I love the ritual of going out in the woods with my work gloves, a pair of scissors, and a grocery bag and picking nettles. There's something really satisfying about crouching down in the woods and carefully harvesting them. You really have a chance to slow down and notice all that is quietly sprouting up all around you.
Nettles are totally a beauty food! They contain one of the highest levels of the 'beauty mineral' silicon than in any other food. They are an amazing source of iron, calcium, beta-carotene, vitamins A, C & E, phosphates and other minerals. Nettles are also a blood purifier. They neutralize and dissolve acidic wastes in the blood and are highly alkaline. Nettles are wonderful for healthy hair, skin and nails. Here are some simple ideas of how to incorporate this wild beauty food into your diet:
- Use in place of spinach or kale in recipes
- Start your morning w/ mineral rich, detoxifying nettle tea
- Steam & season w/ sea salt, vinegar or lemon
- Run through a juicer w/ other fruits & veggies
- Make pesto using nettles
- Dry them for later use
- Add to smoothies
How to Harvest
Gather nettles when they are young and tender before they flower. Harvest the top 4-6 inches of the plant and leave the rest to continue growing. Wear work gloves - and long sleeves and pants to avoid being stung. I find the easiest way to harvest is to cut the plant with scissors and transfer to a shopping bag or basket. Once in the kitchen I use tongs to handle the nettles.
Yes, care must taken when utilizing these plants....but by all means, DO Meddle With Nettles!
Check out these links for more info and ways to use this highly nourishing wild plant.
6 Stinging Nettles Recipes For Healthy Hair, Skin & Nails