What is Dried Nettle?

Vanessa Harvey

Dried nettle is a type of the medicinal herb from which moisture has been removed by chemical or natural means for the purpose of increasing storage life. Although the entire nettle plant is used, herbalists and other believers in all natural medicine tend to prefer dried nettle leaves for making tinctures, extracts and infusions, which are teas. Other names by which this botanical is known and sold include stinging nettle and common nettle. When the herb is bought in bulk, it is almost always the dried leaves that are purchased.

Dried nettle promotes the flow of urine.
Dried nettle promotes the flow of urine.

There are many medicinal uses of nettle: it promotes the flow of urine as well as the menstrual flow, it aids in the expulsion of gravel from the bladder, and it kills and expels parasitic worms. Dried nettle infusion is one of the best remedies for diarrhea and should be used with great caution by people who have weak digestion. It acts as a wonderful expectorant when fighting off colds or influenza by helping to cleanse the lungs of phlegm. It should not, however, be relied upon singly to treat cases of bronchitis or pneumonia.

Dried nettle and vinegar may be helpful for treating dandruff.
Dried nettle and vinegar may be helpful for treating dandruff.

Hemorrhoids, inflammation of the kidneys, eczema and chronic rheumatism also are alleviated by drinking dried nettle infusion in small doses throughout the day. Dried nettle is not only used in the all-natural medical treatment of internal health disorders but also in the treatment of external problems. A strong nettle leaf infusion can serve as a most effective conditioner for the hair, helping it to retain its natural color and luster when used as a final rinse. If dried nettle leaves are steeped or very gently simmered in white vinegar, they are very effective at treating dandruff. Boiled nettle leaves have been successfully employed externally to help arrest hemorrhage of any part of the body.

Some caution should be taken when one is gathering fresh nettle leaves to dry them for future use, because the plant, which is a weed, can slightly sting the hands. It also has sharp spurs that can cause severe irritation and discomfort when touched, so it is usually a good idea for one to wear garden gloves when gathering any part of the plant. Dried nettle leaves are frequently part of herbal formulas used to treat asthma and anemia because they are very rich in iron, potassium and silicon. The nutrients abundantly available in nettle leaves make this plant a choice botanical for herbal formulas used to purify and nourish the blood.

White vinegar can be used for steeping dried nettle for use as a dandruff cure.
White vinegar can be used for steeping dried nettle for use as a dandruff cure.

Discussion Comments


Nettle tea helped give me some relief from my cold symptoms. I steeped the leaves, stems, and roots in hot water. Then, I added some honey for extra throat soothing and some lemon grass for flavor.

While drinking my first cup, I noticed that my sore throat did not hurt as bad. My nose stopped running as much, and I didn’t feel the incessant need to cough. Though it wore off after a couple of hours, I made another cup and got relief all over again.

I drank nettle tea for the duration of my cold. I tried flavoring it with different things. Peppermint was good, as was ginger.


@Oceana - Don’t let the name put you off from trying nettles. Though they do sting when you pick them, their stinging power is neutralized when you cook them or heat them dry.

I gather nettles early in March. The prime season only lasts 2 months, and I like to get them when they are young and only about six inches tall. I can use the whole young nettle plant. With the older plants, I can only use the tender young leaves.

When I dry nettles, I do it at a low temperature. To dry them evenly, I separate the stems and the leaves. They will dry in eight to twelve hours.


According to my favorite cooking magazine, in other countries, it is common to use nettles in food. In Scotland, nettles are used to make a kind of pudding. In Ireland, they are used to make a type of beer. In France, several dishes use nettles.

People who eat them say that tender young nettles taste great when steamed and brushed with butter and lemon. They contain lots of vitamins C and A. Dried nettles are 40% protein, and they are often added to stews, soups, or casseroles.

Personally, I can’t see myself eating nettles. That’s because I have a mental picture of a plant covered in burrs and thorns. Perhaps the name “stinging nettles” also discourages me from eating them.


I work in a health food store with a lady who seems to know everything about every herb we carry. She told me about the wide range of uses of dried nettle.

She told me that the tea could be applied to eczema or acne for relief. She tested this out on my skin, and it did help my eczema.

She also said it could be gargled to get rid of throat and mouth infections. As a poultice, it can be applied to a sore to encourage a scab to form. Also, it can increase the milk of nursing mothers.

Farmers use dried nettle in their chicken feed to increase the production of eggs. When used as cow fodder, it increases milk production.

Post your comments
Forgot password?