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Nettle, so often snubbed as merely a weed, has an amazing array of talents. It can clothe you, feed you, light your lamps, and be medicinal

In Africa, the oil expressed from nettle seed is used as burning oil in lamps; and since ancient times it has been made into twine or cloth. When woven into fine cloth for clothes it is both softer and warmer than cotton, and was used as a cotton alternative during the World Wars. In recent years an Italian fashion house produced a range of jeans made from nettle.

Nettle is perhaps best known as a highly nutritious feed herb/fodder for animals, and has been used through the ages for this purpose, occasionally even cultivated en masse and mown to provide hay for milk cows.

It is considered a spring tonic and detoxifier for human and animal alike. It is rich in chlorophyll, and is an excellent source of calcium, chromium, magnesium, zinc, cobalt, manganese, phosphorous, potassium, protein, riboflavin, selenium, silicon, thiamine, vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K.

No wonder nettle is such an appetiser, and conditioning, restorative tonic for horses. It is reputed to enhance coat shine and dappling, and, interestingly, is a folk remedy for hair loss (perhaps based on its reputation for enhancing circulation).
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