I had been hearing that new nettle leaves were a good additive to a meal, low calorie, high nutritional value, but I had no intentions of harvesting them and eating them. Mainly because I've had my run-ins with the stinging nettle before. And every time I had lost the futile battle. Fleeing with small, burning lumps on hands, legs, or buttocks (hazard of peeing in the woods).
But deep in my adventurous spirit, I knew I would try the furry little leaves, even though they did smell horribly inedible. Surprisingly, I liked them. They were a good addition to the meal.
After dinner I looked up the facts about stinging nettles from two sources : The Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening and Herbal Medicine by Diane Dinsin Buchman.
- According to old herbalists - nettles are an effective weight reducer, nettle water is said to be good hair tonic and cologne supplement (I cannot imagine the smell of that cologne)
- Medicinally - anti asthmatic, used in treatment for consumption and rheumatism, the seeds counteract venomous bites, cleansing cure-all for stomach, lungs, and intestines, used as a blood cleanser
- Today wild food enthusiasts believe - boiled or steamed nettles make a tasty vegie, light and low in calories
So maybe I'll be adding nettles to my weekly diet. Who knows. I guess I'd have to put up with the putrid smell of the boiling leaves. No t looking forward to that!