How to dry nettle?
How to search for nettle in order to preserve its healthful and tasteful properties? Nettle is a common herbaceous plant. It grows in all kinds of habitats, but it grows most fertile in shady and moist places. In Poland the native species are nettle and stinging nettle. It is a rich source of vitamins C, B1, E and K, phosphorus, manganese, silicon and calcium, which strengthens the structure of hair, nails and supports immunity. It has cleansing, bactericidal and diuretic properties, supports the treatment of acne, has a positive effect on the functioning of the liver and intestines.
When and where to harvest nettle?
Herbal raw material is usually the leaves, the most valuable in early spring, before the flowering period. It is also a good source of rhizomes and roots, which are harvested from November until spring. In their case, before further processing, they should be washed thoroughly in cold water. Nettle should be harvested in places away from roads and industrial plants.
How to use nettle?
Nettle can be taken in the form of:
- raw, as an addition to e.g. salads or smoothies,
- dried in the form of infusions to drink or rinses, capsules, additives to meals,
- Tinctures for drinking or rubbing.
It should be noted at this point that too large dosage of nettle can cause dehydration of the body, increase in iron levels, decrease in sugar levels. It should not be used by people with kidney disease, after surgery and with hypoglycemia.
How to dry nettle properly?
Thanks to Nettle drying, We can enjoy its health benefits all year round. Drying should take place in a place sheltered from sunlight (a necessary condition!). On an industrial scale, screen dryers are used. We can dry nettle at home:
- hung in spread out bouquets,
- spread on nets or cloths,
- In a mushroom dryer,
- in the oven (preferably an electric oven with thermo heating) with the door slightly ajar.
Processing in a dryer and oven of nettles has the advantage over other methods that it takes much less time and runs in stable conditions. This allows them to retain their maximum properties and prevents the appearance of mold and insects.
When drying, make sure the temperature does not exceed 50-55 degrees Celsius. C and do not “overcook” the raw material as it becomes very brittle and loses its valuable properties.
How to store dried nettle?
Store dried nettle in closed jars or plastic containers intended for food. For roots and rhizomes, grind them before use or prepare a tincture.