Also known as stinging nettle
There are two types of Stinging Nettle, an annual (Urtica urens) that has shallow roots, pale green leafs, and rarely grows taller than 8-12 in. The other is a perennial (U. dioica) with coarser, darker leaves and a creeping root stock. It is commonly found growing in hedges. The leaves of both are hairy, deeply serrated, and pointed. The whole plant is covered in sharp, stinging points that cause skin irritation and swelling. Be sure to wear long sleeves and gloves when harvesting this herb! It is harvested early in the season before flowering occurs.
The young leaves are edible when cooked. Do not eat raw. They lose their sting after being hung to dry for a few days, or when cooked. It is a well-known pot herb, used in teas and infusions. The whole plant, before flowering, can be used medicinally, and the old stocks can be used to make nettle cloth, similar to linen.
Nettles are mineral rich containing iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur and vitamins A, C, D and K as well as other trace elements.
Nettle is recommended by Susan S. Weed, a highly renowned herbalist, as “one of the finest nourishing tonics known.” -Wise Woman Herbal – For The Childbearing Year It has been traditionally used since the bronze age as a strong tonic to support and nourish the body.
It helps purify the blood and clear up vitamin deficiency.
Used externally in a tea or poultice, it acts as an astringent and can stop bleeding. It is used to cleanse and heal flesh wounds. A tea or tincture can aid in the treatment of poor peripheral circulation and anemia.
Nettle is a uterine tonic and strengthens the adrenals and kidneys. It’s high mineral content makes it excellent for the hormonal system. It is used as a fertility promoting herb and promotes milk production in nursing woman. It helps reduce internal bleeding such as uterine hemorrhage or stomach ulcer.
Nettle is used to fight urinary tract infections, bladder infections, and other inflammations of the lower urinary tract. It is known to be an ally to the kidneys and is said to help loosen, dissolve or eliminate the gravel that accumulates there over time.
It is commonly used to reduce the effects of hay fever because of the compounds that inhibit the release of histamine.
You can create a tea with nettle as a nourishing tonic for your garden. As you can see this is one amazing herb.
Nettles are one of the most common herbs that people use to make nourishing herbal infusions to help support whole body health and vitality. To make an herbal infusion of nettles place four heaping table spoons of nettles into a quart sized mason jar. Pour boiling water over the nettles and secure a lid on the mason jar. Let the herbs infuse into the water for 4-8 hours. Strain and drink throughout the day to nourish the body. I like to make my infusions at night before I go to bed and drink them throughout the following day.
Stinging nettles have been known to lower blood pressure and thin the blood. If you are on any medications consult a qualified health professional who is knowledgeable in the use of herbs before beginning any new herbal regimen.
How do you use the goodness of nettle in your life?