Infused vinegar can impart a pleasant flavor when used in cooking. This is because it attracts various beneficial insects, and several butterfly species. I have one every day, and have been able to stop using deodorant since I started eating nettle every day, no joke! It’s is native to most parts of the United States and Canada. Always consult with a medical professional before changing your diet or using plant-based remedies or supplements for health and wellness. Squeeze to drain as much moisture as possible, chop, and place in freezer bags or containers. 1. I was living at a property with a huge patch of it growing directly across the path from my veggie garden, and those nettles didn’t like to stay put! I’m thinking maybe I need another nettle patch . It spreads by vigorous creeping rhizomes, and often forms dense clusters. If you’re a gardener who enjoys raising non-traditional herbs in your garden, stinging nettle could still be your herb of choice. Stinging nettle has an erect, squarish stem and serrated, simple, pointed, ovate leaves that are arranged in opposite pairs. Nettle fabric was used by Europeans and Native Americans for linens and sailcloth as early as the 16th and 17th century. After fermenting it for 5-6 weeks the nettle … The only real work involved in maintaining a nettle patch is harvesting from it. They spread from seed and from the roots so to control nettles you need to attack on both fronts. Planting Nettle in Your Garden Here is more about what we do. Like nettle leaves.). Nettle is an erect annual weed that grows up to 60cm tall, with short stinging bristles on the stems and leaves. Leave a minute piece of root in the soil and that’s enough for the nettles to regrow. I put them in my Excalibur dehydrator and then use them in smoothies all year. Or not more super-human than we are already being.). This herb should not be used during pregnancy, or by those who take prescription medication. To use, dilute a few drops of the tincture in half a cup of water and drink as a general health tonic. Stinging nettle is a weed with a variety of beneficial uses, from a food source to a medicinal treatment to nettle garden fertilizer. After logging in you can close it and return to this page. They are a delicious leafy herb, the tender young tops can be steamed and eaten like spinach or used to make a delicious soup. Nettle is native to Europe but now grows in damp fertile soils virtually throughout the world. How did I miss that?! Stinging nettle generally grows on deep, rich, moist soil and doesn't do well in areas of drought. Stinging nettle is also a good compost "activator." Drinking it reminds me of sitting in a peaceful forest. The staff at Gardener’s Path are not medical professionals and this article should not be construed as medical advice intended to assess, diagnose, prescribe, or promise cure. But you don't have to read that book to learn how to make nourishing herbal infusions; you can learn quickly online, here. Dry in a dehydrator on the lowest temperature setting, about 95°F for 12 to 18 hours. To prepare for planting, look for an area with rich soil and sufficient moisture. Place the mixture in a tightly lidded jar in a dark location, and shake it daily. The stinging nettle is one of more than 50 varieties of nettle plants worldwide. Stinging nettle’s health benefits are plentiful, and this prickly weed can practically cure all that ills! So those are some ways to use nettle in the kitchen; what about the garden? Upon contact, the tiny needles pierce the skin and release chemicals including acetylcholine, formic acid, histamine, and serotonin, which trigger inflammation and pain that can unfortunately last for up to several hours. You may want to reduce the amount of water you dilute it with when you think it’s getting a bit weaker. Frequently, I would be out peacefully weeding my beds and daydreaming – until I was jolted back to earth by an unexpected sting, the effects of which could last for hours. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Nettle does especially well on the edges of meadows, pastures, or streams where the soil stays moist but isn’t waterlogged. Tilling or cultivating an area that is heavily populated may spread the rhizomes, increasing the colony instead of getting rid of stinging nettle. The finished product can range from fine and soft to thick and rough. But practice is what makes this journey remarkable, so here is a first and easy way to use your knowledge on The Stinging Nettle – the fire in the garden to make a traditional Romanian elixir called The Healing Fire or in Romanian: Focul Vindecator. Space seedlings about 8 inches apart. Stinging nettle is also a good compost "activator." Many times, you may come across a big patch of wild nettles in the garden and forests. 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. But for this you’ll need a big harvest – two pounds or more of fresh leaves, simmered in four cups of water with a tablespoon of non-iodized salt for 30 minutes. Never mind worrying about pests and disease. She goes on to say that it is also high in magnesium, potassium, silica, and chlorophyll. Keep your gloves on when you wash them, carefully removing any dirt or insects. If you can learn to properly identify them – which isn’t difficult if you touch them, but relying on visual cues is preferred! Ouch! It was concluded that nettle could be a great biological control for managing insect pests, and was recommended for use in vineyard habitat restoration and pest management, as well as for butterfly conservation. There are loads of videos on YouTube but Sally Pointer has the best method for joining in, I think. Always consult with a medical professional or trained herbalist before starting any herbal treatment. The login page will open in a new tab. Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is a springtime, flowering plant that grows abundantly in North America and temperate regions in the Northern Hemisphere. 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. Gardener’s Path and Ask the Experts, LLC assume no liability for the use or misuse of the material presented above. Nettle is easy to grow and can easily be started by seed indoors, or divided from existing patches. It is most common in the North Island (except for North Auckland and Taranaki) and in parts of the South Island. In the garden, nettle can be added to the compost pile as an excellent mineral support for feeding beneficial bacteria, protozoa, fungi and later your plants! Each year over the course of three years, they found 200 to 400 beneficial insects trapped in nettle plants at all three sites. They prefer a a slightly acid, rich soil but will grow on any soil type – wet or dry, rich or poor. Identification of Stinging Nettle. You’ll need about one cup of liquid nettle rennet per gallon of milk. For food and making herbal remedies, harvest the foliage when the stems looks juicy, before flowering. Once planted, stinging nettles need to be cultivated to keep the plants under control, as they may become invasive if not managed in the garden. Infused tinctures can be stored in a cool, dark place for three to five years. These same aphids are eaten by blue tits and other woodland birds that dart around the stems. Some people purposely sting themselves to encourage the release of an anti-inflammatory response. – you might realize that you already have some growing nearby that you can dig up and transplant to your garden. They have also appeared singly in my upper flowerbeds, which are near the nettle patches so I assume they seeded from them. If you want, you can incorporate some leaf mulch around the plants to help retain moisture during dry spells. If you don't have children or pets in the yard, this is a great plant to have for greens in the spring. Hydrating Your Landscape: Which Irrigation Method Is Best for You and Your Plants? 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. I’ve only made cordage and I’m only a beginner but it’s quite soothing to do. Be conscious about what you are doing. U. holosericea is commonly called hoary stinging nettle. I think I will domesticate it in the nearest future. 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. Stinging nettles support more than 40 kinds of insects, for whom the sting can form a protective shield against grazing animals. Sometimes called simply nettles, this short, scruffy herb grows about four feet high in moist areas near streams and lakes in nearly every part of the U.S. Frozen nettles are a great addition to any food that would be good with added greens. Stinging nettle, or Urtica dioica, is a common plant that grows in the United States, Canada, and Europe.It primarily grows in damp, fertile soil. Male flowers can be yellow or purple, while female flowers are green and white. They spread from seed and from the roots so to control nettles you need to attack on both fronts. The flavor is sweet and salty, with a pleasant, earthy taste. This method has been used to reduce joint pain, such as what is experienced by those with arthritis. Stinging Nettle Benefits – Butterflies & Edible I highly recommend Groves’s book, which is available from Amazon, if you want to learn more about how to use common plants as herbal remedies. They are edible and a rich source of vitamins A and C plus iron, potassium, manganese, and calcium. Harvesting nettles can sound intimidating, but with a few precautions in mind, you won’t get any trouble from the pesky needles. It actually smells more like cow dung than cow dung does. To make a tincture, you can infuse dried or fresh leaves in alcohol or vinegar for use as an herbal remedy. Another benefit of growing stinging nettle is that it actually can reduce the risk of pest infestation for surrounding crops. She holds a bachelor of science degree in environmental science from Tufts University, and has traveled and worked in many roles in conservation and environmental advocacy, including creating and managing programs based around resource conservation, organic gardening, food security, and building leadership skills. As young plants, the leaves are eaten in salads, boiled as a vegetable or steeped to make a medicinal tea. Receipe for Stinging Nettle Slurry: big container with lid or mesh, non-metallic; 10l rainwater; ca 2 pounds / 1kg nettle plants, collected with gloves Cut the nettles small, fill the container with the water and cover loosley. I remember my mum using it to treat wounds on people. As long as you use one of these methods, nettle leaves can be a part of practically any dish, used in a similar way to spinach or other leafy greens. Once nettle flowers and goes to seed, its leaves may be potentially harmful to your kidneys if you consume a lot of it. Seeds should germinate in approximately 14 days. 