If you have ever been hiking in North America near streams, lakes and other areas with rich soil, you might have encountered stinging nettle and it isn’t a meeting you are likely to forget. Wash the nettles with gloved hands to neutralize the sting and remove any bugs or dirt. It relieves inflation and decreases pain. If you are harvesting from your garden and do not have dock nearby, ice can relieve the pain as well. Preserving Nettle Plants. It comes as a tincture, capsule, tablet or even a tea. Change the water several times and use a vegetable brush to help remove all the grime. Apply a paste of baking soda and water.
Wear gloves to protect your hands from the stinging hairs or you will likely regret it! Dry nettles and use to make nutritious teas. The leaves are pointed at the tips and serrated along the outer edges (like a serrated kitchen knife). Thanks so much for sharing your instructions, Michael! But instead I got what felt like a dose of pepper spray in my face. In addition to this use, stinging nettle may also assist with muscle and joint pain abatement and to help with urinary tract infection symptoms. This Site Uses Cookies… The Self Sufficient HomeAcre is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. How to Make Money and Save Money on Your Homestead. Alternatively, you can blanch and mash the roots before storing in the alcohol, but some of the benefits will be lost in the process. Casual contact with any above ground part of the plant can cause a dermatological incident that is painful and persistent. Me too! Using pruning shears or scissors, clip off the leaves and dead stems that remain attached to the roots. I enjoy eating it as a green too. Hi Felicia, Fill a sink with cool water and swish the roots through the water to remove any additional dirt. Absolutely avoid metal containers. I remember my Gram telling (little) me that stinging nettle was good to eat. Some tips and tricks on how to harvest stinging nettle roots without getting bitten by the stingers can help keep you safe as you collect this potentially troublesome, yet beneficial, plant. Hi Lisa, I’m new to your site. I collect and use Nettle for house hold use, dried I use it as a herb as well for drinking tea’s. Just began eating stinging nettles, raw (uncooked), after watching some Youtube videos. Glad to have you here! Nettle takes 80-90 days to mature when you grow it from seed. Yep, cheese! It must be cooked or dehydrated before consuming. But the idea of eating stinging nettle was maybe just a bit far fetched for me to wrap my adolescent brain around. Nettle may help flush harmful bacteria from the urinary tract. Its proper habitat is in sunny places where there is rich, moist soil. So if you grab … It was also applied externally to soothe hemorrhoids and other swollen skin tissues. Nettles are best harvested when knee high or smaller. They are mean little buggers) Boil Hot water (2-3 cups) Muddle or crush the leaves to help release oils during steeping. This portable allergy tonic is a staple in our household during peak allergy season. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. Sign up for our newsletter. I use heavy gloves and clippers, but for arthritis and joint pain, I shove the affected limb into the plants and take the sting. Lisa grew up on a farm and has continued learning about horticulture, animal husbandry, and home food preservation ever since. I know you weren’t crazy now! Pop the wad into your mouth, and chew it well before swallowing. Freshly harvested nettle will store in a bag in the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator, unwashed, for at least 2-3 days (probably longer). I tried the tea and wasn’t a huge fan, but with some honey and lemon it was pretty good. Thanks for sharing! amzn_assoc_ad_type = "smart";
I haven’t tried this and now my stinging nettle patch has been bulldozed for a new subdivision. It's preferable to harvest the leaves before the nettles go to seed. Now that I have experience harvesting it, I know exactly what to look for (and you will too). There are also many uses for stinging nettle root that rely upon historical health knowledge. Learn how your comment data is processed. Let it sit for 4-8 hours. For me, it’s the first real sign that spring is around the corner. I started this blog to share my adventures in homesteading and self-sufficiency. amzn_assoc_tracking_id = "theselfsuffic-20";
This site uses cookies from Google to deliver its services, to personalize ads and to analyze traffic. In approximately 8 weeks, the medicine of the roots will have leached out into the alcohol. By working from top to bottom, you’re working with the stingers instead of against them. I pick long stems with scissors and then use the scissors to cut off the leaves. If you are trying to harness the benefits of stinging nettle root, you are going to have to dig a bit. Cover the container and store it in a cool, dark location. Thank you for supporting The Self Sufficient HomeAcre! Blanch the leaves for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Harvest nettle leaves in the spring. I use it as a booster in my milking goat or sheep’s feed when in milk. By drying the leaves, we are able to store the stinging nettle, which when steeped, makes a very flavourful green tea. amzn_assoc_placement = "adunit0";
