Nettle (Urtica dioica L.) is a perennial herbaceous dioecious plant from the nettle family, 70-150 cm high, with a strong long branched rhizome, an erect stem branching at the top and long burning hairs over the entire surface. Nettle is also known as stinging, stinging, strekanka, sporekusha, windmill, kirtken and costarka.
Nettle grows in wastelands. Mainly in forest and forest-steppe zones - in ravines, gays and forest clearings. Near dwellings, it grows like a weed - in yards, on the outskirts of gardens and parks.
You can burn yourself with nettles. More precisely, her hairs, resembling a medical ampoule. Even the slightest effect on the tip of a hair leads to its breaking and injecting into the body of a living creature a special nettle juice containing histamine, choline and formic acid.
Nettle burns are harmless. Everything is relative. For example, tropical species of nettles can sting quite painfully, and you can simply die from touching some (it is worth remembering this name - laportea).
Nettle improves hair condition. It helps with baldness and scalp seborrhea. A strong infusion of nettle leaves (3 tablespoons per glass of boiling water to infuse for 4 to 6 hours) is used to treat dandruff and hair loss.
All can be treated with nettles. In addition to pregnant women (especially in recent months) and patients with thrombophlebitis.
Nettle is used to prepare various dishes. Such as salads, oils, soups, borscht and pickles. From young shoots of nettles, in the spring you can cook cabbage soup and salads, as well as salted nettle, which will certainly taste no worse than the usual salted cabbage. Crushed boiled nettle leaves in the Caucasus are used to prepare national dishes.
Nettles are very healthy. Its leaves contain a lot of everything: ascorbic acid (twice as much as in black currant fruits), sugar, carotene (more than in carrots), starch, proteins and a wide variety of trace elements (copper, iron, chromium, etc.). In folk medicine, nettle is used as a cure for almost all ailments: it is believed that this plant is able to heal wounds, remove harmful substances from the body in case of gallstone disease, have a laxative, anticonvulsant, expectorant and restorative effect. In addition, preparations made from nettle improve the process of blood coagulation, increase the content of hemoglobin and erythrocytes in the blood, normalize the menstrual cycle, and also have an epithelizing effect.
Nettles must not be sun dried. Otherwise, it will lose most of its useful components. It is customary to use attics and dryers instead of open solar heat. Nettles should be harvested during flowering, mowing with a sickle and drying for several hours in the sun so that the nettle loses its stinginess. The nettle leaves can then be simply torn off with your hands and sent to dry in a suitable shady place. Dried leaves are best stored in well-ventilated, dim, dry areas. Dry nettle is stored - 2 years.
Nettle is used in the food industry. From it I make chlorophyll - a harmless natural dye.
Nettles are fed to pets. For example, chickens (to increase egg production). As a vitamin supplement, nettles are given to little goslings and ducklings. Nettle-eating cows produce better quality milk and far more milk than any other cow.
Nettle can be used for cosmetic purposes. Nettle masks help to fade wrinkles on the skin and make it softer and more delicate.
Perishable foods can be stored in nettle leaves. For example, gutted fish, stuffed and lined with nettles.