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. Native in many places around the world, this herb can be found in north Africa, North America, Asia, and Europe. You may have had the misfortune of experiencing the unpleasant sensation of accidentally brushing up against a plant, or pulling one up without gloves. It's a perennial, winter-hardy … Heather is a certified permaculture designer and student herbalist. Stinging nettles are growing very well around my garden. The above-ground parts are used for allergies, hayfever, and osteoarthritis. Controlling stinging nettle can be a lesson in futility, as the plant is not only a prolific grower, but also springs from underground rhizomes and is easily propagated via wind-dispersed seeds. If I'm planning to eat it, I harvest the tips (wearing gloves) and snip the leaves into a bowl. Once you’ve harvested the greens, you can use them as you would any leafy green. 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. You know your way around the Nettle plant. Stinging Nettle Urtica dioica Common nettle Stinging nettles are considered a weed by many gardeners but they have a lot to offer those who give them some space in their garden. Let’s learn more. What is your favorite way to use stinging nettle? Since the stalks of the stinging nettle are quite bare in the lower area, it is advisable to place lo… You can apparently eat the seeds too, as they are highly nutritious and great sprinkled on your muesli, salad or soups. I can’t remember where I found out about this attribute of nettle, but it works! It is safe for almost everyone, has a plethora of uses, and is actually quite delicious. I wanted to show you cutting the nettle back at the edge of the bed, but I needed my cutting hand to hold the camera. I don’t mind them being around as they are … in, nourishing herbal infusions; you can learn quickly online, here, it’s a resource that otherwise goes to landfill, it feeds my soil (appropriately balanced with other nitrogenous inputs I use) as it breaks down, running weeds such as couch grass and nettle runners are much easier to pull out when they’re running under or over cardboard than over uncovered soil, since they’re loosely rooted if you catch them early enough. Keep this in mind when you consider where your nettle patch should be. Here are 6 evidence-based benefits of stinging nettle. Nettle’s Garden – The Old Craft Interview with Greg Kaminsky: Awakening to Authentic Spiritual Practice – The Uncommon Path Greg Kaminsky started »Occult of Personality« the – maybe first – but for sure the most prominent and constant podcast around the Western Esoteric Tradition in 2005. Show larger version of the image Stinging Nettle Though visible, the noxious hairs on the stems and leaves of stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) are easy to overlook. Though it stings the hands, it does not sting the gut. Weigh them down with a stone and fill it up with water. I’ve decided to stop cutting a section of my nettle patch to allow it to flower and seed so I can have my first go at harvesting nettle seeds. 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. See our TOS for more details. There are 5 subspecies of which 4 have stinging hairs. This batch of chicken and nettle soup had bits of chicken meat in it. Nettle plants are dioecious, which means they only produce either male or female flowers, not both. If this article hasn’t quite won you over yet, I encourage you to taste some nettle tea for yourself. Take it from someone who is very familiar with both smells.). Nettle is usually found in waste areas of gardens, coastal cliffs and under trees. Males and females grow adjacent to each other, and the flowers are usually wind pollinated. Love your pic of the bailing twine and how “real” you are! Just bundle up six or seven stems, and hang them in a dry, dark place with good air circulation. It’s delicious on a warm day. There’s one way to find out! Where to Find Stinging Nettle. I just could not understand why anyone wanted this plant around. How to Kill Stinging Nettle Plants. A light steam with just a … We occasionally link to goods offered by vendors to help the reader find relevant products. Tips for using as food and fertilizer | Lots of pictures | About a 5 minute read. It's broadcasting a clear message: "It's time to harvest a large amount of nettle and make nettle fertilizer tea.". I’ve even made nettle pesto – but I made sure to blanch the leaves before throwing them in! The coming of spring brings forth renewal and return to Nature as it reawakens. There are quite a number of claims about the healing properties of some root and leaf extracts, but many of these are inconclusive and largely anecdotal. This article covers its use as plant food. It comes from Europe. Please leave a comment below . You’ll often find it sneaking along beside, through, or under the walls of barns, stables, gardens, and houses. Even though the stinging nettle is not the friendliest plant to your skin, it has wonderful benefits for your health. Like stinging nettle, pellitory (or Pellitory-of-the-Wall, or Lichwort), is a part of the nettle family Urticaceae. U. dioica has been used to address a range of ailments over the centuries. Overview Information Stinging nettle is a plant. Their flavor has been described by TV Chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall as “irrefutably green,” somewhere between spinach, cabbage, and broccoli, with a unique hint of nettliness: a sort of slight, earthy tingle in your mouth.”