Do you like getting dirt under your fingernails? Blanch the leaves for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 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. 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. 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. I use it as a booster in my milking goat or sheep’s feed when in milk. One of the first edible plants to sprout from the ground in spring is the stinging nettle. 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. Boil the nettles. The plant itself has a pretty distinct shape and design. (Sorry Gramma! The optimum time to pick stinging nettle is just before blossoms develop in spring and early summer. It's Stinging Nettle season! Large leaves will fill up a bag or bucket fairly quickly. Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) are one of more than 50 varieties of nettle plants worldwide. I remember my Gram telling (little) me that stinging nettle was good to eat. I use heavy gloves and clippers, but for arthritis and joint pain, I shove the affected limb into the plants and take the sting. Stinging nettles are at their best in spring, before they reach 12″ tall. In most cases, gloves are a good idea, as some contact with the leaves is likely to occur. 2. Hi Lisa, I’m new to your site. Wear gloves and protective clothing, longs sleeves, pants, etc. Stinging nettle hanging to dry. There are also many uses for stinging nettle root that rely upon historical health knowledge. Modern medicine is studying the plant’s use as an arthritis treatment to reduce inflammation, but the primary parts utilized are the leaves. The nettle leaves are extremely high in nutrients and make a delicious tea. Nettle root is available at many natural food and holistic medicine stores. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Learn how to identify, harvest, prepare, and eat this vitamin packed powerhouse! Do you eat stinging nettles? Their flavor is wonderful! If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. If you would like to dry your nettles for tea, there are many options Don’t try to eat stinging nettle raw! Thank you for supporting The Self Sufficient HomeAcre! If harvesting wild stinging nettle you will find the antidote for nettle stings near by. Thanks for sharing this info. As with any medicine, consult with a professional healer to determine amounts to ingest and the perfect ratio. The above ground portions of the plant are also a tasty forage food. Drying the root pieces and making them into tea is another method of harnessing the healing powers of stinging nettle. By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist. Cook It – Steam, Sauté or Boil. The easiest way to get the benefits of nettle is to steep the fresh leaves in hot water for an earthy hot tea. Once it does (during the middle of summer), it develops gritty particles which can do damage to your urinary tract once ingested. Be cautious when harvesting nettle root, as the process will kill this valuable plant. Fast forward to this spring and you’ll find (big) me out in the weeds with my gloves on, harvesting stinging nettle to cook up with eggs or pasta, dehydrate for tea, or blanch and freeze for the winter. I enjoy eating it as a green too. If you are trying to harness the benefits of stinging nettle root, you are going to have to dig a bit. Dry nettles and use to make nutritious teas. Try stinging nettles in a wide range of recipes and stash some away for the winter. Young shoots and leaves are delicious edibles, Controlling Stinging Nettle: Getting Rid Of Stinging Nettle Weeds, Stinging Nettle Greens: Tips For Growing Nettle Greens In The Garden, Nettle Garden Fertilizer: Information On Making And Using Nettles As Fertilizer, Planting A Giving Garden: Food Bank Garden Ideas, Giving To Food Deserts – How To Donate To Food Deserts, December To-Do List – What To Do In December Gardens, Yellow Dock Herbal Uses: Tips On Growing Yellow Dock Plants, What Is Wood Chip Mulch – Information About Wood Chip Garden Mulch, Judd Viburnum Care – How To Grow A Judd Viburnum Plant, Growing Trees In Zone 5: Planting Trees In Zone 5 Gardens, Recipes From The Garden: Pressure Cooking Root Vegetables, Gratitude For The Garden – Being Grateful For Each Growing Season, 7 Reasons To Do Your Garden Shopping Locally, Thankful Beyond Words – What Represents Gratefulness In My Garden. This website uses cookies so that we can provide you with the best user experience possible. Nettle seed soup for a quick nutrition fix. I have heard of people doing this, but I haven’t tried it. 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. We are now registered with the Government of Canada to sell stinging nettle tea. Here in Manitoba, ideal picking time is mid May to June. Nettles are best harvested when knee high or smaller. I use dried stinging nettle for making tea. The stems make good tea. By drying the leaves, we are able to store the stinging nettle, which when steeped, makes a very flavourful green tea. The benefits of nettle root are unsubstantiated but may be useful in relieving symptoms associated with enlarged prostate. I munched on dandelions, plantain, cattail shoots and roots, cowslips (marsh marigold), mushrooms from the horse pasture, and wild fruits and berries. Apply a paste of baking soda and water. Thanks for your wonderful site. I have read that milk thistle is good for milk production, but I hadn’t read that about stinging nettle. Chop the roots into small pieces. Thanks for sharing! We harvest it and bag it. It’s delicious on … For more help with identification, check out this website. You can find out more about which cookies we are using or switch them off in settings. Stinging nettle is also used as a natural dye at any time during the growing season, and can be used to make cheese. I really enjoy the taste of nettle as a fresh spring green. I struggled to identify them for a couple years until I found a patch and confirmed that it was indeed a stinging nettle patch. 