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Nettles for Vitality

Nettles for Vitality

The leaves and stems of stinging nettles are rich in iron, potassium, manganese, calcium, iodine, beta-carotene, vitamin C, and the B-complex vitamins, and have long been used in northern climes to improve vitality. The Gaelic saint Columba favored nettle broth during his sojourn on Iona. Four centuries later and half a world away, the great Tibetan yogi Milarepa acquired a greenish complexion from years of subsisting entirely on nettle soup while meditating in a cave.

Nettles pop up in the same places year after year and are harvested in early spring (wear gloves!), well before they flower. Use them instead of (or in addition to) spinach, kale, mustard greens, or chard in any of your favorite recipes. Or steam and serve them as a side dish with a little butter and Parmesan cheese. Nettles lose their sting when cooked but their color deepens to an astonishing shade of green thatís particularly welcome after a long winter.

Deborah Willoughby is the founding editor of Yoga+.

Read more: All recipes, Diet & Nutrition, Food, Nature, Side Dishes, Soups & Salads, , , ,

By Deborah Willoughby, Yoga+

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Megan, selected from Yoga+ Magazine

Yoga International is an award-winning, independent magazine that contemplates the deeper dimensions of spiritual life--exploring the power of yoga practice and philosophy to not only transform our bodies and minds, but inspire meaningful engagement in our society, environment, and the global community.


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8:27AM PST on Jan 26, 2013

Thank you Megan, for Sharing this!

2:27PM PDT on Jun 8, 2012

I am wondering what time of year can they be harvested? Are they still edible after they flower?

3:46PM PST on Jan 7, 2012

I haven't seen a nettle plant in so many years I can't remember

3:37PM PST on Jan 7, 2012

I live in Eastern England - nettles grow big and mean here - they can easily sting through clothes and toward the end of their season they can reach to nearly head height. Eating them is a far better idea than simply hating them - I'll try this next year - nettle season starts around April normally but this winter has been so much warmer that last year (10c compared to -10c last January) who knows!!

4:15PM PST on Dec 6, 2011

I like to serve them freshly picked in a salad for my in-laws.

1:53AM PDT on Aug 28, 2011


12:36AM PDT on Aug 23, 2011

Thanks Megan.

5:31AM PDT on May 20, 2011

Going out to pick some nettles today!

5:30PM PDT on Aug 6, 2010

nettles for allergies!

4:39PM PDT on Jun 23, 2010

I have got to find a class about local wild edibles in my area.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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