. The plant itself has a pretty distinct shape and design. Wash leaves as soon after harvest as you can manage. Nettle leaf tea is the most common way to consume nettles, and a favorite of many herbalists! Then squish the leaves into a ball, making sure to squish them thoroughly. Cooking nettle in any way will disarm the sting. They are mean little buggers) Boil Hot water (2-3 cups) Muddle or crush the leaves to help release oils during steeping. If you don't want to get your kettle mucky, … We are now registered with the Government of Canada to sell stinging nettle tea. Bring a large pot of water to boil, and add a few pinches of salt. It grows rapidly and will reach its typical 3-5 foot height quite quickly. This page contains affiliate links. The flavor is sweet and salty, with a pleasant, earthy taste. Wear gloves and protective clothing, longs sleeves, pants, etc. For me, it’s the first real sign that spring is around the corner. To harvest stinging nettle, you can either pull it out by the roots (if you don’t want it to grow back this season) or use scissors/shears to trim it instead. Casual contact with any above ground part of the plant can cause a dermatological incident that is painful and persistent. The upper layer is comprised of younger runners, which may be watery and narrow, and light yellow or whitish in color. In most cases, gloves are a good idea, as some contact with the leaves is likely to occur. We typically loosely fill a 5-gallon bucket. A distant mint relative, stinging nettles are equally invasive and need to be sternly managed . Some tips and tricks on how to harvest stinging nettle roots without getting bitten by the stingers can help keep you safe as you collect this potentially troublesome, yet beneficial, plant. Drying removes the sting. Blanch for 1 minute in boiling water, chill, pack tightly into freezer bags and store in freezer for winter. I love nettle tea, and on occasion , I have cooked up the leaves in casseroles and such. She has earned an Associate of Applied Science in Horticulture and a Bachelor of Fine Arts. This site uses cookies from Google to deliver its services, to personalize ads and to analyze traffic. The stalks become very fibrous and may be used for creating cordage as plants mature. 2. Stinging Nettle Identification and Harvest. It's preferable to harvest the leaves before the nettles go to seed. If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. Fill a sink with cool water and swish the roots through the water to remove any additional dirt. Nettle leaves can be dried or used fresh. The stalks and older leaves are fibrous and don’t cook up as tender. Boil the nettles. It is best to harvest before it goes to flower. Note: Any time you are foraging for wild edibles, be sure to consult a reliable guide for proper identification. Cookie information is stored in your browser and performs functions such as recognising you when you return to our website and helping our team to understand which sections of the website you find most interesting and useful. I like to prepare my nettles for tea by first drying them , then I pack a Mason jar to the top with dried leaves. Me too! Steps to Make Stinging Nettle Fertilizer Tea Collect nettle in a bucket. By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist. Stinging nettles are at their best in spring, before they reach 12″ tall. Young shoots and leaves are delicious edibles, and tea from the dried foliage is a traditional medicinal as well as plant fertilizer. Sign up for our newsletter. Thank you for supporting The Self Sufficient HomeAcre! The above ground portions of the plant are also a tasty forage food. Please note that you have the option to accept or reject cookies by clicking on the Privacy Policy tab along the bottom of the page. Do you eat stinging nettles? I was no stranger to the idea of eating weeds as a kid. Thanks for sharing this info. Foraging for wild edibles is an adventure and harvesting stinging nettles is extra adventurous. In fact, stinging nettle attracts a variety of beneficial insects and butterfly species. This website uses cookies so that we can provide you with the best user experience possible. Nettle can be harvested three times a year – spring, mid-summer and again in the fall. Then strain and drink. Lisa grew up on a farm and has continued learning about horticulture, animal husbandry, and home food preservation ever since. amzn_assoc_asins = "B071FRBJN8,B0050U240O,B011XEA15A,1615648895";