Good to know! ), For my next foraging project, I intend to create homemade stinging nettle rennet to make cheese. The fermented stinging nettle tea recipe is very simple. Wear gloves and protective clothing, longs sleeves, pants, etc. You can also let it cool in the refrigerator to make a healthy sweet ice tea. Bring a large pot of water to boil, and add a few pinches of salt. We harvest it and bag it. Sign up for my newsletter if you want to get posts like this in your inbox. Alternatively, some recommend sticking scotch tape to your skin and pulling it off to remove the hairs. When you’re ready for them, just pull them out, rinse if you wish and go for it! Hi Mark, Then I pour boiling water all the way to the rim of the jar and screw the lid on tight. Their flavor is wonderful! Urinary tract health. You can easily make your own tea by drying the leaves and steeping them in water to harness the flavor and healthful benefits. The stem and underside of leaves are covered in small hairs that deliver a sting loaded with formic acid that can irritate skin for several hours or up to 2 or 3 days. Stinging Nettle Tea Tea Made from Fresh Nettles Simply add a handful of fresh nettle leaves and stems to boiling water and steep for 3 -5 minutes. Stinging nettle hanging to dry. Modern medicine is studying the plant’s use as an arthritis treatment to reduce inflammation, but the primary parts utilized are the leaves. Nettles will begin popping up in early spring, and can be found all across North America. One of the first edible plants to sprout from the ground in spring is the stinging nettle. Stinging nettles are an herbaceous, fast growing plant with leaves as well as stems, which are covered with tiny, hollow silica tipped hairs and can grow to about 4 feet (1 m.) tall. This makes the most medicinal nettle tea I’ve ever used. Stinging nettle is called stinging nettle because it has needles which can poke your skin and cause a stinging sensation. In most cases, gloves are a good idea, as some contact with the leaves is likely to occur. To make medicine, place the roots in a Mason jar and cover with pure grain alcohol at a rate of 1 part root to 2 parts alcohol. The above ground portions of the plant are also a tasty forage food. Use approximately 1 cup of leaves to 2 cups water. How To Harvest & Use Stinging Nettle. You can consume the leaves fresh, but if you want to preserve the nettle plants to be consumed or used later, there are a few things that you can try. Stinging nettle is used orally … You will not pay any extra when you purchase products through these links, but I will receive a small commission. I DID see at least two people picking the leaves off the plants, using just bare hands, but I am not about to try it myself! Then squish the leaves into a ball, making sure to squish them thoroughly. The smaller the size, the better you can harness all the juices and benefits from the roots. Foraging for wild edibles is an adventure and harvesting stinging nettles is extra adventurous. I have read that milk thistle is good for milk production, but I hadn’t read that about stinging nettle. I have used this method to eat wads of four or six leaves, and haven’t felt a sting in my mouth yet. However you don't always have to wear gloves if you harvest them properly. Drying the root pieces and making them into tea is another method of harnessing the healing powers of stinging nettle. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! You will not pay any extra for these products. amzn_assoc_marketplace = "amazon";
The benefits of nettle root are unsubstantiated but may be useful in relieving symptoms associated with enlarged prostate. I was no stranger to the idea of eating weeds as a kid. I found it preposterous at the time that this irritating weed could be edible, much less a delicious wild green. Stinging nettle is a cold season perennial plant, meaning it is early to pop up in the spring. amzn_assoc_title = "Helpful foraging tools...";
So do I! (After the sting wears off). Learn how to identify, harvest, prepare, and eat this vitamin packed powerhouse! Bring water to a rapid boil in a tea kettle or a small saucepan. A distant mint relative, stinging nettles are equally invasive and need to be sternly managed . Preparation: Pour 1/4 liter hot water over about two heaping teaspoons of dried stinging nettle leaves. Then strain and drink. The root is said to assist sufferers of enlarged prostate by reducing the urge to urinate. The stalks become very fibrous and may be used for creating cordage as plants mature. In fact, stinging nettle attracts a variety of beneficial insects and butterfly species. Allow the tea to steep for about ten minutes. Harvesting Nettle. Lisa Lombardo is the author of The Beginner's Guide to Backyard Homesteading and she writes about gardening and homesteading for this website and The New Homesteader's Almanac. amzn_assoc_asins = "B071FRBJN8,B0050U240O,B011XEA15A,1615648895";
