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A cup of nettle tea ~ by Hallvord

A cup of nettle tea

The first shoots of young nettles, Urtica dioica, are very good for cooking both soups (see recipe in wild food post) and tea. According to several sources it is also good nutritionally: a source of iron, calcium and folic acid.

Here's a brief guide to making nettle tea:

  1. Start by picking the nettles, carefully. Use only the small, young ones - they grow more bitter with age. It is possible to pick them with a firm hand but if you are worried about being stung, using scissors and gloves helps.
  2. Wash the nettles one by one, to get rid of soil and insects.
  3. Put the nettles in a pot and add enough water to just about cover them. With some experience, you can adjust the amount of water depending on how strong you would like your tea.
  4. Boil until the water becomes slightly green - test by lowering a spoon into the pot.
  5. Remove nettles. The tea might go more bitter if they are left in. (On the other hand, the stronger taste might be exactly, well, your cup of tea..)
  6. Serve with sugar and sliced lemons. The lemons are very important, as you can see below.

Nettles - ready for the chef
The boiled nettles can be used much like spinach, or eaten as-is with some salt.

Nettle tea has a characteristic feature: it changes colour if you add lemon. Its colour depends on the pH and acidity of the water. Children love to add a slice of lemon and watch the tea magically change from a dark green to a bright pink colour. Play the video below to see it happen!

NB. Some people can experience a sensitivity to nettle tea

Posted in: Flora & Fauna, Practical Guides ~ On: 19 April, 2007

52 comments so far

Nettle Tea | Burhani Natural Science
29 August, 2014

[…] A cup of nettle tea […]

Nettles | Hopscotch Newsletter
24 April, 2014

[…] nettle season! We’re fans of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingtsall’s nettle soup, and nettle tea (kids love adding lemon to turn it from pale green to shocking pink). It’s fun to forage […]

21 April, 2014

We have just completed a walk in wiltsbridge.we came upon fields of nettle .after observing some people collecting nettle we decided to collect some.on returning home we have made nettle tea and hurrah the tea turned pink when we added lemon .there were mixed opinions about the tea with and without honey.we all liked the steamed leaves with butter and a wee bit of salt .will definetely try it again.

A Gillamoor Gardener - September 2013 |
11 September, 2013

[…] I would like to believe there is something in it. Nettle leaves are usually taken in the form of tea infusions, soups, or steamed to be eaten a little like spinach, there are some tasty recipes online, but […]

dowty seals
19 June, 2013

Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your
weblog and wanted to say that I’ve truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. After all I will be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again very soon!

Stinging Nettle Soup with Quick-Soused Cucumber |
30 April, 2013

[…] End note You can wow your little ones with an experiment: steep some nettle leaves in hot water, then squeeze in a bit of lemon juice, and watch the liquid turn from green to pink. It’s all about the pH, man.  Here’s a little clip to illustrate how. […]

5 September, 2012

Nettle is also good for asthma!

30 June, 2012

I’ve tried nettle tea and lived it but I’m confused as to why it ‘bites’ us when we touch it yet we can ingest it. How comes ?

6 February, 2012

Nettle tea is really good to treat cellulite. Drink it daily and you will see less cellulite!

30 June, 2011

i’ve started consuming nettle tea for it’s antiinflammatory properties for a specific complaint.

i wonder if anyone knows, but if nettle tea was to stop being consumed for inflammation, would you expect the state of inflammation to return to the way it was or would it cause a lasting beneficial impact on health?


First spring forages and food… « veggie potluck
17 May, 2011

[…] this year was stinging nettles – they can be used for the classic soup or to make pesto or tea. Apparently they’re full of iron so really good for you. Pick the tops off the nettles as […]

Kamlesh Shah
17 January, 2011

We are looking for Nettle tea (Leaf packing) at Mumbai or Pune (India). Can any body provide such contact?

17 December, 2010

Herbs should be steeped in water that has been boiled.
Herbs should not be boiled .
First boil the water and then shut off the heat.
Then add the herbs and let them steep (soak in the hot water).

16 December, 2010

i used to do herbal remedies when having some muscle pains and they are really quite effective

23 October, 2010

Herbal remedies are the best! I had some sprains and some indigestion; herbal remedies cured it*~-

Jessica Bailey
8 September, 2010

my grandma always wants herbal remedies because they have very few side effects

Support Our Forces
20 July, 2010

Training Walk 5 – Slogging!…

I found your entry very interesting and I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

Herbal Slimming Tea
13 July, 2010

[…] A cup of nettle tea | The Woodlands.co.&#117&#107&#32Blog […]

11 July, 2010

Some people can be or are allergic to nettles. I just spent a night in hospital with a severe allergic reaction after just two very small mouthfuls of fresh made nettle tea! Not an experience I want to have again.

Isaac Harrison
30 June, 2010

the good thing about herbal remedies is that they do not have side effects.'”-

kathleen murdoch
29 October, 2009

I have a lovely crop which I have been keeping for the red admiral moth.Having heard a radio program on foraging and the good things about nettles we are converted to the idea. Now we shall see if hair grows and arthritis goes.

20 September, 2009

l drink nettle tea 20 years bay bay from MACEDONIA

High Treason
14 July, 2009

Cool, I will try this.
I recently began eating the nettles raw – which was pretty amusing – but i think this tea might be a better idea if i want to enjoy the taste of them regularly – Seriously, i like the taste of them, i don’t know why, maybe because i can’t eat that many things, but nettles seem to be fine and it is one of the few “vegetable” type foods i eat, and now drink as well.

Thank you.

13 July, 2009

good thing you can make tea out of these cause they cover all of the 500 acres i own

Urtica dioica: Stinging Nettle « The Curious Domestic
16 April, 2009

[…] A Cup of Nettle Tea at Woodlands blog […]

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