Nettle – for asthma, goiter and few others!

Nettle herb is derived from the Nettle tribe or Urticaceae which is found all over the world and has about 500 species that are mainly tropical although there are some nettle that do thrive in temperate climates.

Nettle, lesser can be found throughout the mild regions of Europe and Asia. It is heart-shaped, finely toothed leaves tapered to a point and the green flowers with long, branched clusters spring from the axils of the leaves. Nettle flowers are incomplete, male or the barren flowers have stamen only. And the female or fertile flowers have pistil or seed-producing organs. Sometimes, these flowers are to be found on one plant.

Medicinal Uses of the Nettle

The Nettle herb is gathered just before coming into flower and dried in the usual manner. When the nettle is collected for drying, it should be only on a fine day specifically in the morning when the sun has dried off the dew. Cut off just above the root; do not include stained or insect-eaten leaves and tie in bunches consisting of six to ten in a bunch, spread the nettles fanwise to enable air to penetrate freely to all parts.

Hang the bunch over strings. If dried in the open, keep them in half-shade and bring indoors before getting damp from dew or rain. If you dry nettle indoors, hang up in sunny room in a well-ventilated room. Window must be left open by day to allow free current of air and for the warm air to come out.

Image courtesy of Jim Champion

The bunch should be of uniform size and length for easy packing. When dried, they should be packed in airtight boxes to prevent moisture be reabsorbed from air. Seeds and flowers are dried in the sun or stove.

Wholesale herbalists still use the nettle. Homeopathic chemists use the herb for the preparation of tincture.

Nettle is used to relieve asthma. The juice of the roots or leaves mixed it with honey or sugar can relieve bronchial and asthmatic troubles. The dried leaves if burnt and inhaled will have the same effect. The seeds are taken in wine glassful doses.

The seeds and flowers are used to relieve ague. Powdered seeds help cure goiter and reduces excessive corpulency.

The seeds taken inwardly are used by old Herbals as an antidote for stings or bites of venomous creatures and mad dogs and poisoning by Hemlock, Henbane and Nightshade. Tea made from the roots of nettle can help relieve kidney.

Nettle can be used as a hair tonic by simmering a handful of young nettles in a quart of water for 2 hours, strain and bottle when cold. Saturate the scalp with this lotion every other night to prevent hair fall and for a soft and glossy hair. Another good Nettle hair lotion can be done by boiling the entire plant in vinegar and water, strain then add Eau de Cologne.

To stimulate hair growth, comb the hair with Nettle juice. The homeopathic tincture of Nettle is made up of 2 oz of the herb to 1 pint of proof spirit. The powder of the dried herb is administered in doses of 5 to 10 grains.

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