. Disclaimer: The contents of this article is for educational and gardening purposes only. Mix with water Here are the ratios to follow: Fertilizer → 35 oz (1 kg) stinging nettles for 10 quarts (10 liters) water. Animal studies show that stinging nettle can help lower blood sugar and blood pressure, but more research is needed to determine if the same effects occur in humans. Information about your use of this site is shared with Google. Pop the wad into your mouth, and chew it well before swallowing. Then, use tongs to handle the nettles. I’ve returned to my roots with a more open mindset about trying wild edibles that might seem a bit odd or out of the ordinary. Come harvest some Nettles with us! (I have heard a couple of people say they eat in raw, but that just sounds like crazy talk to me.) Do you like getting dirt under your fingernails? If harvesting wild stinging nettle you will find the antidote for nettle stings near by. Nettle root is available at many natural food and holistic medicine stores. Native Americans also used root decoctions for dysentery, to reduce bleeding, and to relieve asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory ailments. Line a wicker basket with a towel. Sometimes I find nettles and I don’t have any gloves so I pick them with bare hands. I know you weren’t crazy now! Harvest nettle leaves in the spring. The longer the steeping time, the more powerful the flavor will become. You will not pay any extra for these products. The optimum time to pick stinging nettle is just before blossoms develop in spring and early summer. To make medicine, place the roots in a Mason jar and cover with pure grain alcohol at a rate of 1 part root to 2 parts alcohol. I had to run off and stick my face in a bucket of water for relief. I use it as a booster in my milking goat or sheep’s feed when in milk. For more help with identification, check out this website. Steep the leaves in hot water for 5 to 10 minutes. Thanks so much for sharing your instructions, Michael! Stinging nettle is also used as a natural dye at any time during the growing season, and can be used to make cheese. I pick long stems with scissors and then use the scissors to cut off the leaves. in many dishes. The nettle leaves are extremely high in nutrients and make a delicious tea. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! Urinary tract health. When you’re ready for them, just pull them out, rinse if you wish and go for it! Looking to harvest the mint for tea, I plucked a handful of leaves from the closest plant and put it to my nose to get a deep whiff of the lovely mint smell. One loose cup (240 mL) leaves is enough for two glasses of tea, although you can make it stronger or weaker. What is your favorite way to use them? Harvesting nettle root requires finesses and caution, as the stems and leaves are covered with fine hairs that deliver a histamine jab, resulting in a painful rash and sometimes blisters. Apply a paste of baking soda and water. Boil 1 cup of leaves in … This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again. Sign up for my newsletter if you want to get posts like this in your inbox. As with any medicine, consult with a professional healer to determine amounts to ingest and the perfect ratio. I have read that milk thistle is good for milk production, but I hadn’t read that about stinging nettle. One of the first edible plants to sprout from the ground in spring is the stinging nettle. (After the sting wears off). amzn_assoc_title = "Helpful foraging tools...";
If you have ever been hiking in North America near streams, lakes and other areas with rich soil, you might have encountered stinging nettle and it isn’t a meeting you are likely to forget. One man said that he occasionally felt a mild sting on his tongue for a short time (less than 30 seconds, as the enzymes in saliva neutralize the formic acid in the leaves). I really enjoy the taste of nettle as a fresh spring green. I was no stranger to the idea of eating weeds as a kid. You can consume the leaves fresh, but if you want to preserve the nettle plants to be consumed or used later, there are a few things that you can try. Cooking stinging nettle gets rid of the stinging hairs. Drain and refrigerate or use immediately. Nettle takes 80-90 days to mature when you grow it from seed. Dig outside the foliage area and under the plant at least a foot to get the roots without damaging them. This portable allergy tonic is a staple in our household during peak allergy season. You can be an urbanite and still take a walk on the wild side by hunting down edible wild foods! Make an herbal tea by steeping leaves in hot, but not quite boiling, water until it is green. Chop the roots into small pieces. Remove from heat and add in the nettle tea leaves using a tea strainer. Be