Lately there is growing interest in medicinal herbs such as nettle leaf. A number of factors seem to be driving the use of herbs in treating common ailments. For one, many are hesitant about the myriad of possible side effects with even the most seemingly innocent over-the-counter drugs. Then, there is the high price of said drugs. And, of course, there is a huger rising in many for the simpler life of decades gone by. Nettle leaf and many of its herbal cousins are getting a lot of attention.
Nettle Leaf Uses
Nettle leaf can be brewed into tea, tossed into soups, sauteed like spinach, infused for soaking baths, used in tinctures, and more. So, why would you bother? After all, you are either going to have to forage for it yourself or find a reputable herb dealer for purchase. Why not just pick up a large bag of fresh spinach at the grocery?
Nettle leaf beats out the spinach for two reasons. One is that nettle is a weed growing in the wild, untended. It will only grow where the soil is rich and the water plentiful. You don’t really know where that spinach grew or how, even if there is an organic sticker on it somewhere. In terms of good growing and plenty of nutrients, nettle leaf wins.
The second reason for going with nettle leaf is the list of medicinal properties ascribed to it over the centuries. Did you know it is a diuretic? You can access the diuretic action by brewing nettle leaf into a tea or by making a soup that has several green veggies for flavor (nettle leaf has little flavor).
Nettle leaf is also known as an astringent, a hemostatic, and a tonic. A tonic? Remember the phrase “spring tonic”? In generations past it was usual to collect greens like nettle leaf and dandelion to brew into a tonic that was a blood cleanser. Such a tonic is good any time of the year, but spring is when the young greens were available. The old folks knew that plenty of tonic was needed to keep them strong and vital.
Some herbalists recommended picking branches of stinging nettle (common name for the plant) to slap on areas of the body experiencing arthritic pain. A pretty brutal remedy! A much gentler approach to try is making a gallon infusion of nettle leaf to pour into the tub with warm water. Soak as long as you can. Add hot water when necessary if you stay a spell.
What an herb! Do a study of nettle leaf to get a better idea of the vast range of uses, like a scalp rub to deal with hair loss. Study it up and try it out. So where are you going to get your nettle leaf?
Nettle Leaf, Nettle Leaf, Where Fore Art Thou?
If you live anywhere that is not covered with cement and asphalt, you have a chance of finding stinging nettle growing. It is found globally. If your nettle leaf is growing on someone else’s property, they will probably be delighted to have you harvest it. Just ask! Most folks consider nettle leaf a pesky weed because of the needle-like spines on the leaves. Be careful!
If you are not that adventuresome or if you only have access to high-rises, then find a trustworthy herb distributor who gathers nettle leaf in the wild and delivers only freshly dried goods. Whichever way you go, do go! Nettle leaf could be the answer to a number of your problems.