I belong to the Urticaceae family. My genus is Urtica and my species is U. dioica.
I am found in the temperate regions of Europe, Britain, Asia, Japan, S. Africa, Australia, Andes and N. America. First Nations people used my stalks to make cord and fish nets. I was also used in Britain to make very fine linen. They eventually discontinued this, however, because I was too rebellious and difficult to cultivate. Don recommends consuming me to keep some of your rebellious spirit alive.
Regular use of my young leaves improves nutrition as I am high in chlorophyll, iron, magnesium, calcium, phosphate, Vitamin D, silica, sodium, potassium & sulphur. I guess you could say I am the original green super food!
Don loves to eat me fresh (cooked) in the spring up until about June and then he dehydrates me for use the rest of the year. He powders my dried leaves and then mixes me in kefir as a morning tonic.
I am helpful for some people who suffer from migraines associated with bilious vomiting.
I have been researched and tested and found excellent to relieve the symptoms of hayfever & other allergies.
My rich chlorophyll blood helps to purify your blood and clean up your lymph.
I have been known to reduce uric acid and help those suffering with rheumatism & gout.
And for new mothers I promote milk production for nursing. I love the term that you use for that property: Galactagogue.
Apparently I contain secretin, a substance that acts as a stimulus to pancreatic secretion that stimulates the digestive glands of the stomach, intestines, liver & gall bladder. This is especially important for use in the Spring, after you may have possibly been more sedentary and eaten heavier foods during the Winter.
Some people find that gargling with my tea reduces mouth infections, thrush, gingivitis & tonsillitis.
Those brave of heart use my fresh plants to sting an area of the body bothered with rheumatism or arthritis. According to Don, it works like a charm for some.
Get to know me. Even though I may sting you, the lingering tingles will go away within a few days and may even be good for you. Don says that my tender, new Spring leaves are absolutely delicious steamed, sautéed or fried, and since he has a culinary degree I take that as true.
For a delicious recipe, visit Stinging Nettles Recipes at: