Video: How to Harvest Stinging Nettles

comments (0) April 18th, 2012

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cookinwithherbs susan belsinger, contributor
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Video Length: 2:22
Produced by: Tomaso

As the name implies, stinging nettles (Urtica dioica), will sting bare skin, so always handle them with gloves on. Harvest the plant by cutting it back before it flowers. Nettles tend to spread, but can be contained by growing them inside a tire or other barrier.

Stinging nettle makes a great spring tonic. Stinging nettle is good for the digestive system. It is rich in magnesium, and also contains iron and  vitamin A and C.

Not all wild plants are edible
Many, but not all, seasonal weeds are edible, but some are poisonous, so it's critical to identify the plants first before harvesting them and using them in your cooking. Get a good plant-identification guide; here are three of my favorites:

Edible Wild Plants Eastern/Central North America by Lee Allen Peterson

Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants by Steven Foster and James A. Duke

A Digger's Guide to Medicinal Plants by Allen Lockard and Alice Q. Swanson


posted in: nettles, chickweed, dandelion, wild edibles, edible weeds