Collect stinging nettle seeds - all about harvest, drying and effects

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Nettle seeds

However, the focal hairs are not really a problem with scheduled group trips: wearing long trousers and a long-sleeved T-shirt and "armed" with gloves, scissors and a large collection container, you hardly get in touch with the burning hair. Apart from the harvesting tricks, the harvest of nettle seeds also depends on the right time:

When does the stinging nettle carry seeds?

Seeds are contained in the fruit stalks of plants, fruits develop from flowers - seeds are there when the flowering time is over; ripe seeds a little later.
The large stinging nettle blooms from July to October, from August the first seeds are hanging on the plants. There they mature into October, November, depending on the region, location and weather. A rich harvest can be obtained from the female stinging nettles, on which the seed stalks usually hang in richly filled splendor. The male stinging nettles have similar panicles, less densely populated and upright because of the low weight - because the panicles do not carry seeds, but threads with pollen capsules for pollinating the female stinging nettles.
You can collect green = immature or brown = mature seeds, both are edible. The immature seeds are better for fresh use, the almost dry brown seeds on brownish nettle plants are better for drying and storage. They have developed the wonderful, nutty taste and contain the full package of healthy ingredients.
The harvest of nettle seeds
So the nettle harvest brings the most seeds:
  • If possible, wait a few sunny, dry days before you start to collect
The following equipment should be included:
  • Above described tight clothes and gloves, big scissors
And a well-handled collection container:
  • Large blue (Ikea) bag or large flat carton lined with newspaper
  • From noon until the afternoon, the seeds have enriched most of the ingredients when exposed to sunlight
  • Drying is a good deal faster, if not only water on the plant has to dry
  • Green seeds are stuck to the stem of the stinging nettle, which is cut off and moved into the collection container
If the seed levels are drier, the following preparation prevents losses when collecting:
  • Place collection container under a sweep of nettles
  • Cancel stalks at the bottom and let them fall completely into the collection container
  • The first brown seeds are already breaking loose when stalks break, others on the way home

Dry nettle seeds

Professionals who press nettle seed oil out of "the remnants" of fiber nettles proceed as follows: The nettles are harvested at the optimum harvest time from late September to mid-October. The nettle branches are bundled, hung upside down to dry and shaken out after sufficient drying in a cloth. The casual collector does not always have his stinging nettles in view, so the harvest can result in different stages of maturity of the fruit. For each of these, a slightly different approach is recommended:
1. Green nettle seeds can theoretically be separated from the panicles; But anyway, they are only for immediate consumption and should be eaten together with the young green nettle leaves by all people who also need time for other things.

nettle seeds

2. Well-seasoned nettle seeds are dried, classic and preferably in the air: Store all collected goods in the collection container in a dry, warm place, so that good air is collected. But no full sun, which has a rather negative effect on the valuable ingredients of already harvested seeds, fruits, plant parts, as it promotes degradation / oxidation. Let stand for a few days and occasionally loosen by hand, thereby releasing more seeds.
3. If you have harvested stinging nettles with green leaves and semi-ripe seeds, you can use the whole harvest. To do this, you have to strip the seed strips of the style, with gloves on and from the bottom up. The leaves can now be separated and used for other purposes, the panicles are dried.
4. After a few days separate the seeds from the panicles: strip on bedsheets / newspaper from the stems and "knead", center seeds on the base, pour into a large, coarse sieve on an equally large bowl and move until all the seeds from the panicle remains have fallen through the sieve.
5. Nettle seeds are never all ripe at the same time. If you have already harvested well-seasoned seeds, you can just let the few green seeds slip through. They do not taste as nutty and spicy as the rest and take a little longer to dry out. That's why you should better put the dry seeds in a tall glass in which a piece remains empty. This fogs, if there is still too much moisture in the seeds, a simple and practical visual inspection, possiblyOccasion for drying is. If you have harvested very early, you can separate the mature from the immature seeds, by placing all the seeds in water: mature seeds accumulate at the bottom of the vessel, immature swim above. Not so handy if the seeds are to be dried afterwards; necessary preparation, if you B. Nettle seed oil want to press.
6. The dried-up branches and the panicles, which are empty except for the remainders, can be processed into nettles or disposed of (only on the compost if you would like to harvest them soon).
7. The seeds are filled into airtight jars which are sealed and labeled. Incidentally, the ideal level of humidity is around 2-3%, in order to achieve this, professionals are putting desiccants in the storage containers. You can also do that: Rice is a well-known desiccant, but it has to be replaced regularly because of its organic components.
Tip: If you are in a hurry, you can dry the seeds in the oven: place them on baking sheet with baking paper, put them in the oven heated to the lowest setting (35/40 degrees), put wooden spoons in the door with tightly closed ovens so that the moisture can be removed, for a while let it warm. Then loosen the seeds with your hands and try when they turn brownish, feel rather dry and taste nutty, bring out and let them air dry for at least one day. Be careful with the temperature: Some ovens heat even at the lowest level so hard that they not only dry the seeds, but roast the same. May taste very good, but only if the seeds do not char.

