Herb Article
Nettle Leaf

By Karena Harmon, Herbalist

Nettle Leaf Common Name
Nettle Leaf, also known as Stinging Nettle

Latin Name
Urtica dioica or Urtica urens

Family
Urticaceae

Parts Used
Root, leaf and seed

Energetics
Warming and drying

Medicinal Properties
Nettle grows all over the world and has an affinity for waste places and near water. Characteristically Nettle encourages vitality, strength, conviction and is an overall chi strengthener. Nettle also promotes awareness by showing you her presence through her sting coming from the tiny hairs on the stalk and the bottom of the leaf that contain formic acid(they fall off shortly after picking). Generally a nettle sting only lasts a few hours and was utilized in olden times through a process known as urtication for arthritis and joint pains. This nourishing mineral rich herb is very high in Chlorophyll and packs in 2,900 mg of Calcium, 860 mg Magnesium, and 41 mg of Iron among numerous other vitamins and minerals per 100 grams. The young fresh greens are traditionally cooked and eaten in the spring and early summer for a nutritious treat.

Traditionally, Nettle has been known as a wonderful herbal panacea, helpful with numerous ailments such as adrenal deficiency, allergies, gout, burns, depleted kidneys and lungs, tonifying the digestive organs the intestinal tract and reproductive system and also as a blood purifier. Nettle is a wonderful friend to new mothers by promoting milk flow and building blood. Regular use of Urtica has also been used to improve skin and hair. Preparations: Can be taken as a tincture, hot or cold infusion, used topically and the young tops can be eaten as a food.

Recipes

Super mineral rich tea
Fill about 1/3 of a quart jar with a blend of Nettle leaf, Raspberry leaf and Milky oat tops then fill with cold water and let it infuse overnight then strain the next morning and enjoy!

Nettle hair Lotion
1 oz dried nettle leaf and root
4 cups water
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 drops of rosemary and lavender essential oil
Prepare an infusion with the nettle then strain and add oil and vinegar.
Massage about a handful of lotion on wet hair after washing and don't rinse for best results.
Refrigerate between uses.

Nettle Pesto
2 cups of fresh nettle leaf
1 cup of fresh basil leaf
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves
2 tbsp Olive oil
2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
Small handful of pine nuts, walnuts or sunflower seeds
Salt and pepper to taste
Throw it all into a food processor or blender and voila!

Resources
Healing Wise by Susun Weed
The book of Herbal Wisdom by Matthew Wood
300 Herbs by Matthew Alps