Nettles:

The first tender shoots of many plants are the best ones to use for edible or medicinal purposes. I love the young nettles sprouting up everywhere – just pick the top 4 leaves (with gloves!) and make a mineral boosting tea. The young leaves are packed with iron, calcium & potassium and are full of Vitamin C, A & B. 

The high iron levels make it great for anaemia and the vitamin C makes it easy for us to absorb the iron. The leaves also contain anti-inflammatories and natural pain killers that can be used to help the pain and swelling in arthritis and rheumatism, especially if applied topically as a tincture or a compress.

Or dry some now for later in the year - see picture.

nettles

Nettle & Sorrel soup: V easy – and almost free!

Pick 5 good handfuls of young nettles

1 handful of young sorrel leaves – (wild if you can find them)

Add these to chicken or vegetable stock, and cook with an onion and a potato to thicken it. Once softened, liquidise

Add cream for a beautiful contrast just before serving.

The sorrel gives it a delicious tart, lemony sharpness and the nettle is a beautiful bright green that overcomes the sludge-green that the sorrel leaves turn to when cooked.