The nettle: A powerhouse full of useful ingredients

Whatever and whenever you harvest from the stinging nettle, you can use it because not only the seeds are valuable to the stinging nettle. Here is a brief introduction to the "Stinging Nettle Talent":
1. Even the liquid in the burning hair has it all: each burning hair is a single-celled tube, which is hard and brittle at the top like glass. The head has a predetermined breaking point and therefore breaks at the slightest touch. This is intended as a protective mechanism against predators, the oblique, sharp break point stabs like the cannula of a syringe into the victim's skin and releases its contents with some pressure in the wound.
This causes a short, burning pain and later on sensitive skin itchy or burning wheals, but it is not really unhealthy. Thus, the good old pastor Kneipp recommended rheumatic and gout-plagued "nettle-whipping", and even today some people with rheumatic complaints rub their aching limbs with fresh nettles every day rather than swallow medications with completely different side effects.

Nettle seeds

In the meantime, we know why the burning substances actually have a healing effect: The histamine contained in the nettle toxin causes the skin resembling an allergic reaction, but also expands the blood capillaries and releases the body's tissue hormone histamine, which has a whole range of tasks in the body, For example, to let the acetylcholine also better through the skin, and this neurotransmitter is indeed responsible for the burning pain, but also promotes quite strong together with the contained in the firing cocktail serotonin circulation, which relieves pain. Further positive effects are being discussed and are under investigation.
2. The nettle seeds contain about 25 - 33% oil (with 74 - 83% linoleic acid, just under 1% linoleic acid), vitamin E and carotenoids such as ß-carotene, lutein (recognized active ingredients for the preservation of vision and prevention of macular degeneration). Here, too, numerous other beneficial effects are listed, also applies here: one does not have to take nettle seeds, if you have one of the diseases against which the nettle seeds are supposed to work. But you can eat healthy before you have developed any of these diseases.
Nettle seeds are quite a culinary gain, they taste a bit like nut and a little spicy. Anyone who has really learned to cook (and not just "copy" recipes) knows exactly how to approach this new taste; On food with pleasure interested people on the way to independent cooking is usually the taste of nettle seeds in muesli and herbal quark, salads and sauces recommended. The seeds can be crushed and roasted like other seed spices and then unfold new taste nuances.
From the seeds also valuable nettle seed oil can be pressed, either with the oil mill or oil press or by maceration z. B. with sesame oil. The high-quality, viscous cooking oil is used drop by drop wherever a good herbal oil fits.
3. The leaves of the large stinging nettle contain amounts of vital substances, including minerals (magnesium, potassium, silicon, iron), vitamins (A and C), flavonoids (quercetin and Kämpferolglykoside) and the anti-inflammatory coffee coconut oil. The dry matter contains a proud 30% protein, the root phytosterols, coumarin, lignans, lectins.
Nettle leaves have anti-inflammatory and dehydrating, z. diseased urinary tract, rheumatism and to prevent kidney stones. As a cure, they stimulate the entire metabolism and detoxify the body gently, externally nettle extracts are said to improve greasy and thin hair and promote hair growth, and there are still some other positive effects of nettle herb propagated.
They can be drunk as tea, consumed as soup, spinach, herb butter, pesto or smoothie, and processed for numerous cosmetic and horticultural applications. The shoots / shoot tips offer the best taste in the spring, wring in the cloth, cut very finely, roll through with the rolling pin, shower off vigorously, blanch or boil disgusting the nettle hair the pikes. Older nettle leaves collected from early summer should be better utilized for external applications because they accumulate cystolites (calcium carbonate deposits) that can irritate the kidneys when ingested.

Video Board: Harvesting Nettle Seeds.

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