Hello and a warm welcome to all my new subscribers. Thanks for taking time out to subscribe to the Forager’s Folly family. This week I want to introduce you to “15 Reasons To Love Nettles”. I’ve also included an easy Nettle Beer recipe. Why don’t you give it a go? I promise you, it really is easy! Not subscribed yet? Then don’t worry you can subscribe here. Go on…you know you want to.
Of those three nettles, the stinging nettle is the only ‘real’ nettle in the bunch and is one of many subspecies of the Urtica family. However, the white, red/purple dead nettles aren’t nettles at all, but are in fact a member of the mint family. That said, they don’t taste of mint and their flavour’s similar to the common nettle (stinging nettle). Conversely, I find them slightly sweeter in taste.
They are, however, all herbaceous perennial flowering plants. And you’ll find them in fields, hedgerows, woodland edges and clearings. Moist waste grounds and gardens are also partial to them, along with roadsides! The obvious difference between them is one stings you and the other two don’t!
Stinging nettles have hollow hairs, called trichomes, on their leaves and stems. As a matter of fact, it’s these hairs that act like hypodermic needles. If you are unlucky enough to touch them, they’ll inject you with histamine and formic acid. It’s these chemicals that give you that nasty, burning sting.
Hands up if you have a story to tell about the evil pain of the stinging nettle? I don’t know about you, but over the years I seem to have become less vulnerable to their nasty sting, and it no longer bothers me.
“Why, look you, I am whipp’d and scourg’d with rods, nettled and stung with pismires (nettles), when I hear of this vile politician, Bolingbroke”.
15 Reasons To love Nettles…
- Did you know nettles can help prevent kidney stones? They do this by acting as a diuretic. Which means they increase urination and flush out the nasty materials responsible for kidney stones.
- Do you suffer from osteoarthritis/rheumatic arthritis? Well, there’s evidence to suggest that drinking nettle tea, or taking a herbal supplement, can reduce the pain and inflammation.
- Nettle tea can help relieve gout and fibromyalgia pain.
- They are high in iron and potassium and leave spinach trailing well behind in both these compounds!
- They’re also high in vitamin C, which helps with the absorption of iron. “Win-Win” I think?
- Do you suffer from prostate problems? If so, a nettle root tincture will help relieve some symptoms. Find out how this wild herb can help treat prostate problems here.
- Scientists are testing white dead nettle for its anti-tumour properties.
- Do you suffer from menstrual or menopause problems? If so, then nettles are a gift from Mother Nature just for you. Make yourself a yummy nettle omelette or a lovely cup of nettle tea. Sit back, relax, and let this miracle worker do its “thing…”
- You can use this wonderful herb to make cheese!
- Read this article to find out more on the positive effects that nettle pasta V’s normal egg pasta has on the digestion process.
- Roman soldiers used them to keep warm in the cold British climate by rubbing them on their bodies!
- ‘Dioica’ means two houses, the male and female flowers grow on separate plants.
- You’ll find 8 fantastic recipes right here.
- The fashion industry uses nettles to create a more sustainable clothing material!!
- Etsy has a plethora of nettle clothing, you’ll find superb choices and prices by clicking the link!
Nettle Beer Recipe
- Non aluminium pot
- 6x 750ml bottles (swing caps are best)
- 1 kg nettle tops
- 4 ltr water
- 1 lemon juiced
- 750 g of sugar
- 25 g of cream of tartar
- 1 sachet of yeast
- Wash nettles.
- Bring them to a hard boil in the 4ltrs water. Boil for 15 mins.
- Strain, add sugar, lemon juice and cream of tartar.
- Wait until tepid, then sprinkle yeast on top of the liquid.
- Cover with muslin or tea towel and leave for 24hrs.
- Remove any scum from top of liquid. Be careful to not disturb the sediment.
- Siphon into bottles.
- Secure caps tightly and leave for 7 days in a warm place. Place in fridge for a further 7 days, then it's ready to enjoy…
Special Precautions & Warnings:
Don’t consume any nettle products if you’re pregnant. Likewise, if you’re on any form of medication, consult with your doctor beforehand. And what ever you do, don’t use nettle products as a substitute for medication you may currently be taking.
Thank you for taking the time to read my post. I hope you have a pleasant week despite the current COVID 19 climate. And whatever you do, remember to take care and stay safe.
Lots of Love, Susan & Caber