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. Lisa Lombardo is the author of The Beginner's Guide to Backyard Homesteading and she writes about gardening and homesteading for this website and The New Homesteader's Almanac. Someday you can tell your grand kids that those stinging weeds are edible…and they will think you are a little bit nutty. Some of the videos showed how to grasp the leaves (gloved hands, for the most part). Use stinging nettle as a substitute for spinach in any recipe where the greens are cooked. Leave a comment! Disclaimer: The contents of this article is for educational and gardening purposes only. Store in an airtight container in a dark place. Now that I have experience harvesting it, I know exactly what to look for (and you will too). How to Make Money and Save Money on Your Homestead. 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). The longer the steeping time, the more powerful the flavor will become. There are LOTS of nettles in the various parks I visit. Using a spider or slotted spoon, transfer the washed leaves to the pot. 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 … You can also let it cool in the refrigerator to make a healthy sweet ice tea. The effects decline over a short period but can be excruciating at first contact. The author lives outside of Chicago with her husband, son, 2 dogs, 1 cat, and a variety of poultry. This site earns income from advertising and affiliate sales. Make an herbal tea by steeping leaves in hot, but not quite boiling, water until it is green. Add a bit of lemon and honey, if desired. The stalks become very fibrous and may be used for creating cordage as plants mature. In most cases, gloves are a good idea, as some contact with the leaves is likely to occur. Drying removes the sting. This page contains affiliate links. 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. Preserving Nettle Plants. It comes as a tincture, capsule, tablet or even a tea. Stinging nettle is called stinging nettle because it has needles which can poke your skin and cause a stinging sensation. Clip or pinch off several sets of leaves from the top of the plant. Remove from heat and add in the nettle tea leaves using a tea strainer. We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our website. The stinging hairs on nettles grow angling down the stem. Spring through early summer is the best time to harvest the plant to make stinging nettle tea and infusions. I haven’t tried this and now my stinging nettle patch has been bulldozed for a new subdivision. The smaller the size, the better you can harness all the juices and benefits from the roots. I know you weren’t crazy now! Sign up for Honest-to-Goodness Homesteading Information and get my new eBook 'Secrets to a Weed & Pest Free Homestead' for FREE! Line a wicker basket with a towel. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again. The fermented stinging nettle tea recipe is very simple. Bring water to a rapid boil in a tea kettle or a small saucepan. Steps to Make Stinging Nettle Fertilizer Tea Collect nettle in a bucket. Me too! Nettle leaf tea is the most common way to consume nettles, and a favorite of many herbalists! 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. Blanch for 1 minute in boiling water, chill, pack tightly into freezer bags and store in freezer for winter. in many dishes. I was no stranger to the idea of eating weeds as a kid. I have used this method to eat wads of four or six leaves, and haven’t felt a sting in my mouth yet. The best way to harvest stinging nettles is by using sharp scissors or garden shears. . This site uses cookies from Google to deliver its services, to personalize ads and to analyze traffic. How To Harvest & Use Stinging Nettle. But instead I got what felt like a dose of pepper spray in my face. One of my favorite recipes is this iced fennel and nettle tea from our sister site, Foodal. Hi Val, Nettles will begin popping up in early spring, and can be found all across North America. 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. Lisa grew up on a farm and has continued learning about horticulture, animal husbandry, and home food preservation ever since. Around 200 to 400 beneficial insects flock to nettle plants, which is impressive. It is best to harvest before it goes to flower. amzn_assoc_tracking_id = "theselfsuffic-20";
Just began eating stinging nettles, raw (uncooked), after watching some Youtube videos. It was also applied externally to soothe hemorrhoids and other swollen skin tissues. Thanks so much for sharing your instructions, Michael! Alternatively, you can blanch and mash the roots before storing in the alcohol, but some of the benefits will be lost in the process. Cooking nettle in any way will disarm the sting. Thanks for the idea…Hopefully I can find some nettles this year to try this. The plants begin growing early in spring and may have a purplish tint to their leaves in cold weather, changing to a deep green as temperatures warm. Learn how your comment data is processed. Before using ANY herb or plant for medicinal purposes, please consult a physician or a medical herbalist for advice. After all, in my experience, this plant was the source of many a painful rash! It must be cooked or dehydrated before consuming. (After the sting wears off). I love nettle tea, and on occasion , I have cooked up the leaves in casseroles and such. The Beginner’s Guide to Backyard Homesteading. Mix with water Here are the ratios to follow: Fertilizer → 35 oz (1 kg) stinging nettles for 10 quarts (10 liters) water. I had to run off and stick my face in a bucket of water for relief. Allow the tea to steep for about ten minutes. If you don't want to get your kettle mucky, … Then strain and drink. This makes the most medicinal nettle tea I’ve ever used. How can you harvest your own nettle leaf and make your own nettle leaf tea? However, this plant is one of the most tasty forage plants available, in spite of its sting. 