Try This Out: Nettle Garlic Buttermilk Biscuits

| 4/29/2011 10:37:49 AM

E.McIntoshErin is the Communication Manager at Mountain Rose Herbs and an apprenticing herbalist at the Columbines School of Botanical Studies, where she botanizes and wildcrafts medicinal plants in the magnificent Oregon Casacades. 

It’s time once again to harvest the tender green tops of the glorious stinging nettle!

Growing happily in herb gardens, wet woods and riparian eco-systems this time of year, Urtica dioica is used around the world as a springtime tonic. Whether taken as a tincture, nutrient-rich tea, sautéed with garlic, added to green juice, or blended fresh into smoothies and pesto, this versatile and delicious herb is much beloved—stinging trichomes and all!

29 April 2011 Nettle Plant 
Spring nettles growing wild in the Oregon woods!  
Photo by Erin McIntosh 

How humans came to trust this lovely but very well armed perennial is a mystery to me. When I told my mom that nettles make tasty greens, her voice filled with pain as she recounted childhood memories of neighborhood kids chasing each other with spiky stems full of the dreaded burning chemical cocktail!

For those who brave the sting, nettles are a true powerhouse offering us potassium, calcium, magnesium, silicic acid, iron, zinc and a plethora of other vitamins and minerals. It has also been used throughout history to make rope and beautiful green dye.