Astringent, diuretic, and nutritive. Very high protein content.
They are a circulatory stimulant, promote milk flow, lower blood sugar* and traditionally have been used to prevent scurvy.
*Tea can reduce blood sugar (great for diabetics, I have heard anecdotes of -50 points!)
Other benefits include: anti-inflammatory, allergy relief, other breathing health, promoting hair growth, joint pain and osteoarthritis aid, reducing bleeding, treat eczema, and the roots can help with relief for urinary disorders and enlarged prostates.
In the Garden
Springtime. Leaves are best when the plant is less than 3 feet tall, before flowering has occurred. Ideal is when they are under a foot tall. Use gloves to avoid the stinging hairs on the underside of the leaves and stems.
Young, tender leaves are best, as they taste better and contain less/no cystoliths which irritates kidneys.
The stinging hairs are on the underside of the leaves and on the stems
Stinging Nettles inject histamine, acetylcholine, serotonin, morodin, leukotrienes, and formic acid (formic acid give fire ants their "fire").