. Sorry I can’t be of more help. As she suggests, nettle seeds do seem to harbour a remarkable amount and variety of insect life, so it’s really best to do as she says and cut whole stems rather than just the seeds and hang them for a few days to allow the wildlife to escape. Plan to harvest in late fall or early spring. Your nettles will be ready to harvest between 80-90 days from seed. If you have experienced the pain of a Stinging Nettle plant, wisdom would tell you to avoid it. I have never frozen them, I always dry them to preserve so I can’t tell you from experience. I will check if any of my suppliers sell in bulk. I like to use a three-bin system. I add it to my breakfast smoothies and oatmeal, salad dressing etc….Love it! A fabulous blog on harvesting nettle seeds which are a natural pick-me-up and on the to do list for this time of year. Chop the leaves and use them as a garnish, sprinkling over salads, sauces or egg dishes, much as you would with parsley or cilantro. Nettle can be planted using five different scenarios. This will help improve the nutrient content and enhance future soil growth. That is, all species from the genus of urtica? From Flower to Fruit and a Berry Nice Birthday! Even now it seems to be much more popular amongst traditional herbalists and herbwives rather than medical herbalists, not that the distinction is always so clear. Do you have any advice for treating a cat with renal problems who’s very fussy – might soaking nettle seeds in her drinking water be effective? What are your thoughts? ... How to Harvest, Cook Nettle. I remember that when I first started to collect herbs and make my own remedies it would always annoy me when writers skimmed the surface of the topics they were discussing, making assumptions that their readers already knew how to make this or that. Once nettle has gone to seed, the leaves will become tough, a little bitter and develop gritty particles that may irritate the urinary tract of some people. The thickness may vary from something thinner than a pencil to those that are about the size of a quarter around. Minimum of 200 seeds per packet. To prepare for planting, look for an area with rich soil and sufficient moisture. Before winter sets in, the runners will produce tiny green shoots that will overwinter underground, gearing up to sprout in the spring. Your assistance is greatly appreciated. Thank you for thus lovely, informative post! They are best harvested green and when the threads that hold them droop towards the stem; they are ready. I like foraging but never collect stinging nettle seeds as that in Italy I can’t find anything that says you can use them! Nettle seeds are also used to restore energy (see below for more information). A lovely post! As the whole seed or in tincture? Are you taking the seeds fresh or dried? Heather Buckner hails from amongst the glistening lakes of Minnesota, and now lives with her family on a beautiful homestead in the Vermont Mountains. How to sustainably harvest nettle roots. And I used to hate living in the countryside, pfft! I will definitely be out looking for seeds, although a bit worried that I will overdo the housework because of it! You can throw these off to the side for now, but move them back to the disturbed area when you are done to allow them to decompose back into the soil. They are a darker yellow and will be more dry. Once this happens, the plants’ energy will be directed toward above-ground growth instead of root development. A double-blind study conducted by M. R. Safarinejad, from the Department of Urology, Urology Nephrology Research Center at Shaheed Beheshti University of Medical Sciences in Tehran, concluded that extract of U. dioica had beneficial effects in the treatment of urinary symptoms of BPH. Nettle is easy to grow and can easily be started by seed indoors, or divided from existing patches. Kiva Rose has also spoken of the overstimulating effects of the fresh seed. Stinging nettle can be eaten freely as food but it needs to be properly prepared. They will have hair along the nodes, and this is where next year’s shoots will sprout. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. As a general rule, try to only dig up a third of roots at one time. Protect the arms, too, with a thick shirt. Harvesting. If you started your nettle inside, transplant the growing nettle greens into a prepared garden bed, spaced at least 12 inches (30 cm.) The roots I am discussing in this article harvesting are from Urtica dioica dioica, which is what I wildcraft and farm. What’s Eating My Turnips? This lovely nettle patch, and a couple more like it, are just outside my house so I’m lucky not to have to worry about over harvesting! The young leaves of the plant are edible and […]. Gently tug up the runners, and use a hand tool to help you retrieve the deeper layer. All the nettles can be used for food and medicine. Parts Used -The mature seed pods. It’s easiest to start from a transplant, but if you don’t have access to a stinging nettle patch, start your own plants from seed. Though many people know how beneficial nettle leaf can be, until the recent revival of interest in nettle seeds it was a little used remedy in modern herbal medicine. In what ways have you harvested and used nettle root? Care must be taken in harvesting because the leaves sting the skin and cause itching. Keep the gloves on while you’re preparing the nettles as well. They help with the general stress response, they strengthen the adrenals, and they’re loaded with minerals and trace elements’. