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Nettles are one of the most important herbs to get to know. They fall under the tonic herbs heading. This means that they are very nourishing and offer a gentle, nutritional boost to your diet. Nettle is often overlooked, because of the irritating effect that it has on bare skin. Some people actually use this irritating effect to their benefit, and rub nettles onto arthritic joints. The warmth that lasts after the stinging subsides is said to temporarily relieve pain.
Nettles are used as a blood purifier. they are high in iron and potassium. The dried leaves, powdered, make an effective blood stopping wound powder. The juice is applied to the scalp as a hair growth stimulator.
One of the best ways to use nettles is to add them to soups and stews, where they impart a rich, earthy taste. Nettle is also a great addition to your herb tea mixes. Add the leaves to any tea blends that need a little more body. For a stronger herbal tonic, try a nettle infusion, steeped overnight.
With a little patience and care, you can add a tasty herbal ally to your herb gardens.