Nettles, we’ve all heard about their sting, but how many of us know about their ability to sustain life? Jetsun Milarepa certainly knew all about it. According to legend, Milarepa, one of Tibet’s most famous yogis and poets, survived for decades, meditating in a cave, consuming nothing but nettles. The story maintains that he consumed the herb to such an extent that his skin turned green. (Speaking of turning things green, a dye made from nettles was reportedly used to make camouflage in England during WWII.)
While there is no way to scientifically corroborate Milarepa’s story, since he died in the year 1135, what is known is that nettles are high in protein, vitamin C, vitamin A and Iron, and has been held in high regard by health and wellness practitioners throughout recorded history. No less notable a personage than Hippocrates, the great physician of Greek antiquity, recorded more than 61 medicinal uses for the plant. To this day, natural health practitioners prize nettle for its ability to stimulate the lymph system, relieve arthritis symptoms, reduce gingivitis, treat the common cold, ease asthma symptoms and more – amazing.
As an herbal tea, nettle holds up very well in the cup, offering herbaceous notes that are superb either on their own or with a dash of honey. Nettles can be brewed the way you would any herbal or loose-leaf tea, then strained into the cup before drinking. And in case you’re wondering, no, the tea doesn’t sting! Enjoy the sweet nectar of nature today.