ball with the crushed nettle and steep in hot water.  The longer it steeps, the darker, more flavorful, and more beneficial the tea becomes.  It will turn a rich green if you let it sit long enough...and...it tastes good!  I've been adding about a half teaspoon of my dandelion syrup and it has been the first thing I drink in the morning.  I'm hoping to harvest and dry nettle several more times this year so that I can have a good stock for the fall and winter.

Thank You, God for the gifts you give us and thank You for showing me once again how those things which at first are a nuisance to us, can actually be the things that help us to grow and thrive. Your creation is amazing.

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