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Stinging nettle, credit: davidmartyn/Essentials Collection/Getty Images


  • From to 1 m to 2 m in height and covered in stiff “guard hairs”
  • Flowers green, sometimes with a pinkish hue


  • Disturbed areas, hillsides, stream banks, moist woodlands

Harvesting Time

  • Spring to early summer

Uses and Related Information

  • Leaves are very similar to spinach and can be boiled as a side dish, sautéed
    with other vegetables or (like carrot or zucchini) chopped and added to muffins
    and breads
  • Fibres from the stem can be made into twine for fishnets, snares and so on
  • Boiling the leaves (as if making a tea) creates a rinse that improves the shininess of hair
  • Cooking, crushing, drying and soaking the plant eliminates the stinging hairs, making the leaves safe to eat
  • The health benefits of the plant are said to include relief from muscle and joint pain, as well as cleansing of the kidneys and liver

stinging nettle, credit: davidmartyn/Essentials Collection/Getty ImagesCautions

  • Wear thick gloves when harvesting this
    plant – the hairs on it can pierce through
    latex gloves and inject chemicals that
    cause skin to burn and itch
  • Do not consume this plant if you are
    pregnant (stimulates the uterus and can
    cause miscarriage) or diabetic (affects
    blood sugar levels)