Updated: Apr 6, 2020
The allotment is still fast asleep so try to put off using those new garden shears Santa brought you for Christmas and have a look at what IS plentiful...outside growing in the hedge rows.
Foraging is my new favorite past time and today nettles are the choice of leaf perfect for our plates!
Yes I'm talking about the humble stinging nettles - also know as a general weed (that I'm forever pulling up!), devil’s claw, devil’s plaything, nettle, burn nettle, burn hazel and burn weed.
Foraging for nettles is more worthwhile than you may have thought, well, that is if you’re not snowed in!
The first shoots of young nettles early in the year are the very best to eat and are a great spinach substitute in curries, pasta sauces and as a vegetable side dish.
Where it all began...
Nettles have been used for thousands of years from food, to healing & even woven into fabric. It was eaten by people of many countries and some even knew it as ‘poor man’s spinach’.
They are seen as edible, even tasty, when cooked (once the stingers have been dealt with that was).
Folk lore worldwide attributes the powers of protection and fertility to this incredible plant. Wisdom handed down from ancient times includes advice on using nettles to protect one’s self from lightning, to enhance fertility particularly in men, to reduce the swelling of arthritic joints, to heal the sick and bestow courage on those who carry it as well as how to avoid being stung by nettles but is there any truth to this?
The power of nettle
Stinging nettle’s leaves and root provide a wide variety of nutrients, including: Vitamins, Minerals, Fats and Amino acids
It is said it could help with:
Helping to Treat Hay Fever
Lower Blood Pressure
Aid Blood Sugar Control
Reduced bleeding - Medicines containing stinging nettle extract.
Promote Liver health
Wound and burn healing