Product: Nettle Leaves
Latin Name: Urtica dioica
Plant Family: Urticaceae
Other Names: Common Nettle, Stinging Nettle, European Stinging Nettle, Ortiga Ancha, Gerrais, Isirgan, Kazink, Grande Ortie, Ortie, Urtiga, Chichicaste, Wergulu & Brennessel.
Description: Nettle is an herbaceous, perennial plant native to Europe and most temperate regions of the world. It can grow to a height of 2 metres. The leaves are between 3-15cm in length, bright green darkening as the leaf matures, heart shaped which taper gradually to a sharp point, the leaf edges are sharply serrated and covered in fine hairs that ‘sting’ on contact. The individual flowers are 1-2mm in diameter and green or brown in colour, they form dense panicle clusters.
Brief History: Dioscorides in the 1st century A.D. used crushed nettle leaf as a ‘bandage’ for wounds that had gone septic; he also extracted the juice to treat nosebleeds. Oil extracted from the seed was once used to light lamps before the advent of paraffin, the juice from fresh nettle leaves has been rubbed onto wooden vessels for holding fluids to seal them and prevent them from leaking. Nettles have been used for making fibre and rope, during WWII nettle fibre was used to make uniforms for the German army when they could no longer obtain supplies of cotton.
SUGGESTED USEThe leaves can be used to make tea, beer, wine and soup; they can also be added to cheese and are the traditional ‘wrapping’ for Cornish Yarg cheese. The plant can also be used to make paper, and a natural insecticide can be obtained from the leaves as well as an organic plant fertiliser. Green dye can be obtained from the leaf. An extract from the plant is used in the cosmetic industry to make shampoos for dandruff prone hair and for strengthening hair.
Shelf life of two years provided that goods are stored in an airtight container in ambient conditions.
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