Now that spring is fully here and summer is on its way if you look in the hedgerows you can see an abondence of greenery. Predominantly you will see the hostile and fiery looking nettle with its spiky spearheaded leaves it gives you the feeling it might give you an agressive sting just from looking at it.
Allthough the nettle has a bad reputation and is well known for its warmorgering antics as a common weed but it is not so well known for its good side. Infact stinging nettles are one of the best plants for human health, both as food and medicine. They are a complete, ready-pakaged natural vitamin and mineral supplement. The nettles high vitamin c content made it a valuable spring tonic for our ancestors in the form of porrage or soup and was also known for its purifiying quilities. Nettles have long been considerd as a blood tonic and are a great treatment for anaemia, as they are high in iron and chlorophyll and the iron in nettles is very easily absorbed (unlike spanich).
Nettle was the Anglo-Saxon sacred herb, wergulu, and in medieval times nettle beer was drunk for rheumatism. Nettles also have an antihistamine effect, valuble for treating hayfever and other allergies and can reduce the severity of asthma attacks....the nettle is my favorite foraged green and along with all its great quilities it doent taste to bad either, infact it tastes great as a soup, juice, fresh or dried tea, steamed green,butter or if your brave a leaf straight off the plant, rolled into a small ball and popped straight into your mouth! There are many great recipes for nettle but one whitch i really like is for a nettle beer which i will put in my next post.