Sunday, May 3, 2009

Stinging Nettles Anyone?

Yes, you heard me. Stinging Nettles - What do you know about them? Other than they can give you a serious prickly sensation after you come in contact with them. It is a multi-faceted plant when it comes to practical uses. Not only are stinging nettles edible but you can make beer, garden fertilizer, nutritional supplements, folk medication, shampoos,skin care products and using the fiber. Only most of us aren't aware of what it can do for us - we consider it an invasive menace. It has been used in Europe,Asia and Northern Africa for centuries. Last week I harvested some new spring leaves and cooked them up just like spinach. The instructions I found said to use the first growth of the spring. Plants are not to be more than a foot tall, using the leaves only from the top four inches. Unlike cooked spinach the leaves didn't become limp but had texture. Yes, the "sting" was removed.
Find out more about Urtica dioica here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stinging_nettle

7 comments:

SimplyOutdoors said...

That is interesting. And I would have never thought to cook them. Very interesting.

CDGardens said...

Simply Outdoors - I have been itching to try them for a while...didn't know how Hubby would react. He had eaten his portion before he knew exactly what they were. Added a tad bit of salt,butter and a smidge of apple cider vinegar. Now you can see why he didn't pick-up on the difference right away. ;)

Rick Kratzke said...

I have gotten the pricklies from this plant before but had no idea that you could actually eat them. Good information thanks.

CDGardens said...

Rick Kratzke - I know what you mean about getting the pricklies. Our environment around here is very friendly to the stinging nettle. Rather than avoid them I have learned to wade right through, except when they are apart of a bramble patch.

Truly,there are probably many useful properties of alot of plants we'd rather not get involved with.;)

The Hunter's Wife said...

I've never heard of them or seen them before.

CDGardens said...

The Hunter's Wife- You are fortunate to have never had an occasion where you had to make a choice to avoid contact, or make your way through. Those plants can reach 6 feet or more. I have to look up:)...

tipper said...

Wow! I've been stung by them-but had no clue you could eat them. Very interesting-can't wait to tell my husband.