Known to be the cause of an allergic reaction called hives, nettle is a perennial herb that grows in wooded areas, in paths or near houses, up to altitudes of 2400 meters. Its full botanical name is Urtica dioica and it belongs to the Urticaceae family. The plant has a stem from 50 centimeters to one and a half meters high, opposite leaves, oval, petiolate and covered with hairs with a known stinging effect. But the importance of nettle is not linked to its annoying effect, but to its many medicinal properties, which for a long time have been poorly appreciated and studied. For herbal purposes, the young plant, leaves, rhizome and roots are used. The nettle flowers are light green in color collected in branched clusters. Flowering occurs between June and October. The fruit is an oval-shaped achene with a sour taste. The leaves of the nettle can be harvested all year round, while the rhizome and roots can be harvested in autumn. After harvesting, the parts of the plant must be dried quickly in the shade. The collection of the plant must be done paying attention not to touch the down of the leaves with bare hands, which cause the stinging reaction. However, the most aggressive urticaria is triggered by another variety of nettle, Urtica urens, whose leaves are studded with thicker down. The nettle we are talking about in this article should not be confused with another medicinal plant, called white nettle, also called Lamio and belonging to the Labiatae or Lamiaceae family. Here we will refer exclusively to the nettle of the genus Urtica.
Nettle not only causes the known allergic reaction of the skin, but also other beneficial effects due to the presence of different active ingredients contained in the different parts of the plant. The fruits of the nettle contain fatty oils, mucilages and proteins; the aerial parts, flavonoids, vitamins, chlorophyll, mineral salts and secretin; stinging hairs contain histamine, acelticoline and formic acid which is responsible for the stinging effect. Finally, the nettle root contains phenols, tannins, sterols, lecithin and polysaccharides. With this large team of active ingredients, nettle enters fully into the officinal formulations created by homeopathy and phytotherapy. The properties of the plant attributable to the presence of the substances listed above concern the diuretic and purifying, anti-inflammatory and stimulating action. The fats of the seeds would have restorative properties in case of weakness and asthenia; some recent studies have revealed that nettle root would have beneficial effects in case of prostatic hypertrophy, leading to a reduction in the volume of the gland. The mechanism of action of the plant, in this case, is not entirely clear, perhaps the phytosterols and lecithins of the root would prevent the proliferation of prostate cells. The root would also show a diuretic and anti-inflammatory action, which linked to the benefits on the prostate tissue would lead to an improvement in urination with positive diuretic and purifying effects. Nettle leaves, due to the presence of mineral salts and chlorophyll, would have an anti-anemic action. Chlorophyll has a chemical formula similar to human hemoglobin. At the gastrointestinal level, nettle would have an astringent and antidiarrheal effect, but also a digestive one. The latter action can in part be attributed to secretin, a hormonal substance released by the intestinal mucosa and stimulant of biliary, pancreatic and renal secretion. Hence the diuretic effect that allows the use of nettle in cases of uricemia and gout. Nettle also has anti-inflammatory effects and can assist in the treatment of rheumatic diseases. In the past, to calm rheumatism, it was customary to cause the stinging effect on the skin. The heat, generated by contact with the nettle leaves, made it possible to decrease the painful sensation. Nettle juice tones and stimulates the scalp. It is used to combat seborrhea and hair loss. The beneficial action is due to the protein content of the plant which when boiled or dried loses all its stinging effect.
