Subject: Uses for nettles?
Date: 15 May 95 16:18:07 AST
A tremendous amount of nettle is sprouting here on the ranch I moved to last winter. Can anyone tell me the uses of nettle?
This place is a botanical wonder. We'll be eating fiddleheads in another week, and I can't wait to see what kind of mushrooms occur here :>
thanks in advance,
From: Marylin.Kraker.BBS.C4Systm.COM (Marylin Kraker)
> Can anyone tell me the uses of nettle?
Stinging nettle makes the best hair rinse ever. Boil a bunch of it in water, cool, strain. Store in refrigerator or freezer. When you wash your hair, pour some on as a final rinse (don't rinse it off). Your hair will be really soft and conditioned without the greasy feeling of oily conditioners.
It will spoil if stored at room temp. I put some in a plastic bottle and take it in the bath to warm up before I pour it over my head.
They're also supposed to be good as cooked greens early in the spring. You have to cook them 2 or 3 times, pouring off the water and replacing it with fresh. (Actually, you should cook nettles like you cook spinach - no changes of water. If you have leftover cooking water, drink it, it's got loads of minerals. -Henriette.)
Be sure to wear long sleeves and gloves when handling them. The "stinging" in the name is no joke. After cooking, the sting is gone. (The sting is about as annoying as a mosquito bite, and will go away on its own after half an hour or so. Unless, of course, you pick nettles all day long for half a week, in which case, nettle juice will get through your leather gloves, and your hands will tingle (but not itch) all through the next week. -Henriette.)
I'm looking forward to the wild strawberries and black raspberries on our 10 acres in SE Michigan. And last summer someone pointed out shaggy manes, but they were just past their prime. I also use ramps (wild onions, more like chives), and the wild black cherries are sweet but small -- good for juice and jelly, but too hard to get the pits out for anything else. Same for the wild grapes. Still discovering other patches of wonderful stuff after being out here a couple of years.
From: oatstraw.twain.oit.umass.edu (ROBIN F HOWARD)
: They're also supposed to be good as cooked greens early in the spring. You have to cook them 2 or 3 times, pouring off the water and replacing it with fresh.
Nooooooo! Just steam them like you would any green...there's no bitterness at all, which is usually why you'd cook/drain/cook/drain.
: Be sure to wear long sleeves and gloves when handling them. The "stinging" in the name is no joke. After cooking, the sting is gone.
Although, if you're careful and gentle, you don't need gloves. I always collect them barehanded (because I don't even own gloves).
Of course, there's nettle tea, too. I love it (although I've heard its taste described as "like swampwater"), and it is an old pregnancy tea taken at least the last 3 months, to prevent/minimize postpartem hemorrhage.
From: moreta.prostar.com (Moreta)
what we used to do with nettles was harvest them. (wear gloves) either set up a steamer or boil a bit of water and add them to it. when they were done (looks like spinach thats been wilted) we just pulled it out, and added a bit of butter and salt and pepper. We have also added to a juice by putting it then carrots into the juicer and having at it.
From: sorenson.qns2.qns.com (Alissa Sorenson)
: Of course, there's nettle tea, too.
Also, nettle is supposed to be a scalp conditioner and help with hair growth if you boil the leaves to make a rinse. And just for fun... NETTLE BEER!
2 1/4 lb. young Nettles (tops only)
1 tsp. ground Ginger
1 gallon water
1 lb. light brown sugar
1 oz. cream of tartar
3/4 oz. fresh baker's yeast or 1 tsp. dried yeast (this is what the recipe calls for, but I use brewers yeast)
Bring the rinsed Nettle tops, the peel of the lemon and the ginger to boil in the water in a large pan. Simmer for 20 minutes, strain onto the sugar and cream of tartar in another large clean vessel. Stir and allow to cool. Add the lemon juice and yeast. Cover with linen tea towels and leave in a warm place for three days. Transfer to a cold place for a further two days. Strain and bottle. Store for about one week. (it is not a brew for long storage). - from the Encyclopedia of Herbs and Herbalism
From: dbrowndc.cts.com (David Brown)
Another use for stinging nettles...
The formic acid in the nettles can act as a challage for the adrenal glands to increase output of anti-inflammatory action. May be begun one month prior to the patient's allergy season and continued throughout the season.
In "the old days" arthritic joints were treated by whipping the joint with a branch of stinging nettles causing (as you might expect) welts to form. The result was to stimulate the adrenals and reduce swelling and pain in the joint. I don't recommend this to be done, but it's interesting herbal history. (Still used, along with things like beesting therapy and such. -Henriette.)