Stinging Nettle: Urtica Dioica
Harvested in late spring through early summer. Use the leaves, seeds, roots and young tops. Be careful if you’ve never harvested this herb before… the “green goddess/green man herb” can sting (leather gloves protect best).
In Northern California I’ve noticed them growing wild closer to the coast in abundant rich green clusters, shaded by the forest’s canopy and near mountain springs or along creek beds.
Considered a Chinese “long life” herb. Generally, the leaves and seeds are used. Blanch the leaves to remove stingers and use in soups, sauces, teas, tinctures, salves, hair and scalp tonics, etc. The herb is rich in iron, calcium, potassium, silicon, magnesium, zinc and chromium, as well as a host of other vitamins and minerals.
A co-worker found a different type of mint growing in her garden and attempted to smell if—she got a snootful of stings! At least her nose won’t be arthritic! Please share your nettle experiences with us.