Nettle: The Prickly Medicinal Herb

Episode 30: If you’ve ever wandered into a patch of Nettle, you probably remember its ferocious sting! But, did you know that Nettle is a nutritional powerhouse and herbal medicine rock star? Renowned for its tiny hairs and formic acid bite, Nettle is a plant with many medicinal benefits. Nettle contains protein, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, chlorophyll, and Vitamins A, C, D, and B!

To learn about this medicinal herb that “bites’, I speak with Western Clinical Herbalist Cheryl Fromholzer, owner and founder of of Gathering Thyme, a community herb shop, clinic, and education center in San Rafael, CA. I saw Cheryl speak at the Santa Barbara Plant Food Medicine Conference last year and was impressed by her knowledge of Nettle.

Cheryl fills us in on the many benefits of this tonic herb. Nettle has an alkalizing effect on tissue. It can reduce allergy symptoms, alleviate fatigue, and help with skin problems like eczema.

Cheryl tells us how and when to harvest Nettle and what parts of the plant to use. We also discuss Cheryl’s favorite recipes, including Nettle Infusion, Vinegar, and Pesto.

Nettle can also be used as a potent soil amendment and as farm yard fodder.

You can catch up with Cheryl at 

In this interview, I mentioned that I would share a recipe for Nettle Beer, if our beer turned out. I’m happy to report that it did! We let it ferment longer than the recipe suggested, which resulted in a tastier beverage- that is, if you like the flavor of a woodsy, earthy Nettle Beer!

The recipe that we based our Nettle Beer on is found on Homestead Honey.

We did change a few things. We ran out of fresh Nettle (it doesn’t weigh a lot!!) and ended up using about half dried Nettle. We also kept ours in our fermentation bucket for over a week before bottling it up. Once bottled, we let it sit out for another week or so.


4 Comments on “Nettle: The Prickly Medicinal Herb”

    • Hi Fredrick,
      I pour boiling water over it and let it sit for at least an hour for a nice tea/infusion. You can also steam it to eat as a green. I hope this helps! Jill

  1. I think you should pitch a show to Ira Flatow on NPR’s Science Friday on the science of medicinal plants.

    Very interesting. I think I’ll stick to my IPA though, LOL.

    • That’s a great idea, Perry!

      After tasting my nettle beer, I have to agree with you. I’ll stick with my lager any day. But, hopefully this years batch will be better?!

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