Nettle

nettle

Botanical Name: Urtica Diocia | Family: Urticaceae

Common name(s): Nettle, Stinging Nettle, Ortiga (Spanish)

GROWING

  • Perennial, herbaceous | Zones 5-9 | Full sun, partial shade | 2-4′ | blooms early to late summer (small cream-colored flowers)
  • Likes good moisture / organic soil
  • Stratify seeds and sow directly in the garden (or indoors and transplant late spring). Or propagate by root division in the early spring. Space a foot apart.

Companions: sunflowers, grapes, fennel

HARVESTING

Aerial parts anytime during the season except when flowering. Wear gloves! You can also harvest nettle seeds – they are a more potent medicine than the leaves, and nettle root, which is useful in treating an enlarged prostate.

PREPARATION / DOSAGE

Infusion: 1-3 tsp dried nettle to one cup boiling water, infuse for 10-15 minutes. Drink 3x/day

Tincture: take 1-4ml of the tincture 3x/day

Combinations: Figwort and Burdock in the treatment of eczema.

MEDICAL

Constituents: Histamine, formic acid, chlorophyll, glucoquinine, iron, vitamin C

Actions: alterative, astringent, diuretic, tonic, anti-histamine

Uses: Whole body tonic, childhood (and all varieties of) eczema, relieving hemorrhage (e.g. nosebleeds), externally for arthritis by intentionally stinging affected joints, allergy relief, anemia, reproductive system, prostate.

Cautions: nettles sting! Use gloves when handling fresh nettle.

SOURCES 

  • Homegrown Herbs, Tammi Hartung
  • Holistic Herbal, David Hoffman
  • Medicinal Herbs, Rosemary Gladstar

I have a huge patch of nettle growing in my yard. It’s been here for years, first discovered by my husband when he brushed up against it while mowing. At that point neither of us knew what it was, besides an annoying plant. But it was in an out-of-the-way place at the edge of the woods, and we never tried to eradicate it. Thank goodness! Now I realize what an amazing plant it is (figured that out when I went online searching for natural allergy remedies) and I feel totally blessed to have such a large patch. I love nettle tea’s earthy flavor. I tried making nettle pesto but I seem to have a negative reaction to the histamine in the fresh plant, so I’m sticking to using it for tea, both hot and iced.

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