Stinging nettle is one of my favorite herbs when it comes to tea. We often drink tea at home.
Drinking tea is some kind of Russian tradition. When you come to someone’s house, you usually sit in the kitchen get your obligatory tea before the fridge door opens and all the yummy things are placed in front of you. No matter if you are an expected guest or not. It is the same procedure in every home and at every time of the day or night. Even if you drop by to borough some sugar or salt. Tea and sitting at the kitchen table is a tradition.
During the Soviet time and my youth in times of perestroika, people used to drink black tea. Usually, strong black tea was made in a tiny teapot. This was the base of the tea and hot water come on top. Some kind of Samowar principle without a Samowar. Lemon and sugar in your tea was a must and delicious homemade jam and biscuits completed every tea ceremony. This was a starter for endless talking and all the other food to come.
Then Earl Grey tea took over and nowadays there are so many teas. Herbs, spices, black, green and fruits. It is incredible! I don’t remember this variety in my childhood. Black tea every day and chamomile tea when we were sick. But we avoided the chamomile and stuck to black tea, even as children.
We spend all the summer months in our house in Odessa on the black sea. We grew our own veggies and fruits and made our own stewed fruits juice and I remember that we collected leafs of cherry, currant or blackberry and put them into out tea, as well as all kinds of berries. We flavored our tea in combinations of what we came across in the gardens. We were not so much into herbs, besides of mint and lemon balm.
In my late twenties I discovered the nettle and the fennel/aniseed teas. I’m so fond of them, they are such good thirst quencher and you can drink tonnes and nothing bad happens, besides endless peeing.
It is spring and nettle sprouts out everywhere! So I decided to head out on the bike with Mia in her basket and go for some nettle. Gloves and scissors were very helpful. We went to the Grunewald (Large forest right in Berlin) and cut a bag of nettle in no time, although we selected only the youngest leaves.
Back home I put them into the kitchen sink in cold water. After hours of lying there I put them out to drain in a strainer. This takes some time, if you have many leaves. The leaves still sting, so put some kitchen gloves on, the thicker ones.
After that I put them out on a sheet and placed the sheet into the oven on minimum heat. The alternative would be to leave them to dry in the sun. But I wanted a fast result. All leaves have to lie flat, so that every leaf has its own space to dry. After a while in the oven they got crispy and can be transferred into a jar. Waiting for us being in the mood for some nettle tea. In the sun, the procedure takes a couple of days, but don’t despair the leaves will dry.
There is nothing better than making something for yourself with your own hands. As we all are a bit egoistic, so all the best for ourselves and our families! Thats why you shouldn’t harvest the leaves near a street filled with traffic. There is no need for that. You can find nettle everywhere! EVERYWHERE!!! Go somewhere outside the city for harvesting or into a big park.
DIY stinging nettle tea is a natural detox. As a paste it helps against dandruff and stimulates your hair growth. If you are feeling tired, nettle tea helps, too. Even on loss of appetite, kidney trouble or stomach problems nettle has a positive effect. The skin gets better, the mood gets better. I think nettle tea is a natural relief to almost every health issue. So nettle tea can support you in many ways.
If you are not a big tea drinker, no problem. Put some fresh nettle into your salad or your smoothie and you will profit from the effects of this wonderful plant. (Nettle does not sting in the salad…)
Please keep in mind that tea is not a cure, it is a support for you. Don’t be ridiculous and substitute your medicine with nettle tea! Even if you are going to chew on every nettle plant in the world, don’t stop taking your prescribed pills.
Get out of your house, go into nature, enjoy the scenery and the smells. Harvest some nettle. Discover an intense taste of nettle tea or nettle smoothie or nettle salad! Yummy!