A perennial herb that grows in temperate climates of the world, found wild along with forests, fields, streams, and lakes. Nettle has been used for thousands of years as a nutritive food, and medicine.
Nettle can be harvested in the spring and early summer by harvesting the top six inches of the plant before flowering. The stems and leaves are covered tiny, hairs tipped with silica, that produce a stinging sensation when touched. The stinging sensation is caused by formic acid and histamine that release when they touch the skin break off. Caution should be used when harvesting Nettle. When the plant is left to dry or cooked the sting will disappear.
Nettle is used as a nutritive herb, being high in Vitamin A, C, E, & K, riboflavin, thiamine, and minerals calcium, chromium, potassium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, silica, iron and zinc, protein, formic acid, histamine, and chlorophyll.
As a nourishing infusion can be consumed daily to energize the body and soothe fatigue. It is useful after illness and for nourishing the blood and balancing anemia.
Nettle is alterative which means it can help to purify the blood and assist in nutrient and protein assimilation. It may also be useful in conditions such as arthritis, gout, rheumatism, eczema, and skin conditions resulting from metabolic disorders as it helps to detoxify the body and eliminate metabolic waste. Nettle may also be helpful in conditions involving the kidneys and genitourinary system. As a diuretic, it may help to flush out the urinary system and remove toxins. Nettle has been used to strengthen the kidney and soften and expel kidney stones as well as decongest the prostate in benign prostate hyperplasia. In addition to being nourishing to the kidneys, nettle is also very nourishing to the adrenals.
Nettles may also be helpful for seasonal allergies due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Nettle tea may also be used during pregnancy and postpartum for its nourishing properties, and to help support lactation.
Nettle may also help to support healthy hair and nails and may also be used as a hair rinse topically to stimulate circulation and provide shine.
As a tea drink as an infusion of 1-3 tsp dried herb in 1 cup boiling water for 10 -15 mins up to 3 times per day. ( Dosing information from Medical Herbalism by David Hoffman)
Nettle is generally considered safe but may cause allergic reactions in some individuals. The sting of nettles can cause discomfort.
Internal use may decrease the efficacy of anticoagulants. Always consult your, physician, before implanting a new herbal protocol.