Stinging Nettle

“Stinging Nettle”

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According to tradition, Caesar’s troops introduced the Roman Nettle into Britain because they thought that they would need to flail themselves with nettles to keep warm.

Nettles are used medicinally as a cleansing spring tonic and a nourishing vegetable if gathered when leaves are young.Rich in many minerals and vitamins.

David Hoffman; “When in doubt – give Nettles’.


Latin Binomial: Urtica dioica

Common Name(s): Nettle

Family: Urticaceae

Part(s) Used: Leaf and Root. Aerial parts should be collected when the flowers are in bloom (Hoffman).


Qualities:
Cool, dry; astringent, slightly bitter taste

Dry 3rd degree & Hot 3rd degree


Herbal Person-Picture:

People who take more effort to get moving. There is poor oxygenation. Yawning.

These people NEED to move more, but look so tired and worn out that people will tell them to slow down and rest – which makes them worse!

Sigh a lot. Always seem tired. Half asleep. Droopy eyelids.

Spleen may be under active and enlarged. Body skin may be grey. Pale face.

Can wake in the early morning/late night suddenly – gasping for air!

“Harder to start but harder to stop”. Need to keep them active, busy with projects etc.


Constituants:

LEAF: Leukotrienes, histamine, silicon (Bone) Formic Acid, Chlorophyll, Glucoquinine, Iron, Vitamin C (Hoffman)


Actions:
LEAF (see separate entry under ‘Nettle Root’:

  • Anti-rheumatic
  • Anti-allergenic
  • Depurative
  • Stytic (hemostatic) (Bone)
  • Astringent
  • Diuretic
  • Tonic (Hoffman)
  • Encourages uric acid excretion
  • Minerals
  • B vitamins

“… they consume the phlegmatic superfluities which Winter has left behind” – Nicholas Culpeper, 1653


Indications:

  • Allergic Rhinitis – Hay Fever
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rhematoid Arthritis
  • Gout
  • Poor/weak muscle tone and ligaments – including bladder & kidneys
  • Chronic Skin Eruptions – esp. Eczema
  • Inflammatory diseases of the lower urinary tract – prevention and treatment of kidney gravel
  • Internal blood loss – including uterine hemorrhage, melena
  • Low blood pressure (Hall)
  • Tonic for the arteries (pair with Rue – tonic for veins)
  • Topical treatment for nosebleeds, burns wounds, inflammation of the mouth and throat (Bone). Insect bites – any raised, red welts (Hall)

“”Nettle stengthens and support the whole body”- Hoffman. Specific in cases of Childhood Eczema – esp. Nervous Eczema (Hoffman).


Contraindications/Cautions:

  • In rare cases, nettle leaf may cause allergic reactions (Bone).
  • Nettle root may occasionally cause mild gastrointestinal discomfort (Bone).

Dosage:
2-6 ml 1:2 liquid extract per day (Bone).

15 – 40 ml week 1:2

INFUSION: Pour a cup of boiling water onto 1-3 tsp of dried herb amd leave to infuse 10-15 mins. Drink 3 times a day (Hoffman). Hall says that tea should be had every second day, ESPECIALLY POST-PERIOD.


Combinations:

  • Nettle Root with Saw Palmetto in cases of benign prostatic hyperplasia (Bone).
  • Nettle Leaf with Figwort or Burdock in treatment of Eczema (Hoffman).
OTHER USES:
  • INFUSION: Take to stimulate circulation and cleanse the system. Fresh shoots make a revitalising spring tonic
  • COMPRESS: Soak pad in tincture and apply to painful arthritic joints, sprains, tendonitis and sciatica
  • JUICE: Liquidise whole fresh plant to make a good tonic for debilitated conditions and anaemia. Prescribed for cardiac insufficiency with oedema
  • POWDER: Inhale as a snuff for nosebleeds. 

References:

Bone, K. (2003). A Clinical Guide to Blending Liquid Herbs: Herbal Formulations for the Individual Patient. St Louis, Missouri: Elsevier

Dorothy Hall’s Herbal Medicine

 

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