Fresh green stinging nettle seeds growing on the plant
It's September and we're at our workshop on Wild Food and Medicine, led by bushcraft and woodcraft teacher Jonathon Huet.
We're a large group, and as we wander along the forest paths, Jonathon points out plants that are good to eat or can be used as medicine, like chickweed, elderberries and the like. I'm at the back, chatting to herbalist Lucinda Warner who tells me that nettle seeds are good for adrenal stress.
I'm keen to hear more, as I've been feeling pretty stressed out lately...
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Nettle seeds it turns out are great for skin and hair, and for supporting the kidneys and strengthening the adrenals. They are adaptogens ie they help you adapt to stress, and are loaded with minerals and trace elements.
Henriette's Herbal (www.henriettes-herb.com) says this about them:
Back in the 1800s dishonest horse peddlers in Germany, Hungary and Ireland (and probably other places) used to give 1-2 handsful of nettle seed a day to horses for about 2 weeks before they took them to market. This gave the horses shiny pelts and a youthful appearance, and brought a handsome price. The youthfulness of course disappeared once the animals got to their new homes - no nettle seed.
Lucinda explains how to use them:
(Whilst it's more satisfying and connected to pick your own, nettle seeds only grow in the wild in summer and autumn, at other times you can buy them on Amazon or eBay.)
How the dried seeds look when collected in a storage jar
Author & Curator
Nigel Berman is the founder of School of the Wild.