‘Love is a garden full of flowers and marriage is a field of stinging nettles’ Finnish proverb
I do find this a bit harsh, the stinging nettle is such a useful herb once you get past the sting….but then I guess that could apply to marriage too! It is very easy to grow provided it is given enough water. The biggest problem is where to plant it. To avoid accidental stings, it needs to be away from areas where people walk and it gets very big and out of hand quite quickly. I wouldn’t plant it in a very small garden or if I had small children around.
Making fabric with nettles goes back to the Danes in the Bronze Age who wrapped their dead in nettle fabric shrouds. In World War 2 it was used to make a dull green dye. Making herbal dyes is on my to-do list.
Nettles are very rich in minerals, including iron, and Vitamins A, B and C, making them an effective tonic. The best way to take them as a tonic is to liquidise the whole plant. As an infusion nettles clear the body of uric acid, so can be used as a treatment for gout and arthritis. They also increase milk flow for breast-feeding mothers, and can relieve the symptoms of hay-fever.
Stinging Nettle – Urtica dioica