Stinging Nettle, Urtica dioica
As Spring is approaching we are seeing Nettle pop in our gardens and some of us might even see it flowering. Nettle, nettle, nettle what a beautiful plant. This ancient California native plant Urtica dioica is known today as a weed but it is pure magic! The image above shows a close up if the leaf and if you look closely you can see the ‘stingers’. Many people are told to not touch and sometimes even told to be afraid of stinging nettle but I encourage the opposite, get to know nettle. TOUCH NETTLE! Feel the sting, this will bring you closer to the plant and also will give you a better understanding if nettle is for you are not. I can say the sting was personally…. encouraging, it made me curious and I wanted to know more about this plant. Nettle has a strong personality and once you get close to this plant there is no going back. Known as a tonic ( In herbal medicine, an herbal tonic is used to help restore, tone and invigorate systems in the body or to promote general health and well-being. An herbal tonic is a solution or other preparation made from a specially selected assortment of the kinds of plants known as herbs.), great for the liver, kidneys, reproductive system and wonderful for the blood. Some even say it gives life to your hair and nails, and was traditionally as a shampoo for this reason. Stinging nettle has a very long history of use from many native peoples, this plant is full of protein, calcium, iron, vitamin A,C,D and B complex, magnesium and many more. This plant is very gentle on the body and will nurture with long term use. If you have any allergies I encourage you to take nettles daily if possible.
~Nettles during pregnancy~
Nettle is a wonderful plant to include in your journey as you carry life in your belly, this plant is known to be one of the top nourishing tonics for yourself and baby. This list of vitamins and minerals are listed above and are quite impressive in my opinion. Mama Maiz Pregnancy Tea also includes nettle along with many other beneficial herbs like red raspberry, you can take it in tea form or eat it if you have a patch were you can harvest fresh. Nettle is also beneficial during your postpartum healing, it may assist in preventing postpartum hemorrhaging and may assist in milk production. Due to nettles high calcium content it can also be beneficial to decreasing pain, this can be pain located in the uterus but also works in healing pain all together
You can read more about beneficial herbs during pregnancy here:
~Eating nettles raw~
If stinging nettles grows in your yard, I encourage you to eat it!! There are amazing benefits to eating nettle, one benefit is that it is full of protein. This plant is a must for vegetarians and vegans! You don’t have to not eat meat or dairy to enjoy this protein rich plant. You can eat it raw or cooked if you do decide to eat it raw please fold it or roll it like a tortilla, spikes up (away from your skin). Psst, it taste like cucumber..yummy
Drinking Nettles as an infusion
You can also make a strong infusion with nettle
Allow infusion to sit a minimum of 4 hrs, I prefer to let the medicine sit overnight.
Infusions or really strong tea, allow the water soluble constituents to gently be absorbed into the water. The hot water will also pull out the volatile oils or essential oils from the plant, these oils are rich in vitamin and minerals. In the second photo below you can already see the properties being pulled out.
place raw or dried nettle in quart jar fill 1/2 way or full if possible…and handful will also work (depending on what is available to you)
Pour boiling water into jar and let it sit over night.
Strain plant material (which can be composted or returned to garden) and drink!
(if you are constitutionally dry you can add with licorice)
*Video on my Instagram profile*
I love to steam my fresh nettles in a 1/2 cup of water (depending on how much you have available)
Pinch of salt/pepper
Cayenne (if you like spicy, also great medicine)
Steam for about 10 minutes and add to any dish! <3
~Benefits to nervous system~
If you feel like you have an unending list of things to do and also get distracted when you try to get 1 thing done, are you always on edge? Nettle is your medicine! It’s great for sympathetic nervous systems, it will stop you from feeling so jumpy. Nettle can be great at helping to calming the nervous system. Caring for our nervous system is essential in keeping our immune and digestive systems in balance. The best way to get yourself back to a parasympathetic nervous system is to take nettle tincture consistency and for the long haul! We are all at a state of stress one time or another. This stress can lead to physical pain, anxiety, sadness, anger or trouble sleeping. Its time to get our health back into our own hands. With the combination of Nettle, rest and body movement you can bring things back into balance. Take nettle in whatever form you can, tea, tincture, cooked or raw, remember that eating nettle is always best when using it for it’s nutritional benefit.
Stinging yourself with nettle
One active compound in nettle stings is formic acid, this compound acts as a counter irritant. Just like bee stings nettle can be used for inflammatory autoimmune and neurological conditions. Nettle stings have been used for conditions like tendinitis and arthritis pain. Please reach out to me or someone who has experience with providing this service. After stinging yourself you will see a light reaction to the skin in the area, this is normal. If you feel that this medicine isn’t for you please pay attention and stop.
As stated by Cecilia Garcia “Stinging nettle was used throughout Southern California to relieve arthritis pain. The stems were struck against the painful area of the body. This results in extreme discomfort from stinging that lasts for about 20 minutes. After this, there is a relief from pain that can last for hours or days”
I will be posting a video on Instagram later this week demonstrating this technique.
There is tons more to share about nettles, if you would like to share your knowledge leave a comment below.