Stinging Nettles (wild food and medicine)

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You might view your weeds a little differently if I told you that they contain ten times more nutrition, vitamins, and minerals than conventional greens, or that you might never have to buy spinach again, or that you can heal all sorts of things from cancer to hay fever with wild greens.  You might think twice about getting the weed killer out!  Those weeds, Friends, are food and medicine.

Yesterday when I arrived at my shop a beautiful box was waiting for me.  A gift beyond measure.  A new dress?  A cup of coffee?  Candies?  No, stinging nettles.  A whole box of discarded weeds.  She was only too happy to drop them off at my shop.  Gold, people, gold.

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Stinging nettles are used widely in Europe as a wild green.  Once they are cooked or dried the stingers are inactive.  In pasta or soup, they add a powerful supply of minerals and are a free source of greens.  If you don’t have any growing in the pasture you can go to Tagawa, or other garden store, and order a plant.  For $4 I have one growing on my third floor balcony.  A great supply of allergy medicine.  Yes, allergy medicine.  Nothing stops allergies faster than stinging nettles.

The other reason I have it in a pot is because it will spread like a runaway toddler.  It does have stingers, bitty fiberglass barbs that irritate the skin, so wear gloves when harvesting.  Dry a good part in a paper bag with holes in it for three weeks.  This will provide tea to stop allergies quickly and keep you in nettles over the winter.

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Fresh nettles can be eaten.  I use a sandwich bag or the like to protect my fingers as I cut up the greens.  Today they will join the beans that were cooking all night in the crock pot.  Beans, bacon, cream, onions, and nettles with homemade bread.  A delicious lunch, I must say.

And friends, don’t forget to eat curly dock, yellow dock, sunflower leaves, dandelions, lamb’s quarters, and purslane.  Delicious and healthy!

5 Comments Add yours

  1. I have eaten nettles and loved therm. They don’t grow near me unfortunately.

  2. I love weeds; the more weeds grow in my yard, the easier the job of collecting food for my rabbits becomes.

    1. Farmgirl says:

      Indeed! And you can save some for yourself too!

  3. nannygrannie says:

    I had no idea! So interesting. Thanks for the great post!

    1. Farmgirl says:

      You are certainly welcome. I am sure there are more edible plants I pass that I haven’t learned about yet!

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