Nettles are definitely not the most popular plant. Lots of us have been stung by nettles when out in the fields and now we are scared of them. However if you are one of those people that don’t like nettles, maybe this article will help change your opinion. This plant is in fact useful for many activities whether it is in the kitchen, garden or bathroom. Here are a few ways that you can use nettles that might surprise you. You’ll discover that it is not just a weed that stings you if you get to close!
1) Make your own liquid manure for your garden
This nettle mixture can be very useful if your plants are overrun with aphids and other mites. But above all it makes a completely natural and very effective fertiliser.
What you need:
- 150 g young nettles shoots (not covered in seeds)
- 1 L of rain water
1) Cut the leaves quite fine and add them to a bucket. Fill the bucket with water.
2) You now need to leave the nettle leaves to infuse. The length of time depends on the average temperature outside:
- 30 °C = 7 days
- 20 °C = 14 days
- 5 °C = 21 days.
3) Stir this mixture every day.
4) A good way to know if it is ready is to watch the bubbles that appear in the mixture. Once there are no longer any bubbles you can filter the mixture. Store in a shaded, dry place.
5) Pure, this mixture can be used as a compost accelerator. If you want to use it as a fertiliser, you can dilute a dose for 10 doses of water and spray onto the soil and stems. A half-dose in the same volume of water will work as an anti-aphids repellent which can be sprayed onto affected leaves.
2) Nettles can be used in dishes – it’s great for your health!
Nettles might have infested your garden but you can put it to good use in your kitchen as it is an excellent source of iron! It is also a fantastic source of calcium, potassium and phosphorus. Containing vitamin A, B and C, this detox plant is also energy boosting and diuretic!
We don’t have a recipe here, but you can find thousands online as well as in cookbooks. Nettle soup is classic that everyone likes, but you can also make an excellent pesto or a sublime quiche.
3) Soothing remedies
Soothes rheumatism and general aches and pain
Those suffering from rheumatism and various pains can use nettle properties to activate blood circulation and soothe painful limbs. Make a paste with green clay and water and then add your chopped up nettle leaves. Apply this mixture to the affected area and then cover with a cloth. Leave on the painful area for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Herbal teas for sore stomachs
If you have stomach cramps from your period or suffer from constipation, a herbal tea made with needles is a must have! Thank to it’s cleansing properties it is also good for urinary infections. All you need to do is add 500 g of fresh nettles to three litres of boiling water and leave to reduce so that there only is a litre left in the pan. Finish by filtering and drink.
4) Cosmetic uses in the bathroom
For the face
You can use a nettle tea to rinse your face if you suffer from acne.
For your hair
- Water rinse for oily hair
You can combat excess sebum with a nettle based water rinse for your hair. Dry out your nettle leaves and then infuse with 500 ml of hot water (two tablespoons will be enough). Leave the mixture for 15 minutes to infuse and then use in your hair under the shower after washing your hair with your usual hair care procedures.
- An anti-dandruff mask
Mix a handful of nettle leaves with two tablespoons of olive oil until the mixture forms an incorporated paste. Apply the whole mixture onto your hair and leave for 10 to 15 minutes. Finish by massaging your scalp before rinsing thoroughly.