Today I was scrolling through my news feed on Facebook and came across a video where a guy was spinning fibre from nettles to make textiles. This appeals to me as a knitter and crocheter. It also appeals to me because nettles are amazing food and medicine.
Although I could only find the video on Facebook I found this one on Youtube.
What is a Nettle?
Found in the woods and by roadsides, nettles are beautiful lush green plants. They have serrated edges and they sting. The nettle sting is a deep burning sensation that seems to last forever.
Nettles For Food
Add nettle leaves to salads soups and stews. Use them as a side dish like spinach. Make a refreshing cup of nettle tea.
My favorite nettle tea is Celebration Herbals Nettle Leaf C/S Tea Organic Loose Pack, 40Gm
My Herbal Professor told us that you could live off of nettles and water for up to 3 months. I don’t recommend it but it is nice to know it’s possible. Please remember to wear heavy gloves when harvesting nettles.
Nettles are full of essential minerals like calcium and potassium. They are rich in Vitamin A and beta carotene. A full nutritional breakdown is available at nutritionvalue.org
Nettles are refrigerants which can help cool down those menopausal hot flashes. They ease cramping and bloating from menstruation.
Diuretic and detoxifying actions in nettles allow the body to release toxins easily.
Other medicinal uses for nettles include
- improved circulation
- breaks down gall stones and kidney stones
- prevents water retention
- helps prevent benign prostatic hyperplasia
For fuller descriptions check out organic facts.
One of my favorite yarns to knit with is linen. It gives a subtle yet gorgeous finish to garments. I love it combined with cotton like in CotLin DK Yarn from knitpicks one of my affiliate partners. Linen is made from Flax.
Nettles are amazing because you can use the leaves as food and medicine and the stock as yarn. There is no simple name for nettle yarn however, that will be coming soon. Fashion houses are picking up on this eco friendly alternative to cotton. Check out this site for more information on nettle fibre.
Fun Fact – spinning nettles into yarn is not new. Military uniforms have been made from nettle fibre during Napoleonic wars, World War I and World War II.