Mineral-rich nettle is one of the most nourishing tonics in the plant kingdom. American Indians referred to nettle as green-gold and cultivated it in Mexico at least 8,000 years ago. Used for making paper and spun into thread fifty times stronger than cotton, nettle is also woven into a durable cloth. A great soil enricher, nettle is revered by biodynamic gardeners. Cattle and poultry thrive on nettles.
Anyone living a very physical life will find a supportive friend in nettles. Regular consumption of nettles steadies nerves, gives the energy needed and more, increases sex drive, and helps ease aches and pains.
Nettles provide optimum nourishment for pregnant women and nursing mothers. Drinking plenty of dried nettle infusion and eating lots of the fresh greens helps prevent postpartum hemorrhage and improves the quality and quantity of breast milk. Native American women drank nettle tea during pregnancy to strengthen the fetus and ease delivery. They also used its abundant vitamin K to stop uterine bleeding. Nettle has a well-deserved reputation as a hemostatic.
Menopausal women find a superb friend and ally in nettles. Regular consumption of calcium-rich nettles helps nourish and steady nerves, strengthens bones, prevents osteoporosis, and ensures a healthy heart. Nettle helps ease depression and mood swings. Most importantly, it supports healthy functioning of the adrenals, which are stressed during menopause.
Regular use of nettles helps maintain even blood sugar levels and increases energy. Nettles also give a nourishing hand to the immune system. I think of it when dealing with Epstein-Barre virus, swollen lymph glands, nerve inflammation, and joint pain. Shoshone drank an infusion of nettle to remedy exhaustion and tired blood, and applied hot poultices to ease rheumatic joints.
Growing children benefit greatly from nettle. It helps build strong bones, teeth, muscles, and brain, increasing focus, awareness and concentration.
Nettles contain abundant chlorophyll, calcium, chromium, magnesium, zinc and generous stores of iron, manganese, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, protein, riboflavin, selenium, silicon, thiamine, vitamins A, C and K.
Nettles are famous for their ability to restore adrenal functioning and afford significant relief from symptoms of hay fever. I have seen allergic reactions completely relieved after a few days of eating cooked nettle greens, and/or drinkings the dried plant infusion.
Nettles are an excellent tonic for the kidneys, offering unexcelled relief from chronic urinary infections, gravel or stones, and any kind of kidney distress. People suffering with hemorrhoids find great relief from frequent nettle sitz baths.
German studies show long-term use of fresh nettle juice or dried nettle infusion effective for relieving the pain of gout. I infuse fresh nettles in olive oil and use it to massage the painful area. And I use urtication. The stems and leaves of nettles are covered with very fine hairs which contain histamines, acetylcholine, and formic acid. A brush up against these hairs and you get stung. Do it on purpose and it is called urtication. Urtication creates intense physical stimulation, and is used to treat painful joints. Earth-honoring peoples recognize the healing power of urtication, and believe it activates dormant energies. The Hesquiat rubbed fresh nettles over arthritic joints, sore backs and stomach aches.
Nettles lose their sting when dried or cooked.
Nettles will even make you beautiful! Hair and skin sparkle and shine with regular use. As a final rinse, it promotes healthy hair, checks loss, and removes fungal and bacterial infections from the scalp. Chronic skin conditions, such as eczema (especially childhood eczema associated with anxiety), hives, or acne, are alleviated with regular use of nettle infusion, 2-4 cups daily.
Nettle is a perennial plant that spreads steadily. It grows 5-10 feet tall with droopy greenish-golden flowers. As come people have allergic reactions to nettle when it is flowering, I avoid harvesting it then.
I tincture fresh nettles in alcohol. I infuse fresh nettles in vinegar or oil. I dry nettles on screens for infusions, and we powder dry nettles and sprinkle over food for a delicious, mineral-rich taste, much like kelp.
We offer nettle as a simple tincture and it is a prominent ingredient in our Strength & Vitality Herb Tea and is also in our Detox, Mama Roots, 13 Sisters Restorative Elixir and Studly Brothers Manly Elixir Formulas.