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??