. I started a nettle patch a couple years ago, but haven’t made use of it as well as you have. 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 the plant comes in contact with bare skin the consequential stinging and associated itching is downright unpleasant and, depending on the exposure, may warrant a trip to the emergency room--especially children. There’s also a Facebook page called Nettles for textiles. To store, remove leaves from the stems and secure in tightly lidded glass jars. Stinging nettle leaf has a long history (from ancient Greek times) as a diuretic and laxative. In fact, it might just be my favorite herb yet! The stinging nettle is one of more than 50 varieties of nettle plants worldwide. I make tea with it in the spring and summer. Just harvest regularly to encourage new growth, and keep an eye on them in case they start to spread to areas where you don’t want them to grow. I am now a complete convert. Stinging nettle is an amazing wild herb that comes across as edible green and highly nutritious superfood that is widely found in nature. Nettles like a bit of shade, but will tolerate full sun as long as they don’t dry out. Yum, that soup sounds delicious, Onwuka, and I would love to try it! Stinging nettles (Urtica dioica) are nasty perennial weeds that have needles waiting to brush up against your skin, making it burn. (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. Just be sure to wear gloves, long sleeves and pants, and closed-toe shoes. Stinging Nettle By Nat Bletter | May 1, 2008 Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica, in the Urticaceae or nettle family) has an off-putting name, but it is actually a delicious and nutritious wild green.Sometimes called simply nettles, this short, scruffy herb grows about four feet high in moist areas near streams and lakes in nearly every part of the U.S. Since stinging nettles can grow 3 to 7 feet high, it's best to lop off most of the plant to give you more maneuverability when digging it up. If you do touch a stinging nettle. Besides feeding us, our nettle patch also nourishes our garden and compost bins. If a spot is too dry, plants may struggle and will lack flavor, and may potentially lack some of their potency as an herbal remedy. These same aphids are eaten by blue tits and other woodland birds that dart around the stems. If I miss the message for too much longer, someone is going to get stung, to remind me. You may choose to cut off the top third to keep plants from becoming too tall and toppling over. Stinging nettle is a multifaceted companion plant and has a very special place within a cannabis garden. For reasons that are unclear, plants grown in the presence of stinging nettle display exceptional vigor and resist spoiling. Make the nettle spray solution. If there is anything to that theory, then nettle must be among the most useful of them all. Nettle leaf tea can have diuretic properties and is often used to relieve the symptoms of urinary tract infections. GARDENER'S PATH® IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF ASK THE EXPERTS LLC. so thanks for the resources , You can indeed eat the seeds of nettle; I’ve read that they are great for thyroid health in particular. 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. You can also turn nettles into a liquid fertilizer by filling a barrel with the leaves and branches. The vibrant, dark emerald green hue of the nettle plant signals that it is rich in chlorophyll, and therefore, the plant is excellent for the body’s integumentary system ( s kin, nails, and hair), as well as the cardiovascular, urinary, lymph, and respiratory systems. There are many other varieties of nettle that you can grow, but stinging nettle is the most common. Nettle, Urtica dioica, is an herbaceous perennial in the Urticaceae family that is often found growing wild in the understory of riparian zones, on the edges of meadows, in open forests, or in disturbed soils near pasture. I didn’t grow up eating much okra myself, but I have grown to love it as an adult, especially in Indian subzi recipes. Cooking, drying, crushing, or blending will remove the stings, making leaves safe to handle and eat. Perhaps this is why they were given the Latin name dioica, which means “two houses.”. Stinging nettle Perhaps one of the most intriguing examples of strange garden bedfellows is the relationship between the weed stinging nettle and several vegetable varieties. Discover fermented stinging nettle tea, an excellent fertilizer for plants in both gardens and vegetable patches, and an amazing pest control agent for most parasites like aphids. A complete meal, as far as I'm concerned. Before freezing, you’ll want to blanch the leaves to remove the sting. The stinging nettle plant has tiny little needle-like projections all over the leaves and stems. 