rbfarr at erols.com
Mon Jul 29 17:04:00 EDT 2002
Dried nettles make a wonderful tea to stave off colds (we mix ours w/
dried comfrey leaves). They're great in the compost pile, and make an
anti-fungal tea, which turns a deep red when ready.
To dry, cut just before they flower. Lay outside, off the ground and in
the shade. They'll dry in a day or two. Nettles lose most of their
sting when dried.
For the anti-fungal tea, take a 5-gallon pail, stuff full w/ nettles,
then fill with water and cover. Place in the shade for about two
months. Again, you'll know it's ready when the water is a deep red.
The neatest thing about this tea: the nettles completely disappear (not
so when making a comfrey tea).
Nettles aren't that bad to pick - I do it several times a year and am
not really bothered by it. The sting, while uncomfortable, goes away in
a few minutes. (BTW, nettle sting is formic acid, the same chemical in
ant bites). I used to use gloves and wear a long shirt, but they got in
the way. Now, I'm careful to grab the nettle by the stem, bend it down,
and clip away. Cut your nettles 3 - 4 inches from the ground.
Hope that helps - and I hope you'll all grow nettles. As I've learned,
they're good for every farm -
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