Stinging Nettle (Urtica Dioica).
Devil's Apron, Naughty Man's Plaything, Hoky-poky, Jenny-nettle, Sting-leaf, Devil's Leaf, just some of the common names of this legendary herb, most commonly known as Stinging Nettle.
For centuries Nettle has been known as a nutritive spring tonic, blood builder and blood cleanser. Nettle springs up at the perfect time of year when we are ready to be reinvigorated, as a nutritious, fresh green herb, begging to be used. Herbalists often prescribe Nettle to those that are sick or debilitated to restore vitality & good health.
Yesterday I harvested some of my homegrown Nettle, which has started growing onto the pathway and stung my daughter. She got a terrible reaction on her skin, so the plant is getting a healthy trim & I'm hoping for another flush of fresh nettle by late Autumn! I’m already drinking the harvest in a fresh herbal infusion, drying some for teas later in the year, and infusing the rest in organic oils for my luxurious Nettle Hair Oil.
Nettles nourish and support the entire body, particularly the endocrine, immune, urinary, respiratory, & circulatory systems.
Rich in iron, magnesium, calcium, chromium, zinc, potassium, phosphorus and silicone as well as vitamins A, B2, C, E and K it’s an all-round tonic to boost strength and immunity.
Nettle is legendary with many believing that a bunch of freshly cut nettles placed under a person's sick bed helps to facilitate a rapid recovery. Others believe that carried in the hand nettles ward off ghosts and evil spirits, or that sprinkled around the home nettle keeps out evil spirits. Nettle has also been used to guard against lightning strikes, which is ironic given Nettles own sting.
Nettle was used by the Romans & Australian Aboriginies to increase blood circulation, quite literally a patient was spread out on a table and whipped with Stinging Nettle, the aggravating hairs causing the patients circulation to be stimulated....
You probably know Nettle from being stung by it. It’s covered in tiny little hairs little hairs, which when brushed against your skin act like hypodermic needles, injecting chemicals into your body which cause a severe reaction. Interestingly, Nettle is full of natural histamines, and if you suffer from Hayfever, taking Nettle’s daily can increase your own natural anti-histamine response to allergens. Many friends say this is the best thing they’ve ever tried, simply make Nettle infusions and drink daily. You’ll need to do this for a period of weeks or months to build up your body’s histamines.
I like to use Nettle in my haircare for it's reputation to reduce dandruff & itching, stimulate hair growth through increased blood circulation, which therefore brings more nutrients and oxygen to the hair folliciles. Nettle is even touted as preventing grey hair (unfortunately this hasn't worked for me but it's worth a try right!)
My other all time favorite way to use Nettle is in a Wildbrew, it makes the most delicious beer. And of course you can cook & eat Nettle just like any wild green. Once cooked the hairs are neutralised and don’t sting you. A classic dish is Wild Nettle soup, which is oh so rich & delicious.