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. I THOUGHT I was making a BIG batch of stinging nettle tincture, but I think I collected gallent soldier ! See our TOS for more details. Next, carefully dig a wide circle around the base of your plants, leaving a few feet of wiggle room around the edges to avoid causing damage. When harvesting I remove the leaves from the stems a field then when dried I do not have to deal with leaf matter when screening. You can harvest all year if you just take the tender top 4 leaves or so. Gently rub and swoosh them around to clean them, then move them over to the next bin. To make a medicinal tincture, place finely chopped fresh or dried roots in a glass jar and cover with a strong alcohol, such as 100-proof vodka. I have a garden full of nettles, (on purpose, I don’t “weed” as everything has its own reason to be) and an abundance of seeds at the moment – I also live in a mess of a house! Your tips will make this a more pleasant, beneficial experience! I’m a newbie to this. Thank you. She holds a bachelor of science degree in environmental science from Tufts University, and has traveled and worked in many roles in conservation and environmental advocacy, including creating and managing programs based around resource conservation, organic gardening, food security, and building leadership skills. ( Log Out /  I had only been using the leaves up till now in my smoothies – a nettle novice I suppose But I am totally in love with the notorious nettles and will be following your advice on using the seeds asap , Very interesting! Thanks for that warning. Both hairy and similar leaf pattern. According to a study by R. W. Hartman, published in the journal for Phytomedicine, U. dioica extract inhibited 5-alpha reductase activity in high concentrations. Brilliant article. I have seen an episode of “best of British” by the hairy bikers in which a druid is seen making bread. You can use the folk method which doesn’t require an alcohol license or specific measurements. They don’t seem to affect me in quite the same way, so perhaps it’s constitutional. Curious About the Stinging Nettle Testosterone Link. Now they should be ready to use fresh, or prepped to dry. Four pounds of fresh roots will yield about one pound dried. Thank you! I really must try to get out there to harvest the seeds. So informative and wonderful to read. and now in Petaluma, Ca. In warmer climates where the ground doesn’t freeze, you may be able to harvest in the winter as well. I’ll need to do another few harvests in order to make a tincture from the fresh seed and stock enough dried seeds to see me through the year. Started in 1998 by Jere Gettle, as a means to preserve heirloom seeds. Those in the deeper layer are thicker in diameter. I am looking for a reliable source to be used for medicinal purposes, not for planting. I live in Tennessee. Stinging nettles are one of those exceptional herbs for which all parts of the plant can be used. The earliest way to start nettle, in a grow season, is by starting seeds indoors. I am recovering from adrenal fatigue and found that nettle seeds provided wonderful energy. We only sell open-pollinated seeds: pure, natural & non-GMO! How to Eradicate Turnip and Rutabaga Pests, How to Grow and Care for Ornamental Flowering Kale, How To Grow and Care for Cumin in Your Garden, Juicy and Sweet Tips for Starting Your Own Berry Patch, How to Identify and Treat Alternaria Leaf Spot on Turnips, Your Must-Have Tool This Winter: 7 Top-Rated Snow Shovels. . There always seem to be people who need them. Bag up your harvest, making sure the area you disturbed is restored and covered back up with vegetation, leaf litter, organic matter, or mulch to protect the soil and help it to revive more quickly. Brilliant. Does anyone know whether all varieties of nettles have edible seeds? Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. From an Ayurvedic perspective I imagine Pitta types would find them quite stimulating but Kaphas could benefit from their energising effects. In the fall they can be used to make cordage - especially good for water cordage, like nets (hence the name). The staff at Gardener’s Path are not medical professionals and this article should not be construed as medical advice intended to assess, diagnose, prescribe, or promise cure. Start by giving the rhizomes a good shake to knock off as much dirt as you can. Perennial in zones 3-10, stinging nettle is frequently found growing wild in forest edges. Sprinkle them on salads, soups, in sandwiches or blend in smoothies. Enjoy your harvest. Clean them again, then move them once more. Harvest now will the seeds are hanging in strands. Cut them into very small pieces with pruners or scissors. Good luck and let me know how she gets on. I’m hoping to get my next lot this weekend, weather permitting. I am wondering whether there are any contraindications or precautions to be aware of? I make a delicious seasoning from nettle seeds, hemp seeds, nutritional yeast, mixed herbs and a pinch of salt and pepper. The rhizomes are double-layered, consisting of an upper layer of young runners and a deeper layer of thicker, more fibrous roots. I would dry the seed or buy it in and start with a small dose, about a teaspoon a day, then see how she is with it. Thank you for the post. Thanks for your help! Some tips and tricks on how to harvest stinging nettle roots without getting bitten by the stingers can help keep you safe as you collect this potentially troublesome, yet beneficial, plant. Stinging nettle root extract is often used in over-the-counter supplements and herbal remedies, particularly those labeled for “men’s health.”