. (I have heard a couple of people say they eat in raw, but that just sounds like crazy talk to me.) The stingers (or needles) point down. After all, in my experience, this plant was the source of many a painful rash! It is best to harvest before it goes to flower. Nettle root is available at many natural food and holistic medicine stores. Don’t try to eat stinging nettle raw! (Another fine mesh I got myself into!). The easiest way to get the benefits of nettle is to steep the fresh leaves in hot water for an earthy hot tea. Clip or pinch off several sets of leaves from the top of the plant. Disclaimer: The contents of this article is for educational and gardening purposes only. Be cautious when harvesting nettle root, as the process will kill this valuable plant. I munched on dandelions, plantain, cattail shoots and roots, cowslips (marsh marigold), mushrooms from the horse pasture, and wild fruits and berries. It tastes okay, but I prefer adding a little bit of giant hyssop or mint with the nettle for a more sip and relax kind of tea. I was no stranger to the idea of eating weeds as a kid. Dig outside the foliage area and under the plant at least a foot to get the roots without damaging them. Sometimes I find nettles and I don’t have any gloves so I pick them with bare hands. . You’ll probably want to wear kitchen gloves or use tongs to handle. Before using ANY herb or plant for medicinal purposes, please consult a physician or a medical herbalist for advice. Cooking nettle in any way will disarm the sting. What is your favorite way to use them? Do you like getting dirt under your fingernails? The flavor is sweet and salty, with a pleasant, earthy taste. How can you harvest your own nettle leaf and make your own nettle leaf tea? Make an herbal tea by steeping leaves in hot, but not quite boiling, water until it is green. We typically loosely fill a 5-gallon bucket. In most cases, gloves are a good idea, as some contact with the leaves is likely to occur. Blanch for 1 minute in boiling water, chill, pack tightly into freezer bags and store in freezer for winter. Some of the videos showed how to grasp the leaves (gloved hands, for the most part). Shake the jar daily. You can be an urbanite and still take a walk on the wild side by hunting down edible wild foods! This page contains affiliate links. Young shoots and leaves are delicious edibles, Controlling Stinging Nettle: Getting Rid Of Stinging Nettle Weeds, Stinging Nettle Greens: Tips For Growing Nettle Greens In The Garden, Nettle Garden Fertilizer: Information On Making And Using Nettles As Fertilizer, Planting A Giving Garden: Food Bank Garden Ideas, Giving To Food Deserts – How To Donate To Food Deserts, December To-Do List – What To Do In December Gardens, Yellow Dock Herbal Uses: Tips On Growing Yellow Dock Plants, What Is Wood Chip Mulch – Information About Wood Chip Garden Mulch, Judd Viburnum Care – How To Grow A Judd Viburnum Plant, Growing Trees In Zone 5: Planting Trees In Zone 5 Gardens, Recipes From The Garden: Pressure Cooking Root Vegetables, Gratitude For The Garden – Being Grateful For Each Growing Season, 7 Reasons To Do Your Garden Shopping Locally, Thankful Beyond Words – What Represents Gratefulness In My Garden. Hi Val, One of my favorite recipes is this iced fennel and nettle tea from our sister site, Foodal. This website uses cookies so that we can provide you with the best user experience possible. Rub the leaves of dock to relieve the pain of nettle stings. Do you eat stinging nettles? (Sorry Gramma! Cooking stinging nettle gets rid of the stinging hairs. Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings. It grows rapidly and will reach its typical 3-5 foot height quite quickly. Boil the nettles. Collecting and eating wild plants carries a certain amount of risk and I cannot be held responsible if you don’t practice due diligence in identifying plants before eating them. Once you have your roots, thoroughly clean them in fresh water. Simply harvest a handful of leaves, cover with boiling water, and let steep for ten minutes or so. While the leaves are blanching, fill a large bowl with cold water and ice for an ice-water bath. Once it does (during the middle of summer), it develops gritty particles which can do damage to your urinary tract once ingested. You can find out more about which cookies we are using or switch them off in settings. amzn_assoc_linkid = "6a046523488496d95e684bdd6034ff01";
I like to prepare my nettles for tea by first drying them , then I pack a Mason jar to the top with dried leaves. I love nettle tea, and on occasion , I have cooked up the leaves in casseroles and such. Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) are one of more than 50 varieties of nettle plants worldwide. Young shoots and leaves are delicious edibles, and tea from the dried foliage is a traditional medicinal as well as plant fertilizer. If you are trying to harness the benefits of stinging nettle root, you are going to have to dig a bit.
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