Spring Cleansing Tonic: Iced Nettle and Rose Hips Tea

Spring Cleansing Tonic: Iced Nettle and Rose Hips Tea

Spring is a time of cleansing and nourishing. We emerge from our winter cocoon ready to shake off the sluggishness, a few fluffy pounds, and greet the sun with enthusiasm.

This spring cleansing tonic is a great way to clear a lingering winter cough, purify the blood, and increase energy levels. It’s so nourishing that it also increases the quality and quantity of a mother’s milk.

Nettle Leaf (Urtica dioica – Urticaceae)

Stinging nettle is one of the most nutritious and cleansing herbs we use in the Western world. It is the perfect way to nourish and cleanse your body from heavy winter foods and inactivity.

Nettle is very high in calcium (2,900 mg per 100 dry grams), magnesium (860 mg per 100 dry grams), and zinc (0.47 mg per 100 dry grams).

It’s also high in protein (25.2% per 100 dry grams), Vitamin A (15,700 IU per 100 dry grams), Vitamin C (83 mg per 100 dry grams), manganese (.78 mg per 100 dry grams), potassium (1,750 mg per 100 dry grams), riboflavin/Vitamin B2 (.43 mg per 100 dry grams), selenium (.22 mg per 100 dry grams), silicon – important for skin elasticity – (1.03 mg per 100 dry grams), and thiamine/Vitamin B1 (.54 mg per 100 dry grams).


  • bitter (blood purifier, dries damp conditions in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), assists digestion)
  • diuretic (promotes urine, reduces water retention)
  • hemostatic (stops bleeding, good for chronic nosebleeds)
  • antitumor (prevents or inhibits tumor formation)
  • antiseptic (prevents or arrests infection)
  • emmenogogue (stimulates uterine blood flow)
  • expectorant (helps expel respiratory mucous and phlegm)
  • vermifuge (expels intestinal worms)
  • antispasmodic (suppresses muscle spasms)
Spring Cleansing Tonic: Iced Nettle and Rose Hips Tea
Rose Hips (Rosa Canina – Rosaceae)

The fruit or rose bushes, rose hips, are an excellent source of antioxidents high in bioflavanoids and tannins which also help to cleanse the body after a long winter. It’s also a nice fruity punch to balance the earthiness of the nettles.

Rose hips are very high in Vitamin C (740 mg per 100 dry grams) and sodium – good for electrolyte balance (4,600 per 100 dry grams).

They are also high in Vitamin A (7,015 IU), riboflavin/Vitamin B2 (0.72 mg per 100 dry grams), niacin/Vitamin B3 (6.8 mg per 100 dry grams), chromium (.18 mg per 100 dry grams), and selenium (.21 mg per 100 dry grams).


  • antiscorbutic (prevent or cure scurvy)
  • antimicrobial (prevent or inhibit microbial activity)
  • astringent (tissue constriction)
  • antiseptic (prevents or arrests infection)
  • antispasmodic (suppresses muscle spasms)

Spring Cleansing Tonic: Iced Nettle and Rose Hips Tea

Yield: 2 servings

Serving Size: 8 oz.


  • 2 teaspoons* nettle leaf, dried
  • 2 teaspoons* rose hips, dried
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • honey to taste
  • *double the amount when using fresh ingredients
    Note: Once you have noted how your body responds to the ingredients, you can vary the amounts. During the spring, I add 2 heaping handfuls of the nettles to 6 cups of water. My body craves a strong cleansing brew.


  1. Heat water on high in non-reactive saucepan.
  2. When water reaches a rolling boil, turn heat off and move pot to a cool burner.
  3. Add nettle and rose hips.
  4. Cover and let steep for 20 minutes.
  5. Strain and add honey to taste if desired.
  6. Pour over ice to drink immediately or keep cool in fridge.


Nutritional Herbology: A Reference Guide to Herbs by Mark Pederson, ND

The Herbal Medicinal Maker’s Handbook: A Home Manual by James Green, Herbalist

Wise Woman Herbal: Healing Wise by Susun S. Weed




Jennifer Nervo is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Reiki Master Practitioner & teacher, and Aromatherapist. Her focus is on digestive, nervous, and immune system dysfunction and the fields of functional nutrition & psychoneuroimmunology. She works with all conditions and diseases including environmental and food allergies, autoimmune diseases, multiple chemical sensitivity, diabetes, eczema, anxiety, weight loss as a symptom of dis-ease, and gut-brain disorders like autism.

When she’s not herding her small troupe of monkeys or seeing clients, her free time is packed with researching and perfecting new wellness techniques (her not-so-secret passion). Jennifer is currently a group leader for the newest class of Nutritional Therapy Practitioners out of Ann Arbor, MI, studying for the national board exam in holistic nutrition, and running a combined distance and brick and mortar practice in metro Detroit. She’s also a homeschooling suburbanite, foodie, and mama to two littles and a schnoodle.

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