Stinging Nettle ~ Urtica Dioica

We are thick with Stinging nettles right now.  Any place on our property that has a bit of shade, has a patch of nettles growing nearby.  Nearly everyone I know has a nettle story that involves the prickly plant and stings somewhere unpleasant.  I have one or two of my own.  It’s generally not a big deal, and the stings go away within a day or so.

Not everyone is aware of this, but Nettle is edible and incredibly good for you.  So you can spend your weekends trying to rid of this little plant or you can use it to feed your family and help keep them well.

Some of the health benefits of Stinging Nettle include:

  • anti-allergy and hay fever
  • anti inflammatory
  • helps eczema
  • arthritis
  •  helps with respiratory aliments
  • helps with dandruff and makes hair shiny

The plan for today was to have a nettle recipe tried and reviewed for you, but sick kids and getting ready for Frank’s parents has taken priority so I’ll leave you with a few recipes.

Nettle Pesto

Stinging Nettle Soup

Nettle Aloo

Obviously you’ll want to wear gloves when picking and preparing your nettles.  The hairs on the plant is what causes the sting.  Once the plant has either been pulverized or cooked, the hairs are no long a problem.

Take care to avoid nettles if you are on blood thinners, beta blockers or a couple of other medications as it causes some interference.

The smallest and newest leaves are the most tasty.  The older ones are a bit tough.

I hope you take some time to eat your weeds this week.  I plan on making the pesto, and perhaps the soup.

Have you ever cooked with nettles?

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7 Comments on “Stinging Nettle ~ Urtica Dioica”

  1. Jenn says:

    When I was younger we lived in Kansas and these things grew EVERYWHERE. I remember going riding bareback in shorts and a tank top and coming back absolutely covered with nettle stings. They are absolutely horrible….but I never knew of that plant’s healing qualities.

  2. I’m also interested in making fiber out of it, I know it’s a wonderful fiber like flax but I wonder what it would take to make some rope out it?

    • You are right Frank. I want to try spinning it. I guess you have to rot it for a while in water and then beat it for a while.. then you spin it up.

      I’d be interested in trying it once. Probably only once, but it would be fun to make a little something out of Stinging Nettle.

  3. we always had a ton of nettles on our way to school and at the edges of the school’s property. so getting stung was a common occurrence while in elementary school. although i always knew they were healthy, the only thing i ever had was nettle tea. and i don’t remember the taste. i’m just thinking that it must’ve been alright since if it had been bad i’d definitely remember.

  4. Ana says:

    I didn’t even know these little things existed. They look beautiful though and your photos are amazing.

  5. i had my first experience with nettles this spring- we harvested just over 3 pounds of them! while they were fresh i put them in our eggs every morning and used the cooking water for my tea. we even made some homemade nettle pizza! then i dehydrated the rest for use throughout the year. definitely something i will do every spring now that i’ve been nettle enlightened :)


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