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. I’m glad it was helpful Jay. I have dried them in the Excalibur before too, and then crumbled them for use in soups and stews and such. Here are some ideas for making use of the free food and fertilizer that this under-appreciated weed has to offer. A folk remedy for relieving the sting is to rub crushed rosemary, mint, sage, or even the leaves of the nettle itself on the irritated skin. According to Maria Noel Groves, author of “Grow Your Own Herbal Remedies,” one cup of tea infused for 4-12 hours contains “approximately 500 milligrams of calcium in a highly bioavailable form,” meaning it is easy for the body to absorb and put to use. Here’s how – and why – you should grow it at home. They spread easily, sending long exploratory runners surprising distances under or between things and popping up where you least expect them. (Don't keep it near the house. Stinging nettles support more than 40 kinds of insects, for whom the sting can form a protective shield against grazing animals. If the problem is an established stinging nettle patch, then it’s a bigger problem all together. Stinging Nettle in our Garden Besides feeding us, our nettle patch also nourishes our garden and compost bins. 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. What Is Stinging Nettle? And not just any food, but a super-food. This may also help to reduce spreading if you are concerned about the patch getting away from you. Nostalgic! Huge collection, amazing choice, 100+ million high quality, affordable RF and RM images. The study concluded that the extract may decrease cardiovascular risk factors and other complications in patients with type 2 diabetes. Keep the soil moist throughout the spring until you are done harvesting, after which time the plants will usually take care of themselves. That’s fascinating about eating nettles and not needing deodorant any more. ). Heather Buckner hails from amongst the glistening lakes of Minnesota, and now lives with her family on a beautiful homestead in the Vermont Mountains. As young plants, the leaves are eaten in salads, boiled as a vegetable or steeped to make a medicinal tea. Urtica dioica var. Nettles are a perennial plant found in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia, Africa and South America. Caution: Nettle can be harvested for eating any time except when it's flowering or seeding. In a study by David James, associate professor of entomology at Washington State University, from 2011 to 2013 researchers monitored beneficial insect populations in U. dioica patches at three locations in the Yakima Valley. The nettle leaves are extremely high in nutrients and make a delicious tea. I love your perspective on everything! Though seen by many as an irritating weed, nettles have been appreciated by foragers for a long time, and they are so much more than just a menace to be wary of. Please log in again. I have never tasted a cooked green – either wild or domestic – that I like better. Stinging Nettle is a perennial herb growing nearly worldwide. I routinely add it to my compost piles in the spring to heat the pile up after a … The plant is native to parts of Europe, Asia, and North Africa, but now it can be found worldwide. Seeds are very tiny and require light for germination. In the UK our nettles have only just begun to flower and seed, so I’m hoping to give it a try. Perhaps among the most cherished benefits of stinging nettles is the fact that they taste great. 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. harvesting and using stinging nettle roots here, You can find more tips on freezing herbs here, 9 Reasons Why Tulip Leaves May Turn Yellow Prematurely, When and How to Harvest Cantaloupe, the Sweetest Garden Candy, How to Identify and Prevent Crown Gall on Apple, Grow Mexican Petunias (Ruellia Simplex) for a Heat and Shade Tolerant Perennial, How to Train Pumpkins to Grow on a Trellis. Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is a springtime, flowering plant that grows abundantly in North America and temperate regions in the Northern Hemisphere.. Plants can later be thinned to an inch apart. I think now that you’ve reminded me I’ll try again with only the leaves . Store the remaining nettle liquid in the garden … This valuable plant also has long been part of culinary and medicinal practices. She is also a fanatical gardener, and enjoys spending as much time covered in dirt as possible! Fibers can be dried, pounded, and twisted into rope or cloth. Not only does nettle follow us about but it leaves us in no doubt, when we brush against it, about its presence and identity. 