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stinging nettle - urtica dioica - top

Nettle, stinging, Urtica dioica L

Everyone has had a run in with stinging or great nettle, Urtica dioica, at some point in their lives and knows that it lives up to its name. After touching this plant, your skin can seem to be on fire, due to the formic acid that the plant excretes.
Nettle is vilified by many and finds itself unceremoniously ripped out of gardens often. The people who do this clearly do not know the value of this plant. Admittedly, nettle can take over a bit if you do not keep it in check. But the good thing is, you can always eat it.

Medicinal properties of stinging nettle, Urtica dioica

Medicinally, stinging nettle can be used for such a large number of things that I was almost a little reluctant to start working on this monograph. I knew that it would an enormous job, but that is precisely why this plant belongs in this vademecum.
In this introduction I will focus on its most important applications. These are, in random order, its blood purifying, detoxifying, immune-enhancing and remineralising properties and its anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.

Magical properties of this powerful ally

Magically, it makes sense that nettle has protective characteristics. After all, no one gets past the stinging hairs of this plant unscathed. As a result, it is hardly surprising that this powerful plant chases away fear. However, nettle can also make someone burn with passion. It is therefore a plant that is often used in love magic, including increasing libido.

Botanical description Stinging nettle, Urtica dioica

Stinging nettle grows on a tenacious, running root, which branches strongly and quickly, allowing the plant to spread over large surfaces. The stems are green, square and covered in what mostly are stinging hairs.
The leaves are opposite, acute ovate, with a serrated margin. The leaves are covered with stinging hairs as well.
Small, green flowers grow from the axils in panicles which are about 8 cm in length. The male flower panicles stand upright, the females will hang down after fertilisation. Those female flowers produce small yellow-brown achenes.

Interesting facts

The small nettle (Urtica urens) might be even more powerful than the great nettle. In any case, they can be used in the same way. I have chosen to discuss this particular nettle because it is more common in the area that I’m from.
In Germanic mythology, nettles were dedicated to Donar, or Thor.

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