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Nettles: The plant that bites back

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Stinging nettles are a personal favorite when it comes to herbs.  A plant that is loved by few, and feared by many.

I noticed the other evening that I have a fairly sizable patch of nettles growing in a nice shady spot under a spigot in my backyard. Perhaps this is a testament to how often I water my garden, a job is usually left to the rest of the household.  Surprisingly, no one has ever complained of red welts!

Nettles is the common name given to Urtica dioica.  It is well known for its use in allergy relief because it acts as an anti-histamine.  It is also used as a diuretic, diaphoretic (encourages sweating), and astringent (drying).  You can see how it could be useful to clear up mucus.   Because of the high mineral content, Nettles are often used in teas and elixir’s, and also as food. The herb is known to be nourishing to all of the tissues in the body.  It is also a well established  blood-building herb that is supportive in weakened states.

Nettles is best used in the spring when the plant flourishes in the rich soils.  Also, a time when allergies tend to be at their peak.

Indications for the use of nettles (not a complete list)

  • Tissue breakdown (arthritis, muscle weakness, bone loss)
  • Low blood pressure, hair loss, mucus, diarrhea, swelling
  • Anemia of pregnancy, deficient lactation
  • Gout, burns, hives
  • Depletion, weakened states
  • Allergies

“If they would drink nettles in March and eat mugwort in May so many fine maidens and dudes would not go to clay”

-Traditional Saying

Please see your primary care provider before adding any nutritional supplement to your diet, including herbs.

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