The common stinging nettle is widespread in Europe, North Africa, Asia and North America and appears in early spring on sunny and humid desolate meadows. Although it is armed with dangerous hairs that release hot juice when touched, nettle is the most used herb in Bulgaria. The stinging nettle is one incredible source of iron. It is therefore recommended for people suffering from exhaustion after major operations and for people with anemia.
It is especially useful for people who are taking medications that extract potassium from the body.
Nettle is the basis for many popular Bulgarian spring dishes - soups, porridges, even salads. It is also a very suitable food for pregnant and breastfeeding women. The thing is – it is not recommended for people who suffer from kidney stones.
Nettle has a wonderful effect on hair, skin and bones.
For strong and shiny Hair:
You can take advantage of its invaluable properties by preparing a simple infusion of 5 tablespoons of dried nettle leaves in a liter of boiling water (soak for 30 minutes) and rinse your washed hair with it. It will absorb all the beneficial substances of the herb. For extra shine, add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to the infusion.
Nettle with honey – infused drink:
This drink will increase your energy because it stimulates the functions of the adrenal gland and restores the flexibility of blood vessels. One cup of tincture contains 500 mg of calcium and generous doses of magnesium, potassium and zinc, which are important for bones, muscles and heart. It is also an excellent source of vitamins A, D, E and K.
Because of these ingredients, the infusion is especially useful in the spring, when the body needs remineralization.
On 30 g (1 tsp) dried nettle leaves pour 0,500ml of boiling water and leave to soak overnight. Strain into a small saucepan and place in the refrigerator. The infusion will be drinkable for only about 3 days. It has a quite grassy taste and it is best to drink it cold, garnished with half a tea spoon of honey and the juice of a slice or two of lemon.
Nettle as food:
Besides being useful, nettle is also delicious. The most popular dish that is prepared with it in the spring is the soup. There are different recipes for making nettle soup, but the one our family likes is a richer option, with more vegetables. We put carrots and red peppers in it, but what really distinguishes our soup from nettle is that we use bulgur instead of traditional rice for density.
- nettle - 200 g
- bulgur - 2 tsp.
- 2 crushed eggs -
- oil – 3-4 table spoons
- OR around 50 gr butter cube.
- red pepper - 1 tsp. (or paprika)
- black pepper - 1 tbsp.
- 1 small onion
- 1-2 garlic cloves
- salt to taste
In 1.2 l boiling water pour the bulgur and boil it with a pinch of salt. In a small saucepan put the butter to heat and add the finely chopped onion and garlic to fry for a minute then add the nettle for another minute to soften, the red and the black pepper are to be added next and remove the saucepan from the heat. Once the bulgur is boiled add the nettle from the saucepan to the pot and mix with the bulgur. If you like cream soups, use a blender to blend it smoothly and add the 2 crashed eggs at the end of the cooking just before you take the ready soup off the hob. When serving garnish with feta cheese or yogurt.
Nettle recipes from the grandma old and wise cupboard just enough to cleanse and revive your body in the spring.
Shared with love,
By A. A.
“When the nettle is young, the leaves make excellent greens; when it grows old it has filaments and fibers like hemp and flax. Cloth made from the nettle is as good as that made from hemp. Chopped up, the nettle is good for poultry; pounded, it is good for horned cattle. The seed of the nettle mixed with the fodder of animals gives a luster to their skin; the root, mixed with salt, produces a beautiful yellow dye. It makes, however, excellent hay, as it can be cut twice in a season. And what does the nettle need? very little soil, no care, no culture; except that the seeds fall as fast as they ripen, and it is difficult to gather them; that is all. If we would take a little pain, the nettle would be useful; we neglect it, and it becomes harmful. Then we kill it. How much men are like the nettle! My friends, remember this, that there are no weeds, and no worthless men, there are only bad farmers.”
- Victor Hugo