Monday, April 26, 2010

I've got stinging nettle

A few days ago i was surprised to find a young new scattering of wild stinging nettle growing near the lilac bush, amongst some other 'weeds'. It was already about a foot high. I've never had stinging nettle in my yard before. The next day I had the opportunity to ask my herb-wise friend Lauren about how to use and prepare nettle for both eating and making nettle tea. Nettle is supposed to be a very beneficial herb and tonic, also a highly nutritional green. I knew Lauren had been using nettle for years and loved it. Here is an informative Wikipedia page on stinging nettle and its uses.

Lauren gave me a lot of good information about how to use stinging nettle. Of course one must be very careful when coming into contact or harvesting nettle, for the tiny barbs are quite painful- I knew this from experience years ago! Once the nettle leaves and stems are steamed, cooked, or dried for tea, they completely lose their ability to sting.
I plan to try drying some nettle for use as a tea, and also hope eventually to have enough harvest of the tender plant tips to try cooking it like a Spring green, in the manner of spinach. Apparently the taste is delicious to some people and not to others. We shall see.
Unfortunately, before I had a chance to caution my husband about mowing the nettle down with the lawn mower, they were already mowed! However, being a weed I am sure they will grow up again in the same spot if allowed to, and I also found a few more undamaged shoots nearby that had escaped the mower. These I photographed...


  1. I've never seen stinging nettles in the US. I made the assumption they didn't grow there after and American friend in England walked into a clump not knowing the consequences of doing so. The trick is to grasp the stems and leaves firmly and not let the leaves brush the skin lightly. Mmm . . . so the stinging nettle was introduced to North America I have yet to see any; guess I'll have to visit the north-west.


  2. stinging nettle is one of my all time favorite greens to eat. i think it is very yummy i hope you will think so too. i wish i had some growing near my home i have even pondered buying seeds to grow it but i have a 2 year old son so it seems maybe better to wait a few or more years.