Nettles (Urtica) is a genus of the Urticaceae family, which includes some thirty species of herbaceous plants hairy leaves. We found 7 in Europe, including 4 in France.
The most common species are the stinging nettle (Urtica dioica 50 cm to 1 meter) and the stinging nettle (Urtica urens, less than 50 cm). Urtica pilulifera (Pill nettle, nettle Roman) is found in the south and west of France and Urtica atrovirens only in Corsica.
The stinging nettle and the stinging nettle (leaves and roots) are recognized as part of medicinal plants most useful and effective. The leaves are commonly used as tonic, purifying, diuretics, anti-inflammatory (rheumatic) . The stinging nettle is also used for food, industrial (for fiber) and agricultural (as green manure and insecticide).
They are herbaceous plants with opposite leaves elliptical in shape, toothed, growing on rich soils. The whole plant is covered with stinging hairs.
The male and female flowers are separated, either on the same footing (monoecious) or on different plants (dioecious plants). The female flowers are greenish and pending, met in inflorescences more or less tight, depending on the species: panicles, spikes, clusters … The male flowers are yellowish and have a port and displayed more horizontal or angled. Edible: excellent in soups, souffles, or in place of spinach.
The stinging hairs containing formic acid, histamine, acetylcholine and serotonin, which irritate the skin. These hairs have a tip to the tip of silica that can penetrate the skin of animals who approach too. The stinging hairs of nettles are as fragile as glass. They break like the end of ampoules and inject histamine into the skin causing redness.
It can relieve nettle stings by rubbing the plantain is a plant with round leaves and pronounced ribs, which usually grows near the Urticaceae. It is also a fast and effective way to relieve burning sensation: saliva. For best results, saliva must be applied as soon as possible to the spot of pitting . Vinegar is also an effective alternative. Rub with an umbel (if we get rid of the insects that gathers, of course) can also effectively relieve.
Other plant species have also received the common name of “nettle” because of their vague resemblance to the nettles. Known as nettle white, yellow, red belong to the genus Lamium (Lamias) of the family Lamiaceae. These plants differ from their true nettles rod square and their colorful flowers zygomorphic.
-“Throw the frock” renounce the monastic or ecclesiastical status. In his song The miscreant, Georges Brassens is a cassock in the nettles. In this expression, habit is to take the old sense of the word that appears around 1160 to designate the portion of the habit of the monks who covers her head, shoulders and chest. From the seventeenth century, the word used to name the monastic habit as a whole, but only in the twentieth century as slang word gets to replace pants. This expression tends to fall into disuse, given the scarcity of religious vocations in France.
– “Do not push grandma into the nettles,” or “Do not push grandma into the nettles” means: do not exaggerate. This expression is used to alert someone that goes beyond the bounds, making a provocation too.
-Frank Sinatra was also named his twelfth album and the seventh title of the last roses and nettles.
The leaves of the plants have stinging hairs, causing irritation to the skin. This action is neutralized by heat or by thorough drying, so the cooked leaves are perfectly safe and nutritious. However, only young leaves should be used because older leaves develop gritty particles called cystoliths which act as an irritant to the kidneys.
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