Friday, May 14, 2010

Urtica dioica....... how your leaves caress my arms... my legs..

and ouch ouch........ the stinging starts..... the local cure??? Mr. Burdock!!! 

i'd actually planned this post awhile ago.. got busy, other things came up.. you know how it goes... then i read a great previous post from Moj Vrt on Stinging Nettles... my post idea wasn't for the tea/fertilizer but for the cure for the nasty stinging that comes from being in contact with them and other uses for Stinging Nettles..
i might add, not all of us are affected by them... my grandson can run through them, touch them, grab them and any other manner of abuse by them and not be affected... at all!!!  but me... noooooo thanks... it's an ouch... for many years i was unaware of the 'cure' for it, then one of my daughter's friends told me to scrunch up a Burdock leaf and rub it where the stinging was... guess what--- it works!!!   now i've discovered that the lowly (low growing ;)  ) Plaintain is also handy for the remedy... i once read  that for every not so nice plant there was a remedy plant growing nearby...Creator was kind, we just need to observe and pay attention to whats growing around us!!!   There are other great uses for Stinging Nettle too.... it's a great spring tonic plant.... i actually have fond memories as a child, eating steamed stinging nettles and drinking the broth.. it tastes much like beef broth... my parents and aunt and uncle were well grounded folks, we picked all manner of wilds.. but Auntie Nina and Uncle Jim were into herbs and wild greens... thanks to them, i've had a life long affair with wild edibles!! 
Ahem...back to the Stinging Nettle..i've seen recipes for it, such as stinging nettle quiche,  here is a link to some recipes via Mariquita Farms , you might want to peruse through their website... it's a goodie.. at least i think so!!!
Nettles can be made into clothing and rope, it's just an all round good plant to have 'handy' in quantity!!  
i know that dried nettle leaves are good fodder for poultry and other livestock but found another website Vitality Magazine  that had a few other uses... including wine...... hmmmmmmmmm nettle wine... would be good with beef i'll bet... and here is a link for a Dandelion and Nettle Beer  the ingredients also call for other wild goodies, like Burdock!! 
as for growing Nettles.. they absolutely LOVE manure... richer the soil the better... at one time our barn was utilized by horses, cows, chickens etc., and the 'wastage' has now been transferred to a very healthy crop of
Nettles... a whole field of it as a matter of fact....they are well loved by many different species of butterflies and moths, as you can see from this photo..

the Nettle has been revered by generations past and hopefully for future generations to come... mmmmbeer anyone??


Mrs. Mac said...

I'm not sure I've run into any stinging nettles .. will have to check to see if they grow in my area .. I imagine the pain similar to a jellyfish ;) Foraging is my next thing to conquer:) Thanks for the advice here about this loved/hated plant.

Roasted Garlicious said...

Mrs. Mac, Mr. H said that they had found some stinging nettles in their area, not sure if your close but i'm sure you probably have some somewhere... it's a pretty amazing plant... when we had chickens they used to love to hide in the nettles... no self respecting critter would dare venture into them!

Geno said...

We have been using stinging nettles for a couple years now, (my wife doing the actual foraging of them while I am at work) and after drying them we use for teas or throwing in soups and such. Hope to try new uses for them soon. Of course now that we are living in a new area we must search for them all over again.

It's me ...Mavis said...

Stinging nettles are NO FUN at all... we have a BUNCH of those little buggers around here!

Roasted Garlicious said...

no Mavis, they aren't.. but since knowing that your 'cheap' errr frugal ;) i'm sure you can use them to advantage :D

vrtlarica said...

We have a lot of nettle here. I use it as organic fertilizer for vegetables.

Roasted Garlicious said...

vrtlarica, yes i linked your great post on the fertilizer, thank you.... do you have Burdock or Plaintain growing there, or another type of plant that counteracts the stinging effect of the nettles?

vrtlarica said...

I haven’t noticed any Burdock nearby and we don’t have any Plantain here.
I don’t know any other plant that would have similar effect. If nettle stings me, I just hope that pain will go away soon.
I remember a TV show where people were intentionally stinging themselves with nettle – something to do with body circulation or something similar.

LynnS said...

Isn't it amazing how some of our "weeds" are actually quite beneficial to us mere mortals?! We have several nettles here and yep, it's one I pick and use.

I've not heard of using it to make beer though!

Thanks for stopping by my blog!

Roasted Garlicious said...

LynnS there are several varieties of nettle here too... i hadn't heard of stinging nettles being used for beer either.. and that is a very sad thing because it means we're losing our history.. apparently it was used before hops... i firmly believe every plant on earth is here for a reason, we've just not discovered (or forgotten) their uses..

Ruralrose said...

I love nettles too. The sting is enjoyable for me, it is supposed to help with arthritis. I had to plant seeds to have nettles here. While I do cuss at myself for bringing such a rampant grower to my yard, I love hunting down the new starts every spring. Nettle pesto this year. Great post you really know what you are talking about. I found a link you might like, you can put in the color and shape of flowers to get more pictures. Peace

Roasted Garlicious said...

Can'ts say as i've tried nettle stings for arthritis but perhaps i should.. some days!!
i just found a new patch of nettles in one of my compost piles.. i'm afraid i hacked it down and put it on top of a new pile of compost greens.. more nutrients in my soil the better!!
thanks for that link.. i love it!!!