A green plant

Nettle herb. Urtica dioica

Nettle also referred to as stinging nettle belongs to the family urticariaceae and  is a common wild plant, growing in abundance in undisturbed areas.

It is treated somewhat with respect as it can impart a formidable painful sting, due to the presence of formic acid,a component also found in ants!

Nettles add to the biodiversity of a garden providing food for many butterflies whose larvae are a food source for bats ,for example. This all exemplifies the circle of life and the interdependence of the natural world, which creates a thriving eco system.

As well Nettle is a superfood containing a wealth of minerals and vitamins especially iron and vitamin C and can be used to treat iron deficiency anaemia.

Medicinally,Nettle leaf taken as an infusion rids the body of toxic accumulation.Our forefathers welcomed the emergence of nettle in the spring for its cleansing and nutrient properties. Along with Cleavers and Dandelion leaf the trio would be used to enliven the organism and bring it into the spring energy after the sluggish winter months.

Nettle has a variety of other actions and uses, notably an anti-histamine effect bringing relief to allergic conditions such as hay fever especially when combined with other herbs such as elderflower, ribwort and eyebright.

Its anti arthritic and circulatory stimulating actions can be applied to rheumatic disease and coupled with its diuretic action dispel toxic accumulation in painful joint disease.

The urinary system is enhanced by the use of Nettle and tonified by its silica content.The latter gives nettle use in prostate enlargement.

The presence of a compound, quercitin, helps to prevent viruses entering host cells advocating the use of Nettles as a tea or a soup.

A soup from nettle leaf can be made by picking the young green tops, washing and drying them.

Put olive oil and warm in a skillet; add onion and garlic and later add the nettle leaves. These are turned in the oil until soft.

Additional vegetables may be added to the mix such as carrots and potatoes.Salt and seasoning herbs may also be used.

Transfer all to a saucepan,add water and bring to the boil, turn down heat and simmer until soft and tender.The mixture is taken off the heat and when cooled it is pureed.



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