To exert its beneficial effects, nettle extracts can be taken through various pharmaceutical preparations, but few know that in the past the nettle was also consumed for food. The fresh shoots of the plant do not have an irritating effect and are edible. The herbal formulations that allow you to take nettle extracts are, on the other hand, the infusion, decoction, root powder, dry extract, fresh plant juice and mother tincture. The infusion is prepared with the aerial parts and the root. Place 4 grams, that is three or four teaspoons of these herbs, in a cup of boiling water and filtered after ten minutes. The recommended dose is three to four cups a day. The decoction is prepared with the fruits and can be used for external applications. The powder is obtained from the root and can be contained in capsules. The recommended dose is 3.4 capsules per day. The capsules may also contain the dry extract derived from the leaf. In this case the recommended dose is 1, 2 capsules per day. The recommended dose for mother tincture is 40 drops three times a day. Nettle tincture and juice can be used for external applications. The recommended dose is 10% tincture and 5% juice solutions. The use of nettle extracts is not recommended during pregnancy (due to the emmenagogue effect), in case of reduced cardiac and renal efficiency and in case of individual hypersensitivity. Ingestion of large doses of nettle extracts can cause dermatitis, burning and severe gastric irritation.
Nettle: Product costs
On the market there are mainly cosmetic products based on nettle for the treatment of affections of the scalp and for the beauty of the hair. Formulations for internal use are often combined with extracts of other plants, such as serenoa repens. A package of capsules with a mixture of nettle extracts and serenoa repens to be used in case of prostatic hypertrophy and only on medical advice, costs between 12 and 14 euros. A nettle-based shampoo costs between 3 and 5 euros.
The extract from macerated nettle di Alfe is a preparation based on fermented nettle extract with insecticidal, fungicidal, acaricidal action and which also has a metabolic stimulation action. The product manifests a direct action insecticide on many species of insects such as:
- red spider
It also carries out the action of preventionof important fungal diseases such as:
- powdery mildew
- downy mildew
>Allowed in Organic Agriculture
Packaging: 1 liter bottle
NETTLE MACERATO IN THE GARDEN: HOW TO DO IT
The nettle macerate can be prepared at home, by collecting 1 kg of fresh nettles, with the roots, which will be macerated in 10 liters of water inside a jute bag.
Since it is not so easy to find many nettles and it is not an easy job to do either, we can resort to some nettle extracts ready for use.
The nettle extract is 100% natural and can be used on both ornamental plants and garden plants. It is sufficient to dilute the dose indicated in the package in water: it is advisable to apply the solution with a vaporizer, spraying both the foliage and the soil around the base of the plants.
It is important to point out that this is a product that best exerts its action in a preventive manner, to avoid the arrival of molds and parasites: therefore it must be applied regularly from April to September, even if there are no parasites. While crop protection products are useful for eradicating an infestation already in progress, nettle extract gives plants all the tools to avoid becoming the object of attacks. The product is also capable of providing the treated plants with all the help needed to overcome abiotic stresses.
Nettle: how to eliminate it naturally
Despite the undoubted positive properties, as already mentioned, nettle can often represent a problem for thevegetable garden and the garden, as it reproduces rapidly not only by taking away space from other varieties, but also by taking advantage of the nutrients present in the soil. Fortunately, it can be removed easily and effectively, taking advantage of completely natural methods that do not require the use of herbicides or other chemicals.
As you can easily guess, when dealing with nettle it is necessary to equip yourself with appropriate protection. First of all we need gods gloves with a thick consistency, so that the hair of the plant does not come into contact with the hands. Again, it is necessary to wear long trousers, shoes that cover the entire foot and part of the ankle, as well as long-sleeved sweaters or sweatshirts. This is to avoid that, during the elimination operations, parts of the vegetable do not accidentally end up on uncovered portions of the skin.
The simplest method to eliminate nettle is the mechanical one: with one sickle the stems are removed and, after having collected the cut portions with the help of a rake, the rhizome either by hand or by using the appropriate grubber. If the entire root system is properly extracted from the ground, the chances of regrowth will be significantly reduced. Gods then follow natural remedies, well known in popular tradition, but whose effectiveness has not always found scientific confirmation. According to some, for example, putting coarse salt in holes near the plant can facilitate the death of the plant, others instead resort to a spray solution of vinegar and salt. However, the mechanical method is preferable, since the uprooted plants can be recovered for other purposes, thus avoiding waste.
