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Nettle has long been considered a useful plant. It has medicinal properties, which is why it is used in alternative medicine. Dried nettle is an affordable medicine that you can prepare yourself. To do this, it is enough to collect the plant in a timely manner and properly dry it at home.
Dried nettles are prized for their high content of ascorbic acid, vitamin A, magnesium and potassium. Up to 2% of the composition is occupied by tannins, characterized by antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and hemostatic effects. Also, greens have a moderate antispasmodic, analgesic and antipyretic effect.
Infusions and decoctions of dried nettle strengthen the immune system, help with infectious diseases and allergies. Inside, drugs based on this plant are taken to normalize the functioning of the digestive tract, remove toxins, and fight parasites.
The roots, stems and leaves of dried nettle are used in non-traditional cosmetology. It is very useful for hair, as it enriches it with valuable microelements, protects against the negative effects of environmental factors.
During the drying process, it is necessary to preserve the maximum of nutrients. Therefore, you need to follow the rules for harvesting plant materials.
Terms and rules of collection
It is necessary to cut the plant for harvesting before flowering. It is best to harvest nettles to dry for the winter in mid or late May, when hot weather has not started to wilt.
Important! Medicinal herbs should not be picked near busy highways, industrial plants or animal grazing areas.
In the southern regions, flowering occurs earlier, so the collection can be carried out at the end of April.
Nettles, cut at the root, grow quickly. Therefore, you can harvest the greens before re-flowering, between late June and early August.
How to dry nettles
There are several simple ways to prepare. The pre-collected grass is disassembled and thoroughly washed under running water. So that it does not burn the skin, it is pre-poured with boiling water. In the future, use one of the dry nettle recipes to choose from.
In an electric dryer
The compact and handy device allows you to quickly harvest dried fruits and herbs. The procedure is very simple and time-consuming.
- The grates of the electric dryer are filled with nettles.
- The pallets are placed inside the appliance.
- The temperature is set at 40-45 degrees.
- Dry for 4-5 hours, depending on the size of the leaves.
Pallets must be changed every 1.5 hours
Some electric dryers have a preset mode for preparing greens. In this case, you can use it.
In the oven
An excellent option for those who do not have an electric dryer. The only drawback is that you need to constantly monitor the temperature in the oven. Otherwise, there will be no nutrients left in the dried nettle.
Algorithm of the procedure:
- Arrange the collected leaves and twigs on pallets or trellises.
- Place in the oven.
- Preheat to 45 degrees.
- After 2 hours, get the nettle, turn it over and send it for another 1.5 hours.
During heat treatment, the oven door must be constantly open.
The finished raw material must be left in a well-ventilated place, allowing it to cool. After that, the nettle is poured into a container and sent to storage.
The simplest home drying option. Spread the greens on a clean cloth product.
For these purposes, the following are suitable:
- kitchen towels;
- cloth napkins;
- chintz or linen tablecloth;
- a large piece of layered gauze.
Nettles are evenly spread on the fabric with branches
The workpiece is placed in a well-ventilated place outside. You can dry on the balcony by opening all the windows wide and providing a constant flow of oxygen.
Important! The plant should be in the shade. The sun will provoke the evaporation of essential oils and other beneficial substances.
Drying in the fresh air takes two to three weeks. During a strong wind or rain, raw materials must be brought into the room.
In the airfryer
Such a device is quite suitable for harvesting greens. Prepared leaves are placed in the airfryer chamber and the maximum airflow is set.
The lid of the appliance is not closed to ensure a constant supply of fresh air
Set the temperature to 45 degrees. The drying procedure lasts from 40 to 60 minutes. The dried leaves are then removed and allowed to cool.
In the Russian stove
The traditional way of harvesting greenery, which is suitable for owners of country houses. The only drawback of the method is that it is difficult to control the combustion temperature in a Russian stove, so you can accidentally spoil the vegetable raw materials.
Correct drying process:
- Melt the stove.
- Let the fuel burn out.
- Place a piece of paper in a warm oven.
- If it hasn't started charring, you can put greens.
- Heat treatment lasts a maximum of two hours.
- Periodically, the nettle is taken out and turned over.
It is more convenient to harvest nettles in small bunches.
It is advisable that during drying, except for greens, nothing else is in the oven. Otherwise, the raw material may absorb foreign odor.
Dried nettle leaves are very fragile; when mechanically stressed, they turn into powder. The stems and branches become stiff. It is advisable to store them in small dark glass jars with a tight-fitting lid.
Another option is canvas bags. The plant is kept suspended so that it is not negatively affected by moisture.
The shelf life of dried nettles is 18 months. The amount of nutrients in the composition is gradually decreasing.
Harvesting technology and storage:
Dried nettle is a valuable vegetable raw material that is used in home medicine and cosmetology. You can prepare it yourself by collecting it in the countryside. Drying of the nettle is carried out in different ways, subjecting it to a slight heat treatment. The dried plant, ready for use, is stored in a well-ventilated place for no more than a year and a half.