This week we welcome a look at the nettle – hugely overlooked, and a very useful plant! Find more ideas and recipes on the Herbal Homestead blog.
Now is the time to get out there and harvest stinging nettle (Urtica dioica). A paper bag will do, get the gloves on… although if you approach it with enough respectful confidence – gripping the stem tightly to squish the hollow stinging needles – you may just manage without if you don’t mind tingly fingers for a while!
The leaf undersides are ‘stinger free’- so you can fold a new leaf over from the back, roll up its length and squish (again destroying the stinging cells) to make an instant sushi-like nibble (appearance-wise!)- a fun one for kids and adults alike.
Be sure to forage plants that look vibrant and that are from several patches, avoiding polluted or contaminated areas and taking only what you need. Know your ID; stinging nettles have a serrated edge and its leaves are often heart shaped, but the key for me are those glass-like, little needles that seem to come from little dimples on the centre of each leaf, protruding up its stem too you will find more stingers and sometimes the stems have a purplish hue.
Here I have attached a couple of documents all about the nettle so you can further explore this overlooked plant and their uses and properties. They also include an easy soup and pesto recipe – something I’ll be making on the go with a foraging group this week (with my new pull-cord blender) – great little things btw, I’m so easily pleased 😀
I hope you enjoy and learn new things about nettles – this often overlooked and underappreciated, multipurpose plant!
The views expressed in our blog are those of the author and not necessarily lowimpact.org's
1Mike Eaton November 2nd, 2022
Ah the humble nettle! What an Exquisite Creature is the humble nettle! A simple beast that grows virtually anywhere in these islands [the British Isles] as well as many other places around the world. Often only known about as the “stinging nettle” that frightens off the average so called civilised city dweller these days [due of course to it’s defence system of lots of little needle like points that give off a sharp stinging feel yet is possible one of the better known members of the wild natural world that is a good friend of mankind – I’d go so far as to say one of mankinds BEST friends.
It’s uses are many from food and drink down [or is it “UP”?] to cloth of a high standard that has often been used throughout history to cloth the poorer of society yet is worthy of being used and worn by the so called higher members as well! There are many and various Facebook Pages covering our little friend from Nettles for Textiles through Medicinal and Food [including the ubiquitous Nettle Tea of course – who has not heard of Nettle Tea at least? Often with a shudder – even a lowly plant can get hit by bad press!]
Thank you to Lowimpact.org for bringing the nettle to everyones attention – especially in times of want as now – get it whilst you may and use as a supplement to your lifestyle . . . . . a FREE supplement at the moment as well!
2Rebecca Stacey November 3rd, 2022
LOVE this comment!!!
3Mike Eaton November 6th, 2022
why thank you Rebecca!!! x x