Urban Wild Foraging with Garliq
Episode #1 – Nettles
In this 1st episode of Urban Wild Foraging with Garliq, I take you to my favourite Nettles patch so that you can meet the plants where they grow.
In this video, you’ll learn more than just:
Nettles are the most nutritious food you have access to.
(plus, they’re free to gather!)
You’ll also learn 5 keys to Nettles foraging:
- Where to look
- How to identify them
- 3 Remedies to treat the sting + A Tip for sting prevention
- Nettles as food and medicine
- The Most Important reason I suggest everyone eat Nettles
Where to Look …
Stinging Nettles love moist, rich soil. So look in wet places like lakes or river beds, or the forest near ocean. You can check near old compost or manure piles. Horse stables can provide for a rich harvest.
How to identify them
Nettles are fairly easy to identify, once you have a few keys to look for. They almost always grow in patches, so when you find one you find many.
Look for these 4 key attributes:
- leaves growing in pairs on opposite sides of the stem
- triangular shaped leaves with large even ‘teeth’
- purple colour in stem or new leaves (frequent, but not always present)
- hairy stem and leaves
If you’re still not sure, you can sting yourself by rubbing your arm or hand against the plant. Be cautious by avoiding sensitive skin. As you see in the video I stung my inner arm. It hurt!
3 topical remedies to relieve the sting …
- Yellow dock (Rumex spp.) leaves chewed or crushed
- Plantain (Plantago major or P. lancelata) leaves as a ‘spit poultice’
- Nettles (Urtica spp.) leaves crushed fresh
But if you really dislike the sting, just wear rubber gloves while harvesting and processing. (Cloth gardening gloves seem like they’ll work, but they don’t do a great job)
The Most Important Reason I suggest everyone eat Nettles
To understand why I think Nettles are so important, you have to understand a little about my approach to plants. I don’t get really excited about all chemicals that are found in plants. I’m not a nutritionist who will tell you lots of stats about which vitamins and minerals are in each plant.
My approach to plants focuses on understanding their character (or personality) to learn about their healing traits. Where and how they grow and especially how they respond to stresses reveals a great deal about how they work as medicine.
This holistic approach opens you to surprising secrets about plants. But you’ll need to watch the video to find out about some of Nettle’s secrets.
Also Check Out:
The Living Medicine Blog for recipes for wild foods and herbal medicines, tips and tricks on ‘how to’ with herbs, as well as some plant geek fun from time to time.
The Community Foraging Maps for the Vancouver Area and the Nelson Area. Built for you, by you.
The New Here? page, if you’re new to this site. It explains everything I do around here