Why there are plenty of reasons to respect the good old nettle!
If any plant should be called a superfood, the stinging nettle deserves that title.
The nettle does not require a botanical description because I very much doubt that anyone, anywhere, not least in Europe, is unfamiliar with this species.
Some may dislike it, see it as a nuisance, and resort to weed-killers, whilst others actively collect and process it for culinary and medicinal use.
It is, after all, free. Nor is it threatened by extinction. It is important, however, to collect it away from roadsides and other polluted areas. Nettle leaves and roots contain practically many of the nutrients we need: Vitamins A, C and K, as well as several B vitamins.
Nettles contain minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and sodium.
They are rich in fatty acids like linoleic acid, linolenic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid and oleic acid.
They also contain building blocks for proteins which are the essential amino acids, and polyphenols like kaempferol, quercetin, caffeic acid, coumarins and other flavonoids.
Polyphenols are plant-based micro nutrients that have wide ranging health benefits.
Nettles are rich in pigments like beta-carotene, lutein, luteoxanthin and other carotenoids.
Many of these nutrients provide much needed antioxidant activity inside your body.
An amazing collection! How can we use this wonderful free food without tongue or throat being stung?
The best way to use nettles is to harvest them wearing suitable gloves then put the whole plants through a juicer. (Take a teaspoonful of this juice two or three times a day with a little water.)
It is wise to juice a good amount and freeze the juice into ice cubes. That way you can use a cube every day.
There are many internet recipes for making nettle soup, nettle lasagne, and so on.