Herbs Gone Wild! Ancient Remedies Turned Loose
Fortunately, individual plants will often be at different reproductive stages depending on their location, substrate, overstory, etc. So, look around and you can usually find some that are harvestable where others are not. The easy answer is to use scissors and wear long sleeves, long pants and work gloves. When looking at a stinging nettle, you can see little hairs on the stem and leaves.
Old-Time Home Remedies We Need to Bring Back | The Healthy
These hairs are hollow and when they get under your skin, the tips break off and allow the formic acid among other things under your skin. I do know that sometimes the lightest touch will get you stung and sometimes it takes effort to get stung. The key is that the hairs on the leaves all aim from the cleft or top of the leaf to the point or bottom of the leaf.
If you run your finger from cleft to point, you will not get stung and you will impress your friends. If you run your finger from the pointy end up toward the cleft and central stem, chances are excellent you will get stung.
No problem, you say, because you know the secret or you pull your sleeves down over your fingers. All you to do is cut the portion you need, hover your fingers above and below the leaf, then pinch it. Good job! Now you can place the nettle in your collecting bag and continue harvesting. If you choose to go this route, be extra careful. When you select your leaf and pinch it, look at the location of the nearby leaves before you pull it from the stem.
Beware the smaller upper leaves that dangle down and zap the top of your hand.
Saltwater for a sore throat
Stinging nettle is a plant that demands respect and I honor it. I harvest the tender tops usually leaves or leaf sets for food. There are a number of species of moth and butterfly larvae that feed on nettles. Check the terminal top bud for signs of an inhabitant before harvesting. It just takes a quick glance to notice that the tip has been chewed, is slightly blackened or there is frass waste material from plant-eating insects visible. If the nettles are very young then I only harvest the top bud and first leaf set. Harvesting the terminal top bud will stimulate lateral bud growth causing the plant to become more bushy and allowing you to harvest continually from the same plant.
For fiber, harvest the entire stem. Clip it near the ground.
I strip it where I harvest it and allow the leaves to remain, decompose and provide nutrients to the soil from whence they came. Then I run them under cold tap water to rinse away any dirt or debris and give them a last look before processing. Please do not put them directly into a salad or you and your guests will be in for an unpleasant surprise. I recommend handling them with gloves or tongs at this point, though you can choose to do it without. Freshly harvested nettle will store in a bag in the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator, unwashed, for at least days probably longer.
If you would like to dry your nettles for tea, there are many options. I put mine in a paper bag or cardboard box in front of my furnace and let the warm, blowing air do the job. You can tell they are ready to store in a glass jar when the stems snap. Make sure not to dry them to the point where they lose their green color and turn brown or black. You can also hang them to dry, use a dehydrator or be creative with your method.
Sometimes I like to freeze my nettles for use throughout the year. I toss them, raw, into my food processor and process until finely chopped. Then I put them into freezer-safe containers and store until I need them. The mechanical action of the food processor will break the hollow hairs so they are unable to sting you. Some people recommend blanching the nettles adding them to boiling water, plunging into ice water, then using. I prefer to store and use them raw because many of the nutrients I want to ingest are lost to the water and thrown out when blanching.
Experiment and you will find a way that works best for you and your family. Stinging nettle can substitute for spinach in any cooked recipe they lose their sting when cooked. You can add them to lasagna, make pasta with them, throw them in soups or stews, etc. Online recipes abound.
PROCESSING OF HO-SHOU-WU
To make the saute, melt a little butter, Smart Balance or heat your oil of choice in a skillet. Toss in your nettles I leave the stems on if tender, or I saute with tough stems and cut them off prior to serving , saute until crisp your first time , add salt and pepper to taste, then enjoy. Cooking the nettles will neutralize the sting, but the hairs are still visible. This can be rather alarming when eating them for the first few times.
Place the first 5 ingredients into your food processor and turn it on or pulse. Slowly add olive oil until it reaches your desired consistency. Serve with crackers, chopped vegetables or on pasta. Refrigerate any un-used portion. Also, I recommend consuming your pesto the day you make it. I find that the flavor becomes too powerful if it sits overnight.
You can substitute basil for a portion of the nettle but it will tend to overpower the flavor. This recipe is a Wolf College favorite! Getting stung is a bit of a bummer but not a very big deal. My brother swears that mud does the trick for him. My 1 go-to plant to stop the sting is Jewelweed. Simply crush a leaf, rub it on and the sting is eliminated. The internet boasts many medicinal uses for stinging nettle which may or may not be true.
I encourage you to do your research well by finding reputable and independent sources of information. Stinging nettles have the strongest natural plant fiber in this region Western Washington and are very easy to process into rope. Yes, you can eat a leaf raw, freshly harvested from the plant. It must be done in such a way as to break the hollow hairs or else they can sting you in the mouth. You can find videos online that show you how to do this.
Learn how to confidently identify plants using their unique family patterns in this in-depth video by author of Botany in a Day, Thomas Elpel! This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. We recommend that you consult with a qualified health care practitioner before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing or on any medications.
She has a B. Her passions include sharing her love of nature with others, wild edibles and herbal medicine, wilderness preparedness, bird identification and behavior and, of course, chickens! For training with Kim on wild edible and medicinal plant topics, check out:.
Some of the nettles in my area come early fall have gone to seed and their stalks have fallen over, only to have new growth shoots emerge from the woody stem. Is this new growth okay to harvest for food before it too starts to flower? Or since it is emerging from a nettle plant that has previously flowered should it be considered past the stage for eating? Hi Eric. We have not seen any study to test whether the harsh post-flowering compounds are still present in the new fall growth. We only use the spring growth for intensive or daily use.
So I was pulling weeds. This one felt like needles. Still hurts. Tried different stuff. Finally Grabbed some toothpaste. This helped abit. Took a Picture of this Stinging Nettle. A light brew of fennel, a pinch of ajwain carom seeds and vavding false black pepper , diluted with lukewarm water, is an old-fashioned remedy for colic. When they traveled, they even carried a little kettle and a bottle of seeds. Have ear pain caused by wax buildup?
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Try genda marigold leaves — crush them, remove the juice and add the drops directly into the ear. However, this remedy should not be used for other ear pain. Heat lightly till it starts to bubble, then cool it. Turmeric is often used as an antiseptic. Melt jaggery and turmeric to make a paste and apply on the affected area. Once it releases aroma, put it in a clean piece of muslin cloth or a handkerchief.