Botanical Name: Urtica Diocia | Family: Urticaceae
Common name(s): Nettle, Stinging Nettle, Ortiga (Spanish)
- Perennial, herbaceous | Zones 5-9 | Full sun, partial shade | 2-4′ | blooms early to late summer (small cream-colored flowers)
- Likes good moisture / organic soil
- Stratify seeds and sow directly in the garden (or indoors and transplant late spring). Or propagate by root division in the early spring. Space a foot apart.
Companions: sunflowers, grapes, fennel
Aerial parts anytime during the season except when flowering. Wear gloves! You can also harvest nettle seeds – they are a more potent medicine than the leaves, and nettle root, which is useful in treating an enlarged prostate.
PREPARATION / DOSAGE
Infusion: 1-3 tsp dried nettle to one cup boiling water, infuse for 10-15 minutes. Drink 3x/day
Tincture: take 1-4ml of the tincture 3x/day
Combinations: Figwort and Burdock in the treatment of eczema.
Uses: Whole body tonic, childhood (and all varieties of) eczema, relieving hemorrhage (e.g. nosebleeds), externally for arthritis by intentionally stinging affected joints, allergy relief, anemia, reproductive system, prostate.
Cautions: Nettle stings! Use gloves when handling fresh nettle.
|Ascorbic acid (C)||10 mg|
|Beta-Carotene (A)**||1100 µg|
|Thiamin (B1)||100 µg|
|Riboflavin (B2)||100 µg|
|Niacin (B3)||600 µg|
|Vitamin K||160-640 µg|
** The body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A
This chart was derived from The Essential Wild Food Survival Guide, with some supplemental info from the study posted below. I also found this nutritional analysis for blanched nettles. It has higher numbers for the nutrients than the book I cited. Let’s suffice it to say, nettles are FULL of nutritional goodness. Add them into your diet as a nutritional supplement.
- Homegrown Herbs, Tammi Hartung
- Holistic Herbal, David Hoffman
- Medicinal Herbs, Rosemary Gladstar
- The Essential Wild Food Survival Guide, Linda Runyon
- This study
I have a huge patch of nettle growing in my yard. It’s been here for years, first discovered by my husband when he brushed up against it while mowing. At that point neither of us knew what it was, besides an annoying plant. But it was in an out-of-the-way place at the edge of the woods, and we never tried to eradicate it. Thank goodness! Now I realize what an amazing plant it is (figured that out when I went online searching for natural allergy remedies) and I feel totally blessed to have such a large patch. I love nettle tea’s earthy flavor. I tried making nettle pesto but I seem to have a negative reaction to the histamine in the fresh plant, so I’m sticking to using it for tea, both hot and iced.