Urtica dioica, Urticaceae
Found over wasteland and in hedgerows. The leaves are serrated, dull green, hairy. These leaves possess an acrid fluid (formic acid) which burns the human skin, causing small blisters, hence the common name of this plant-“stinging nettle.” Flowers are green-yellow, in clusters, small. The whole plant is powerfully medicinal, from the roots to the seed.
Nettle root as a treatment of dropsy, lymphatic ailments, to expel gravel and stones from any organ in which they have formed, especially from the kidneys. Nettle leaves are a vegetable (lightly boiled, for several minutes only until softened and the stinging quality is neutralized, then add some flaked oats and good butter). Also to cleanse the blood, tone up the whole system. As a cure for anemia, rheumatism, sciatica, arthritis, obesity, infertility. To expel mucus from all parts of the body. Nettle seeds heated gently in wine and swallowed as a cure for diarrhea, and dysentery. As a Standard Brew, serves as a blood cleanser and to expel worms.
The Roman Nettle (Urtica urens) species has large seed capsules like green balls and was planted extensively by Romans as a rheumatic remedy, for flogging the human skin to increase blood flow. Also, as with bee and ant stings, the formic acid was considered beneficial. To this day bruised leaves of stinging nettles are rubbed on the skin in treatment of chronic rheumatism. As a nerve and tissue excitant, in treatment of chronic rheumatism, paralysis, stiffness of joints, failing muscular strength. The Gypsy method is to bind fresh-cut plants into a bunch and beat the affected parts with this until great heat is created in the limb. Then cotton cloths, soaked in cold vinegar, are applied and after several hours the nettle flogging is repeated. Many cures of chronic cases have been achieved whit this primitive treatment-and, as already written, the Romans planted nettles for this curative purpose. The leaves, applied fresh to bleeding wound, will often act effectively within a few minutes. Flowers and seed (nettles produce much seed): as a hair rinse and for scalp massage. Will improve the color and texture of the hair and remove dandruff.
Eat the boiled leaves as a vegetable as freely as you would eat spinach and other greens. No other green vegetable excels the nettle in mineral and vitamin content. This is one of the world’s most chlorophyll-rich plants. Of a Standard Brew of the leaves, a wineglass three times daily. Nettle juice can be made in a juicer. Standard Brew of the flower and/or seed: similar dose to the leaves.
A Lotion for Aching Feet:
Brew one handful of nettle leaves, and one of marshmallow leaves, in one cup and a half of whey pr plain water. Use warm.