Taking an inventory of herbs in my closet recently, I realized how much we use nettles . In fact, I have several jars of ½ full gallon of things pushed the way back. But one quart jar is in my closet tea because my husband drinks a cup of nettle infusion every morning. If you’ve ever touched the stuff that grows in the wild, you probably can not imagine eating it. However, nettle (Urtica dioica) is fairly healthy, and for some, delicious.
Nettles is rich in vitamins A and C; and minerals calcium, potassium, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus. In addition, a portion of a cup blanched nettles provide about 2.5 grams of protein, 6.5 grams of carbohydrates, and 6 grams of total dietary fiber.
Some people like to eat nettles and green. Blanching, steaming, or otherwise cook the grass eliminates the stinging chemicals plant. But first, some precautions should be taken when gathering this delicious herb that, well … bites.
A perennial that grows from 1-4 feet, nettle is covered with stiff hairs that produce the bite. The leaves are mostly oval or heart-shaped. His greenish flowers appear between June and September in long clusters. It is usually found in waste places with moist soil in most of North America and Europe.
Collection of nettles
Wear long pants and sleeves when entering any area that could host weed nettles. When picking the plant, protect your hands with thick gloves. Just cut supply new growth at the top of the plant and discard anything that looks chewing insects, brown, or otherwise unappetizing manner. While wearing gloves, tear sheets of any thickness, chewy-looking stems and wash thoroughly. Discard the water.
After washing, cooking vegetables like spinach was. Drain. Water can be saved and drunk as a tea, but you probably want to sweeten it or mix it with a mint or lemon. Nettles are perfectly ready to eat like this, or can be used in a variety of recipes as you would any other green. Just do not undercook them or still sting.
nettles are also used for medicinal purposes. According to James Dukes The green herbal pharmacy Manual , nettles contain natural antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, an extract of the roots is used as an effective diuretic.
The antihistamine and anti-inflammatory properties of nettles makes it ideal for seasonal allergies. constricted bronchial and nasal passages open. Freeze-dried nettles taking capsules is the treatment of choice for hay fever symptoms type. In addition, the anti-inflammatory action makes it a useful herb for arthritis, tendinitis, and bursitis. Due to the diuretic properties, herbalists recommend nettles for gout, bedwetting, and benign prostatic hyperplasia. In fact, studies have shown nettles to be as effective as finasteride (a medication prescribed for BPH). To treat prostate problems, herbalists recommend a tincture of nettles with saw palmetto. For urinary health, nettles are combined with dandelion and drink several cups a day.
As always, this information is not given to diagnose or treat. If you think you may have benign prostatic hyperplasia, see your doctor to rule out prostate cancer before trying any home remedy. Taking nettles in medicinal doses can also interfere with certain medications for blood pressure, fluid retention or blood clotting. And because it can affect hormone levels, pregnant women should not take nettles for medicinal purposes.
Duke, J. A. (2000). The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook. Rodale Books.
Gladstar, R. (2001). Family herbs. North Adams, Mass.: Storey Books.
US Department of Agriculture’s national database of nutrients
The University of Maryland Medical Center
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