Nettles (also called "stinging nettles") grow as a weed throughout many parts of the world. They must be picked and eaten carefully because the tops of the leaves are covered in small stingers. To pick and eat a nettle leaf, grab the underside of the leaf, fold, and pluck. Then roll the leaf in a ball, pop in your mouth, and chew. Saliva will neutralize the nettle stingers. Nettle stings are not dangerous or unhealthy, just uncomfortable. Mashed burdock leaves or nettle leaf juice will relieve nettle stings.

Nettles in leaf form are rarely sold in grocery stores, but can sometimes be found at local farmers markets. Nettles are more commonly sold as a powder, liquid, or dried tea.

See also Leafy Greens.

Region: Throughout Europe, northern Africa, Asia, and North America

Health Benefits

Blood A great natural blood purifier. Help dissolve acidic waste in the blood.
Colon Dissolve mucus in the colon, allowing it to expel waste.
Hair Restore color when eaten or juiced and used as a hair rinse.
Immune System - General Contain high levels of plant sterols, which strengthen the immune system.
Joints Help build joints. Relieve rheumatism and arthritis.
Mood Contain serotonin.
Nails Strengthen nails.
Skin Relieve chronic skin conditions, such as eczema.
Teeth and Gums Help repair damaged teeth due to high silicon content.
Urinary Tract Help fight urinary tract infections.
Weight Loss Very mineral-rich and therefore satisfy hunger. Increase metabolism. Help burn fat.


Iron N/A N/A
Silicon N/A N/A One of the best sources of silicon. Can be juiced, blended, or made into a tea.
Tin N/A N/A
Vitamin A N/A N/A
Vitamin C N/A N/A