This month, we zoom in on the fabulous Nettle as our featured herb. This lowly plant deserves a place in the hallowed halls of Mother Nature’s herbal cornucopia. Found in shady damp areas, often ditches, it is abundant in many areas of the world. We have many records of its various applications, as it has been used throughout history. There is so much to say about the enormous variety of beneficial uses and properties that accompany this herb; too much to cover in a mere blog.
The name Urtica refers to the tiny hairs covering the plant that carry formic acid, which is disgorged upon contact; hence the name “Stinging Nettle”. The antidote for the sting and rash is to rub on the juice of a leaf or stem in the Dock family, which is often found growing near Nettle.
Nettle in, dock out,
Dock rub nettle out.
Because of the antihistamines – like compounds, Nettle is an excellent supportive herb for seasonal discomforts such as hay fever, asthma, and allergies. Its water-soluble polysaccharides support a healthy immune system. It was used in Roman times for healthy circulation when the soldiers were freezing in northern Europe. They would take stalks and flagellate their limbs. It is, also, used to soothe aching and stiff joints.
Nettle is chock-a-block full of vitamins and minerals, which include:
- Sulphur to support the immune system
- Zinc for healthy memory
- Boron for healthy bones
- Silicon to ease arthritis, bursitis, and tendonitis
- Vitamins A, C, D, E, F, and P
- Iron to build the blood
- Calcium to support healthy bones, muscle, strengthen hair and nails, and soothe nerves
As a retired midwife, I highly recommend a cup of Nettles and Raspberry leaf tea a day to provide calcium, iron, and trace minerals to support a mother’s uterine tone and the growth of her baby. It is one of the best sources of calcium you can find. It gets magnetized into the blood without having to be digested.
In England and Germany, during World War II, nettles were a main source of nutrition, helping people survive during extreme hardship. Nettle soup was a staple food. It was also used to make cloth and rope, as it is stronger than hemp or flax. Oil was expressed from the seeds to burn in oil lamps. Cut and dried, it provided hay for livestock, producing more milk. Chickens thrived on nettles powdered and mixed into their feed and they laid more eggs.
Bunches of nettles, hung in larders, keeps the flies away. And, if you plant it near beehives, it will keep the frogs away. The juice, rubbed into the thin cracks of a leaky wooden tub will coagulate and make it watertight. Dyes are made from the root and leaf, yellow for the root and green for the leaf. You can even make paper.
At WishGarden Herbs, the highest quality organic herbs are harvested and prepared with care and the intention to bring you the maximum benefit from the remedies. Here are a few of the WishGarden products that contain Nettles.
Written by Prema Rose