Nettle (Urtica dioica)
Nettle is a perennial herb that has been used medicinally since ancient times. Found frequently in populated areas throughout Finland, it is one of the nutritionally powerful wild plants in Finland. Shoots and young leaves of nettle are gathered in the spring, before flowering. In autumn, intact leaves, seeds and roots are gathered and used to give recognizable taste to food.
Nettle is a unique power pack of nutrients. It contains a fair amount of protein, large quantities of dietary fiber and various vitamins, for instance, plenty of vitamins C, A, B1, B2, B6, E, K, and folate, and moreover, significant amounts of minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, and silicon. In sum, this excellent source of nutrients offers vitamins for those who eat less vegetables and calcium and iron for vegetarian diets. The low sodium and high potassium content of nettle is advantageous. In addition, stinging nettle contains a number of other beneficial chemicals, such as flavonoids, phytosterols, serotonin, histamine and acetylcholine.