Updated: Apr 9, 2022
Springtime in the Treasure Valley sure is a special season. Foothills are painted with Arrowleaf Balsamroot, our gardens start to wake up, the birds are singing . . . all symbolizing the beginning of new life. However, for many of us, this also means seasonal allergies. We were recently fea
tured in Totally Boise's Blog: Take On Spring Allergies The Vervain Collective's Holistic Approach. Check it out! You will find our favorite go-to remedies to ease this rough time of year!
In honor of the upcoming allergy season, we present Nettle as our lucky #vervainHOTM! (Herb of the month).
What is nettle?
Urtica dioica, aka stinging or common nettle, is a herbaceous perennial native to the temperate regions of Europe and Asia that grows abundantly throughout temperate regions of the world in sunny areas along lakes and streams, at the edge of forests, creeping into fields, gardens and barnyards, and reclaiming empty land. Since they prefer rich, moist soil they are an indicator of soil quality, and make an excellent addition to the compost pile due to their high nitrogen content.
Benefits of nettle
Where do we begin?! Nettle has been used for food, medicine, and fiber for thousands of years. Nettle is considered a medicinal food as well as a tonic - an herb that strengthens, nourishes, and enlivens organs throughout the whole body. The high concentration of minerals and vitamins in nettles makes them a bonafide superfood: a go-to for anemia and other nutrient deficiencies. Nettles are indicated for liver and kidney issues, symptoms of PMS and menopause, and their anti-inflammatory properties have traditionally made them a main ingredient in hay fever and other allergy formulas. Additionally, nettle tea is useful for asthma, chronic and acute urinary complaints, urinary stones, nephritis and cystitis, diarrhea, dysentery, hemorrhoids, and chronic arthritic and rheumatic problems. Nettle is truly a powerhouse herb!
Nettles have topical uses as well: sprinkling the powder on a wound helps to staunch bleeding, and applied to the scalp, nettles can help stimulate hair growth.
Nettle's nourishing and medicinal action is attributed to its rich vitamin, mineral, amino acid, and chlorophyll content, as well as formic acid. The high mineral content gives nettle a salty, earthy flavor slightly reminiscent of seaweed.
If stung by nettle leaves, treat by rubbing the freshly bruised leaves of yellow dock or plantain over the affected area. These are often, conveniently, found growing nearby.
The stinging sensation is caused by formic acid and histamine contained in the tiny hairs that cover the stems and leaves. When they touch skin, the sharp hairs penetrate the skin, break off, and release their chemicals.
When people say they "feel nettled", now you know what they mean!
Ready for more nettles?
Vervain carries nettle in many forms! We have two bulk herb and bulk tincture for use in custom formulas or alone, as well as these fantastic formulations:
And check out these recipes!
Nettle Pesto - Thank you to our lovely and brilliant shop steward, Erika, for sharing her recipe!
Nettle Butter- Thank you to lovely and brilliant shop steward & Nutritionist, Amanda, for sharing!
Join us for a class!
We can't wait to see you!