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
Zodical Association : Aries , Scorpio
Parts Used: Leaves, Seeds, Roots
* 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.
Seeds: Kidney Tonic
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.
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
Just keep doing
Your truest you
Pojar and MacKinnon, Plants of Coastal British Columbia, 1994
Maciocia, The Foundations of Chinese Medicine, 1989
Zalewski, C. L. Herbs in Magic and Alchemy: Techniques from Ancient Herbal Lore. Unity Press, 1991.