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. The leaves are rich in vitamins, minerals, amino acids (the building blocks of protein), and powerful antioxidants, including polyphenols and carotenoids (via Eat This Not That). This versatile edible and medicinal herb is not often cultivated, but foraging it from the wild is certainly not your only option. Same bed (below), with nettle harvested and a new cardboard barrier in place. Although it's often talked about in terms of its medicinal properties, I prefer to think of nettle as a food. Thanks for commenting , About subscribing, your privacy, and my content. Above: nettle infusion, a staple drink in our house, which I learned about in Healing Wise. Follow our tips on putting nettles to good use – but be sure to wear gloves at all times when handling them. Stinging Nettle tea is truly a healing potion for those suffering from depression, spring asthenia, hair loss, and more. Females can be identified by dense, heavy flower clusters that may look like they are pulling the plant down. One of my favorite recipes is this iced fennel and nettle tea from our sister site, Foodal. Stinging nettle root extract is often used in over-the-counter supplements and herbal remedies, particularly those labeled for “men’s health.” The root extract contains beta-sitosterol, a plant phenol that has been shown to reduce urinary tract complications associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) – the enlargement of the prostate. And here are some interesting nettle articles... "How to Make Stinging Nettle Fertilizer Tea", "A Family Herb: Stinging Nettle Leaf Uses", "19 Remarkable Benefits of Stinging Nettle", Nettles were once tithed, they have so many uses: medicine, food, fodder, fertilizer, beer, dye, fiber for thread, nets, durable cloth, paper, hair restorer, aphrodisiac, and smoke! Or I drop them into soups. You can read more about harvesting and using stinging nettle roots here. Stir every day, while holding your breath. They can be used to make a fresh nettle soup, added to stews, used in baking, or simply sauteed in a little butter and garlic as a side dish. Do you have other nettle recipes or garden applications that you could share? Stinging nettles do have some positive benefits. Show larger version of the image Stinging Nettle Urtica dioica (stinging nettle) growing among zinnias in a raised garden … Later I bought seeds of Urtica dioica and grew some from those. I routinely add it to my compost piles in the spring to heat the pile up after a cold winter. Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is a fast-growing herbaceous perennial that gets tall in the summer and dies back down to the ground in the winter.It bears small greenish flowers in the spring. If they show up in your garden, you might want to relocate them before the plants get too big. This is our nettle patch, beside the main pathway through our garden. Today, it is still commonly used as a textile similar to hemp or flax. This is our nettle patch, beside the main pathway through our garden. U. galeopsifolia lacks the stinging hairs. The leaves can be preserved and consumed in a number of ways. Throw them in soups, pasta, stir fries, stews, or omelets. The chicken wire was put there to keep the bandicoots out of this section of raised beds. Stinging nettles die down to tough yellow roots in autumn, over-wintering to grow up again the following spring. dioica is also a European variety that has naturalized in many parts of the U.S. Now I feel confident I can care for mine! It has toothed opposite leaves along the stems, which are almost heart shaped, and very small flowers. Stinging Nettle Benefits – Butterflies & Edible Will it become one of yours? Don't use it on a given garden bed or potted plant more often than about once every 3 to 4 weeks. The creeping surface stems can extend for some considerable distance, rooting at the nodes and producing aerial shoots. Just to remind me and you that its not necessary to be super-human. With additional writing and editing by Clare Groom and Allison Sidhu. Documented accounts of its use date as far back as 1200 BC, and its uses are widespread. But I gave up doing that because it didn’t occur to me (duh) to strip the leaves and only dry them, without the stalks — so there were always stalky bits in the soup. Photo by Joni Blackburn. Do you have questions? To harvest, cut back the top third of the plant, just above a node where leaves branch off, which will encourage new growth. Hi Theresa, thanks for your comment. COPYRIGHT © 2020 ASK THE EXPERTS LLC. I use around four ounces of dried leaves to 16 ounces of vodka or vinegar. Insects found included predatory bugs, predaceous flies, parasitic wasps, and native bees. In Germany it was used during the first half of the 20th century, often combined with cotton to make undergarments, stockings, and fabrics. These are actually tiny hollow tubes known as trichomes. It can grow from two to four feet tall at maturity. No need to register, buy now! Urtica dioica, often known as common nettle, stinging nettle (although not all plants of this species sting) or nettle leaf, or just a nettle or stinger, is a herbaceous perennial flowering plant in the family Urticaceae.Originally native to Europe, much of temperate Asia and western North Africa, it is now found worldwide, including New Zealand and North America. When the bucket gets low, it can be topped up with more water a few times. But with the Stinging Nettle the pain is literal because its fine hairs, even only brushed lightly on bare skin bare skin, create the feeling akin to dozens of little syringes injecting fiery pain. I know. As the seeds are effortlessly surviving every form of production you can leave blooming or withered stinging nettles out of your consideration. Nettle, Urtica dioica, is an herbaceous perennial in the Urticaceae family that is often found growing wild in the understory of riparian zones, on the edges of meadows, in open forests, or in