The Magic of Nettles

Feb 08, 2023

Nettles are magical. Nettles are marvelous. Nettles are a MUST HAVE herbal support during pregnancy and postpartum (although usually I use them in my NORA tea blend during pregnancy). Not just that… nettles can provide healthy nutrients for the whole family! Nettles are packed with minerals, vitamins, and phytonutrients like chlorophyll and carotenoids. Over 100 nutritious chemical components have been identified in nettle. Nutrients like: Iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, B vitamins, and more.

Forget the trendy green drinks, reach for a nettle infusion instead! Nettles are widely used and celebrated in the herbal community. They are cited as remedies for everything from seasonal allergies to postpartum anxiety. Not only are they a marvelous, magical tonic during pregnancy and postpartum, nettle infusions are a healthy herbal supplement for everyone. Nettles are antioxidants that relieve allergies, decrease inflammation, fight off infections due to their antiviral/antibacterial/antifungal properties, lower blood sugar, lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, heal the mucosal lining of the stomach, support prostate health, and more. They are also a great food-derived supplement for the kiddos.

I especially love to recommend nettles as herbal support during pregnancy and postpartum because:

  • Nettle infusions are a great source of supplemental iron.

  • They aid the kidneys, which is especially important during pregnancy when your body adds 50% to its usual blood volume, which your kidneys are in charge of cleansing. Nettle infusions can help reduce the risk of kidney stones.

  • They ease leg cramps and other spasms.

  • They strengthen arterial elasticity and reduce hypertension, which can reduce the risk and severity of complications such as preeclampsia (later in pregnancy).

  • They are a good food-based source of calcium. Not only is this great during pregnancy when your body is using its calcium stores to grow your baby— it can also help reduce pain during labor by supporting the muscles of the uterus so they can work strongly and efficiently.

  • Nettles contain hemoglobin and vitamin k, which can help reduce your risk of hemorrhage.

  • The mildly astringent properties of nettles can help reduce and heal hemorrhoids.

  • They support your body’s breastmilk production, helping you create plenty of rich, nutritious milk for your baby.

  • Supports healthy hair growth and limits hair loss postpartum.

So how do you make a nettle infusion?

You’ll need:

1 ounce of dried nettles (approximately 3/4 cup)
4 cups of boiling water (the size of a quart mason jar, or a
french press)

I personally like to make my nettle infusion in the french press. It makes it easy to press the dried herbs down once the infusion is done steeping.

Place the dried nettles in the container you are using (mason jar or french press). Boil the 4 cups of water, then pour over the dried herbs. Let the herbs infuse for at least 4 hours or overnight. In our family, we simply wait 4 hours. Then my husband and I drink about 1.5 cups each and the kids drink about .5 cup each, all poured over ice. Trust me, it tastes FAR better over ice. It definitely has a “green” taste to it. While the flavor isn’t my favorite, the results ARE. I feel so much better after drinking my nettle infusion. I’m actually drinking a glass as I type this. I had a headache all day today, but it has cleared since I started drinking my nettles.

Sometimes I add 3 tablespoons of dried oatstraw along with my dried nettles to get the anti-anxiety benefits they provide, but I’ll warn you that the flavors don’t mix particularly well. Oatstraw is much better made into a warm tea served with honey, while nettle infusion is best served cold over ice. I add the oatstraw and still serve over ice. This way I get the benefits of both herbs at once, instead of drinking multiple herbal concoctions throughout the day. If you’d like to read more about how oatstraw and nettles can help decrease anxiety symptoms during pregnancy and postpartum, read this article.

If your kids aren’t super into the flavor of nettles (or you aren’t), you can also mix the nettle infusion with hibiscus tea sweetened with honey and it softens the blow.

These nettles are the ones I buy and recommend. They come in a handy resealable bag, and I have been more than happy with the quality each time I have purchased them. They taste fresh and they are certified organic!


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Kate Rose is a holistic birthkeeper and birth photographer who serves expecting women both locally in the Texas Knobby Hill Country and online through her holistic childbirth prep program, Birth Alchemy. She also mentors up-and-coming doulas and birth keepers in her virtual apprenticeship program. 

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