Taste (Rasa): Astringent
Energetics (Virya): Cooling
Doshic Effects: Pacifying for Pitta and Kapha
Benefits & Use: Nettles are considered a superfood, because they are a great source of vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, C, D and K, calcium, potassium, phosphorous, iron and sulphur. From an Ayurvedic perspective, nettles are nourishing and rejuvenative, particularly for the kidneys and adrenals, helping to clear toxins/ama and wastes from the body via the bowels and the urinary tract. They increases ojas, and are particularly good when run down from stress or illness or needing extra nourishment in pregnancy and breastfeeding. Nettle's mild astringency and general nourishing action tightens and strengthens blood vessels, helping maintain arterial elasticity and improves venous resilience. They can be used to clear inflammatory skin problems and restore vitality to the whole system while cooling skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, acne. Its carminative qualities also relieve intestinal gas and promotes peristalsis.
Additional Uses: Bladder infections; hay fever; bleeding
In the Kitchen: Nettles can be stemmed and cooked similar to spinach. Once cooked, they can be easily added to soups and stews or pureed and added to polenta, green smoothies, salad, pesto, and more.
Recipe: Sauteed Stinging Nettles