disturbed soils near pasture. Many nettle patches hold overwintering insects which swarm around fresh spring nettles and provide early food for ladybirds. Stinging Nettle soup is delicious, nutritious, and will save you a trip to the grocery store. Thank you for this info. You can store the fresh leaves in the refrigerator for two to five days, just make sure they are kept in a closed container to prevent them from inadvertently stinging anyone! Perhaps the most infamous identifying feature is the tiny stinging hairs, which can be found under the leaves and along the stems. They will spread quickly, once they become established. It occurs in moist sites along streams, meadow, and ditches, on mountain slopes, in woodland clearings, and in disturbed areas. Stinging nettle root has been used for urination problems related to an enlarged prostate as well as for joint ailments and as an astringent. Stinging nettle i n our garden Besides feeding us, our nettle patch also nourishes our garden and compost bins. Just shake out a seed head into a jar or bag. You can also hang leaves to dry in small bunches. Stinging nettles are a common weed, tough weed to control. Urtica dioica (stinging nettle) in the Herb Garden. If you’re using fresh leaves, it’s best to chop them and use about eight ounces of leaves to 16 ounces of liquid. The action of disturbing the hairs breaks off the fragile silica tips, and the hair acts like a needle, injecting you with chemicals. Pick a place where you are certain that you want them, perhaps not directly next to your veggie patch! The skin surrounding the hives may be red. I've been a nettle fan ever since I first read about nettle in Susun Weed's book, Healing Wise - which was about the best introduction I can imagine. Stinging nettle may seem like a risky herb to grow, but you can’t overlook its benefits. Over the winter the foliage will die back and the plants will go dormant, reemerging in spring. (“Mum, what’s these green dots?!”). It is garnished with okra and red pepper and little palm oil to make a delicious soup called “ofo akuba” -nettle soup in Abiriba, Nigeria. The leaves, stems, and roots have been used for food, medicine, cordage, and dye for millennia. More About Stinging Nettle Alternatively, if you do find a patch growing wild, you can gather the tiny seeds in early fall, once they have turned brown. Stinging nettle rash presents as raised bumps or hives that are often light in color and up to a centimeter in diameter. This is our nettle patch, beside the main pathway through our garden. In the US, there is a history of Native American use in food, medicine, clothing, and ceremonies. 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. Thank you for the information! Though it grows abundantly as a weed, stinging nettle is also sometimes cultivated as a food plant. So, despite its uncomfortable effect on unsuspecting skin, it's a … Popular garden weed killers can also be used to kill stinging nettles. This is the most popular herbal nettle which has been used for centuries by mankind. The wild, exotic charm of the stinging nettle is particularly evident in near-natural plantations in combination with sage (Salvia), echinacea and yarrow (Achillea) and in autumn beds with asters, horned stonecrop and ornamental grasses. The main consideration is moisture. Just find the right spot, establish your nettle patch, and enjoy. In recent years, it has also developed into an important prairie garden perennial and a real trend plant, populating our gardens together with asters, goldenrods and ornamental grasses. The problem. Click here for more information. Stinging nettle is commonly believed to be a European native that was brought to North America as a medicinal plant. If "stung" by a stinging nettle, the irritation will go away on its own in a few minutes to a few hours. The nettle we’re used to in the UK is Urtica dioica, a perennial plant full of iron, calcium, magnesium and nitrogen, which makes it incredibly nutritious for both other plants and humans. I learned, for instance, that it is one of the most nutrient-rich native herbs known. Posted by jerseyridgearts (SW Louisiana - Zone 9a) on Apr 13, 2015 5:58 PM. I just needed to know why my landlord insisted so strongly on maintaining that pesky nettle patch. While picking the nettle plants, you should be careful because some of the varieties may cause stinging on the skin and result in rashes. Stinging nettles are both tasty and healthful and considered a desirable, if weedy, herb. A guy called Allan Brown has made some good videos on the subject. Stinging nettle has a long history of use for food, medicine, cordage, and dye. I rated the plant neutral for two reasons. (I like using cardboard as a barrier because. If both varieties thrive in the catchment area, the smaller plant will be pushed into th… I’ve tried making cordage from banana fiber before and I’d be keen to try with nettle fiber (there is so much to learn!) Nettles can be used to make cordage/string. Bring a basket, bucket, or paper bag, and a clean and sharp pair of scissors. I knew nettle had many uses but wasn’t sure so this was a useful reminder. Nettles can also be foraged easily, and they grow as a weedy perennial all over the place. 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