Botanical Name: Urtica dioica
Common names: Common nettle, Stinging nettle.
Stinging nettles are an erect herbaceous perrenial that can grow to over 2m tall. It is known for the unpleasant sting it can give if you touch the stem or the leaves with your bareskin.
The plant grows by the means of rhizomes under the ground and produce single stems that are not branched. The leaves are arranged opposite on the stem and are around 5-10cm in length and are lanced to oval in shape. The clusters of green-white flowers are borne on the axis of the plant and are only sepals with no petals and are between 0.1-2cm in length.
Stinging nettles are a miracle food packed with nutrients and have been used for centuries in many countries. The stinging part of the plant is easily removed by cooking,blanching,boiling and even frying.The leaves are the part that is normally used with the stem being discarded.The leaves can be used in any way you would spinach, you can also dry the leaves and flowers to make a healthy tea.
Stinging nettles have been studied and used for centuries all over the world. There have been promising results in using nettle to treat Alzheimers disease! it has also been used to treat: arthritis,asthma,bladder,infections,brochitis,bursitis,gingivitis,gout,hives,kidney stones,laryngitis,MS,PMS,prostate enlargement,sciatica,tendinitis and the list will go on.
if you do some more research you will no doubt find more uses.