Nettles grow just about everywhere and have been an extremely important part of our history for millennia. Each different part of the plant is used to different effect. The sting on the underside of the nettle leaf is designed to protect it. Tiny hairs laced with formic acid and other chemicals sink into the skin leaving raised bumps. The plant has been used to make dye, rope, linen and paper in Britain.
Nettle leaf is the most used for wellbeing as it supports the body to detoxify and it is believed to clear excess uric acid out of the joints. It is the uric acid which causes the pain and inflammation associated with gout. As one of the very first edible greens to be seen in the spring, it is often incorporated into traditional spring dishes after a long winter of stodgy food.