Botanical Name: Urtica dioica
- English: Stinging Nettle
- Also, known as: Common Nettle, Csalángyökér, Great Nettle, Anjuraa, Gazaneh, Grande Ortie, Greater Nettle, Grosse Brennessel, Haarnesselwurzel, Nettle Root, Ortica, Ortie, Ortiga, Brennesselwurzel, Pokrzywa, Qurrays, Racine D’ortie, Raiz De Ortiga, Stinging Nettle, Tsuknida, Zwyczajna, Grosse Brandnetel, Grande Ortica, Hanfnesselwurzel, Hhurrayq, Nesselwurzel, Great Stinging Nettle, and Shisuun.
Habitat: Africa and Western Asia
Harvested: Wild or cultivated
Parts Used: Leaves
Urtica dioica is an herbaceous perennial with erect, green to purplish square stems, which arises as an upright plant to 24 inches high, with creeping stems. The dull green stem is normally covered with stinging hairs which pierce the skin and let out an acrid fluid when stirred, causing pain. The whole plant covered with stinging hairs. Perhaps you’ve already become acquainted with nettle while out hiking. Absent-mindedly brushing your skin against this plant will rapidly get your consciousness back to the present instant! The leaves and stems are covered in tiny spikes that, when brushed against, release formic acid, which causes a mild but annoying skin reaction. It’s no surprise that this flora is also usually mentioned to as “stinging nettle.” Nine of thirty species of Urtica, an herbaceous plant or shrub of the Urticaceae family, are found in temperate regions of the United States and Canada, in waste places, beside hedges and gardens.
The soft, serrated leaves are opposite each other in pairs on the stem, cordate at the base, oblong or ovate, finely toothed; upper surface dark green and underside paler. The leaves and the rest of the plant are coated in stinging and non-stinging hairs. The small, dioecious, greenish-white flowers, each with four petals, are densely clustered on elongated inflorescences towards the top of the stem. Plant has either male or female flowers in separate inflorescences and occurs as racemes in axils of upper leaves. Male or barren flowers have a perianth of four segments and four stamens, which are bent inwards at bud stage. Female or fertile flowers have similar perianth surrounding a single one seeded carpel, bearing one style with a brush-like stigma. Rhizome; outer surface yellowish-brown, inner surface creamy-white with a central hollow; fracture fibrous and tough. The root of this perennial is creeping and branching, greyish-brown, irregularly twisted, about 5 mm thick, distinct longitudinal furrows; hollow in cross-section, cut surface white; fracture fibrous and tough. The plant spreads by underground roots which are noticeably yellow. The fibers that can be harvested from nettle stalks have been a historically important source for ropes, nets, and clothing.
How to use:
The basic method for dried herbs and flower is, take 2-3 tablespoons of dried herb in a cup or teapot. Pour hot water over it and cover it with lid for 10-30 minutes. Hot water is needed to draw out the antioxidants, enzymes, vitamins, flavonoids, and volatile oils from the botanicals. Strain and squeeze out as much as liquid as possible and enjoy!
- You can sweeten your herbal tea with a bit of honey, natural fruit juice, stevia leaves powder and or licorice root powder.
- You can make ice cubes or pops by freezing tea in ice trays or pop molds.
You should consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using any herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
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This information has not been evaluated by Health Canada.
This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.