. According to experts at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center at Penn State, Hershey, some studies have indicated that the effectiveness of nettle root extract may be comparable to finasteride, a medication often prescribed for BPH. Thanks for the reminder. They should dry in about 24 hours in a dehydrator set to 100°F. For more detailed info on when to pick and how to process nettle seed see this post here. Most gardeners are familiar with stinging nettle (Urtica dioica), an herbaceous perennial known for the infamous stinging hairs that can be found all along its stems and the undersides of its leaves. This structure is vigorous, and it spreads like crazy! The root extract contains beta-sitosterol, a plant phenol that has been shown to reduce urinary tract complications associated with benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) – the enlargement of the prostate. Female plant According to Henriette, ‘Nettle seeds are adaptogens. So nettle seeds can help harmonise the whole of the endocrine system, though their primary action is to balance the adrenals. Change ). I hope they help to ease the return to work for you. ( Log Out /  There are a couple of great articles on the internet describing how to harvest nettle seeds along with their uses which I highly recommend reading, notably those by Henriette here and here and Kiva Rose here and here. […] Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, try picking and drying the seeds yourself. I will be heading out next week to hopefully get some ready for returning to work after maternity leave! COPYRIGHT © 2020 ASK THE EXPERTS LLC. Here is more about what we do. To air dry, lay the prepped pieces out on a mesh screen or rack in a dark and dry location. When to Harvest. Common nettle is the best to harvest seeds from (easier to collect and more abundant in the hedgerow) but the scientific name reveals a problem: (Urtica dioica) dioica = dioecious 'two houses' which means they have separate female and male plants. It must be cooked or dehydrated before consuming. Fantastic! You’ll probably want to wear kitchen gloves or use tongs to handle. https://whisperingearth.co.uk/2010/09/06/nettle-seeds-back-to-basics/. The seeds and roots have medicinal value. Harvesting nettle root requires finesses and caution. Nettle grows and spreads by stolons, which form a network of yellow, lateral, creeping rhizomes. Using Stinging Nettle. lyalli in eastern Washington for its very large seed clusters. If you have only a few plants in your area, look elsewhere for your bounty. You may be aware that you can harvest and eat the leaves, but did you know the root is also usable? It was shown to be more effective when combined with an extract of Pygeum africanum, the African cherry tree. It is recommended that you wear gloves and long sleeves when harvesting stinging nettle. The seeds of Nettle are a lesser-known harvest, compared with that of the spring Nettle greens, but they are a treasure to behold. Pieces that are roughly equal in size will dry at the same rate, and this makes them easier to process. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Looking for a tonic to help maintain or increase kidney function for my grandmother who has narrowly avoided dialysis for the last few years. Who knows, they might just come in handy one day! Adaptogenic and nutritive, increasing energy and vitality, Nettle Seed fits the true definition of a super-food. This amount of nettles filled an average size jar with dried seeds. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition and is for informational purposes only. Dosage: 1/2–1 teaspoon of fresh or dried seeds sprinkled into salads, soups, stews, etc. The leaves, stems and roots can all be used but we’re going to focus on the leaves and stems. Plan to harvest in late fall or early spring. GARDENER'S PATH® IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF ASK THE EXPERTS LLC. Remember, always leave some behind to re-sprout and re-colonize if you want to keep your crop going. Hi Lucinda, I wonder about using the seeds as a base for bread. The best time to harvest nettles is the first few weeks of spring when the leaves are young and tender. It is my beleif that her kidney dysfunction is a result of heavy prescriptions due to a lupus misdiagnosis. Stinging nettle garden placement Thanks! Some of these links may be affiliate in nature, meaning we earn small commissions if items are purchased. But then someone told me they should be used sparingly, because they can cause hormonal upsets. First, cut off the tops of the plants as you harvest them, to avoid getting stung and to keep any plant debris out of your harvested crop. Thanks April.There are so many great plants outside our doors aren’t there! We are located in Mansfield, Mo. While male plants produce pollen to fertilize the female plants, they in turn produce the seeds. Nettle takes 80-90 days to mature when you grow it from seed. My son was attending his charter school, a school for home schooled children that offers enrichment and social activities to complement the core curriculum that is taught in the home. Here’s some info about how to correctly identify the plant and safely prepare the […], […] daily routine. Mine are outside right now, waiting for the little critters to depart before bringing inside. Here are a few fresh