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Risotto Alle Nettles
The recipe for risotto with nettles is excellent, simple and at no cost! You can use both fresh and dried nettle. Dried nettle is readily available in herbalist shops or online, while fresh plants are best picked in places away from busy roads and pollution. Here you will find the complete recipe to follow.
The decoction with nettles
The decoction is a liquid preparation that allows you to make the most of the properties of the officinal herbs used. It can be used for internal use (drink) or for external use (compresses, foot baths, etc.). The materials used are essentially three: colander, saucepan and cup. Proceed by adding the various parts of the nettle to the saucepan and cover them with water. Bring everything to a boil and let it simmer for a period of time ranging from 5 to 15 minutes. Once ready, the decoction must be filtered through a colander and transferred into a cup.
To follow step by step the preparation of the nettle decoction click here!
Nettle herbal tea
Nettle tea is an excellent natural remedy for the well-being of the prostate, the genitourinary system, the vascular, intestinal and renal systems. It is also used as a tonic and tonic, taking advantage of its content of vitamins and mineral salts. The natural antioxidants present in nettle make the herbal tea an effective remedy against cellular aging. Above all, its draining and purifying properties are exploited from the nettle herbal tea. When combined with other medicinal herbs, such as birch and grass, the beneficial effect is guaranteed!
Nettle is a truly versatile herb. It can be used to prepare simple but effective drinks or to create original soups and dishes. Adding to garlic can be a drained and diuretic remedy in this soup that is very easy to prepare and at the same time very tasty. If accompanied by cereals such as barley or spelled it becomes a nutritious and light dish. Here you can find all the steps to prepare spelled and nettle soup.
Crepes with nettle and walnut pesto
Another delicious dish is the crepes with pesto with nettles and walnuts. It may seem like a “bizarre” combination but I assure you that the final result is truly amazing. Remember, once the nettles have been boiled, do not throw away the cooking water but keep it for cooking excellent risottos and soups.
What are you waiting for? Experience this original recipe by clicking here!
The nettle omelette is a tasty recipe and really very easy to make. It will be enough to leaf through the nettle, boil it, squeeze it and then toss it in the pan. Once combined with the egg and Parmesan, the dish is ready to be served as a single dish or as an alternative appetizer.
Read here to learn about doses, ingredients and preparation steps.
The nettle-based flan is a special dish that brings the flavor of the earth and the extraordinary benefits of this plant to the table. Accompanied with fresh seasonal vegetables, it will be an ideal and original dinner!
Here you will find the complete recipe to follow.
Urtica dioica L.
The nettle is a perennial herbaceous plant, up to 150 cm tall, with a branched, creeping rhizome, hollow inside and branched at the base, with a quadrangular stem. The leaves are oval, opposite, long petiolate, elongated and toothed at the margin. The flowers are greenish-yellow, dioecious, small, are gathered in hanging spikelets under the leaves, if female, while the male ones are erect. The fruit is an oval, small achene with a tuft of hair at the apex. The whole plant is provided with hollow stinging hairs inside and swollen at the base.
Ownership and uses
Nettle has haemostatic, diuretic, nutritional and stimulating properties. It is used in herbal medicine, in medicine, in the dyeing and textile industries, in cosmetics in the composition of shampoos for oily hair, lotions for hair loss and anti-dandruff products, and in veterinary medicine. The nettle after cooking loses its horticultural power. The chlorophyll extracted from nettle is used for the coloring of beverages, foods and perfumes. Young shoots are used as a vegetable. In organic farming it is considered an excellent fertilizer and a repellent for many insects, it is also a good food for chickens, horses and cattle.
Land and environment
Nettle grows spontaneously almost everywhere: it prefers fresh soils rich in organic matter, it tolerates drought, cold, and all bad weather well.
