We had a welcoming Spring in the Seattle area today! What better way to spend it outdoors harvesting spring nettles. Why go through all the trouble to pick a plant that stings you? Spring nettles are a great source of minerals, particularly phosphorus and potassium. While late summer nettles are higher in the following minerals, calcium, magnesium, and sulfur. Wear gloves when you cut this plant that is if you don't have a technique down to avoid the sting. I love using the nettles fresh! Before going to bed, I carefully place a plastic grocery bag full of nettles I've harvested into a large soup pot. Then I boil water in our electric kettle and pour the boiled water over the nettles until I have covered the leaves and stems by a couple of inches. In the morning I strain the liquid into quart mason jars and drink throughout the next few days. You can sweeten the beverage with a little bit of honey. Keep refrigerated. Try it out and let me know your thoughts!
Reference: Peterson & Jensen. Effects of Nettle Water... Bio. Ag & Hort. V.2, Iss.4, 1985.