HERB FOCUS: Nettles
Stinging Nettle is Much More Than Just a Prickly Plant
I personally love stinging nettle, but know many people who don’t because of its sting. If you have mixed feelings about it, give stinging nettle a closer look. It is nutrient dense, medicinal, and makes gorgeous fiber. It grows from 3 to 8 feet ,stinging nettle is a perennial that dies back in the winter. The soft, green leaves are usually oval in shape and range from 1 to 4 inches in length. Occasionally the leaves are heart-shaped. The leaves and stems are hairy and have both non-stinging and stinging hairs. Copious greenish or brownish flowers emerge June to September.
Where Does It Grow? Stinging nettle grows worldwide but it is native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa. It likes moist soil and areas with ample rainfall.
Edible uses: The leaves are edible and have a flavor similar to spinach when cooked. While most people blanch the leaves in boiling water to remove the sting before cooking or eating, I like to eat them raw by folding the leaves over. Stinging nettle seeds are also edible.
Safety: Only consume stinging nettle leaves before the plant flowers. Otherwise, they can cause significant internal irritation, particularly of the urinary tract.
🍵 Nettle Infusion Recipe: Pour one cup boiling water over 1 tablespoon dried and crushed nettle leaves. Let steep, covered for 10 to 15 minutes. Strain and enjoy twice daily.
Medicinal Uses: Stinging nettle is an excellent herb for relieving allergy symptoms. For this purpose, you can pair nettle tea with local raw honey, though I prefer the convenience of an easy-to-use tincture.
It has anti-inflammatory properties and is also helpful for arthritis, gout pain, eczema, and sprains.
Here are my top 3 uses (in addition to allergy relief):
•Flushes toxins and reduces the pain of arthritis and gout. •Can be helpful for rheumatoid arthritis. inflammation.
•Internally, a tincture is easiest.
•Externally, you can make a compress.
•soothes burns/insect bites
•assists in anemia/ cardiac insufficiency.
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