HomeHealthThe Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica)

The Stinging nettle (Urtica dioica)

The Stinging nettle can torment and even torture you with its sting and it can also improve your health, make you feel better and even save your life. Urtica dioica the fancy technical name for the humble nettle has been a staple in herbal medicine since ancient times, and it’s more valuable than ever day. You may have experienced its powerful sting and boy does that hurt. Well that’s nothing compared to its fantastic healing power.

The Stinging Nettle

By A E Housman

The stinging nettle only
Will still be found to stand:
The numberless, the lonely,
The thronger of the land,
The leaf that hurts the hand.

That thrives, come sun, come showers;
Blow east, blow west, it springs;
It peoples towns, and towers
Above the courts of Kings,
And touch it and it stings.

A Healing Storehouse

Once you recognise its wonderful benefits, its values, it’s storehouse of vitamins, and minerals in a most useable form for your body, the humble stinging nettle is beyond compare.

Most people treat this most valuable of herbs with disdain or contempt. You will change your mind once you recognise its value and especially when you experience its benefits. If you have a garden or a polytunnell it would be a very wise decision to include it in your herb garden and it will give two and maybe three harvests of nettle seed packed with a robust treasure of one of nature’s true vitamin and mineral pill. In the Spring when the young nettles leaves are fresh and tender pluck them and boil them and while they will taste better than the  most delicious cabbage or spinach, the nettles will cleanse your blood while rejuvenating you with all their delicious richness.


Nature has provided the nettle with a perfect defence to protect its hidden treasures by lavishing it with strong defensive stings where no herbivores dare to munch. Nettle plants contain long, thin, hollow hairs that cover the majority of the stem and the underside of the leaves. The leaves themselves contain oxalic acid, which gives that familiar burning sensation when stung by the great defences of the stinging nettle. This powerhouse plant can be found growing pretty much everywhere. When selecting a plant to harvest, avoid the roadside nettles as they collect pollutants from passing traffic. Fields, hills and woods away from the roadside are good harvesting areas. The seed for harvesting would normally be ready by the second week of June. Make sure when harvesting the seeds to wash them with water and lay them out on brown paper away from the sunlight. Intermittently turn the seed and “shuffle” them lightly and them leave to dry at room temperature.

A Gift of the Gods

The first two leaves at the top are good for harvesting and as they are the youngest leaves they don’t yet have a sting. Clip them into a basket or a brown paper bag. Wear gloves to avoid being stung as your arm may brush off some stinging areas while harvesting. Apply the same method to the leaves as to the seed, and purchase a strainer so when you have some seeds on a leaf you can dry them out and rub them in the strainer and the seeds will fall off. The seeds are an excellent addition to your porridge with a dollop of honey and a sprinkle of nettle seed on top. The leaves can be your nutrient tea for all year round. Let them simmer of course and you can eat the leaf at the end.

Nettle seeds

When the seeds hang down like grapes they are ready for harvesting, Put on your gloves and have a brown paper bag ready and away you go.

Beneficial Ingredients

  • Rich in chlorophyll
  • Rich in Iron, Magnesium, Chromium with slimming benefits.
  • Rich in Vitamin C, A, D, E, and K.
  • Acts as an anti-inflammatory
  • Very powerful anti-oxidant.

The Benefits

  • Boosts your immune system
  • Balances your hormonal system, (Thyroid and Pancreas)
  • Flushes out toxins and revitalises energy levels.
  • Relieves allergies and & heals the respiratory tract
  • Strengthens your digestive system.
  • Skin care for Acne and speeds up healing on scars
  • Promotes anti-aging affects
  • Reducing aging and age spots.
  • Prevents kidney stones and can break them down
  • Protects from bladder infections
  • Protects from fluid retention, and heavy bleeding, acting as a coagulant.
  • Aids in pregnancy, by promoting the production of milk and lactating
  • Feminine menstruation, aid in discomfort, cramping and bloating.
  • Menopause, can ease the transition and act as a restorative
  • Aids in circulation and the production of red blood cells.
  • Relieves fatigue and Anaemia.
  • Inflammation, Rheumatic arthritis, and chronic muscle pain.
  • Effectively treats gout.
  • Boron is found in Stinging nettle, and is an important component for strengthening bones.
  • Can slow the onset of
  • Treats repertory problems like, hay fever, asthma and other seasonal allergies.
  • Improves prostate health, by preventing prostate enlargement.
  • Protects Heart health.
  • Can aid in hair growth if massaged into the head area of baldness,

           Stinging Nettle seed, dried leaves and tools for the task


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