Nettle – Urtica dioica

The stinging nettle is a highly successful plant found all over the temperate areas of the world. It spreads by means of seeds and underground rhizomes that creep around just under the surface of the soil. The jagged leaves held in pairs along the square stems are easily recognisable particularly after having experienced the sting.

The stinging structure of the nettle is very similar to the hypodermic needle although it predates that man-made invention by millions of years! Each sting is actually a hollow hair stiffened by silica with a swollen base that contains the venom. The tip of this hair is very brittle and when brushed against, no matter how lightly, it breaks off exposing a sharp point that penetrates the skin and delivers its stinging payload.

Nettle Iron Tonic

nettle iron tonic

Nettle Iron tonic

A nettle tonic! Nettle is incredibly rich in Iron and makes an excellent blood tonic. It is also great for asthma, excema, hayfever and arthritis.

How to do it

Simply collect some nettle heads, chop up some un-sulphured apricots, add the zest of an orange (for Vit C) and add a bottle of 12-14% red wine! Shake daily for 2 weeks then take 1-2 dessert spoons once daily!
See how you get on with this fantastic remedy.

Did you know

The latin name of the plant dioica means ‘two houses’ – this refers to the fact that the male and female flowers are normally carried on separate plants.

It is possible that the ‘nettle’ is derived from Noedl meaning a needle – referring to the stinging mechanism in the nettle leaves. Others suggest that it comes from the Latin nere and other similar old European verbs meaning to sew.

It used to be thought that the main constituent of the sting was formic acid – the same chemical used by ants, giving that never forgotten burning sensation that demands to be scratched. Although formic acid is present in the sting, recent research has shown that the main chemicals are histamine, acetylcholine and serotonin. A fourth ingredient has yet to be identified.

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