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. 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. I started this blog to share my adventures in homesteading and self-sufficiency. Sign up for my newsletter if you want to get posts like this in your inbox. Wear gloves to protect your hands from the stinging hairs or you will likely regret it! Use approximately 1 cup of leaves to 2 cups water. Harvest nettle leaves in the spring. Tear up the stinging nettles Place them in a basin or a bucket. 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 and affiliated sites. Stinging Nettle identification of this bountiful wild edible is quick and easy. Native Americans also used root decoctions for dysentery, to reduce bleeding, and to relieve asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory ailments. Drain and refrigerate or use immediately. Stinging nettle tea. Alternatively, some recommend sticking scotch tape to your skin and pulling it off to remove the hairs. Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings. Steep the leaves in hot water for 5 to 10 minutes. amzn_assoc_marketplace = "amazon";
But you can harvest the topmost leaves into the summer. Preparation: Pour 1/4 liter hot water over about two heaping teaspoons of dried stinging nettle leaves. I remember my Gram telling (little) me that stinging nettle was good to eat. Dry clean leaves in a single layer in food dehydrator until crispy, or hang in small bunches in a dry, room temperature spot until leaves are fully dehydrated. Absolutely avoid metal containers. 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. amzn_assoc_search_bar = "true";

Cover the container and store it in a cool, dark location. Shake your stinging nettle roots to knock off most of the dirt. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. After all, in my experience, this plant was the source of many a painful rash! Stems are bitter and fibrous unless the shoots are very young. I found it preposterous at the time that this irritating weed could be edible, much less a delicious wild green. In late summer their stalks can grow taller than me. Information about your use of this site is shared with Google. The flavor is sweet and salty, with a pleasant, earthy taste. Use plastic, wood, or eventually styrofoam. Shake the jar daily. In fact, stinging nettle attracts a variety of beneficial insects and butterfly species. I pick long stems with scissors and then use the scissors to cut off the leaves. She has earned an Associate of Applied Science in Horticulture and a Bachelor of Fine Arts. 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. How to Harvest Stinging Nettle Roots. Cooking stinging nettle gets rid of the stinging hairs. Bring a large pot of water to boil, and add a few pinches of salt. Urinary tract health. Wash the nettles with gloved hands to neutralize the sting and remove any bugs or dirt. One loose cup (240 mL) leaves is enough for two glasses of tea, although you can make it stronger or weaker. The upper layer is comprised of younger runners, which may be watery and narrow, and light yellow or whitish in color. Harvesting Nettle. They are mean little buggers) Boil Hot water (2-3 cups) Muddle or crush the leaves to help release oils during steeping. The root is said to assist sufferers of enlarged prostate by reducing the urge to urinate. Freshly harvested nettle will store in a bag in the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator, unwashed, for at least 2-3 days (probably longer). Sign up for our newsletter. Once you have your roots, thoroughly clean them in fresh water. amzn_assoc_ad_mode = "manual";
Nettle can be harvested three times a year – spring, mid-summer and again in the fall. They will have hair along the nodes, and this is … Pop the wad into your mouth, and chew it well before swallowing. Stinging nettle has an erect, squarish stem and serrated, simple, pointed, ovate leaves that are arranged in opposite pairs. You may use it in omelettes, soups and stews, cooked greens with a drizzle of apple cider vinegar, or mixed into pasta dishes. Stinging nettle is used orally … I was no stranger to the idea of eating weeds as a kid. Then squish the leaves into a ball, making sure to squish them thoroughly. Using pruning shears or scissors, clip off the leaves and dead stems that remain attached to the roots. The stalks and older leaves are fibrous and don’t cook up as tender. Hi Felicia, 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. When you’re ready for them, just pull them out, rinse if you wish and go for it! I have grown, harvested, and used stinging nettles for many years. Then I pour boiling water all the way to the rim of the jar and screw the lid on tight. It relieves inflation and decreases pain. 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! Typically when I harvest, I harvest mature nettle plants with large leaves. In approximately 8 weeks, the medicine of the roots will have leached out into the alcohol. A distant mint relative, stinging nettles are equally invasive and need to be sternly managed . Put the leaves in boiling water for 10–15 minutes, or until the water turns light green. Let it sit for 4-8 hours. The stingers (or needles) point down. Wash leaves as soon after harvest as you can manage. amzn_assoc_linkid = "6a046523488496d95e684bdd6034ff01";
