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Stingy and yummy

April 25, 2010

Press picture to see all posts in the herb serial

As part of the herb serial, I’m going to go through some of my own favorite herbs and flowers, and what they are good for. I shall start today with one of my absolute favorite herbs.

One of the most ignored and disliked herbs is the stinging nettle (Urtica dioica). And why, really? Sure, it might sting you a bit, but just consider all it’s benefits.

Nettles are filled with vitamins and minerals (vitamins A, C, D and iron, potassium, manganese, and calcium), contain about 40% protein and are rich in fiber. It is good for fatty, acne skin and provides shine and strength to hair. All you need to do is soak the nettles in a bit of warm water and the sting will go away.

Here’s a few uses of nettles:
AS FOOD Nettles in food is delicious, nutritious and free (if you pick them yourself). The Finnish style is to make nettle soup, but in general you can use nettles the same way as you would use spinach. How about a nettle cream pasta, or a nettle paneer? Just beware that the nettle taste is a bit stronger than spinach, so sometimes you might want to use a bit less. It depends on what you’re after.

AS TEA Nettle tea is yummy! And you get all the vitamins and stuff mentioned before – and taking nettles internally will strengthen your nails and give shine to your hair!

FOR HAIR Nettles give shine to your hair, and strengthens dark and brown hair colors. I add some to my henna mixture, to give my hair more of a copper

I use this nettle infusion as plant food.

tone than a totally red tone.
Mix the leftover tea with your shampoo, or do a rinse with a nettle infusion after having washed your hair.

FOR SKIN Nettles work great on especially greasy and pimply skin, soothes dry and irritated skin, and is also an astringent. Again, you can use the leftover tea as a toner.

AS PLANT FOOD I have recently started using nettles as a plant food, and it seems to work pretty well. Apparently it would be best to let the nettles ferment for months, but I just have an infusion that I have let stand for a little while. I use about one 1:9 of nettle infusion:water when watering my plants, and just fill up the bottle with some more nettles and more water as I go along.

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