It easily reproduces from seed. Sowing can be carried out directly in the open field, on well-worked and refined soil, in September or in spring. In summer, sowing in seedbeds can also be used, transplanting in the autumn or winter months. Another interesting but less used technique is the division of the head of the spontaneous mother plants. The operation is carried out at the end of winter, when the vegetation of the adult plants begins. The plants thus obtained must be quickly buried and tightly pressed to the ground. The stinging power of young plants is very low and the handling operation can be easily facilitated by the use of thin leather gloves. The planting of the seedlings can also be performed with transplanters. Sowing in the field can also be done by machine without burying the seed.
The seedlings can be placed at a distance of 60-80 cm between the rows and 10-15 cm along the row. The plants deriving from direct sowing in the field do not require any thinning. The inter-rows can be even closer if the plant is intended for harvesting only young leaves, up to a density of 16 plants / m 2 for the plots left for seed production, densities of 10 plants / m 2 are preferable.
As with almost all cultivated species, some manual and mechanical weeding interventions are also necessary for the cultivation of nettle. Weeds are often more frequent due to the high fertilization with organic matter. From experiences carried out at the Giardino delle Erbe in Casola Valsenio, the interventions in the early stages of plant development, at the vegetative restart and after each mowing, were important. The nettle, thanks to the rapid vegetative development, quickly closes the inter-row, preventing or minimizing the development of weeds. After each mowing, to facilitate regrowth, and in particular in the driest soils, irrigation is recommended.
Nettle grows easily in soils rich in organic matter and nitrogen compounds. At the time of plowing, it is recommended to add large quantities of organic matter, mature manure, slurry, etc. Nettle cultivation remains alive for over 4-5 years, so fertilization with 500 q / ha of manure is essential. Each year it is possible to add 70-80 nitrogen units / hectare at the vegetative restart, or distributed after each mowing to stimulate regrowth.
Collection and yield
The leaves of the plant are used, the harvest is carried out by cutting the epigeal part shortly before flowering or when the stem is still herbaceous. In the first year of planting, only one harvest is often performed before the plant blooms, from the second year the nettle can be cut 2 to 4 times.
The average production of green product referring to one hectare of plant in full production varies between 100 and 130 q / ha, the green / dry decrease will be 3 to 1, remaining about 30-50 q of dried plant with defoliation. overall yield is reduced by 40% remaining a total of about 20-30 q. The freshly cut nettle must be taken quickly to the drying room to avoid the loss of the active ingredients and the color of the leaves. Due to the high water content, the epigeal parts must not be excessively stratified and drying must be performed as quickly as possible. A technique used by some companies consists in cutting the young stems a few cm from the ground and passing them through a cutter, only after arranging the chopped parts in a dryer.
The nettle is a very rustic plant and little subject to attacks by parasites and pathogens. Up to now it has been scarcely cultivated, therefore there are no reports of particular pathologies in the bibliography. In the spontaneous state, plants with powdery mildew and russeting attacks have been found. On some plants, in the spontaneous state, the presence of green aphids has also been found.
San Faustino Garden
Nettle Festival "4 - 5 - 6 October 2019" at the San Faustino Garden: even for the neighborhood party, the Garden becomes the protagonist!
After the inauguration which will take place on 4 October in the "historic center" of the Ortica, a theatrical show in the courtyard of via San Faustino 3 and then at 20.30 the concert dedicated to Jannacci at "La Balera dell’Ortica" the party will mostly move to the Garden.
Indeed, Saturday 5 October will join us at Garden "The artists' bandwagon" , which invite children from the neighborhood (and not) at circus workshops (at 5.00 pm) which will follow at h.20 the show, to which we are pleased to invite you, "Make a wish" (in which children who have attended the workshop can also participate as protagonists). The day will end at 21.00 at the magnificent Sanctuary of the Madonna delle Grazie with a classical music concert.
