Okay, it's just a plant. Plants aren't vicious; they just are. But still....
The stinging nettle grows everywhere on our farm, often to a height of six feet or more. For a time I was merciless about ripping it out and tossing it on the compost pile. Actually, this is an excellent place to toss it, as its high nitrogen content aides composting. But I've mended my ways. Stinging nettle is a genuinely useful plant to have around.
|Dried nettle, no longer stinging.|
The entire plant is used to make a soft gray green dye. It has cosmetic applications and is said to stimulate hair growth. The stems provide a flax-like fiber for making fabric. It's rich in iron and useful in low-salt diets.
If you plan to gather stinging nettles for any reason, keep in mind that bruised dock rubbed on the sting serves as an antidote. And if you don't already have enough of this wonderful plant on your property, you can order seeds and plants from Richters Herb and Vegetable Catalogue. Really.