I have been making nettle soup in the spring for years. The tips of the nettle are already rising, so it’s time to pick. Wild picking always gives me a special feeling, but the result is a delicious soup with medicinal properties. Good for detoxification and with lots of vitamins and minerals.
Put on your gloves and look for a quiet place a bit further from the city. A plastic bag full is enough. Of course, you can also clean with the gloves on. But once boiled water over the leaves (rolling up or bruising is also possible) and the stinging hairs are gone. Then spin them dry and they are ready to use.
The stinging nettle (Urtica Dioica) is a hardy and perennial plant, which can grow from about 30 centimeters to 1.5 meters in height. The name Urtica comes from the Latin word ‘Urere’, which means to burn. It is a plant that grows throughout Europe, Asia, North Africa, and North America.
For many, nettle is a plant to watch out for because it stings and then itches terribly. The hair-thin tubes on the leaf and stem of the nettle contain formic acid. When you touch them, they break, this comes on your skin, causing you to experience a burning sensation. The result is swelling and itching.
The other side of this plant is that it has special properties. What stinging nettle can do for your immune system? The leaves contain a lot of chlorophyll, which indicates a high mineral content. It is also rich in vitamins A and C. Nettle has a strengthening effect on the entire body and is very suitable for use in anemia. It wicks away moisture and dissolves mucus. And it’s an excellent cleanser for a spring cleanse. And these are just a few of the benefits. It is not only useful to us, it is a food plant for the most beautiful butterflies, such as the Atlanta, little fox, and peacock’s eye.
The plant and the human
The nettle grows on polluted soil and cleans it. It is a detoxifier for the environment and for your body.
The plant has a rampant root system and this indicates an enormous resistance. The square and tough stems indicate masculine strength and the ability to increase your resistance and strength. The leaves and stem contain many hairs, which have a positive effect on the skin and mucous membranes: all organs are activated, the Qi starts to flow and the blood is nourished.
The type of person that belongs to it is an irritable person. This is due to an imbalance in the body. When this type of person does not express himself well, the Qi (life energy) no longer flows and stagnation occur. The body then retains waste products and will acidify. Nettle provides cleansing and flow. And also helps with change processes in your inner and outer world.
The nettle has many positive effects. For the urinary system, it helps to reduce fluid retention. The plant is good for cystitis, but also for rheumatic diseases, arthritis and gout because it promotes the excretion of uric acid. It has a blood cleansing and detoxifying effect and has been used in spring cures since time immemorial. For digestion, it has a good effect on the intestinal wall, against irritation and infection.
Nettle lowers blood sugar and improves thyroid function. For the respiratory system, it works as a clearing agent for phlegm, cough, bronchitis, hay fever, and asthma. It acts as a natural antihistamine. It gives a boost to the immune system and is therefore resistance-increasing. Finally, stinging nettle also helps with muscle cramps due to its high mineral content.
Nettle should not be used in combination with diuretics and antihypertensive drugs. The effect may intensify. In very high doses, nettle should be avoided during pregnancy.
- Eat healthy food. This doesn’t have to be just soup or juices. Stay true to yourself and do what suits you. Take a week to wean off and avoid coffee, alcohol, added sugars, carbohydrates, and meat. Then take about three days to detox and then slowly build up the amount of food.
- Rest, meditation, yoga. Take time for yourself, turn inward, and make sure you can have some rest. Exercise, but all at a leisurely pace.
- Baths, sauna, foot baths. To detoxify, it also helps to stimulate this process through your skin. Go to the sauna, or take a bath. Foot baths can also be soothing.
- Herbs and Minerals. Drink herbal tea or (cooled) boiled water and take extra minerals such as magnesium. During stress, this mineral is consumed extra. Supplementing these deficiencies is positive for the body and mind.
In the kitchen
Anything can be made from nettle. Blanch the tops of the plant for about 3 seconds and then chop them finely, or roll them out gently with a rolling pin so that they lose their stinging hairs. You can also use it in salads.
Take about 50 grams of dried nettle leaves and pour 5 dl of boiled, slightly cooled water on it. Let this steep for 10 minutes. Drink this throughout the day. Fresh leaves are of course also possible. Pick the young tops, about 15 cm. Put a handful in boiled water and let it steep.
Nettles are easy to spot. Almost everyone has them nearby. Preferably pick them in a place a little further from busy roads. Pick only the tops, which amounts to about the top 6 leaves. Remove the leaves from the stem with gloves and make a delicious soup.
Ingredients for nettle soup
- Take about 400 grams of nettle leaves
- 2 potatoes
- 1 onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 liter stock, fresh or with a stock cube
- 1 dl cream (optional)
- pepper and salt
When you have removed the leaves from the stem, finely chop them. You don’t have to wash them first. Put oil in the pan and fry the onion and garlic. Add the nettle leaves and the sliced potatoes. Then add the broth. Let this cook for about 15 minutes. Blend the soup with a stick blender and season with a little salt and pepper. You can add a dash of cream if you like.
Enjoy your meal!