cautious when harvesting nettle root, as the process will kill this valuable plant. I DID see at least two people picking the leaves off the plants, using just bare hands, but I am not about to try it myself! This Site Uses Cookies… The Self Sufficient HomeAcre is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Its proper habitat is in sunny places where there is rich, moist soil. This stinging nettle tea may knock out your seasonal allergies or may just keep you healthy (with a brewing “pro tip”) ... How to harvest stinging nettle without getting completely eaten alive. You can remove the leaves before digging up the roots, save them and use them in a stir fry or dry them for tea. You have successfully joined our subscriber list. Nettle may help flush harmful bacteria from the urinary tract. I did, however, manage to get some stings on the back of my hands, when the undersides of adjacent leaves poked into the fine mesh on the backs of the gardening gloves I used. So if you grab … One of my favorite recipes is this iced fennel and nettle tea from our sister site, Foodal. Stinging nettles are an herbaceous, fast growing plant with leaves as well as stems, which are covered with tiny, hollow silica tipped hairs and can grow to about 4 feet (1 m.) tall. Learn how to identify, harvest, prepare, and eat this vitamin packed powerhouse! While the leaves are blanching, fill a large bowl with cold water and ice for an ice-water bath. How to Harvest Nettle rhizomes are typically located about six inches deep underground, in two layers. Preparation: Pour 1/4 liter hot water over about two heaping teaspoons of dried stinging nettle leaves. The best way to harvest stinging nettles is by using sharp scissors or garden shears. Learn how your comment data is processed. It relieves inflation and decreases pain. ), For my next foraging project, I intend to create homemade stinging nettle rennet to make cheese. How To Harvest & Use Stinging Nettle. Cut the leaves away from the stem using scissors and place your harvest in a basket. Glad to have you here! Stinging Nettle identification of this bountiful wild edible is quick and easy. I tried the tea and wasn’t a huge fan, but with some honey and lemon it was pretty good. In approximately 8 weeks, the medicine of the roots will have leached out into the alcohol. I’m Lisa Lynn and this is The Self Sufficient HomeAcre. In most cases, gloves are a good idea, as some contact with the leaves is likely to occur. Some of the videos showed how to grasp the leaves (gloved hands, for the most part). The root is said to assist sufferers of enlarged prostate by reducing the urge to urinate. The stems make good tea. Thanks for your wonderful site. How to Harvest Stinging Nettle Roots. It must be cooked or dehydrated before consuming. The benefits of nettle root are unsubstantiated but may be useful in relieving symptoms associated with enlarged prostate. Rub the leaves of dock to relieve the pain of nettle stings. Stems are bitter and fibrous unless the shoots are very young. Once it does (during the middle of summer), it develops gritty particles which can do damage to your urinary tract once ingested. Simply harvest a handful of leaves, cover with boiling water, and let steep for ten minutes or so. There are also many uses for stinging nettle root that rely upon historical health knowledge. Before using ANY herb or plant for medicinal purposes, please consult a physician or a medical herbalist for advice. The stem and underside of leaves are covered in small hairs that deliver a sting loaded with formic acid that can irritate skin for several hours or up to 2 or 3 days. Drying the root pieces and making them into tea is another method of harnessing the healing powers of stinging nettle. But instead I got what felt like a dose of pepper spray in my face. Large leaves will fill up a bag or bucket fairly quickly. You can find out more about which cookies we are using or switch them off in settings. In late summer their stalks can grow taller than me. By drying the leaves, we are able to store the stinging nettle, which when steeped, makes a very flavourful green tea. Sigh. The Beginner’s Guide to Backyard Homesteading. The stinging hairs on nettles grow angling down the stem. The stingers (or needles) point down. I enjoy eating it as a green too. Change the water several times and use a vegetable brush to help remove all the grime. Leave a comment! Typically when I harvest, I harvest mature nettle plants with large leaves. Stinging nettle may also affect the sneezing and itching of hay fever, perhaps because the herb can reduce the amount of histamine the body releases from mast cells in response to an allergen. After all, in my experience, this plant was the source of many a painful rash! amzn_assoc_marketplace = "amazon";