On Sunday 6 October the garden will host the party of neighborhood associations. The gate will be opened at 10 o'clock and you can wander around the stands of the associations and participate in all the workshops that they propose to you. At 11.00 will begin the two concertsi: the first is a delightful duo Celtic harp and guitar, the second the master's experimental project Waffle Hair: "Forget the piano“.
At 12.30, always of Sunday 6 October, We are waiting for you to share with us a picnic on the soft grass of the Garden. You bring the blankets and a small gift for the solidarity store *, we give you a basket with lunch and entertainment. We remind you to book at the addresses indicated on the flyer.
Finally at 15.00 to close the day of the San Faustino Garden, there will be the presentation of the books "Crimes in the garden "and" Escapes and returns "in the presence of the authors Anna Maria Castoldi and Miriam Donati.
The garden will greet the party at 16, but don't worry, you can continue to have fun by going to the last event of this 2019 edition at the Balera dell’Ortica.
* You can bring any gift you want, if you have no idea and want some advice we put here a list indicated by Caritas with the most consumed products:
Can you use nettle macerate? It is a totally natural product and it is good to know its properties. In fact, pesticides and fungicides are important allies to defeat the diseases that can affect the plants of our garden and our vegetable garden, but as far as possible we can adopt totally natural solutions, especially for the care of the garden, herbs and fruit plants.
The use of nettle macerate is a widely used practice in organic farming as it allows a triple beneficial action for plants: it is an excellent fertilizer, it prevents fungal diseases (such as Alternaria is Moniliosis) and wards off some parasites, such as Aphids, Altiche, Moths, Carpocapsa is Mites. The cellular juices of nettle are rich in salicylic acid and formic acid, which are effective in limiting the presence of insects, acting as a repellent.
The beneficial properties of nettle juices are also easily assimilated by plants and help to overcome the periods of greatest energy consumption.
Nettle: definition and how to recognize it
For Urtica dioica one intends herbaceous plant native to Europe, Asia, North America and Africa, today very widespread throughout the world. Known to most for its stinging abilities in contact with the skin, so much so as to cause the appearance of particularly itchy blisters and pustules, it is a vegetable that is appreciated almost everywhere given its phytotherapeutic properties, in the kitchen and for the extraction of textile fibers. Being a decidedly rustic variety, and with a very rapid multiplication, it can nevertheless be infesting: it grows almost everywhere, from flowered meadows to small flower beds, even sprouting from rocks, from small spaces between the bricks of the pavement and in many other places.
Recognizing nettle is quite simple, as it has some features immediately identifiable. Between 20 centimeters and a meter in height - with some specimens that can even exceed two meters - it has a thin and erect stem, covered with a thick fluff. It is the latter that determines the stinging reaction, releasing a fluid responsible for intense itching and burning. The leaves they are of an intense green color, with an oval or lanceolate shape, and have a completely serrated profile. Again, in the central part they are rough and full of grooves, while the flowers are small, white and grouped around the stem. The nettles finally see a creeping rhizome, capable of giving life to numerous other plants, and this is precisely the reason for its rapid multiplication and the infesting nature of the plant.
How to store nettle?
Once collected (always with gloves!) And cleaned, the nettle can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. If, on the other hand, you do not want to use it a few days after harvest, you must absolutely proceed with thedrying. With this procedure, the nettle will maintain its properties over time without undergoing decomposition.
After washing it, dry the nettle using a salad spinner or absorbent paper. Subsequently, scatter the leaves on the trays of the dryer or on racks (taking care not to overlap them). Then place them in the dark, in a dry and ventilated place. If you use the dryer, set it at 40 ° C for about 12 - 18 hours. After drying, store them in the dark in airtight boxes or glass jars.
Another method for drying nettle is "the one in bunches". Hang them with the whole stem upside down for a few days, always in the dark and in a ventilated place, until completely dry.
In addition to cooking, nettle is also excellent for the vegetable garden. Absolutely try the nettle macerate