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Thread: stinging nettle?

  1. #21
    Senior Member Ted's Avatar
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    Oneraindog, EXCELLENT POST! Threw you some rep for that one Bro!
    I'm a simple man, of simple means, turned my back on the machines, to follow my dreams.


  2. #22
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Yeah, I have to concur. One of the best write ups I've seen in a long while.

  3. #23
    Senior Member r0ckhamm3r's Avatar
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    I have eaten stinging nettles a number of times.

    In Missouri, they tend to grow in river or creek valleys, with lots of shade.

    Harvesting: Gloves are a must when harvesting. I have tried the top down, stripping method, but I still get stung. When you get stung (and you will get stung without gloves) look for jewelweed, it makes a good remedy and usually grows in similar habitats. Smaller leaves are much more tender.

    Cooking: Boiling is a must. My personal favorite is boiling them with some chicken stock. Very tasty, kind of like a mild flavored spinach.

    Cordage: I have not tried this yet, it is on my list for this spring.
    Last edited by r0ckhamm3r; 01-19-2011 at 04:30 PM.

  4. #24

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    I know that this thread is old but it is about my favorite wild friend, sister spinster I call her! A must plant to know in any survival situation and homestead. I use nettle daily in my infusions (strongs teas brewed of dried leaves in boiling water for 6 hours) hair wash, to fertlize plants and clean the kitchen and stable. I have to disagree with the poster on the previous page, we USE nettle leaves and stalks to treat Kidney/Bladder stones, UTI and slew of other things. The dried leaves we drink daily (as some may drink coke or coffee) She is rich in minerals, vitamins, amino acids, protien building blocks and is absorbed by soft tissues and working fluids (blood, lymph and neuotransmitters, hormones) In a survival "stress" situation she will keep you energized, circulatory system moving, immune system, endocrine, nervous and urinary system going.

    Anyway, I could go on and on about this plant but my advice is, learn everything you can about it. In any survival situation I would look for nettle first (grows in deep, mulch , wet areas by streams. Places you can smell damp earth. She'll sting the hell out of you, make you numb.) burdock and dandelion next then chickweed, plantain and mugwort and of course pine needles. Those plant, leaves, stems and roots will keep you going, and feeling good for a very long time.

    Also, it works well to strip and weave the mature stalks (mid to late august) to make fishing nets, I did this once and taught it to kids at camp, what a pain in the butt! Only do it for fun! There have to be better ways to make a net in a survival situation. LOL Women used to make tablecloths and linens out of weaving fine nettle threads.

    @rock- Jewelweed always grows along with the nasty stinging plants, huh? Nettle and poison ivy. Natures way of taking care of us. haha
    Last edited by themoondancer811; 01-21-2011 at 03:16 AM.

  5. #25

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    When I was a child in East Texas, after they (bull nettles, as we called them) went to seed, we would carefully remove the seeds from the pod, remove the white and eat them. They were very good!

  6. #26
    Senior Member r0ckhamm3r's Avatar
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    Hey Moondancer, thanks for the information. I am a bit weak on the medicinal aspects of most plants and I found your post very informative.

    I agree with your suggestions about the plants to look for in a survival situation, but I would also add cattail. It has multiple uses at different times of the year. Of course the plants to look for vary wildly depending on the area you are in.

    Question:

    themoondancer811 wrote: I have to disagree with the poster on the previous page
    What part did you disagree with?
    Last edited by r0ckhamm3r; 01-21-2011 at 06:16 PM.

  7. #27

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    Well upon reading this My curiosity was piqued. So I went in search of more info. One site says to use with care if you are taking certain medications. This site seems to be mainly about the Medicinal aspects,including Drug interaction with medicines you may be taking........
    http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/s...tle-000275.htm

    This site is the USDA's and may help in locating it in your state........
    http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=URDI

    Can't say I have seen it in my area, but I have encountered it when I was in Germany. Hated it then. LOL now I know some more about it.
    Because a survival situation carries an aura of timelessness, a survivor cannot allow himself to be overcome by it's duration or quality. A survivor accepts the situation as it is and improves it from that standpoint. Prologue from Outdoor Survival Skills by Larry Dean Olsen

  8. #28
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    Hey, easttxcountry, we sure would like to seed an Introduction. Here's a template you can use. You can carefully remove the parts you don't want to answer. No bull (nettles)!

    http://www.wilderness-survival.net/f...r-Introduction

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by r0ckhamm3r View Post
    Hey Moondancer, thanks for the information. I am a bit weak on the medicinal aspects of most plants and I found your post very informative.

