Life By Nature Private Membership Association

Stinging Nettles

08/08/2022 12:04 PM | Carrie Windsor (Administrator)

Stinging nettle: Urtica dioica

Family: Urticaceae

Parts used: leaves and possibly stems

Other common names: Bichu, Common Nettle, Feuille d'Ortie, Graine d'Ortie, Grande Ortie, Great Stinging Nettle, Nettle, Nettle Leaf, Nettle Seed, Nettle Worth, Nettles, Ortie, Ortie Brûlante, Ortie des Jardins, Ortie Dioïque, Ortie Méchante, Ortiga, Small Nettle, Stinging Nettles, Urtica, Urticae Herba et Folium, Urticae Radix. (TRC- Natural Medicines)


Nettles- Urtica Dioica

Possible uses:

Antiallergy

Analgesic

Anticancer

Antifungal

Anti-inflammatory

Antiviral

Cardiovascular uses

Hypoglycemic effects

Prostate

Diuretic

Very nutritious- it has 10-15x the number of health benefits as spinach.

It can help heal the entire body. This is why it is a wonder plant that everyone should appreciate!

How to identify nettles: nettles have very sharp stingers that when touched, break off in the skin, releasing a toxin. That is what the sting is. Leaves are opposite and coarsely toothed. A look-alike is a white dead nettle. The white dead nettle does not sting but does have tiny hairs. If you do get stung by a nettle, quickly wash with soap and water, then grab some dock or plantain, chew it, and put on the sting.


When harvesting, it is best to use rubber gloves to help keep you from being stung a lot. You can easily grab the leaves and pinch them without being stung. I choose to use gloves though. Harvest before the plant starts to flower.

I am making a nettle-infused oil so I can make some salve. I am also making a nettle tincture and plan to try nettle tea.

Head out to the nettle patch to harvest. Take the tops, approximately 5 inches or so.  The newer the leaves the better. If the plant is flowering, you have waited too long.

After harvesting the leaves, soak for about 10 minutes. This should help take out a lot of the sting.

Blot with a towel to get the excess water off the leaves.

Put in bunches of 5 or so and tie them together to hang.

Let dry for a few days until completely dry.

Process by putting in an air-tight jar, infused oil, or tincture.


TEA

I used some fresh leaves to make nettle tea.  I first soaked my leaves for several minutes then shook them to get excess water off. I blotted to get even more water off. I put some fresh leaves in my tea infuser, added boiling water, and let steep for several minutes.

DRIED NETTLE LEAVES- these aren’t quite dry yet. They have only been drying for approximately 8 hours. You want them to break, not bend.


CONTRAINDICATIONS

May lower blood glucose levels.

May interact with: antidiabetes drugs, diuretic drugs, lithium, coumadin (warfarin)

Avoid using if pregnant or nursing. It is likely UNSAFE when used orally due to possible abortifacient and uterine-stimulant effects.


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