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Thread: question about nettles

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    Member feral chef's Avatar
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    Default question about nettles

    ive read that you should pick nettles in the spring but im wondering what would happen if i picked nettles now. is there a health risk or perhaps a different way to prepare them. any info would be great


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    Senior Member gryffynklm's Avatar
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    The more mature the plant gets the more woody it becomes the sting in the nettle becomes harder as well. I have read that eating mature nettles can cause kidney damage. If the plant has gone to flower its too mature. I've tried nettle late but before flowering and decided i didn't like it, too stringy. I prefer young nettles.
    Karl

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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    That advice seems to be true with a lot of plants, asparagus, fiddle heads, even peas and beans out of the garden.....
    Survival isn't a game...it's what you do when the game goes sideways.

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    I have eaten Stinging Nettles throughout the year. While the spring Nettle is by far the best, you can eat the top new growth throughout the season without ill effects. The medicinal properties of Nettles are many, and can be benefited from throughout the year.

    Medicinal Use:

    A spring tonic made from nettles has been used to treat winter anemia for centuries. Leaf tea has traditionally been used as a blood purifier, blood builder, diuretic, astringent, for gout, glandular diseases, rheumatism, poor circulation, enlarged spleen, mucus discharges of the lungs, internal bleeding, diarrhea, and dysentery. It's effect involves the action of white blood cells, aiding coagulation and formation of hemoglobin in red blood corpuscles. Nettles are an excellent treatment for anemia, even that brought about by the feminine monthly cycle. Recently Germans have begun using the roots in a treatment for Prostate Cancer. Russians are adding the leaves to vodka to treat inflammation of the gallbladder, and hepatitis. There is evidence that even in the time of Jesus, Nettles were used as a treatment for arthritis. The plant tops were pinched off, and used to "whip" the afflicted area. The resulting stinging was said to promote blood flow, which in turn alleviated the inflammation. Even today, studies have shown that periodic stings from nettles helps relieve arthritis.

    Medicinal Actions:

    Alterative, Antiarthritic, Anticatarrhal, Anti-Inflammatory, Antirheumatic, Astringent, Depurative, Diuretic, Immunostimulant, Pectoral, Tonic
    Happy Foraging

    Kirk

    Livingafield.com - Information Concerning Edible And Medicinal Uses For Common Great Lakes Area Plants, As Well As Information On Numerous Aspects Of Outdoor Living And Survival.

  5. #5

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    I have read in the past that mature nettles, even the tops can cause health problems, but I can't find the source of that information. If someone has a trusted source that either confirms or denies this claim I would appreciate it.

  6. #6

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    What if you cut it back to under a foot high and eat the laterals?
    Quite honestly, it's a spring-eating plant when you're starving for fresh greenery. By this time of the summer there are far better things to be eating than old nettles.

    I just looked it up in one of my edibles books. It doesn't say anything about toxicity (doesn't mean it isn't) but it does mention that the older plants can provide a fiber tough enough to use as fishing line.
    Yeah, I want to eat that.......
    Last edited by LowKey; 07-24-2011 at 03:25 PM.

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    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    You can floss from the inside with it.

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    Senior Member wareagle69's Avatar
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    rwc-the uratica acid in the nettles supposedly causes liver damage.
    now i keep my neetles young so to speak by cutting offf the tops of them which causes new growth which i just keep cutting, which causes new growth which i keep cutting which causes....you get the idea
    another suggestion is to dry the leaves the gind to powder and add to anything all year long
    always be prepared-prepare all ways
    http://wareaglesurvival.blogspot.com

  9. #9

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    Thanks WE, nettle powder sounds good actually. I collected a bunch this season and let it go bad, not like me to do that. But, it got shoved in the back of the fridge and I forgot all about it for a few weeks. I planned to blanch and freeze it like spinach. Nettle is by far my favorite wild green. Nice thing about this plant is it grows in the same spot each year and spreads a bit more each year too. I have 3 or 4 huge patches now, and all are in areas that are free from modern crud.

  10. #10

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    I collect the seeds for my bread too.

  11. #11

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    I have gotten into a nettle patch several times and it never relieved my arthritis. I have eaten it raw while in the mountains in the spring while it was too young to have the stingers. But, I have read that after they mature it is still safe you just have to blanch it. I have yet to eat the mature stuff myself.

  12. #12

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    I tend to just make tea from them when they are mature.

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    Senior Member RandyRhoads's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wareagle69 View Post
    rwc-the uratica acid in the nettles supposedly causes liver damage.
    What is uratica acid? Do you mean formic acid? Its sting contains that along with histamine and ACH.


    I am curious about reasons not to eat it once gone to flower, besides being tougher. I'm cutting the leaves and drying, and it has gone to flower, is that ok? Is the only eating young just applied to eating them fresh?

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    Member feral chef's Avatar
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    ok so the nettles are coming back, and i picked some and followed a recipe online that said steep in boiling water for 10 minutes. omg that was nasty. any body know a good way to cook nettles either in food or tea? (that actually taste good)

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    In order to get rid of the 'stinging' acid the nettles need to be cook for a few minutes in boiling water and the water dumped and do that about 3 times. Serve like asparagas. Not sure if you realized yet but wearing gloves and long sleeves help prevent you from getting stung.

    Lobo
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    I get joy from doing something others say I cannot do-like survive without a steady income. I can't wait til those same people come to me and ask for help when the sh** hits the fan.

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    Member feral chef's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lobo Lone Wolf View Post
    Not sure if you realized yet but wearing gloves and long sleeves help prevent you from getting stung.

    Lobo
    i knew this but i actually like the sting and last year i rubbed it on my arms

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    Quote Originally Posted by feral chef View Post
    i knew this but i actually like the sting and last year i rubbed it on my arms
    I have heard that eating poison ivy makes you immune....not sure about nettles but I do not want to try the poison ivy option.

    Lobo
    My day is wasted if I haven't experienced or learned something new.


    I get joy from doing something others say I cannot do-like survive without a steady income. I can't wait til those same people come to me and ask for help when the sh** hits the fan.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Stairman's Avatar
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    They get a silica on the leaves after they flower that can cause kidney problems.http://www.wildmanstevebrill.com/Pla...er/Nettle.html

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    Senior Member wareagle69's Avatar
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    garlic and butter makes anything taste gooder
    always be prepared-prepare all ways
    http://wareaglesurvival.blogspot.com

  20. #20
    Senior Member Stairman's Avatar
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    I hear that. I bring honey to a boil, add thin slices of lemon and 15 cloves of garlic. Its good on bout anything.

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