Nettles

Latin:  Urtica dioica

Family:  Urticaceae

Parts Used:  Leaves

Taste/Energetics:  Bland, milky, slightly warming, drying

Properties:  Nutritive, tonic, astringent, diuretic, antiinflammatory, prostate support (root)

Actions:  Nettles is beloved by the herbal community for many reasons.  It is one of the most supremely nutritious herbs available to us.  Because of its high levels of chlorophyl, protein, vitamins and minerals such as calcium and iron it is useful for those who appear worn out, depressed, malnourished, pale, anemic and sad.  Nettles nourish and strengthen and build healthy tissues, bones, skin and nerves.  Nettles has a clearing and cleansing quality via diuresis that makes it helpful for metabolizing waste products and thereby improving skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.  Nettles have anti-inflammatory qualities that helps quiet asthma and allergy attacks.

Nettle seeds are especially densely nutritious and stimulating.  They have been given to horses to give them more energy and vibrancy.  They are especially helpful for those who appear tired, weak and listless.  Thomas Easley writes that “nettle seeds can slow, halt or even partially reverse progressive renal failure” and “improve benign prostatic hypertrophy.”

Dosage:  I generally encourage folks to take large doses of this plant in the form of one large cup of nettle to a quart of hot water steeped overnight, then strained and drunk throughout the day (Thanks Susun Weed.)  Nettle seeds can be sprinkled liberally in meals and smoothies.  Nettle tincture has a more stimulating lifting quality without containing the dense nutritional value.

Contraindications: Generally very safe.  Sometimes people feel overstimulated by this herb.

Further Reading:  

Nettle monograph  by Rosalee de la Foret

Nettle monograph by Kelsey Barrett  (Herb Rally)

Nettle  video  by Jim McDonald

Nettle monograph  by Kiva Rose

Stinging Nettle by  Elise Krohn

Its Nettle Season  by Elise Krohn

Nettle Seed by Henriette Kress