Health Benefits of Nettles

It’s no wonder that throughout temperate regions of the world nettles are valued for building vitality.  Stinging-nettle-patch

I like to find this plant on the numerous mountain hikes within a hours drive of Palo Alto.  A local herbalist, Darren Huckle taught me not to be afraid on the sting. Instead use it as a stimulate to the area of my body that needs a bit more healing circulation. And I have been sharing with friends on the hikes the same. I brush my slightly sore elbow up against the needle plant!

When appropriate I take scissors and a big bag and clip the nettles into the bag. Then take them home and steam them for about 2 minutes, before seasoning with a little flax seed oil and umeboshi vinegar. It is delicious as well as nutritious.

Stiff, bristly hairs protrude from the leaves and stems of nettles that can inject a stinging fluid into your skin causing temporary burning and irritation. This injection, which, like an ant’s bite, contains formic acid, increases circulation and provides external treatment for arthritic pain, gout, sciatica and neuralgia. Heat and drying destroy nettles’ sting. Nettles are a great tonic food that dispel toxins and have diuretic properties. They afford allergy relief, enrich the blood, and ameliorate high blood pressure.
Although nettles at first glance look similar to spearmint, they’re not related and are essentially the best known plant of their genus. This herbaceous perennial can reach waist high. Collect young shoots before they flower and set seed. Or dig a spadefuls of their shallow roots and transplant to a moist, but confined, area of your garden, as they can be invasive.
Source Rebecca Wood
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