top of page

Stinging Nettle - A Nutritive Powerhouse for Spring Allergies

One of my favorite tonic herbs is Stinging Nettle. The Latin Name of this magical plant is Urtica dioica and it belongs to the Urticaceae family.


Interestingly, belonging to such a unique family helps Nettle be an incredible aid for allergies of all types, as it is much less common for people to be allergic to this plant than others of, say, the Asteraceae family. Add in that Urtica dioica is astringent, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergenic (it contains antihistamines) and this plant is a great remedy for Hay Fever, Asthma, itchy skin conditions and insect bites, as well as other allergies of all kinds.


Nettle is a perennial plant and Spring volunteer that can grow up to 5 feet in height. It has poky stems and poky-looking leaves and grows tiny white flowers each year after it sprouts. A great herb to gather when it pops up in the Spring, the aerial parts are eaten and used as a tonic, nutritive herb and vegetable (like a zingy salad green).



Herbal Actions


Considered a weed by many, this herb is incredibly medicinal.


It is:

  • Diuretic

  • Tonic

  • Astringent

  • Anti-allergenic

  • Anti-inflammatory

  • Anti-arthritic

  • Expectorant

  • Nutritive

Common Uses for Utica Dioica

Urtica dioica also helps prevent hemorrhaging, helps slow bleeding and also eases heavy menstrual bleeding. It can even help reduce prostate enlargement.


Nettle is frequently used for urinary issues of all kinds and can even help break down Kidney Stones. It also helps with Arthritis and Gout, and is generally a cleansing and detoxifying herb that helps the body release excess waste (through making you pee), which can relieve inflammation all across the body. It is also used for skin conditions for this same reason.


Nettle is a great tonic for fatigue as it is full of lots of minerals and vitamins. Full of nourishing minerals, Nettle is used to tone and strengthen many of the body's systems, especially when taken over a period of time.


How to Prepare Nettle

One of my favorite ways to prepare Nettle is by leaving it to steep as an overnight infusion. It is great with many other nutritive herbs, including Cleavers, Dandelion Leaf, Raspberry Leaf, Oatstraw, Red Clover, and so many more. Simply pour boiling water over a quart jar full of your herbs of choice, cover it, and leave it to steep overnight.


If you’re looking for a fun and tasty way to incorporate Urtica dioica into your diet, my classmate Kaitlyn, a professional chef, wrote this delicious recipe for Mustard Pickled Nettle:


Precautions

Always listen to your body and if trying Nettles causes any adverse reactions, stop taking the herb immediately. This herb is also strongly diuretic and will make you pee more than usual.


I am a student at Artemisia Academy, and in class we learn to form intuitive relationships with the herbs as we get to know them. If you have never tried Nettles before, start slowly and listen to your body. Sometimes, it’s best to start with just one herb, see how it feels, and then add it into combinations with other herbs you know you like. And always stop taking an herb if you don’t like how it makes you feel! Your body knows best and not every herb is good for everyone.



Herbal Apprentice Program

If you want to learn more about our herbal allies and how to work with them to be a healed healer, check out Artemisia Academy’s Herbal Apprentice Program. I recently completed this program and learned so much about Nettle and dozens of other herbs, as well as how to make medicines and form intuitive and reciprocal relationships with the plants we work with.


Much of the information I shared in this post comes from Artemisia Academy’s Herbs for the Body Class (in the Herbal Apprentice Program) and Andrew Chevallier’s Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine, both great references for accurate information about medicinal herbs. It is so important to have more reliable information on the internet about our herbal allies, so I’ll be writing more blog posts about our herbal friends for you all to enjoy.


About the Author

Alicia Cielle Heiser is an Astrologer, Herbalist and student at Artemisia Academy. Her work centers on facilitating a greater understanding of the cyclical nature of the world and the ways that we as humans fit within the greater whole. She is writing a series of materia medica blog posts for Artemisia to make the wisdom and knowledge of herbal medicine more available to more people. Alicia also has a podcast called Conversations with the Planets and she offers herbal astrology readings and crafts personalized herbal tea blends. You can find her at www.aliciacielle.com. 


 

Disclaimer: Information presented on this webpage is for educational purposes only, and does not include the diagnosis and treatment of disease nor replace the advice of a licensed physician. Please refer to a licensed health professional for any illness or persistent symptoms before using herbal remedies.


Herbs can sometimes cause discomfort or side effects, and may interact adversely with pharmaceutical medications. Do not use herbs internally without the approval of a doctor or medical professional if you are currently on medications or have a history of medical conditions.



Comments


bottom of page