Spring is a time of rebirth plants all put on new green overcoats and babies are born to animals. As I road along today out in country seeing, colts, calves, and lambs it reminded me that now is time to plant new seeds of intention for my life. Now is time to plant seeds of intentions and actions in your life. You can energetically transform right alongside growth of plants and birth of new life. While I was out on my adventure in country today I saw one of wonderous plants all around me sprout their new greenery. One of these was nettle which is a plant I love it is wonderful for making herbal vinegar. It is easy to identify. The jagged leaves held in pairs along square stems are easily recognisable particularly after having experienced sting. The nettle sting, will wear off in a few hours. Nature always provides a natural remedy close at hand. The leaves of dock contain chemicals that neutralise sting and also cool skin. The nettles sting is actually used as a treatment for arthritic joints!
Where did nettle get its name? Problably from that 'nettle' is derived from Noedl meaning a needle - referring needle like sting.
Because very few grazing animals will touch nettle because of sting it is a great place for butterflies to raise their young. One will find small tortoiseshell and peacock butterfly larvae which feed in large groups hidden in silken tents at top of nettle stems. In late summer huge quantity of seed produced provide a food source for many of our seed eating birds. Not only insects and birds are benefited by nettles but when dried into hay horses and cows feed on it. In Sweden nettles is raised for dairy cows it increases milk production. Horse breeder feed it because it is so good for horses coat. If you are wondering why anyone would eat nettles having experienced their sting, sting goes away with cooking. You can enjoy nettle leaves in soup, steam them when they are young and picked before they flower just like spinach or kale. Nettles are reportedly high in calcium, iron, magnesium, chromium, potassium, and zinc, as well as vitamins A, B, C, D and K. Nettles are said to nourish adrenal glands, and are also rich in carotene. You can preserve nettles for winter several ways. Nettle vinegar can be made by soaking fresh herbs in white vinegar. The vinegar leaches calcium and other minerals out of nettles, and then you can sprinkle vinegar on salads, veggies, stir fry. Purple nettles will tint vinegar a nice rose hue. You can use nettles in any recipe calling for spinach. Use leftover water as a hair rinse. For centuries, nettles have been used for medicinal purposes. They have beneficial influence on various body systems, including lungs, kidneys, skin, and blood. The herb has been recognized for its ability to stop bleeding, relieve mucous congestion and water retention, and improve skin irritations. It is considered to be an excellent blood purifier. Try some of these interesting Nettles recipes: Pasta with Nettles and Parmesan
3-4 cups fresh nettles
3 Tablespoons olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 small hot red pepper
1 pound pasta (traditionally penne, pennette, or rigatoni)