Stinging nettles, Urtica dioica (and also wood nettles or Laportea canadensis, which can be used fairly interchangeably), are an incredible green ally for those with persistent bothersome seasonal sneezes, and all the rest of it. On top of using locally produced bee by-products like honey, royal jelly and pollen to wage war on aller-season, incorporating nettles as a superfood and super-infusion can give spring and summertime sniffles a kick in their pollinated pants. Mineral rich, booming with iron and chlorophyll, and densely nutritious, nettles are a food-like herb and can be consumed in abundance. Mid-late spring is the optimal time to harvest nettles, when their formic acid content is lower and they are more tender and less fibrous than their summer or autumn versions.
Beneficial to those who deal seasonally with everything from respiratory distress to mucous overload to itchy, scratchy eyes and various red/hot/irritated responses, nettle can be used in infusion form, eaten as a cooked green (it's a top-notch spinach or kale substitute), or taken as a tincture (fresh plant only).
Nettles are best used as a tonic herb over time for those who suffer from chronic seasonal "crud." Expect to use nettles regularly for one week to one month for them to really do their thing. This juicy food-meets-superfood powerhouse is potent.
Rusty on the exact process of making a full-strength beneficial herbal infusion? Lucky for you, it takes less than the time it takes to brush your teeth, and we’ll remind you how simple it is in our informative how-to here. Check out this recipe for a rich Russian Nettle Tonic to get even more nettles into your life.