Hi Felicia, This makes the most medicinal nettle tea I’ve ever used. But the idea of eating stinging nettle was maybe just a bit far fetched for me to wrap my adolescent brain around. It tastes okay, but I prefer adding a little bit of giant hyssop or mint with the nettle for a more sip and relax kind of tea. Thanks for sharing! But you can harvest the topmost leaves into the summer. We harvest it and bag it. Stinging nettle is called stinging nettle because it has needles which can poke your skin and cause a stinging sensation. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. Shake your stinging nettle roots to knock off most of the dirt. 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Using pruning shears or scissors, clip off the leaves and dead stems that remain attached to the roots. Good to know! However, this plant is one of the most tasty forage plants available, in spite of its sting. I struggled to identify them for a couple years until I found a patch and confirmed that it was indeed a stinging nettle patch. You may use it in omelettes, soups and stews, cooked greens with a drizzle of apple cider vinegar, or mixed into pasta dishes. Modern medicine is studying the plant’s use as an arthritis treatment to reduce inflammation, but the primary parts utilized are the leaves. It’s delicious on … How to Make Money and Save Money on Your Homestead. I munched on dandelions, plantain, cattail shoots and roots, cowslips (marsh marigold), mushrooms from the horse pasture, and wild fruits and berries. Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) are one of more than 50 varieties of nettle plants worldwide. Someday you can tell your grand kids that those stinging weeds are edible…and they will think you are a little bit nutty. Just began eating stinging nettles, raw (uncooked), after watching some Youtube videos. If you want to learn homesteading skills, like raising chickens and preserving the harvest for winter, you’ve come to the right place. Clip or pinch off several sets of leaves from the top of the plant. It comes as a tincture, capsule, tablet or even a tea. I collect and use Nettle for house hold use, dried I use it as a herb as well for drinking tea’s. It can also be turned into powder to add to smoothies, soups, desserts or other dishes where a nutrient rich dark green look is desirable. Absolutely avoid metal containers. (Another fine mesh I got myself into!). This can benefit … Nettles will begin popping up in early spring, and can be found all across North America. Spring through early summer is the best time to harvest the plant to make stinging nettle tea and infusions. In addition to this use, stinging nettle may also assist with muscle and joint pain abatement and to help with urinary tract infection symptoms. I have heard of people doing this, but I haven’t tried it. Bring water to a rapid boil in a tea kettle or a small saucepan. Don’t try to eat stinging nettle raw! You will not pay any extra when you purchase products through these links, but I will receive a small commission. It's Stinging Nettle season! Try stinging nettles in a wide range of recipes and stash some away for the winter. The leaves are pointed at the tips and serrated along the outer edges (like a serrated kitchen knife). They will have hair along the nodes, and this is … Here are a few things you can do to treat it the sting: Wash the area with soap and water to remove the nettle hairs. If you would like to dry your nettles for tea, there are many options Add a bit of lemon and honey, if desired. Harvesting Nettle. Stinging nettle has an erect, squarish stem and serrated, simple, pointed, ovate leaves that are arranged in opposite pairs. Alternatively, you can blanch and mash the roots before storing in the alcohol, but some of the benefits will be lost in the process. Their flavor is wonderful! If you are trying to harness the benefits of stinging nettle root, you are going to have to dig a bit. It was also applied externally to soothe hemorrhoids and other swollen skin tissues. Here in Manitoba, ideal picking time is mid May to June. Now that I have experience harvesting it, I know exactly what to look for (and you will too). I have grown, harvested, and used stinging nettles for many years. Alternatively, some recommend sticking scotch tape to your skin and pulling it off to remove the hairs. amzn_assoc_ad_mode = "manual";
Preserving Nettle Plants. However you don't always have to wear gloves if you harvest them properly.