A prickly difficult plant to handle but this plant punches a power of nutrition and plant actions to help with human health.
In New Zealand there are three species of Urtica – Urtica dioica (greater nettle), Urtica urens (lesser nettle) and the New Zealand native nettle is Urtica ferox (Also known as Ongaonga). Ferox is Latin for ‘ferocious’, people have been known to die from contact with Urtica ferox. This plant can produce neurotoxic effects with respiratory distress and convulsions.
The fabulous actions of nettle: Anti-rheumatic, anti-allergic, depurative, astringent, diuretic, and a general tonic.
Have a look for wild nettles in your garden and enjoy as a nutritious substitute for spinach. Similar taste to spinach but no oxalic acid in nettles. The culinary use of nettles: Nettle soup, green goddess tart, spanakopita, dumplings, tossed with ravioli or pasta spirals.
Products – a tisane, or a vinegar to extract the vitamins – A, B2, C, E and minerals – calcium, potassium, magnesium and iron.