    I agree about with your suggestions about the plants to look for in a survival situation, but I would also add cattail. It has multiple uses at different times of the year. Of course the plants to look for vary wildly depending on the area you are in.

    Question:



    What part did you disagree with?
    Hi Rock! Yes, cattails are handy and easy to find too. Good to make absorbant bandages as well.
    Oh well, on the previous page someone said this-
    Quote "another word on consumption: because they are so high in mineral content you may want to avoid them if you have kidney stones"

    I disagree with this because you can treat kidney stones wonderfully with nettle, but only the ROOT. (correcting myself, above said leaves and stalks. 3 am when I was writing last night!) The root is a tonic (diuretic) and astringent (antidiarrheal) In a survival situation you would make tincture out of fresh root, otherwise dry it for longer storage.

    I am sure a google search will go in depth. Sometimes that just makes it more complicated though. Too much junk info, over-complicates the simple. This is why I hate the internet, there's no soul in the info.
    This is a plant that my grandparents, parents and I use to treat my own family. Along with burdock, dandelion and oatstraw the wild plants I use on a regular basis. Dried in winter, fresh in spring summer.
    Last edited by themoondancer811; 01-21-2011 at 05:49 PM. Reason: spelling

  10. #30
    naturalist primitive your_comforting_company's Avatar
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    Spurge nettle is a similar plant with stinging hairs. Do you know of any uses of it other than to stimulate healing? An old person said that they used it (or one of their parents) to treat arthritis by whipping their hands with it. Of course, they didn't use the latin name Cnidosculum stimulosus so they could have been talking about one of several plants that stings.
    Just wanted to clarify what they said.

    I believe I read that spurge nettle stingers contain formic acid, the same thing in ant stings?

  11. #31
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    I also wanted to ask you how you harvest dandelion roots since its such a long tap root. I generally insert a shovel straight down beside the plant, push the shovel over to open a rift beside the plant, remove the shovel and gently pull up on the plant. I can generally recover 80-90% of the root. If it's a smaller plant I usually get all of it. I collected quite a bit last summer (what a tedious job) and roasted some it for coffee.

  12. #32

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    Hi! As far as I know there is no medical or edible purpous for finger rot (spurge nettle) I hate calling it a nettle since it is not even in the same family as stinging nettle. I am 99% certain that this person was confused and meant stinging nettle rather than finger rot. Urtication was very, very common in that generation. People still do it to treat a whole bunch of things (all of which I don't know off the top of my head) Personally have used it to treat arthritis in two of my fingers and occassionally for headaches (flog the toe) I can't say it's my first choice for headaches but maybe a masochist would enjoy it! Works great for arthritis, 3 springs of it does the trick.

    Try it if you ever come across it. It's not pleasant but if you pay attention to your bodies reaction you learn a lot about the plant. Although you'll wonder why anyone would do it on purpose!

    I honestly don't know if it has formic acid but it has a similar feeling to an ant sting so you most likely are right.

  13. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick View Post
    I also wanted to ask you how you harvest dandelion roots since its such a long tap root. I generally insert a shovel straight down beside the plant, push the shovel over to open a rift beside the plant, remove the shovel and gently pull up on the plant. I can generally recover 80-90% of the root. If it's a smaller plant I usually get all of it. I collected quite a bit last summer (what a tedious job) and roasted some it for coffee.
    HA! Typical guy going at roots with a shovel. As a genral rule tall plants harvest on feet, low plants/roots harvest on knees. Problem with a shovel is that you loosen up all that dirt and the root still holds on until you finally break it. You don't want to break dandelion roots, if you see it's milky white juice you screwed up. haha. I use a small hand tool, if we are camping I just use a fork. Pull the leaves up and find the base where the leaf meets the root and start digging carefully around there, pull up and gently wiggle the root at each swipe. Their roots grows 2 hand lenghts down, once you get about one and half down you can start very slowly pulling the root, but slowly, you'll feel it gently give out. I used to make the kids sing when they did it. Told them dandelion was a french man, and a ladies man too. The more attention and time you gave to him the better his medicine. If you hurry he gives you nothing so it's worth the time!

