Nettles the spring superfood in your back garden

Nettles the spring superfood in your back garden

Foraging for nettles – the beauty superfood on your doorstep

Have you always thought of nettles as a pain? A pain that they spring up wherever you don’t want them? A pain when you grab hold of one by accident??!

Hedgerow and moor foraging bag
A bag of foraged nettles.

I was the same, looking at them as intruders into the garden, ruining the view of the perfect lawn. But this is where the modern human is going wrong. We shouldn’t be seeing these plants as weeds and dowsing them with harmful weedkiller or feeling ashamed that our garden has grown wild and ‘what will the neighbours think?’. Sorry but who cares what the neighbours think!

 So much wildlife is needlessly destroyed by our obsession to have a perfect lawn without a weed in sight. And don’t get me started on the plight of poor old dandelions!

 The fact is that we have forgotten about the magic held within so many of our native plants that we now disregard their healing, medicinal and cosmetic properties and strim them, mow them and snip them away without giving them a chance to reveal their worth.

 One of my goals is to open people’s eyes to the abundance of fantastic plants that we are incredibly lucky to have growing here in the UK. Even if you live in a city, you are sure to be able to find some wild and wonderful plants and flowers, without going too far from your home.

 This week on the blog, I show you how you can transform a bag of nettles into a delicious and nutritious cordial that is perfect for refreshing you and the family on a spring day. 

Firstly, why are nettles so amazing? I am amazed at the properties of nettles both for beauty and for nutrition. We use nettle leaf powder in our plastic free shampoo for oily hair,

Beauty Kubes shampoo for oily hair
Beauty Kubes shampoo for oily hair with nettle leaf. 

as nettles can work wonders on the hair and scalp. The main minerals found in Nettle are silicic acid, calcium, potassium, iron, chromium, magnesium, and zinc, including Vitamins A, B, C, K, protein, mucilage, sterols and phenols (root), flavonoids (including rutin). For oily skin, it is cleansing, clarifying and emollient and soothes sensitive skins. 

When it comes to nutrition, it really is a powerhouse, packed with the following nutrients:

  • Vitamins: Vitamins A, C
    and K, as well as several B vitamins
  • Minerals: Calcium, iron,
    magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and sodium
  • Fats: Linoleic acid,
    linolenic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid and oleic acid
  • Amino acids: All of the essential amino acids
  • Polyphenols: Kaempferol,
    quercetin, caffeic acid, coumarins and other flavonoids
  • Pigments: Beta-carotene, lutein,
    luteoxanthin and other carotenoids 

So they truly are a superfood to try including in your diet. If you have a medical condition, are pregnant, breastfeeding, or on medication, it’s always best to check with your medical practitioner before eating a new superfood or supplement.

 Here’s how you make nettle cordial: 

You are going to need a few things before you can get started:

  • A few glass bottles to contain your wonderful nectar – thoroughly cleaned with soapy water and then sterilised. 
  • A foraging bag or large bag to hold your nettles. We use this Hedgerow & Moor one
  • Around 200 – 250g of nettle tops – just the top 4-6 leaves as this is the fresh, new spring growth where all the good stuff is! (Never eat nettles that have begun to flower, they have gone past their best) We filled our foraging bag 1/3rd full and had just over 220g of nettle tops.
  • 600g Water
  • 1kg Sugar
  • 40g Food grade citric acid, can be found online or in health food shops.
  • Some gloves! Yes, stinging nettles sting until they have been cooked or processed but after that, they are fine to touch and eat.
  1. Once you have gathered your nettles, shake them about and let any insects or bugs crawl off, then rinse and let dry.
  1. Then weigh out your sugar, water and 40g of citric acid into a pan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved.
  1. Then, heat until the liquid gets to 60°C. Carefully add your nettle tops to this mixture and press the nettles under the surface of the liquid. I used a large pair of tongs to handle the nettles and a potato masher to squeeze the nettles into the liquid. 
  1. Cover with a muslin cloth or tea towel and leave for 5-6 days. Make sure that the nettles are below the surface of the liquid.
  1. Make sure you press and squeeze the nettles every day until the 5 days is up. Once you are ready, squeeze the nettles through a muslin cloth or a nut bag and make sure you squeeze out every bit of cordial.


And guess what, it’s pink!! That is one of the cool things about this cordial, apart from its amazing taste, is its appealing pink colour.

How to make your own nettle cordial
Nettle Cordial


  1. Then pour into your sterilised bottle. It will keep up to on month if stored in the fridge. 

We hope you enjoy making this amazing drink to share with your friends and family and enjoy its nutritional benefits.

If you have got the foraging bug, why not buy one of our books to get you started, such as ‘The Forager’s Calendar’.


The Foragers Calendar
The Forager's Calendar by John Wright.  

*Disclaimer - To the best of our knowledge the information contained in this blog is accurate.

Eve of St. Agnes and our brands Beauty Kubes and Hedgerow & Moor stresses that you do not eat any wild edible plants, herbs, weeds, trees or bushes until you have verified exactly what the plant is and verified with your health professional that they are safe for you.

No liability exists against Eve of St. Agnes or our employees, nor can we be held responsible for any allergy, illness or injurious effect that any person or animal may suffer as a result of information in this website or through using any of the plants mentioned by Eve of St. Agnes on this website or blog.

This website is intended to provide general information only.  Always seek the advice of a health professional before touching or eating any plant matter. Information provided is not designed to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any illness, or injury. Always consult a health care professional or medical doctor when suffering from any health ailment, disease, illness, or injury, or before attempting any traditional or folk remedies. Keep all plants away from children. As with any natural product, they can be toxic if misused.


The information on Eve of St Agnes website and our brands Beauty Kubes and Hedgerow & Moor is for inspiration and entertainment purposes only, and the information contained herein should not be taken as factual.


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