Spring aphrodisiac: nettles.

No, I’m not suggesting you swat your sweetie with a stinging nettle switch. (Though no doubt some of you might enjoy that.) I’m suggesting that nettle is an often-overlooked aphrodisiac plant, as tincture, brew or just plain food.

See, I pretty much missed last month’s aphrodisiac blog party (unless you count my last flax post), so I thought I’d do a combination February/March blog party post. And it’s perfect, because March’s theme is stinging nettle and, really, nettle is one of the best aphrodisiacs out there.

So you’re scratching your head now. “None of my books say it’s an aphrodisiac. And how could something so prickly…”

Well, that’s exactly it. Nettle keeps you separate.

Separate, you say? What in the world is she talking about? Isn’t an aphrodisiac all about, um, togetherness?

Well, see, for an aphrodisiac to work, you have to want to get together. Which means you have to start out separate.

Think of those couples that do everything together. They can hardly turn around without consulting each other. People start to think of them as one person. No surprise, then, that these people often lose interest in each other on a physical level.

Nettle helps you remember where you begin and where you end. (You already know this if you’ve ever come across a nettle patch where you didn’t expect it.)

Nettle is incredibly strengthening and revitalizing — perfect for spring. It’s the best thing I know for that late-winter-blob feeling. (Think of maple sap rising — nettle gets the sap rising in your body!)

We don’t quite have nettles coming up where I live yet, but if you have some where you are, I’d suggest picking them young and sauteeing them with butter and garlic (or ramps if you can get them). So rich and so tasty.

A bit of zing for spring!


  1. Riana said,

    March 4, 2008 @ 3:49 pm

    I’ll have to head out there and get a big bunch of them straight away and all this time, I was making nettle juice for the baby and for my husbands dandruff! gah! I should have eaten more of it myself. I’ll fry some up tomorrow and serve it in the shape of a heart. zing zing!

  2. crabappleherbs said,

    March 5, 2008 @ 12:16 pm

    Tasty, too, as long as you get them small. (I think you probably have the annual nettles, Urtica urens, Riana. I hear those go to seed pretty fast, so you have to get them especially young or they’ll be tough.)

  3. Ananda said,

    March 5, 2008 @ 6:38 pm

    I LOVE THIS POST – it’s absolutely bulls-eye on. And made me laugh hysterically too.
    Thank you!

  4. crabappleherbs said,

    March 6, 2008 @ 4:39 pm

    Thank you Ananda!

  5. Riana said,

    March 9, 2008 @ 10:33 am

    Right you are, they are just starting to make seeds buds. It’s fun so that I can find the females and the males! Reminds me of you know another kind of plant… that is a good aphrodisiac if you smoke it. I’ll harvest a bunch more of the top leaves to dry for teas later this year.

  6. Lee Ann said,

    March 18, 2008 @ 7:48 pm

    Up here in the chilly north I’d have to shovel the snow away to see if they are even thinking about coming back up – but I have no doubt they will despite the fact I keep trying to get rid of them. And now I hear they have this very tantilizing use! I wonder if I can hide them in his spinach?

  7. crabappleherbs said,

    March 19, 2008 @ 4:36 pm

    They’re plenty tasty with spinach, Lee Ann! 😉

  8. Taylor said,

    March 24, 2008 @ 2:42 pm

    Excellent post! My husband and I were just out at a favorite nettle patch yesterday – he was evening carefully folding the stings in to eat them fresh and raw. I tried it and it’s like a straight shot of choloroplyll – really amazing. Now we have plenty to eat in the next couple of days AND many bags in the freezer. But I ramble…

  9. Sasha said,

    March 24, 2008 @ 6:01 pm

    A friend just turned me on to your fabulous blog and I couldn’t be more grateful! Your writing is fantastic, really top-shelf, and your information is unique and amazing! I have never heard of nettles as an aphrodisiac ’til now… but it makes wonderful sense! Thanks for the good work!
    (: Sasha

  10. Hedgewitch said,

    March 26, 2008 @ 3:00 am

    your blog is fantastic .. and I love the way you write, really made me smile 🙂

    am looking forward to some nettle-gathering in the near future.. usually use for soup but maybe get more experimental this year.

  11. crabappleherbs said,

    April 3, 2008 @ 3:48 pm

    Taylor — Thanks! Yes, eating a raw nettle leaf can be an amazing experience — as long as you carefully rub out the stingers first!

    Sasha — Thanks so much!

    Hedgewitch — Thanks! Yes, nettle soup is wonderful. But there are a zillion possibilities with nettles — as long as they’re young and tender, you can use them anywhere you’d use spinach.

  12. Christine said,

    April 9, 2008 @ 3:01 pm

    I live in the Bay area of California and have no idea how to begin to find nettles! I would really like to try them as I have heard so many good things about their revitalizing properties. Any advice for a “nettle virgin”?

  13. crabappleherbs said,

    April 9, 2008 @ 10:01 pm

    Hmmm…. Are you in the city? Nettles like rich soil and moisture…. I’ve seen quite a few in the valley that leads up the creek from Muir Beach in Marin, and I imagine they’re to be found in a lot of similar places.

  14. Joselyn Vitera said,

    July 5, 2013 @ 8:03 am

    Stinging nettle above ground parts are used along with large amounts of fluids in so-called “irrigation therapy” for urinary tract infections (UTI), urinary tract inflammation, and kidney stones (nephrolithiasis). The above-ground parts are also used for allergies, hayfever, and osteoarthritis…..-‘

    So long <http://wellnessdigest.co

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