You hear a lot about Nettle this time of year, don’t you?
As an herbalist, my relationship with Urtica dioica, the Stinging Nettle, always deepens at this time of year. I depend on Nettle for allergy relief, its energizing mineral content, and its gentle spring cleansing properties.
This year, I began to feel allergy symptoms in the middle of March, which seems early to me! But with the changing weather patterns, I’m preparing for “anything” as best I can. I keep Nettle capsules on my person (and by my bedside table), but I find that loose teas and powders are more cost effective when you want to get large quantities of an herb into your system.
1-2 teaspoons of Nettle powder (or herb), a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a bit of raw honey in hot water is a great way to start the day during allergy season. Not only does Nettle bring immediate relief to allergy symptoms, its incredible vitamin and mineral content gives an instant boost of energy.
How does Nettle work, and why is it so effective for allergies?
Nettle’s botanical name Urtica comes from the Greek word for urine, as Nettle strengthens the kidneys and urinary system. As a diuretic, it does produce urine! It helps the kidneys flush out toxins and wastes that the liver, adipose, and lymph surrender during the springtime cleansing process. Like Dandelion, Nettle is rich in potassium and other minerals to offset mineral-loss during diuresis.
Importantly, Nettle is also a natural anti-histamine that strengthens the immune system, the seat of all allergy imbalances. With regular use, Nettle fortifies the lungs, kidneys, liver, intestines, and arteries, and helps them function at their best. After a few weeks of ingesting Nettles regularly, you might notice less inflammation and swelling, easier breathing, and natural energy from increased cleansing and elimination of toxins.
Another perk of regular Nettle use is softer skin and shinier hair. All those minerals are helping to bring luster and color to the hair and to clear and soften the skin. Not a bad side-effect, as far as it goes.
To be honest, volumes are needed to do justice to Nettle’s rejuvenating effect on the body. In truth, it strengthens and tonifies every body system and organ, and it helps from everything from milk production and bone strength to blood sugar management and constipation. Nettle Seed is one of the most effective adrenal restoratives ever discovered, and the Nettle Root tightens and tones the prostate tissue and can reverse the onset of BPH. But that’s another article!
To get some Nettle into your life, use the fresh or dried herb in salads, gomasio, pestos, soups, and teas. It goes really well with Lemon Balm and any member of the mint family as a daily drink. Try a morning pick-me-up of 1-2 teaspoons of Nettle powder with cinnamon and raw honey.
Nettle is rich in the following:
Vitamins B-1, B-2, B-3, and B-5