Organic Emily

Medicinal Herb – Nettles

nettles nettles 2

Medicinal Herb Post #7 written June 6, 2018

Nettle – Urtica dioica, U. urens

Nettles are a wonderful herb when they aren’t stinging you with the little hairs on their stems and leaves containing formic acid, the same chemical found in bee stings and ant bites. Just wear gloves when harvesting and you’ll be fine. Once the plant is cooked, dried or smashed, the acid is destroyed and no sting occurs. Nettles are a perennial and grow wild all over Utah. They really likes water and dappled sunlight. You can just about always find it along the bank of a creek or river in the mountains. If you want to grow your own just mimic those conditions in a place where you’re not going to accidentally brush up against them. Pick the young green tops before they go to seed. They will keep growing for you just like basil.

Nettles have so many health benefits, the leaves are deeply nourishing and because they are nourishing they can help with anemia, exhaustion, and menstrual difficulties. It also has anti-histamine properties and supportive to the liver so it can help with skin issues, allergies/hay fever, and rheumatism (people still flog arthritic joints with fresh nettles to relieve pain, a practice they used in Rome hundreds of years ago). The roots have been known to support and protect the prostate gland, specifically in cases of hyperplasia. And the seeds have an excellent effect on chronically weak or damaged kidneys.

I love using it as a multi vitamin supplement along with yellow dock, alfalfa, burdock and dandelion. 1-2 tsp 2x a day.

It’s also fabulous for pregnancy and could be taken with raspberry leaf, spearmint, rose petals, lemon balm and milky oats tops.1-2 tsp 2x a day.

I just found a creamy potato nettle soup recipe I might try…
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion chopped
4 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 quarts veg or chicken broth
2-3 handfuls of fresh nettle leaves chopped(can be wilted)
Grated Parmesan cheese
Sea salt and pepper to taste.
Saute onions with the oil in a large Dutch oven pot. Add the potatoes and broth. Simmer until potatoes are soft. Add the nettles. Turn off heat and let the nettles steam for 15-20 minutes. Puree the soup in a blender or with an immersion blender. Add cheese and salt and pepper to taste.

Do you grow or use nettles? What for?

Emily Saddler

Emily is a Master Gardener, wife of a professional landscape contractor, Mom of 4 cute kids, Yoga instructor and very passionate advocate of organic home-grown food! Emily maintains a blog called “The Organic Suburban Farm Girl” where she shares gardening advice, delicious recipes made with fresh, organic ingredients and her escapades as the keeper of both backyard chickens and honeybees!

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