As much as you may detest nettles they have long since had a use. The romans rubbed them on their skin to warm up, they were often used in the form of a pudding or porridge as a type of pick-me-up after a Winter, or a spring tonic in certain parts of Britain. Nettles were even woven into cloth in medieval times.
Personally, my relationship with them is a little love-hate, more hate actually. My childhood memories of nettles are of exploring through the fields, climbing up banks and then the inevitable search for a dock leaf to ameliorate the pain and raised itchy hives. Yes, definitely more kind of hate.
Nettles are high in Vitamin C which may make it a valuable source during these COVID-9 or Coronavirus times. Furthermore they have a decent amount of Vitamin A, Vitamin K, calcium, selenium, zinc, chromium and B Vitamins.
A yield of all of these vitamins and minerals can support may of the functions of the human body such as:
• Immune function
• Neurological function (Including memory)
• Healthy bones and tissues
• Increases energy
• Supports blood sugar regulation
• Lowers cholesterol
• Support blood vessels by increasing elasticity
• Improves digestion
• Anti-oxidant and anti-cancer
• Is even a galactogogue, which means it increase breast milk in feeding mothers.
Nettles can be used for many type of foods and drinks. Thankfully cooking them kills the sting! Lots of recipes can be found, including, nettle soup, nettle tea, cordials and can also be used as a replacement for spinach in most dishes. Creamed nettles are an interesting alternative. They can be used as an addition in many dishes such as pasta, risotto, made into energy balls, the list is literally endless.
The best thing about nettles is that they can be found abundant almost everywhere, (much to a gardeners annoyance) in the corners of fields, hedgerows, garden borders. Just make sure you wear gloves and protective clothing. Also, pick them well back of any pathways, no one wants any added ingredients left behind by a dog or two!
So with all of these benefits, I guess I better lose the hate and develop a little more love for the green, spikey stingy little plant. Afterall, I do have an abundant supply in the garden!