Spectacular Stinging Nettle
Nettles are also a great ally for mothers. Drinking nettle infusion during pregnancy nourishes you and your growing baby, while also helping to prevent hemorrhaging. Sipped frequently during a hemorrhage, nettle infusion or juice will act as a prompt hemostatic. Drinking nettle infusions will also noticeably increase production of breast milk.
Nettle seeds are nourishing to the endocrine glands, particularly the thyroid, helping to reduce both excess weight and goiter. The seeds are also a reputed antidote to poisoning from hemlock, henbane, nightshade, bee stings, and spider, dog, and snake bites. This is perhaps due to its action on the immune system and strengthening action for organs of elimination. Used internally and externally, nettle seeds are a great skin and scalp tonic.
Nettle roots are a hair and scalp tonic – helping those with thinning hair or dandruff. They are also a urinary system strengthener and an immune system and lymphatic strengthener! Nettle root decoction can also be used as an acute remedy for diarrhea.
Harvest the seeds in late summer/early fall.
You can cook the seeds into your rice or soups for some extra nutrition. You can also make an oil out of the seeds for topical application.
Nettle Vinegar - You can steep fresh nettles in apple cider vinegar. This can be used on salad dressing, ingested alone, or used topically. I use this nettle vinegar as a nourishing hair rinse.
A tincture of fresh nettles can provide fast-acting relief for allergies.
Natural Dye - You can use a decoction of nettle roots to dye fabrics a yellow color, or get a greener color from the leaves and stalks.
Compost tea – when I harvest nettles in the spring, I cut the stalk above a lower leaf axis and take the whole thing home with me. Then I spend some time cutting the leaves off for cooking. I then put some of the stalks in an old cat litter container (something that you don’t want to use again that seals) and fill it up with water. In a few weeks the anaerobic respiration will create ‘nettle rot’ – a truly excellent compost tea for your garden! It smells just like manure ;). Dilute 1 cup of this in 1 gallon of water and feed your garden. I always notice new flowers after giving this to my plants, and that they look happier.
So, go out and gather yourself some stinging nettles!! It grows abundantly and offers deep nourishment to those who brave its sting.