The wild ramp, AKA wild leek, botanical name Allium tricoccum, is a flowering perennial plant that grows in clusters. It is a member of the Allium family along with onions and leeks
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Stinging Nettle Leaves
Inventory, bunch : 0
This item was last sold on : 04/06/18
|Coleman Family Farms||Homepage|
Stinging Nettles are a single stalked, leafy herb, with small, heart-shaped leaves. The dark green leaves form in opposing pairs and have widely-toothed margins and coarse veins. Stiff, tiny hairs cover the leaves and thick, square stems of the Stinging Nettle. If handled, the tips of the tiny hairs break off and become needle-like protrusions that exude histamine and acetylcholine that can cause an itching sensation, along with redness, swelling and numbness. The reaction can last up to 48 hours in some people. Once the hairs are removed from the plant, it can be consumed. The flavor of Stinging Nettle leaves is similar to spinach.
Stinging Nettles are available year-round in temperate climates, with a peak season in the spring and early summer months.
Stinging Nettles are most often considered a common weed, however, they have been used since ancient times for medicinal, culinary, and textile purposes. The leafy herb is botanically known as Urtica dioica (or the related Urtica urens) and is best known for the irritating little hairs that cover the leaves, earning its “stinging” moniker. Referred to as Common Nettle, Roman Nettle, or California Nettle, Stinging Nettles are in the Urtucaceae family, whose name comes from the Latin ‘uro’ meaning, “to burn” and is classified as an herb, but is used more like a vegetable. The versatile Stinging Nettle was used to make cloth, rope and fishing nets during World War I in Germany and Austria and in Europe is a preferred treatment for the early stages of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH).
Stinging Nettles are nutrient-rich with vitamins A, B2, C, and K, as well as minerals like potassium, folate, calcium and iron. Cooked or dried Stinging Nettles are very high in protein. The plant is one of the richest sources of chlorophyll in the world. Chlorophyll is a green pigment related to the plant’s photosynthesis, but it is also beneficial for good health. Chlorophyll can help control hunger, encourage healing and cleanse the body of toxins; it has also effective in relieving swelling and redness, promoting healthy iron levels and contains a rich amount of antioxidants.
Stinging Nettles should be handled with care, using thick gloves or tongs. Wash Stinging Nettles well in a colander under cool running water to remove dirt build-up and to remove the small needles. Washing or cooking the leaves and stem can rid the plant of its stinging qualities. Stinging Nettle leaves can be used just like spinach in egg dishes, soups or stews. Puree Stinging Nettle leaves for a variation on pesto or to add to cold soups. Stinging Nettle pairs well with full-fat dairy, which also helps the body absorb the antioxidants in the leaves. The leaves are most well-known for a British “Nettle soup” that has for generations gained a reputation for ‘cleansing the blood.’ In Scotland, the leaves are used to make “nettle pudding,” with leeks, broccoli and rice. Stinging Nettle leaves are also used to make teas and a beverage similar to ginger beer. Use the spinach-like leaves on pizza or in lasagnas. One of the most unique uses for Stinging Nettles is as an alternate to rennet for cheese making. Leaves are boiled along with an almost equal amount of salt; the concoction is strained and added to fresh milk.
Going back centuries, Stinging Nettles have been used for easing joint pain and congestion. Stinging Nettles were used to treat gout and anemia, and to rid the body of excess water (diuretic). The herb’s use as a tea is well-known for helping relieve mucus congestion, stimulate digestion, and help nursing mothers produce milk. Nettle juice is considered a topical treatment for the relief of its own sting. The leaves are crushed to expose its juice and release healing compounds. The term “urtification” comes from the Stinging Nettle plant, and describes a practice of self-whipping or flogging using the fresh nettle plant. This practice has been done for thousands of years, and in many cultures, to relieve pain, rheumatism, lethargy and paralysis. Urtification was performed by Roman soldiers while invading the British Isles, to stimulate circulation on long marches.
Stinging Nettles are native to the colder climates of northern Europe and Asia. Today, thanks in part to explorers and immigrants bringing the herb with them on their travels, Stinging Nettles can be found growing all over the world. There are five recognized subspecies of Urtica dioica. The plant’s origins go back thousands of years. The Greek physician Hippocrates who lived during the 4th and 5th century B.C. had over 60 reported remedies using the herb. In Scotland prior to the 17th century, fiber made from the stems of the Stinging Nettle was woven into linen, and was considered to be one of the most durable fabrics of its time. Burial shrouds constructed of fabric from the Stinging Nettle were found in Denmark and date back to the Bronze Age (roughly 3000 to 2000 B.C.). Stinging Nettles grow in nitrogen-rich soil (and its presence is usually an indicator of such) and grow profusely in the wild. They are both cultivated and foraged, and are most often found in the spring at farmer’s markets or specialty health stores.
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|Two Seven Eight||San Diego CA||619-278-0080|
Recipes that include Stinging Nettle Leaves. One is easiest, three is harder.
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