ideas for preparing your spring harvest: Celebrate spring with a beautiful, green, delicately fresh Nettle Soup (in Swedish, Nässelsoppa). While I realize that this post is five years old now, I am hoping that you might still be responding to comments. All you do is fill a jar with seeds cover with vodka or another alcohol that is at least 40%. Useful for chronic exhaustion, adrenal fatigue and burnout, nettle seeds have also been used to aid kidney function in both people and animals with degenerative conditions. It has specific medicinal properties that are unique from those of the other parts of the plant. The upper layer is comprised of younger runners, which may be watery and narrow, and light yellow or whitish in color. The dried seeds are more nourishing and the fresh are more stimulating. All the nettles can be used for food and medicine. It will take about three years for a harvested area to reach maturity again, but if you only take a third at a time, you should still have some that’s ready to enjoy every year! Last year, Sara Jane of Brighton’s Green Aprons group told me that taking just a small amount of the fresh green seeds had kept her awake the whole night. I totally agree, and practice a bioregional approach to herbwifery as much as possible. Lovely to spread some nettle positivity. Harvest the leaves while the plant is young and before it flowers. I have seen a great benefit to my energy by taking the dried seed, so I’m excited to be using my own this year. I have a workshop on Saturday and the participants will be seiving nettle seed while they sit and relax in the Sanctuary. The seedlings can be transplanted in early spring and should be started approximately six weeks prior to transplant. It is available for purchase in pill form in many health food stores. Once dry, strip off the strands of seeds and rub them through a sieve, you’ll be left with a beautiful harvest of dried nettle seeds. They are so abundant right now and so helpful during these busy periods that it was a real pleasure to get out gathering them. The young shoots can be cooked and eaten and the dried leaves are very nutritious. And be mindful of the larger lower leaves that sneak out and get you on the wrist as you’re watching out for the wily upper leaves. If one wished to keep fresh seeds for use, do they freeze well? As far as I know seeds don’t always freeze well but as I say, I haven’t done it myself. Harvesting nettle seeds. Drain and refrigerate or use immediately. Great article on nettles. Yes common stinging nettle, Urtica dioica. lyalli in eastern Washington for its very large seed clusters. She is also a fanatical gardener, and enjoys spending as much time covered in dirt as possible! David Winston writes here, ‘I discovered Nettle Seed could be used as a kidney trophorestorative – literally a food for the kidneys. When starting the nettle seeds, begin by placing nutrient-rich soil in a grow tray. Hi all. When you are ready to harvest, put on your long sleeves and gloves, grab a basket or bag, and gather your digging tool of choice. Nettle does especially well on the edges of meadows, pastures, or streams … I just harvested nettle seeds today, so this was a very timely post! i ate about a tablespoon of fresh ones yesterday, and today I CLEANED THE WINDOWS! Always consult with a medical professional before changing your diet or using plant-based remedies or supplements for health and wellness. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. The roots I am discussing in this article harvesting are from Urtica dioica dioica, which is what I wildcraft and farm. Take up to a teaspoon a day and see how you go, you can use more or less depending on how they affect you. A modest reduction in prostate size was also noted. I passed a lovely afternoon recently in harvesting my first nettle seeds of the year. I too love nettle seeds. To be on the safe side, it’s best to take the dried seeds as they have a more gently restorative action and are energising without being too stimulating. You can consume them fresh or dried. By the time you finish the third scrub, they should be totally clean and free of dirt. After the first few spring harvests, let the nettles bloom and set seed for harvest… Going to have to throw out ! So glad it was helpful. One of my all-time favorite herbs, stinging nettle has been grown and foraged for food, and used in textiles and medicine, for thousands of years across many parts of the world. Possibly the easiest plant food to dry and save for later; jumping on the stinging nettle train This is the time when energy from the plant is directed toward root production rather than to the leaves, seeds, or flowers. Thanks very much! Harvest Nettle Seeds to Make a Tasty Condiment: Gomasio with Nettle Seeds & Sea Vegetables With the onset of warm weather, I allow the nettle patch to flower and make seed. Hi, I have thousands of seeds if you’d like some? I have some stinging nettle in seeds in my garden I think I will try them. Stinging Finasteride is a 5-alpha-reductase inhibitor, which slows the conversion of testosterone to DHT (dihydrotestosterone), a metabolite that can cause inflammation of the prostate and contribute to hair loss. Sounds wonderful. As the druid is interviewed a stalk of nettle including the seeds are shown and I assume the bread uses nettle seeds as the base cereal. I want to compare British nettles with Kenyan nettles. Stinging nettle grows from early spring through the summer.
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