Combat the sting of nettle leaf with another wild weed . Stinging Nettle Tea Tea Made from Fresh Nettles Simply add a handful of fresh nettle leaves and stems to boiling water and steep for 3 -5 minutes. I tried the tea and wasn’t a huge fan, but with some honey and lemon it was pretty good. Collecting and eating wild plants carries a certain amount of risk and I cannot be held responsible if you don’t practice due diligence in identifying plants before eating them. Stinging nettle is a cold season perennial plant, meaning it is early to pop up in the spring. Note: Any time you are foraging for wild edibles, be sure to consult a reliable guide for proper identification. You will not pay any extra for these products. 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. Rub the leaves of dock to relieve the pain of nettle stings. This can benefit … 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. In addition to this use, stinging nettle may also assist with muscle and joint pain abatement and to help with urinary tract infection symptoms. Stinging Nettle Identification and Harvest. But the idea of eating stinging nettle was maybe just a bit far fetched for me to wrap my adolescent brain around. Come harvest some Nettles with us! Cut the leaves away from the stem using scissors and place your harvest in a basket. Young shoots and leaves are delicious edibles, and tea from the dried foliage is a traditional medicinal as well as plant fertilizer. amzn_assoc_region = "US";
(I have heard a couple of people say they eat in raw, but that just sounds like crazy talk to me.) This site uses cookies to track your purchases through Amazon. You will not pay any extra when you purchase products through these links, but I will receive a small commission. If you are trying to harness the benefits of stinging nettle root, you are going to have to dig a bit. How to Harvest Nettle rhizomes are typically located about six inches deep underground, in two layers. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. By working from top to bottom, you’re working with the stingers instead of against them. Sometimes I find nettles and I don’t have any gloves so I pick them with bare hands. The leaves are pointed at the tips and serrated along the outer edges (like a serrated kitchen knife). Gather about one cup of fresh Stinging Nettle Leaves (cautiously!…with gloves and long sleeves, pants and close toed shoes. Casual contact with any above ground part of the plant can cause a dermatological incident that is painful and persistent. Sigh. You can be an urbanite and still take a walk on the wild side by hunting down edible wild foods! amzn_assoc_ad_type = "smart";
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However you don't always have to wear gloves if you harvest them properly. Nettle takes 80-90 days to mature when you grow it from seed. We typically loosely fill a 5-gallon bucket. Fill a sink with cool water and swish the roots through the water to remove any additional dirt. I collect and use Nettle for house hold use, dried I use it as a herb as well for drinking tea’s. Boil 1 cup of leaves in … Make sure there are plenty of other specimens nearby and you are not reducing the population significantly. Drinking it reminds me of sitting in a peaceful forest. So do I! 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. This portable allergy tonic is a staple in our household during peak allergy season. Dig outside the foliage area and under the plant at least a foot to get the roots without damaging them. Good to know! While the leaves are blanching, fill a large bowl with cold water and ice for an ice-water bath. You can easily make your own tea by drying the leaves and steeping them in water to harness the flavor and healthful benefits. I’m Lisa Lynn and this is The Self Sufficient HomeAcre. . Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! Glad to have you here! Then, use tongs to handle the nettles. Do you want to be more self-reliant? I found it preposterous at the time that this irritating weed could be edible, much less a delicious wild green. Hi Mark, Change the water several times and use a vegetable brush to help remove all the grime. amzn_assoc_asins = "B071FRBJN8,B0050U240O,B011XEA15A,1615648895";
. (Another fine mesh I got myself into!). In the Skagit Valley near sea level, where I live, nettles start to pop out of the ground between the end of February through the middle of April. 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 like to prepare my nettles for tea by first drying them , then I pack a Mason jar to the top with dried leaves. Nettle may help flush harmful bacteria from the urinary tract. Its proper habitat is in sunny places where there is rich, moist soil. ), For my next foraging project, I intend to create homemade stinging nettle rennet to make cheese. Nettle leaves can be dried or used fresh. It's preferable to harvest the leaves before the nettles go to seed. Yep, cheese! amzn_assoc_title = "Helpful foraging tools...";
It grows rapidly and will reach its typical 3-5 foot height quite quickly. If you are harvesting from your garden and do not have dock nearby, ice can relieve the pain as well. Add a little bit of honey and you have a really great tea with loads of health benefits. Foraging for wild edibles is an adventure and harvesting stinging nettles is extra adventurous. Simply harvest a handful of leaves, cover with boiling water, and let steep for ten minutes or so. For me, it’s the first real sign that spring is around the corner. You’ll probably want to wear kitchen gloves or use tongs to handle. If you want to learn homesteading skills, like raising chickens and preserving the harvest for winter, you’ve come to the right place. You have successfully joined our subscriber list. But first, you need to get a hold of the root without causing yourself considerable distress.

how to harvest stinging nettle for tea

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