stinging nettles wanted

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by greeny, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. greeny

    greeny New Member

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    If you have stinging nettles (or Stimulating Nettles as i think of them) on your property and are open to allowing me to pick them, please let me know!
    The only spot i knew in Vancouver is no longer available.
    I will drive anywhere in the lower mainland for a good patch. I need them for healing.
    Thank you!
    Rick
     
  2. Fine ocean parker

    Fine ocean parker Active Member

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    I think I know of a place but, aren't they a perennial and not up yet? Also how many are you looking for? What kind of healing can you do with them?
     
  3. greeny

    greeny New Member

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    I would like to pick a couple of buckets full to dry and have for the year - they are really only good to pick for the next month or so.
    There is a wide range of times Nettles first appear, they are sensitive to micro climates. I have picked in the last week of february in squamish, other places are later but pretty much everywhere around here they will appear within a couple of weeks either side of today! I prefer to get them young and vigorous when they first appear.
    The range of conditions they are good for is also wide, it's an amazing plant. For me right now i want them for treating pain due to carpal tunnel injury (for that i need fresh, it's the sting that helps) and for the high calcium content (as much as 500mg per cup) as i am prescribed calcium supplements for a thyroid condition. I'd rather use a plant, where the calcium content is balanced with other things, instead of the pills.
    Aside from medicinal uses it tastes great, really great, steamed with butter and salt. I'd never bother with spinach if i had a steady supply of nettle! Makes a pleasant tea which also has beneficial effects listed below.
    Women swear that eating lots of it the week before menstruation greatly reduces associated discomforts, probably due to high iron content and it's anti-bloating and diuretic action.

    some other uses, from http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-nettle.html#side-effects

    Indicated for: Seasonal allergies, arthritis, bronchitis, bursitis, gingivitis, laryngitis, prostatitis, rhinitis, sinusitis, tendinitis, BPH, rheumatism and other inflammatory conditions. High blood pressure, hair loss, anaemia, excessive menstruation, haemorrhoids, eczema, gout, sciatica, neuralgia, haemorrhoids. Alzheimer's disease, asthma, bladder infections, hives, kidney stones, multiple sclerosis, PMS, prostate enlargement and sciatica
     
  4. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Do note that the efficacy of nettles for all of those medicinal uses has yet to be proven, though some uses are strongly indicated, e.g., here. Consult the scientific literature.

    On another note, please be sure to harvest ethically -- stinging nettle is a valuable larval food source for some PNW butterflies. I'm guessing that's usually not a problem with nettles, though, as my experience is that they are usually in large patches.
     
  5. greeny

    greeny New Member

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    Good advice, thanks Daniel. The uses i have for it have been well proven to me by personal experience. I do not harvest the whole plant, just the tops, and have seen that this does not destroy the patch. It comes back fine and continues to spread.
     
  6. Fine ocean parker

    Fine ocean parker Active Member

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    Sorry for my delay, they look about 5" tall now I checked this past weekend. I'll try my best to give you directions to them. The patch I know of is at the bottom of the stairs called "1001 steps" in south surrey. They are located at the end of 15a ave and 126a st ( and you will have to park on 126th). Once at the stairs go to the bottom and when you get there follow the gravel path about 20' and you will see a dirt path on the left that goes to a chain link fence. Take the dirt path and on the left you will find them. I believe this is a descent patch about 10' x 20' and I'm 98% sure they are what you are looking for. Good luck it is beautiful down there, perhaps I'll see you. Let me know how it goes, and again sorry for the delay.
    Mike
     
  7. greeny

    greeny New Member

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    Thanks Mike, sounds like a good place to go for a walk. I'll let you know what i find.
     
  8. greeny

    greeny New Member

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    Hey Mike - made it out to the steps yesterday and had a beautiful plate of steamed nettles with dinner! Thanks very much for the tip. Steamed nettles are a great treat to kick off spring. I'm already feeling relief from carpal tunnel pain thanks to nettle stings along my arm.
    As woodschmoe points out below, this is not be the best place to pick for eating as train track beds are sprayed with herbicides, creosote, and other nasty things. Using the stinging properties for pain should be fine though (in my unprofessional opinion). Worked for me yesterday.

    Happy spring
    (picture is from the area you sent me to)
     

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    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013
  9. woodschmoe

    woodschmoe Active Member 10 Years

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    Having grown up in Crescent Beach, just down the tracks from where you were picking, I would caution that the railway bed is routinely sprayed with herbicides, and the ties themselves are often immersed in creosote or wood preservative. I bring this up because nettles are noted as a bioaccumulator (which makes it such a nutrient rich food), and is mentioned (in literature on phytoremediation) as particularly prone to concentrate arsenic and other toxins. On account of this, I'd strongly suggest avoiding anything growing along or adjacent to the tracks.
     
  10. greeny

    greeny New Member

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    thanks - i wondered about that. excellent advice. too bad they don't grow around the community garden in vancouver any more.
     
  11. Sundrop

    Sundrop Well-Known Member

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    Pick up one (or more) rooted shoot and plant it somewhere where you would like to have them growing, away from pollution and preferably somewhere where they will have enough moisture. They should spread very quickly. Harvesting will help them grow with even more vigour.
    Note that not only leaves but also roots have medicinal properties.
     
  12. Fine ocean parker

    Fine ocean parker Active Member

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    My wife's keen eye spotted some more yesterday on our walk! I'll try my best to direct you again and they are away from the tracks.
    If you park in the parking lot of the park at 128th and marine dr ( not far from the steps ). You will find two buildings and if you go to the back ( south side ) of the east building you sould be happy to find some neddles along the chain link fence.
    Good luck!
    P.s. if you climb the fence there are more but there are some with in reach without having to climb.
     
  13. 4ager

    4ager Active Member

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    Are there still locations to pick stinging nettle? I am searching for some for my mom's arthritis. Please share.
     
  14. Fine ocean parker

    Fine ocean parker Active Member

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    There is a patch behind the east building in kawamis point park, in south surrey ( ocean park ). They extend out from behind a chain link fence so you could gather some with out going over but could get more by going over. As this is a park just be selective and respectful and should be fine ( the one over the fence are out of the park).Hope this helps.
     
  15. 4ager

    4ager Active Member

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    Thanks Fine Ocean Parker
     
  16. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Just an update: the Garden's Shop now has stinging nettles for sale. I suspect most people would intend to purchase them for growing as food, but if one wanted to provide additional larval food plants for butterflies, it'd be a welcome addition to a landscape.
     

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