A perennial with male and female plants, Nettle (Urtica dioica) grows up to four feet tall and has toothed, pointed leaves that sting when touched. The sting causes a burning sensation. This is because each hair consists of a sharp, hollow spine that breaks off easily, allowing the liquid inside, formic acid, to be released into the object causing the injury. In spite of its stinging, Nettles are of considerable use in many ways, including culinary; they contain vitamins A and C, iron and a variety of other minerals. The young shoots can also be boiled as a vegetable. Nettle fibers can be spun into rope and made into cloth. Cosmetically, Nettle is a good cleanser, especially for oily skin. As a tea, Nettle may be taken hot or cold and many prefer it sweetened and flavored with lemon.
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