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Urtica dioca

Nettles (Urtica dioca) were incredibly useful as food, fiber, and medicine (see “Grasping the Nettle,” April 28, 2011) and, not surprisingly, were even used in medieval brewing. The nettle is used as a bittering agent. It is important to boil nettles before consuming them in order to remove the stinging hairs. Photograph by Corey Eilhardt

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