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One of the SUPER PLANTS. The whole plant is edible. You can live off this stuff. Jaggedy pointy leaves in pairs opposite each other on a vertical stem with clumps of little seeds in between the layers. Called “Stinging Nettles” because one side of the leaf has little hairs that sting when touched. But this sting is not bad, in fact, it is injecting us with good healing medicine- usually a combination of formic acid, serotonin, histamine, choline and silica. You can roll up the leaf with the hair on the inside and eat it. Saliva neutralizes the sting. Nettles are one of the richest sources of protein and minerals, especially calcium, iron, silica, vitamin C (which improves calcium and nutrient absorption), improves immune function, prevents free radical damage, and builds collagen. The vitamin K in nettle strengthens bones. Removes lactic acid and uric acid in gout. Supports the growth of beneficial intestinal flora (probiotics). Great for relieving mucus in colon. Source of Serotonin, supports proper adrenal function, A steroidal anti-inflammatory to reduce prostate inflammation and excellent source of nutrition for prostate health. Lowers blood sugar, increases insulin sensitivity due to chromium content and protects blood vessels from insulin damage. A, complete B complex, C, D, calcium, chromium, copper, high iron source, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, silicon, sulfur, zinc, bioflavonoids, saponins, acetylcholine and serotonin. Antidepressant, antibiotic and anti-fungal, Helps dissolve kidney stones, regulate thyroid, reduces body fat, increases energy, treats anemia, ulcers, strengthens tissues, mild laxative. Helps adrenals, kidney, liver and thyroid. If you have arthritis or spot on head losing hair, hit the area with the stinging part of the leaves so the medicine can be injected… it will sting, swell up, but many people have found it eliminated arthritis pain for the entire season and made hair start to grow again because of the increased circulation and herbal “injection”. Can also use nettle tea to rub on head, as well as drink it, using it both externally and internally to stimulate healing. Nettle is the only known plant that contains formic acid, which is used to dissolve cholesterol. Nettle also contains a protein molecule called UDA which attacks fungus in the body. (Great for candida sufferers) Nettle blocks lactic acid cycle which starves the cancer cells. Leaves have seaweed-type flavor because it's very rich in minerals. If a property has lots of stinging nettle, buy that property because the ground there is very rich. Eat the seeds like hemp seeds. They are very high in protein and have healthy oils. Use the seeds fresh in pancakes, porridge, cereals etc. Sprout in winter as great free superfood. There is only one known species of nettle (of course in Australia and New Zealand) where the sting is too strong and dangerous, called Urtica Ferox..
Edible Plant Guide © 2012 Markus Rothkranz