"Natural Healing with Herbs for a Healthier You"

For medicinal purposes, stinging nettle is best harvested early in the spring when the plant is about six inches tall.  As they come into flower they can be picked and dried for later use. The use of gloves is recommended for gathering the fresh plant.

Young leaves are cooked as a potherb.  Steam them like spinach and add condiments to taste, or add it to soups, stews, or casseroles.  The volatile components in the hairs are neutralized by heat (cooking or drying).

“Strong syrup made of the root, combined with suitable quantities of wild-cherry bark and blackberry root, forms an excellent remedy for all summer complaints of children and bowel affections of adults.”

The following are formulas or recipes involving stinging nettle:

To treat eczema, especially in infants:
1 part stinging nettle leaves
1 part figwort
1 part red clover
Take as a tea three times daily.

To treat an under-active thyroid:
1 part stinging nettle leaves
1 part oats
1 part wormwood
1 part damiana (or kola)
2 parts bladderwrack
Take as a tea three times daily.

Healthy Blood Herbal Tea
1 plantain leaf
2 nettle leaves
3 mint leaves
1 cup water

Boil the plants for 3 minutes, and then steep.  Drink warm before breakfast.  If using dried plants, double the dosage and use for 1 month.

Nettle for Arthritic Pain
To prepare the tea as it is given here a juicer is needed.
1 part stinging nettle juice
1 part cotton grass juice
Walnut tree leaves equaling the weight of the above juices combined
1 squirt vinegar
About 6 cups water

Bring all ingredients to a boil, except for the honey, and skim off the foam.  Strain out the plant debris and sweeten with honey, if desired.  Drink this in moderate amounts on an empty stomach.  A packaged tea is also available.  Take 2 cups of this tea a day for two weeks.

Nutritious Herbal Seasoning
Mix equal parts dried finely crumbled garlic, parsley, watercress, sweet basil, oregano, marjoram, thyme, nettles, and comfrey.  Add one part each, powdered: dulse, rosehips, and cayenne.  Add one quarter part each powdered: dandelion root, burdock root.  Blend ingredients together, adjust seasoning to taste.  Make a small amount at a time.  Keep in a tightly sealed container.

Basic Nettle Hair Rinse

Make an infusion, let cool, and use the tea as a final rinse after shampooing.

For healthier, shinier hair, bring to a boil 1 pint apple cider vinegar.  Pour over 2 ounces dried nettles.  Cover and place in a cool, dark place for seven days, shaking daily.  Strain and store in a dark glass jar.  To use, mix 2-3 tablespoons of herbal vinegar with 1 cup warm water.  Use as a rinse and rub into scalp. 

In applying nettle to the scalp to stimulate hair growth, the freshly expressed juice can also be applied, as well as a decoction of the root.

Wake Up Bath
For a stimulating bath that is beneficial for rheumatic aches and pains, mix equal parts of dried nettles, rosemary, lemon balm, comfrey, lavender, and mint.  Make a strong infusion of the herbs, strain, and pour into bath, or put herbs in a cloth bag and float in bath water.

To curdle milk
Boil the fresh leaves in a slightly larger volume of well-salted water for ten minutes and use the tea to curdle milk when making cheese; the amount varies with the type of milk and the hardness of curd desired.
by Kassie Vance
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