The King of Herbs
Nature’s Notorious Nutrient:
Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica) is one of our favorite herbs at Maison/Made (if not our #1). It is an incredibly underrated plant by the vast majority of people, since it is primarily seen as a nuisance, a common weed, one that stings you if you accidentally brush up against it while out in the woods.
However, if you talk to any herbalist, they will likely speak of nettle with the utmost regard not only because of the magnificent nutritional components it packs into its leaves, stems, seeds, and roots, but also because of its incredible versatility, used in medicine, cordage, food, and skincare.
Nettle is a tonic herb that can do wonders for the body from almost any way you take it. As a food, it’s actually a superfood promoting liver and kidney health but it is so nutrient-dense, it basically feeds the whole body. High in calcium, magnesium, potassium, manganese, sulfur, zinc, trace minerals, and iron, including the pro-iron-absorption combo of vitamin C and amino acids. This brings up an interesting point about the power of the plant and how it provides not only the component, but also what the body needs to actually absorb those components, which a bottle of supplements from the Vitamin Shoppe could not replicate (maybe a separate topic of its own for the Journal!) Nature is much more clever than we are…
Back to nettle: it also contains oligo-elements like copper and zinc, loads of pro vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin Bs, vitamin K, and it is an excellent source of chlorophyll. I think it’s clear why this plant is considered one of the most nutrient dense and mineral-rich wild foods readily available. A shame it’s not sold in natural food markets! (At least, not mine… 😉)
For the skin and hair, nettles are wonderfully versatile as well, as they strengthen skin tissue and hair. It has long been used as a hair tonic as it feeds the follicles through the health and nutrient content of the blood. Ingesting nettle regularly through an infusion (i.e a tea) will promote a healthy liver, kidney, adrenals, thyroid, bones, hair, teeth, and skin. We use it in our signature Extrait de Maison base extraction for its wonderful anti-inflammatory, astringent, and healing properties. And, in a way, it’s also found in basically every plant we grow since we use it as part of our biodynamic principles on the farm as a natural fertilizer, herbicide, and pesticide.
All in all it’s simply a fantastic plant. We love it, we eat it fresh (after cooking it so it doesn’t sting obviously…), we make infusions/teas with it, and obviously incorporate it into our skincare. Can’t recommend it highly enough!