Nettles (Urtica dioica) Kids Card
|Safe to eat?
|Yes, if cooked or covered first in boiled water|
|When Best to eat?||Early spring or leaves from new plants throughout summer
|What parts to eat?||Young leaves before flowering
|Can I eat them raw?||No
|Can I cook them?||Yes, use them in soups, stews, curries. Use like spinach.
|Are they a herbal medicine yes?||Yes. Make a tea to drink as a medicine.|
|What are they good for?||1. Hayfever and eczema
2. Feeling tired all the time
3. To ‘clean’ the body
4. To help ‘feed’ the body..lots of vitamins and minerals
|Magical & FolkloreFacts||Celtic lore, nettle serves as a threshold guardian. Nettle fibers have been found in burial cloths from the Bronze age, also closely linking this plant with the threshold between life and death.
A plant thought of as mothering, transformational and nurturing.
|A old story about nettle||In the fairy tale of “The Wild Swans” by Hans Christian Andersen, the heroine’s brothers have been turned into swans by their evil stepmother. A kindly fairy instructs her to gather nettles in a graveyard by night, spin their fibers into a prickly green yarn, and then knit the yarn into a coat for each swan brother in order to break the spell — all of which she must do without speaking a word or her brothers will die. The nettles sting and blister her hands, but she plucks and cards, spins and knits, until the nettle coats are almost done — running out of time before she can finish the sleeve on the very last coat. She flings the coats onto her swan-brothers and they transform back into young men — except for the youngest, with the incomplete coat, who is left with a wing in the place of one arm. (And there begins a whole other tale.)
The story confirmed that courage can be as painful as knitting coats from nettles, but that goodness can still win out in the end. Spells can broken, and gentle, loving persistence can be the strongest magic of them all. (https://www.terriwindling.com/blog/2015/06/nettle-soup.html)