Spring is the perfect time for hunting wild herbs. On my walk last evening, I found a patch of Stinging Nettle growing along a fence row in full sun. Stinging Nettle is one of the most valuable medicinal herbs. Every part of of it is used including the stem, root, leaf, and flower. Tender young leaves can be used immediately or dried in a warm ventilated attic for winter brews.
GATHERING TIP: Always wear long sleeves and gloves when clipping Stinging Nettle. The prickly leaves, if brushed against the skin cause an itching-burning sensation lasting 6 to 8 hours. Once the leaves are steamed, they lose their stinging properties.
If you notice in the above photo, my sleeves are rolled up and yes, I had a stinging itch on my arm the rest of the evening. Many folks call Nettle the Itch Weed Plant.
Heading back to the house, the setting sun cast a rosy glow on the trees giving the budding foliage an appearance of autumn as well as spring. The warmer temps promise longer evenings for herb walks and gathering.
This week I'll be posting more about the life-enhancing benefits of Nettle on the Herbal Remediescolumn.