Eating stinging nettle probably sounds like a strange thing to do for some people. Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) is known for being itchy and having the possibility of allergic reactions in some people. However, it turns out it has a lot of benefits to offer for our health. Read on to learn some of the many benefits of this misunderstood plant.
Why You Should Try Eating Stinging Nettles
People have used stinging nettle for its medicine for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.
You probably know of people who make nettle tea or have heard of nettle creams. And it just fits that they do because you’ll be surprised at how this plant is so nutritious and powerful.
Interested to know how to make stinging nettle tea? Try this recipe from Healthline. You’ll just need to add honey or cinnamon.
Vitamins and Minerals in Stinging Nettles
Stinging nettles are rich in Vitamins A, C, K, and B complex. It is one of the best sources of Vitamin C when you forage in the wild.
Imagine this: It contains 238 milligrams of Vitamin C per 100 grams of the stinging nettle tissue. That’s over 4 times the amount you’d find in your standard, medium-sized orange.
You may be wondering, are stinging nettles edible? With all of the nutrients mentioned above, it’s good to know that this wonder plant is safe to consume.
It also contains minerals our bodies need.
It also contains 40% protein, and that is considered very high. It also has iron, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and sodium. For a plant that people regard as a nuisance, stinging nettle does pack a punch.
Stinging Nettles’ Medical Uses
Studies also show that stinging nettles have a medical use.
This plant is said to have compounds that can reduce inflammation. Researchers also found antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-ulcer, and pain-relieving properties in stinging nettle. People use this plant to make creams, teas, and supplements to help relieve or cure ailments.
Have you also heard about the benefits of stinging nettle for hair? It solves hair loss problems. It contains silica and sulfur, both of which promote hair health and regrowth.
When to Harvest
So, how can you take advantage of using stinging nettle when it stings?
The key to not being stung by these green wonders is to harvest them during the best possible time — late winter to early spring.
When the plants are still young, the trichomes around them are still young and won’t sting yet.
But this doesn’t mean you can’t use stinging nettle when they mature.
You still can, although you must be careful because they are ready to sting you when they’re much taller. You can either use gloves and scissors to harvest them or harvest the tender tops.
He added that nettle leaves are great for tea, so you can use those growing during summer.
If you’ve heard negative things about eating stinging nettles, we hope this article will prove to you that there are lots of benefits to eating these plants.
You may also follow Adam’s guide below in harvesting them so they won’t sting. It’s not every day that you will come across a plant that has as many nutritional benefits as nettle. After all, eating it is extremely safe.