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Nettle Monograph

House of Origins



Latin name: Urtica dioica, U. urens 
 
Common Name(s): Nettle, Stinging nettle

Botanical Family: Urticaceae

Plant type: Perennial flowering plant

Habitat: Moist and rich soils. Disturbed areas such as avalanche tracks, middens, sand piles, barnyards, roadsides; meadows; thickets; stream-banks; open-forest. Lowlands to subalpine elevations.  


Taste : Cool, dry; astringent, bitter taste, slightly stimulating

Planetary Association: Mars 

Planetary Association : Aries , Scorpio

Parts Used: Leaves, Seeds, Roots

* Young shoots and leaves, which should not be collected when flowers start blooming in the summer. If you are unfamiliar with nettle’s sting, use gloves when harvesting until you become acquainted with your level of tolerance / enjoyment of nettle’s tingle! It is actually very restorative for the joints and creates a nice flushing effect on the body that can last up to 24 hours.



Properties:

 
Leaves: Anti-allergic, Anti-rheumatic, Depurative, Galactagogue, Tonic (Nutritive), Astringent, Styptic, Diuretic, Alterative

Roots: Antiprostatic

Seeds: Kidney Tonic
Primary Uses

Respiratory: A highly nutritive plant containing iron, chlorophyll and lots of minerals. The tea and tincture are incredibly useful for seasonal allergies and other allergies that cause an overproduction of histamine (animals, mold). Taking this herb will decrease mucus production resulting from allergens. To treat allergy symptoms it is best to start taking high doses before the onset of symptoms.  

 

Skin: The depurative action is the main helper in treating skin conditions. Depurative herbs cleanse the blood and help the body eliminate toxins and waste more efficiently. Why is this useful for your skin? The skin is our largest organ and helps with detoxification; when the main organs of detoxification become bogged down people often experience exacerbations in acne, eczema, psoriasis and other skin conditions. You can also rinse your hair with nettle infusions to help control dandruff.

  

Immunity & Nervous System: Nettles aren’t often discussed in regards to immunity but they are such a powerful ally because of their nutritional content. Use nettle tincture and infusions when you are in convalescence, experiencing brain fog and mental instability. There have been cases of nettle infusions being useful for those who are coming off of antidepressants and benzodiazepines; the chlorophyll contains serotonin building blocks for neurotransmitters; without directly altering brain chemistry.   

 

Reproductive System: Nettle leaf infusions are a favourite among pregnant and nursing mothers. To prepare the uterus for birth, recovery from birthing and helping the mom build up their blood postpartum. The tea also stimulates milk flow and adds nutrition content to the milk, giving the newborn baby extra vitality.

The root is also useful for those with a prostate, and is used for BPH (benign prostatic hyperplasia). Administration of root preparations leads to a decrease in cell proliferation and symptoms.

 
 
Musculoskeletal: Reduces edema, removes urates - gout arthritis, sore muscles, and kidney disease, atrophy and paralysis of muscles.
 
Kidney Adrenal: Trophorestorative to atrophied tissue states, adjuvant to dialysis, chronic bladder inflammation. 
Traditional Ecological Knowledge: 
Young leaves and stems are one of the first forageable food sources after winter and were commonly boiled and eaten by Saanich, Cowichan, Kwakwaka’wakw, Sechelt. The Haida also used nettle however more as a medicine than a food source, while the it is said that the Comox, Nuu-chah-nulth, NUxalk and Tsimshian did not use this plant at all.
Did you know!? Giving the body a good whack with nettle was used historically to revive parts whose function had been depressed or paralyzed. In more recent times this has been used to treat arthritis. While this treatment sounds extreme it is incredibly invigorating and creates a flushing effect in the body that is wonderful to clear any stagnation that may have accumulated of the winter!
Nettle
Spring has sprung
Prickled thumb
The time has come
Do not mind
What’s done is done

The moment was
not made to last
Shift to present
from the past
Cleansing through
Just keep doing
Your truest you
Recipe!
West Coast Herbed Stinging Nettle Hummus
 

2 cups nettles - steamed leaves

1 tbsp garlic - finely chopped

½  cup tahini

½ cup parsley -finely chopped

1 tsp powdered seaweed (I used macrocystis)

1 tsp paprika

¼ tsp cayenne

¼ cup olive oil

Juice of one lemon

~ ¼ water

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
Using a blender, blend all ingredients until smooth. Top with olive oil & pine nuts.

 

 

REFERENCES

Pojar and MacKinnon, Plants of Coastal British Columbia, 1994
Maciocia, The Foundations of Chinese Medicine, 1989

Wood, The Eartwise Herbal; A Complete Guide to New World Medicinal Plants, 1954

Zalewski, C. L. Herbs in Magic and Alchemy: Techniques from Ancient Herbal Lore. Unity Press, 1991.

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