Stinging Nettle - Urtica dioica

Stinging Nettle - Urtica dioica

Tales of Nettle

It was an amazing summer day, and while I was selling my time for money in a small cell like cubicle, my wife and three kids were outside playing in the yard. That day I received a paniced call from my wife, saying something about how our son had fallen into some plants and now had red swollen bumps all over his body. My oldest daughter who was five years old at the time, and who is quite an adept with plants had told her that "It's just Stinging Nettle."

"If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?"

In the background I could hear my son screaming and crying, and it was in that moment that I realized that I had forgotten to tell my wife about the Stinging Nettle seeds I had planted in the spring. She wanted to know what it was and if she needed to take our son to the hospital. I quickly got my oldest daughter on the phone and told her to run around the yard and grab some Curly Dock and Plantain (you'll find these two marvelous plants in the 'Greens & More' section). My wife quickly made a poultice out of the two, and ten minutes after rubbing it over our son's body, he was perfectly fine, as if nothing had happened. There is an old saying, that you would do well to remember if you come into contact with Nettle, "Nettle in, Dock out."

"Gently touch a nettle and it'll sting you for your pains. Grasp it as a lad of mettle and soft as silk remains."


The leaves are the edible part of this plant, and we only pick the youngest leaves throughout spring and fall. Definitely wear gloves when picking.

Stinging Nettle tastes much like a more flavorful version of spinach. It has a beautiful aroma about it, and makes a fabulous tea.

It is possible to eat the leaves raw, (just look up 'World Nettle Eating Championship') but it is not recommended. To really enjoy eating Nettle without the sting, simply let the leaves dry or cook them for a few minutes.

Stinging Nettle is also held in high esteem for its many medicinal properties. And even though there are many who swear at it, there are many others who swear by it, actively seeking out Nettle for its healing sting.


We have come to love and respect Stinging Nettle, as it is a nutritious and delicious food that lets you know when it is near. We mostly use it as a cooked vegetable in soups, sauces, spaghetti and lasanga, but we are also fond of it in our teas and smoothies. Here are some of the ways we eat it:


Add a cup of finely chopped Nettle to your finished spaghetti sauce. Let it cook in this sauce for a couple minutes and then it is ready to go.


Cut off some leaves, chop them up finely, put it in boiling water, let it infuse for 15 min, and then add some honey.


Blend the raw Stinging Nettle in with any kind of smoothie.