Just bundle up six or seven stems, and hang them in a dry, dark place with good air circulation. Read on, and I'll tell you a number of reasons why. Keep this in mind when you consider where your nettle patch should be. Or I drop them into soups. When we take the time to appreciate their value and learn to handle them with care, nettles are really an incredible herb with so much to offer us. They are a delicious leafy herb, the tender young tops can be steamed and eaten like spinach or used to make a delicious soup. It has toothed opposite leaves along the stems, which are almost heart shaped, and very small flowers. You can also turn nettles into a liquid fertilizer by filling a barrel with the leaves and branches. Please log in again. In the UK our nettles have only just begun to flower and seed, so I’m hoping to give it a try. They spread from seed and from the roots so to control nettles you need to attack on both fronts. Like nettle leaves.). Above: nettle infusion, a staple drink in our house, which I learned about in Healing Wise. Stinging nettle is an amazing wild herb that comes across as edible green and highly nutritious superfood that is widely found in nature. I just could not understand why anyone wanted this plant around. Store the remaining nettle liquid in the garden … I love your perspective on everything! – you might realize that you already have some growing nearby that you can dig up and transplant to your garden. A light steam with just a … It's broadcasting a clear message: "It's time to harvest a large amount of nettle and make nettle fertilizer tea.". Nettle is easy to grow and can easily be started by seed indoors, or divided from existing patches. Let it sit for about a month and then strain. Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica)​ originated in Europe but now grows ​on every continent but Antarctica​, where-ever there is ​fertile, moist soil and particularly where the soil has been disturbed. You can read more about harvesting and using stinging nettle roots here. These “hairs” are hollow and act like mini hypodermic needles that inject a shot of formic acid, histamine, and other substances that can irritate your skin. I am now a complete convert. Nettles don’t need much maintenance after harvest season, as they are very hardy and spread easily. In fact, it might just be my favorite herb yet! Although this particular recipe calls for store-bought nettle tea bags, I substitute those with a handful of fresh leaves from my own garden, or a smaller quantity of home-dried leaves. Stinging nettle sounds like something you'd run from, not a vibrant green herb that improves blood sugar metabolism, prevents weight gain, and reduces pain. So those are some ways to use nettle in the kitchen; what about the garden? It pre-dates the nettle; if I did this from scratch, I wouldn't bother protecting the nettle from bandicoots. ). Stinging nettles do have some positive benefits. Always consult with a medical professional before changing your diet or using plant-based remedies or supplements for health and wellness. The nutrients in stinging nettle fertilizer are those same nutrients the plant contains which are beneficial to the human body such as many minerals, flavinoids, essential amino acids, proteins and vitamins. Stinging Nettle Benefits – Butterflies & Edible There are many other varieties of nettle that you can grow, but stinging nettle is the most common. If you have a friend with a thriving patch, ask if you can dig up a couple of plants in late fall and replant them in your yard. Please leave a comment below . Once plants flower and start to look woody and fibrous, leaves become stringy and tough. Stinging nettles are growing very well around my garden. See our TOS for more details. The Romans used to rub their bodies with stinging nettles in winter to stop feeling cold. Stinging Nettle Benefits – Butterflies & Edible Dried leaves can also be ground into a powder for use in cooking, to make tea, or as a nutritional supplement. Hi Kate, another great article! There are 5 subspecies of which 4 have stinging hairs. (In defense of baling twine: when I had nearly finished this article, I looked at this picture properly and realized there was a messy piece of baling twine right in the middle of it. Then I drop the leaves into stir fries and what I call "bubble'n'squeaks"... (Bubble'n'squeak, at our place: a meal made from left over veggies, bits of bacon or other meats, and other odd items found in jars in the fridge, mixed and heated in a fry pan and usually graced with greens from the garden. Dry in a dehydrator on the lowest temperature setting, about 95°F for 12 to 18 hours. Some of these links may be affiliate in nature, meaning we earn small commissions if items are purchased. Stir every day, while holding your breath. There’s one way to find out! Just shake out a seed head into a jar or bag. The stinging nettle is one of more than 50 varieties of nettle plants worldwide. Like stinging nettle, pellitory (or Pellitory-of-the-Wall, or Lichwort), is a part of the nettle family Urticaceae. I’m glad it was helpful Jay. Stinging nettle generally grows on deep, rich, moist soil and doesn't do well in areas of drought. This is why I decided I wanted a larger patch of it, and why I put it where it could spread​ into a pathway: to remind me to harvest it often and use it well. And it is often infused into a tea. Stinging Nettle is a perennial herb growing nearly worldwide. Thank you for the information! Click here for more information. I started a nettle patch a couple years ago, but haven’t made use of it as well as you have. Sow seeds in flats in late winter. In the spring, broadcast seeds and press them lightly into the soil or cover with a very thin layer of soil, only about 1/4 inch at most. If you don't have children or pets in the yard, this is a great plant to have for greens in the spring. Today, it is still commonly used as a textile similar to hemp or flax. Not only does nettle follow us about but it leaves us in no doubt, when we brush against it, about its presence and identity. Nettles can be used to make cordage/string. A complete meal, as far as I'm concerned. I routinely add it to my compost piles in the spring to heat the pile up after a … They are edible and a rich source of vitamins A and C plus iron, potassium, manganese, and calcium. Bull Nettle aka Stinging Nettle grows near my home in Sabine Parish, Louisiana. You get the idea. Weigh them down with a stone and fill it up with water. Though it stings the hands, it does not sting the gut. Additionally, these plants thrive on nitrogen rich soil, so it is a good idea to dig some composted manure into the soil where you are planning to plant. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. The skin surrounding the hives may be red. Heather is a certified permaculture designer and student herbalist. All this food, fertilizer, and what-ever other uses you might want to put nettle to—there are many, some detailed in the book and articles I've listed below—is available for very little effort on your part. These same aphids are eaten by blue tits and other woodland birds that dart around the stems. Follow our tips on putting nettles to good use – but be sure to wear gloves at all times when handling them. Identification of Stinging Nettle. It spreads by vigorous creeping rhizomes, and often forms dense clusters. A double-blind, randomized clinical trial was conducted in 2016, where 50 women with type 2 diabetes were divided into two groups and one group was given an extract of U. dioica. Stinging nettle is dioecious, which means plants can have either male or female flowers. The main consideration is moisture. This article covers its use as plant food. This is our nettle patch, beside the main pathway through our garden. U. galeopsifolia lacks the stinging hairs. Stinging Nettle soup is delicious, nutritious, and will save you a trip to the grocery store. I routinely add it to my compost piles in the spring to heat the pile up after a cold winter. They have also appeared singly in my upper flowerbeds, which are near the nettle patches so I assume they seeded from them. (“Mum, what’s these green dots?!”). The creeping surface stems can extend for some considerable distance, rooting at the nodes and producing aerial shoots. I learned, for instance, that it is one of the most nutrient-rich native herbs known. Simply go outside and pull this “weed” from your garden – and use it to make the perfect summertime dish. It also has smooth margins on the leaves, and a reddish stem. If you're wild-harvesting nettle, look for it near stream banks and ponds, and in low, shady areas. Another benefit of growing stinging nettle is that it actually can reduce the risk of pest infestation for surrounding crops. Here is more about what we do. Let’s learn more. One of my favorite recipes is this iced fennel and nettle tea from our sister site, Foodal. Perhaps among the most cherished benefits of stinging nettles is the fact that they taste great. Although it's often talked about in terms of its medicinal properties, I prefer to think of nettle as a food. Stinging nettle has a long history of use for food, medicine, cordage, and dye. No need to register, buy now! For reasons that are unclear, plants grown in the presence of stinging nettle display exceptional vigor and resist spoiling. Many times, you may come across a big patch of wild nettles in the garden and forests. Thanks for commenting , About subscribing, your privacy, and my content. Heather Buckner hails from amongst the glistening lakes of Minnesota, and now lives with her family on a beautiful homestead in the Vermont Mountains. This is why I decided I wanted a larger patch of it, and why I put it where it could spread into a pathway: to remind me to harvest it often and use it well. Space seedlings about 8 inches apart. Far too late for gathering leaves for food, but if you find some like this make note of the location, as there will be lots for picking next spring. Perhaps the most infamous identifying feature is the tiny stinging hairs, which can be found under the leaves and along the stems. This batch of chicken and nettle soup had bits of chicken meat in it. 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