Robert Farr rbfarr at
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 -

Robert Farr
(540) 668-7160
The Chile Man

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