We are in the middle of Be Nice to Nettles Awareness Week (15-26th June). Yes, such a thing exists, and quite rightly as nettles have many health and environmental benefits….
Stinging Nettles (Urtica dioica) is a plant we all know, I hope. They grow everywhere and they sting you if you are not cautious enough. However they are precious. Nettles are a great host for lady bird larvae, and once fully grown lady birds eat different pests in your garden looking after your crop. The seeds provide food for birds. Nettles contain a vast number of minerals (iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, potassium, selenium, silica) and vitamins (B vitamins, C, D, K and carotenoids) therefore watering your garden with “nettle tea” will feed the soil and help healthy crop and plants to grow. This is one of the trick of organic farming.
Nettles also have culinary and medicinal benefits. They are growing already and are fresh and light green colour, the perfect time to pick them (wearing gloves) and cook them by adding them to soups, risotto and omelettes, and you can brew a tea to make a refreshing, detoxing and energising drink as they are full of vitamins and minerals.
Due to its high iron content nettles are great to drink as tea or tincture or to take as capsules for iron deficiency anaemia therefore tiredness. Due to high vitamin and mineral content and diuretic properties it is useful for skin problems (acne, eczema and dry conditions) or as a general detox. Nettles are also anti-inflammatory and are helpful in arthritic conditions as well as hay fever. The root is beneficial in diagnosed BPH (Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia) because it improves urination, stops cell proliferation.
I hope you now view nettles differently and start using them either as foods and/or medicine.