Right now young shoots of stinging neetle plants are popping up all over Oregon. They can sting you so be careful handling these pokey plants. The leaves and stems, which have small spines on them will cause mild skin irritation and itching when they touch the skin. However, it is well worth the effort to harvest these delectable plants.
The stinging neetle is rich in vitamins and minerals. It also contains active compounds that reduce inflammatory cytokines in our bodies. It is used in the treatment of arthritis, allergies and other inflammatory diseases.
Due to their high mineral content stinging neeltes promote hair and finger nail health. Nettles are often found in shampoos and other care products. They are also often used in formulas to nourish the blood and improve circulation.
Stinging neetles are easy to harvest. Check local regulations regarding harvesting plants. Be sure to bring gloves, a good bag and cutting shears!
Once the plants are collected they can be cooked into foods, made into alcohol tinctures or boiled into tea. Once thoroughly cooked the stinging fibers of the neetle become neutralized.
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