    How'd coffee turn out? Best if you harvest the roots in late fall, when frost is in the air but not in the ground. Plants store all their energy in the roots for winter. Makes a better coffee.
    Last edited by themoondancer811; 01-22-2011 at 12:24 AM. Reason: because I can't freaking spell :)

  14. #34

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    Well if you are talking about the plant I think you are Spurge Nettle is edible. Bland tasting but edible, I used a digging stick to harvest the roots. A Digging Stick is about 4' long and about 1-1&1/2" wide with a "Chisel tip" and a small V notch cut in the chisel end. You force it down into the ground alongside the root and pry the root up. Sure is easier than digging. It's been many years since I gathered Spurge nettle But IIRC it is about 6-10" tall, a white flower, and a round "Potato-like" Tuber type root. When I get back home I'll have to consult my edible plant books to make certain, as it has been over a decade since I collected it.
    Because a survival situation carries an aura of timelessness, a survivor cannot allow himself to be overcome by it's duration or quality. A survivor accepts the situation as it is and improves it from that standpoint. Prologue from Outdoor Survival Skills by Larry Dean Olsen

  15. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pocomoonskyeyes3 View Post
    Well if you are talking about the plant I think you are Spurge Nettle is edible. Bland tasting but edible, I used a digging stick to harvest the roots. A Digging Stick is about 4' long and about 1-1&1/2" wide with a "Chisel tip" and a small V notch cut in the chisel end. You force it down into the ground alongside the root and pry the root up. Sure is easier than digging. It's been many years since I gathered Spurge nettle But IIRC it is about 6-10" tall, a white flower, and a round "Potato-like" Tuber type root. When I get back home I'll have to consult my edible plant books to make certain, as it has been over a decade since I collected it.
    Very cool. Your right! I guess the 3 seeds and tubers are edible -http://www.pittpaths.com/articles/0278/ Tell me if you can find anything on it medicinal uses. It's not in my Eastern/Central US Peterson Field Guide!

    You don't find that you break the roots with a digging stick? I seem to always cut parts of them when I try using them, especially with things like Burdock root where they branch out, I have to actually feel them with my hands or I screw up. Most roots need to stay intact when using them for medicine and I hate to hack them up. I must be digging stick stupid.

  16. #36
    naturalist primitive your_comforting_company's Avatar
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    Since we mentioned it, I thought I'd post pictures to distinguish these two plants.
    This is NOT stinging nettle! This is "tread softly" or "finger rot" or "spurge nettle" and is in the Euphorbiaceae family.
    Cnidosculum stimulosus
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  17. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by themoondancer811 View Post
    Very cool. Your right! I guess the 3 seeds and tubers are edible -http://www.pittpaths.com/articles/0278/ Tell me if you can find anything on it medicinal uses. It's not in my Eastern/Central US Peterson Field Guide!

    You don't find that you break the roots with a digging stick? I seem to always cut parts of them when I try using them, especially with things like Burdock root where they branch out, I have to actually feel them with my hands or I screw up. Most roots need to stay intact when using them for medicine and I hate to hack them up. I must be digging stick stupid.
    Well quite honestly I have never really used a digging stick for medicinals, only to get edibles. To this end nothing I have used can come close to the ease and efficiency of a digging stick, IF the ground is reasonably soft. I would also recommend fire hardening the end of a digging stick.

    @YCC Going from memory of over a decade (Actually more than 2 decades ago) that sure looks like the plant I collected. I ONLY used the tubers though. Somewhat reminiscent of a water chestnut, but more bland and not as crisp,but about the same size.
    Because a survival situation carries an aura of timelessness, a survivor cannot allow himself to be overcome by it's duration or quality. A survivor accepts the situation as it is and improves it from that standpoint. Prologue from Outdoor Survival Skills by Larry Dean Olsen

  18. #38

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    Great pics YCC! What a beautiful plant but I admit, if I ran into it in the bush I wouldn't attempt to eat it, it looks ticked off. LOL

    I will try a digging stick again this spring Poco. If you have a pic of yours hanging around I would love to see it!

    Ok, so I just moved so had to dig around to find my memory card but alas I have! I am going to try uploading some pics of nettles.

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    Harvest the nettle tops in the spring and/or before they bloom. Guests can not see images in the messages. Please register in the forum.

    This is what they will look like-

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    I was making a nettle soup with potatoes and onions and this broth was made by gently boiling the tender spring nettle tops. Can be eaten just like this also. I put some vinegar on mine.

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    Last edited by themoondancer811; 01-23-2011 at 01:25 AM.
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  19. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by themoondancer
    How'd coffee turn out?
    I'd give it a passable but nothing to write home about. I dug the roots in the spring after they had already started feeding the plant. That may have been part of the problem.

  20. #40

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    hm. I'll have to get my (old) neighbors actual recipe (if she'll give it to me) for her blend. I go to NY next week. I always bartered for her blend since it was amazingly good. I believe she did dandelion root, chicory root, beet root? and like a rye or barely maybe...what part or preperation of the barely and rye I do not know. I'll try to get it. It's amazingly good, no bitterness.
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